Despite the near-normal monsoon, the farm income is expected to see only a modest growth this financial year, due to the depressed agricultural commodity prices and the still lingering impacts of the note-ban and goods and services tax (GST) roll-out, says a report. “Though there is a marginal uptick in consumption it’s driven by credit. Since wealth effect remains weak in the hinterland there is no large ticket consumption. Therefore, we see only a marginal improvement in overall rural income, though the monsoon has been near-normal,” says JM Financial in the sixth edition of its annual report ‘Rural Safari’. The report lists the low prices of agri commodities and almost nil growth in non-farm income which constitute two-thirds of the rural income, and curbs on cash transactions, sand mining and the GST related disruptions as the main reasons for the problem. The ongoing curbs have all moderated economic activity levels in the first half. This will cap the overall growth in farm income for the full fiscal year, say the brokerage’s analysts, led by Arshad Perwez and Suhas Harinarayanan. However, the survey indicates that the final kharif crop output could be higher than government’s first estimate as so will be the rabi output, as barring central regions the water levels are adequate.This is because of the weak global agri-commodity pricing, and the only saving grace for the farmers is the resilience in vegetable prices, they said.