The G-8 group of secretaries, constituted by the Prime Minister on the new year eve of December 31, 2015, has called for drafting a model tenancy law incorporating the interests of both farm landholders and their tenants. This is necessary to ensure access of informal tenant farmers to bank credit and crop insurance facilities as they constitute as much as 40 per cent of the farming community in most of the states. The committee on “farmer-centric issues in agriculture and allied sector” has also held “informal tenancy” as one of the main reasons for farmer suicides since many don’t get farm credit and crop insurance, a group of secretaries has suggested the government to come out with a model tenancy law. The law, according to the committee, be drafted in a way to enhance confidence of landholders and convince them that it would not give away their land in any situation to their tenants.
Indianmandarins has learnt that the committee has recommended a comprehensive series of measures linking MNREGA and NABARD with creating irrigation assets, raising of tax-free bonds to Sources said the group dealing with issues on “farmer-centric issues in agriculture and allied sectors” has also suggested the need to excavate 5 lakh ponds and dug-wells annually under the rural jobs scheme and to create dedicated fund by raising tax free bonds to finance irrigation projects, taking crop sciences to farmers by involving fertilizer and pesticides companies and improving agricultural financing.
The group has gone into details of how to make PM’s pet project “soil health card” more farmer friendly and highlighted the importance of start-ups in this area to create hand-held tools to examine soil health. It has also underlined the importance of solar power pumps in micro irrigation.