In an attempt to fulfil the government\u2019s key agrarian agenda of doubling farmers\u2019 income by 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a four-point strategy on Tuesday. Amongst the key suggestions was launching a scheme called \u2018Startup Agri India\u2019, apart from organising regular hackathons to facilitate innovation in agriculture.\r\n\r\nAddressing a two-day conference on \u2018Agriculture 2022: Doubling farmers\u2019 income\u2019 organised by the Agriculture Ministry, PM Modi divided the government\u2019s strategy into key pointers: reducing cultivation costs, ensuring profitable prices, processing farm waste and creating non-farm sources of income.\r\n\r\nThe conference was attended by 300 policy planners, farmers, economists and bankers to suggest ways to increase farmers\u2019 income.\r\nHackathons To Start-up Agri India: How PM Modi Proposes To Double Farmers' Income\r\nApart from proposing to launch a "Start-up Agri India" scheme to support\u00a0agritech startups working to make the agricultural process more efficient, PM Modi also emphasised\u00a0on the need to organise \u2018hackathons\u2019 in Indian Institutes of Technology for out-of-the-box ideas in agriculture. At the conclave, he went on to give examples of the places where the ideas of hackathons worked in governance.\r\n\r\nHe attended presentations around seven major themes made by aggregating proposals in the two-day conclave.\r\n\r\n\u201cNITI Aayog will collate all the recommendations and coordinate between ministries and decide on priorities. Some recommendations may take time to implement but we will do it,\u201d he said.\r\n\r\nOther suggestions included putting agri-marketing under joint Centre-states jurisdiction, digitisation of land records, making purchases below minimum support prices (MSPs) illegal and making farm produce compliant with export norms among others.\r\n\r\nThe attendees also suggested bringing agriculture marketing into the concurrent list, which then will allow the centre to frame laws and create a common national market for free movement of farm produce.\r\n\r\nPM Modi also claimed that soil health cards had cut the use of chemical fertilisers by 8% to 10%, while also increasing productivity by 5% to 6%. He suggested that soil testing can create a huge market if B.Sc. agriculture students decided to be soil technologists.\r\n\r\nHe suggested that such students can open labs with government subsidies.\r\n\r\nPM Modi also reminded that one of his government\u2019s target was to ensure timely completion of 99 irrigation schemes, which had been stuck for 25 to 30 years.\r\n\r\nHe informed that about 50% of these schemes would be completed this year. For this purpose, the government has earmarked $12.3Bn (INR 80000 Cr).\r\n\r\nThe Prime Minister also informed that the government is looking to bring 50% of all cropped area under mandatory insurance.\r\n\r\nHe also reiterated the initiatives taken by his government for farmers, which include 100% neem coating of urea and launching a new crop insurance scheme for farmers, among others.\r\n\r\nIn April 2016, the Centre set up a committee under Ashok Dalwai, former Additional Secretary of the Union Agriculture Ministry, to prepare a series of recommendations for doubling farmers\u2019 income by 2022.\r\n\r\nIn 2017-18, agricultural growth is expected to slow to 2.1%, compared to 4.9% in the previous year, according to official forecasts.\r\n\r\nIn the Union Budget 2018, the government also introduced a slew of benefits for the agriculture sector. For instance, henceforth, the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Kharif crops will be 1.5x cost of production. Other announcements made during this year\u2019s budget include the launch of Operation Green, an agricultural market fund with a corpus of $314 Mn (INR 2,000 Cr), among others.\r\n\r\nThe conclave also comes after the promised action in Union Budget to create an institutional mechanism to take decisions on various measures, in a bid to ensure the farmers\u2019 income is doubled as per target.\r\n\r\nIn the backdrop of the upcoming elections, the PM Modi led government has been doubling down to promote agriculture and related activities in the country. In this light, it remains to be seen how soon and at what scale the government will be able to fulfill its promises of doubling farmers\u2019 income by 2022.