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Agriculture Is First New Issue Which In Some Ways The Oldest: The Green Highlights Economic Survey 2018

President’s address to parliament was more focussed on doubling farmers’ income. A vision difficult to achieve than said, says SS Acharya, former chairman to the commission for agriculture cost and pricing (CACP)

Doubling farmers’ income, climate change, constant GDP and GVA from agriculture are the major highlights of this year’s economic survey. The survey also hints special address to R&D. BW Businessworld shares the green highlights of the economic survey.

President’s address to parliament was more focussed on doubling farmers’ income. A vision difficult to achieve than said, says SS Acharya, former chairman to the commission for agriculture cost and pricing (CACP). Supporting agriculture will be top priority. said Chief Economic Advisor to the government of India last day while sharing priorities of the government. Earlier to this, Abhijit Sen, former member of the planning commission and a renowned economist told BW Businessworld, "what usually happens is that focus on agriculture remains limited to the number of pages on policy documents".

This survey came up with little different results. It says, “The first new issue—yet in some ways the oldest issue—is agriculture. Successful economic and social transformation has always happened against the background of rising agricultural productivity.” PK Tiwari, joint secretary of food and public distribution department says, “Agriculture and farmers had not been addressed the way they are addressed now, I don’t remember everyone talking about agrarian distress some five years back”. A problem can be solved once it is properly identified. I am very much sure that it is achievable. Everything from doubling farmers’ income to food security is connected.

Consistent Economics

(Agriculture Real GVA & Real Revenue)

This figure by economic survey 2018, at least in economic or technical terms suggest that in the last four years, the level of real agricultural GDP and real agriculture revenues has remained constant, owing in part to weak monsoons in two of those years. CEA had the climate change factor in his senses from a long time. Addressing to national academy of agriculture sciences (NAAS) in 2017, he was very critical of climate change and its impact on agrarian productivity as a whole. Survey says, the analysis in further chapter suggests that climate change—whose imprint on Indian agriculture is already visible—might reduce farm incomes by up to 20-25 percent in the medium term.

It’s Climate Change

Climate change is global phenomena, it is a fact that none can deny. Past few years "weather has become unpredictable and it is more desirable to see the kind of resources, the government puts to it, along with other research and development sectors," a common point emerged during a pre-budget roundtable on agriculture by BW Businessworld.

R&D May Play Key Role

Another key factor for agriculture emerged in the survey is government’s objective of addressing agricultural stress and doubling farmers’ incomes. Survey address it and says, "this consequently requires radical follow-up action, including decisive efforts to bring science and technology to farmers, replacing untargeted subsidies (power and fertiliser) by direct income support, and dramatically extending irrigation but via efficient drip and sprinkler technologies". Possibly a hint on a R&D being an area of focus in the coming budget.

Global economy has witnessed an upswing in 2017 due to world trade in goods and services has finally emerged from its indolence, registering 4.7 per cent real volume growth in 2017 compared with 2.5 per cent in 2016. Another reason is that commodity producers such as Russia, Brazil, and Saudi Arabia, which for the past few years been suffering from depressed prices. Nevertheless, uneven food grain production in most of the nations (major wheat producers), changing nutrition preferences and transformation in agrarian import and export preferences will also play a key role in the coming year(s).

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Economic Survey 2018

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