Narendra Modi may also have to allow farm gate prices to rise fast, agricultural and economic experts said, jeopardising a key policy of his first two years in office: keeping inflation in check to appeal to India`s swelling middle class.
Terming agriculture as "absolutely critical to the country`s economy," union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday launched the "Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana" and "Unified Package Insurance Scheme".
As the state is reeling under an unprecedented drought, the BJP-led government in Maharashtra on Friday earmarked Rs 25,000 crore for the farm sector in the Budget for 2016-17, while tweaking certain taxes such as VAT and offering exemptions for the sugarcane industry.
Five years ago, when Ramakant Desai, 55, hired a drilling rig to sink a borewell to irrigate his maize fields, he struck water at 200 ft. Today, the rig must drill more than four times as deep to 900 ft.
Cautioning against getting carried away by "glamorous sectors like IT and e-commerce", Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra Thursday said India needs a new green revolution as income from agriculture is declining.
Aiming to double farmers income by 2022, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Monday announced an allocation of nearly Rs 36,000 crore for the farm sector while raising the agri-credit target to Rs 9 lakh crore for the next fiscal.