Archive for July, 2022

On July 18, 2022, the State Bank of India Research Department issued a “Special Report on Agriculture”. The principal claim of the report is that “Farmers’ income doubled in FY22 [2021-22] as compared to FY18 [2017-18] for certain crops in some states… while in all other cases it rose in the range of 1.3-1.7 times.” (emphasis added)

This factoid is destined to be propagated widely. To say the SBI report was widely covered would be an understatement: it appeared in the Times of India, Economic Times, Hindu Business Line, Business Standard, Financial Express, The Tribune, Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhaskar, Op India, The Print, Swarajya, Zee News, News 18, and many other media outlets. All of these outlets repeated the contents of the report without venturing any comment of their own on these findings.

The political agenda of the SBI report is not subtle. The first sentence is “Agricultural Policies are ushering in a greater tomorrow…”, and it goes on to celebrate the farmer-related initiatives of the present government in purple prose. It explicitly links its ‘findings’ to the Modi government’s announced goal of doubling farmers’ income by 2022-23.

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