‘farmer’ defined holistically and not merely on agriculture. he National Commission on Farmers (NCF) under the chairmanship of Prof. M.S. Swaminathan submitted its final report in 2006 and the Government of India approved the National Policy for Farmers in 2007. The primary focus of this policy is on
Provisions of National Policy for Farmers
- Asset Reforms to Empower Farmers: Ensure that every farmer household in villages possesses and/ or has access to productive assets like land, livestock, fishpond, homestead farm and/ or income through an enterprise and or market driven skills.
Sectors covered are:
. Land: Strengthen implementation of laws relating to land reforms
. Water: Rainwater harvesting and improving the efficiency of water use
. Livestock: Crop livestock mixed farming systems would be promoted, apart from encouraging production of organic manures and biofertilizers.
. Fisheries: Improve the income of fishermen families on an environmentally sustainable basis by encouraging scientific fish rearing, harvesting and processing.
. Bioresources: Efforts will be made to conserve as well as enhance these resources and to ensure their sustainable use with equitable sharing of benefits.
. Animal genetic resources: A system of rewards and incentives will be developed to enable and motivate people to conserve their breeds under the Biological Diversity Act.
- Support Services: Frontier technologies like biotechnology, ICT, renewable energy technologies, space applications and nano-technology provide opportunities for launching an “Evergreen Revolution” capable of improving productivity on a sustainable basis.
Sectors covered are:
. Agricultural biosecurity: Integrated bio-security package comprising regulatory measures, education, improved sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures.
. Agro-meteorology: Generic information about weather has to be translated into location- specific land-use advice, based on cropping patterns and water availability.
. Climate change: Proactive measures to reduce the vulnerability to climate change will be taken.
. Inputs and services: Seeds, soil health, pesticides, animal feed
. Credit and insurance: The banking system would endeavour to meet the large credit potential needed to raise agriculture to higher thresholds; for the growth of rural and agribusiness enterprises and employment and for financial inclusion.
. Cooperatives: Appropriate mechanisms would be put in place so that farmers have greater control of the market channels and improve profit opportunities through cooperatives and SHGs.
. Extension, training and knowledge connectivity: Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) would take up training and lab-to-land demonstrations in the area of post-harvest technology, agro-processing and value addition to primary products to provide skilled jobs in villages.
. Social security: Coverage of farmers, particularly small and marginal farmers and landless agricultural workers, under a comprehensive national social security scheme is essential for ensuring livelihood security.
. Marketing: Assured and remunerative marketing opportunities hold the key to continued progress in enhancing farm productivity and profitability.
. Curriculum reform: The farm universities would be reoriented to give emphasis on entrepreneurship, post harvest technology and quality and safety standards.
- Special Categories of Reforms: Emphasis would be on:
. Tribal farmers: A majority of tribal communities across the country are dependent on forests and animal husbandry for their livelihoods.
. Pastoralists: Restoration of traditional grazing rights, formalising entitlements.
. Plantation farmers: Price stabilisation fund for plantation crops
. Island farmers: Horticulture development, rewarding of indigenous knowledge in biodiversity conservation.
. Urban farmers: Home gardens and nurseries would be encouraged.
- Emphasis on special categories of farming which includes organic farming, green agriculture, GM crops and greenhouse agriculture.