Year: 2023 | Month: December | Volume 68 | Issue 4

Farm Access Roads: The Low Cost Convergence Model for Doubling Farmers’ Income in India

Shelesh Nawal and Dilip Kajale
DOI:10.46852/0424-2513.4.2023.38

Abstract:

In agricultural sector, many policy reforms in India are introduced to achieve the target of doubling
farmers’ income. Most of the recent studies and policy focuses on rural roads, while the critical part, which
is still unaddressed, is the farm access roads (Pandan or Dhuri roads). We did a study in Amravati district
of the Maharashtra state on the farm access roads. Farms are becoming inaccessible because of absence of
proper road. Farmer are not able to take high value crops, scheduled farm operations are getting distorted
and sometimes bringing the harvest from farms to home or market becomes difficult. In addition, owing
to accessibility issues, farmers are not able to cultivate land, which result in low productivity and low
income, especially small and marginal farmers, who are the majority, have no capacity to pay for or build
farm roads. We recommend a convergence “farm road access model” implemented in Amravati district,
dovetailing schemes of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee (MGNREGA),
state funds and farmer’s contribution or Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds. The two types of
roads under this model are as, low cost farm access road of ` 1,50,000 per kilometre and high cost road of
` 17,00,000 per kilometre. The impact of farm access roads is that farmers are able to get access to their
land throughout the year and are able to do farm operations timely. Overall, it resulted in increase in
farmers’ income by one third. Therefore, we strongly suggest replicating the Amravati farm access road
(Har Khet ko Rasta) model across the nation.

Highlights

  • The rural roads have the potential to boost agricultural production and thereby contributes to poverty reduction, hence the policy document on doubling of farmers’ income emphasizes on it.
  • Farmers have to walk travel around four kilometres to reach their farm from usable village roads; various investments in farm will be futile if there is low access or no access to farms.




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