Updated on 3 June, 2019
The success in the rural sector has, however, not been seen vis-a-vis agriculture owing to the reasons stated below;
- Flagship rural development schemes have been well-funded
- They have been target-oriented with clear deadlines
- Dashboards tracking implementation on a near real-time basis
The average annual growth in the agriculture sector’s gross value added from 2014-15 to 2018-19 was just 2.9 per cent in real (constant prices) terms and 7.6 per cent at current prices. This is as against the required 10.3 per cent growth required for doubling in seven years. How will Agriculture and rural coming under a single minister be a good thing? It will help bring in synergies. For example, MGNREGA is viewed as a pure rural scheme when one should be looking at greater convergence with agriculture for achieving the doubling of farm incomes. MGNREGA’s focus would be increased at asset creation on individual farms, as opposed to community-based works. But even as Agriculture and Rural Development has been brought under a single minister, the Centre has created a new Ministry of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries. Along with it, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Food Ministry and the Department of Fertilizers would ensure continued fragmentation. Also read: BIMSTEC Heads Invited to PM’s Swearing-in New Version of Akash Missile Test-Fired Successfully. Source
- Lack of imagination and focus.
- Sense of purpose and scale has been missing in agriculture-specific programmes. For example - Pradhan Mantri Faisal Bima Yojana is alleged to have benefited insurance companies more than farmers. Not only have the gross premiums collected by insurers far exceeded the claims paid out but even these have been made with considerable delays.
- Inability to make any tangible impact on the ground.
- Not appointing full-time directors in most Indian Council for Agricultural Research Institutions.