From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Particulars of KUSUM
Mains level : Doubling farmer income
- By making solar energy the ‘third crop’, promoting this innovation on a mission mode, the government can double farmers’ income.
- The famous slogan of late Lal Bahadur Shastri, “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan,” was extended by Atal Bihari Vajpayee to include “Jai Vigyan”. Now, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended it to, “Jai Anusandhan”.
What is doubling farmer’s income scheme
- Doubling farmers’ income is a target set by the government of India in February 2016 to be achieved by 2022.
- To promote farmers’ welfare, reduce agrarian distress and bring parity between income of farmers and those working in non-agricultural professions.
- The scheme would provide extra income to farmers, by giving them an option to sell additional power to the grid through solar power projects set up on their barren lands.
- It was announced in the Union Budget 2018-19.
Component of KUSUM Scheme
- Renewable power plants of capacity 500 KW to 2 MW will be setup by individual farmers/ cooperatives/panchayats /farmer producer organisations (FPO) on their barren or cultivable lands.
- Installation of 17.50 lakh standalone Solar Powered Agriculture Pumps.
- Individual farmers will be supported to install standalone solar pumps of capacity up to 7.5 HP. Solar PV capacity in kW equal to the pump capacity in HP is allowed under the scheme.
- Solarization of 10 Lakh Grid-connected Solar Powered Agriculture Pumps is included in this component, Individual farmers will be supported to solarise pumps of capacity up to 7.5 HP.
Expected outcomes of KUSUM
- Welfare: By providing greater financial assistance to smaller farmers, instead of a one¬size¬fits¬all approach.
- Equity: To encourage equitable deployment, the Centre could incentivise States through target linked financial assistance and create avenues for peer learning.
- Addressing inequity within a State – This is addressed by a share of central financial assistance under KUSUM should be appropriated for farmers with small landholdings and belonging to socially disadvantaged groups.
Annadata becoming the urjadata – This one policy has the potential to double farmers incomes within a year or two.
- Awareness challenge: Barriers to adoption include limited awareness about solar pumps.
- Upfront contribution: The other barrier includes farmers’ inability to pay their upfront contribution.
- Regulatory hurdle: Progress on the implementation front has been rather poor due to regulatory, financial, operational and technical challenges.
Constraints in the path of doubling the income
- Outdated technology: Use of outdated and inappropriate technology is the main reason for low productivity of crops and livestock.
- Affordability: Given the pre-dominance of small and marginal farmers in Indian agriculture, affordability becomes a significant constraint on technology adoption by farmers.
- Low research in agriculture: Agricultural research in the country is constrained by resource inadequacy, regulations and intellectual property rights (IPR).
The Measures Taken by Indian Government
- Institutional Reforms: Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, Soil health card, and Prampragat Krishi Vikas Yojana- Aiming to raise output and reduce cost.
- Technological Reforms: Various Technology mission like Technology mission on cotton, Technology Mission on Oilseeds, Pulses and Maize etc.
- To secure future of agriculture and to improve livelihood of half of India’s population, adequate attention needs to be given to improve the welfare of farmers and raise agricultural income.
- It is essential to mobilize States and UTs to own and achieve the goal of doubling farmers’; income with active focus on capacity building (technology adoption and awareness) of farmers that will be the catalyst to boost farmer’s income.
Q. By making solar energy the ‘third crop’, promoting this innovation on a mission mode, the government can double farmers’ income. Critically analyse this statement.