Mumbai: Maharashtra government on Wednesday issued guidelines for increase in the agriculture production and farmers income. The government will implement slew of schemes through convergence and will set up tahasil level coordination committee led by tahasildar to seek proper coordination among couple of agencies. The decision will be implemented from January 23 across the state.
State agriculture minister Dadaji Bhuse said ''Farmers, who will be at the centre stage, will be made free of worries. I have directed the department to suggest measures to increase production and farmers income. The tahasil level coordination committee will meet quarterly to guide farmers on weather forecast, production and productivity targets, marketing, availability of fertilisers and crop loan.'' He informed that a special cell at the agriculture department's office across the state will be established.
The government in its notification has emphasized that knowledgeable employees be deployed in the cell and a public relation officer be appointed.
The government's decision is important because as per the Agricultural Census 2010-11 out of 1.37 crore total operational holdings in the State, 78.6% belonged to marginal and small farmers with land holding less than or equal to 2 ha. The land utilization statistics for 2014-15 shows that out of the total 307.58 lakh ha geographical area of the State, the gross cropped area was 232.73 lakh ha while the net area sown was 173.45 lakh ha(56.4%). The irrigated area in command area under the jurisdiction of state Water Resources Department is 39.47 lakh ha in 2016-17.
According to the joint study by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development and Yes Bank, the total farmer income in 2002-03 stood at Rs 29,556 while in 2012-13, it rose up to Rs 88,620, showing a real CAGR of 5.66%.
Furthermore, state Economic Survey has pointed out that crop production in Maharashtra has recorded a negative growth of 8 per cent in the 2018-19 fiscal due to severe drought in several parts. Agriculture and the allied sector on a whole grew at 0.4 per cent, a decline when compared to last year’s 3.1 per cent rise.