I believe that the government policy approach to enhance farm incomes and decongest cities is doomed to fail. Ila Patnaik and Radhika Pandey write that the government is encouraging rural youth to stay in the villages.
In my opinion, India needs more urbanization and not less. We must encourage more people to move to the cities and must invest much more in proper urban planning, urban infrastructure, and enable inexpensive urban housing. The shantytowns (slums) are the problem, not the migrants from the countryside living in them.
As our country develops and becomes more affluent, agriculture will sustain a smaller portion of our population. Farm incomes cannot, and will not, increase beyond a point. It is impossible to create an agriculture and food processing driven economy that delivers prosperity to 600 million people.
If we want high per capita income amongst agricultural communities, even if we had the most productive agriculture in the world, that agricultural community can’t be much more than about 10% of the population.
A much smaller number of agriculturists supported by technology are sufficient to ensure hugely a productive agriculture and food processing industry, that guarantees food and nutrition security to all Indians.
The percentage of Indians dependent on agriculture must go down to about one-tenth of the country’s population.