Chandigarh, May 3 - Research and development as well as integrating the service sector and MSMEs with agriculture is the key to doubling farm income, experts said at a conference here.
The 15th Finance Commission today held an interactive session on agriculture here in which eminent scientists from state agricultural universities, agriculture economists along with other agencies like NABARD and Punjab State Farmers Commission participated, an official release said.
Eminent farm scientist S S Johal emphasised on strengthening agriculture research. He also talked about the use of information and communication technology for developing knowledge centres in villages.
Expert Abhijit Sen stressed on structural reforms in the farm sector and said that planning needs to be based on resources and agro-economic zones.
Finance Commission Member Ashok Lahiri said as such the body was not mandated to consider any sectoral allotments but needs of the economy could not be understood holistically without understanding the needs of the agriculture sector, the statement said.
He said equity, efficiency and sustainability are the key considerations for the Finance Commission.
Lahiri also talked on a range of issues, including resource need evaluation in agriculture, challenge of climate change, impact of price support and market mechanism and role of land ownership and crop diversity.
Participants also discussed issues pertaining to agricultural productivity, cropping patterns, crop diversity, climate resilience, small and marginal farmers, agriculture subsidies, private sector investment and strengthening the agricultural universities across the country, said the release.
A total of 13 members of the 15th Finance Commission and 26 agriculture experts from different agriculture universities and research institutes from across the country were present at the meeting.