“I think the agricultural sector should be given the status of industry if so many people depend on it,” Sitharaman said during his speech at the 4th SBI banking and economic conclave on Wednesday.
“And remember the FDI policies that have opened up. We are talking about FDI in plantation crops, so why not bring in more money as well to ensure more production in agriculture.
Agriculture is going to be the main component of our exports and therefore, yes, I would be in favor of granting industry status to agriculture. ”
The minister’s statement comes at a time when Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Punjab have already waived agricultural loans worth thousands of crore, as farmer unrest continues in states like Madhya Pradesh demanding a similar favor.
In May, the Center informed the Supreme Court that despite a multi-pronged approach to improve farmers’ incomes and social security, more than 12,000 suicides have been reported in the agricultural sector each year since 2013.
The government has repeatedly reiterated its efforts to double farmers’ incomes by 2022.
Agrarian distress manifests itself in a large number of farmers living below the poverty line and suicide incidents. These problems can be solved by allowing farmers to increase their income.