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Agriculture

4. AGRICULTURE

  • 54.6 percent of the population is engaged in agriculture and allied activities (census 2011).
  • It contributes 17.4 percent to the country’s Gross Value Added for the year 2016-17 (at current prices).
  • Government of India took several steps for its sustainable development:
    • Soil health card scheme(2015): To improve soil fertility on a sustainable basis.
    • Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY,2015-16): To provide improved access to irrigation and enhanced water efficiency.
    • Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY,2015): To support organic farming.
    • National agriculture market: To boost the income of farmers.
    • Pradhan Mantri FasalBima Yojana (PMFBY,2016): Launched for implementation from Kharif 2016 to mitigate risk in the agriculture sector.
  • The Department of Agriculture, Cooperation, and Farmers’ Welfare (DAC&FW) is one of the three constituent departments of the Ministry ofAgriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, the other two being Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries (DAHD&F) and Department of AgriculturalResearch and Education (DARE).

Production:

  • As per Second Advance Estimates for 2019-20, total foodgrain production in the country is estimated at record 291.95 million tonnes which is higher by 6.74 million tonnes than the production of foodgrain of 285.21 million tonnes achieved during 2018-19.
  • However, the production during 2019-20 is higher by 26.20 million tonnes than the previous five years’ (2013-14 to 2017-18) average production of foodgrain.

National Policy for Farmers:

  • The government of India approved the National Policy for Farmers (NPFs) in 2007.
  • Many of the provisions of the NPF are being operationalized through various schemes and programs which are being implemented by different central government departments and ministries.

Major Programmes

Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY):

Approved with an outlay of ? 50,000 crore for a period

of 5 years (2015-16 to 2019-20).

Objective:

  1. To achieve convergence of investments in irrigation at the field level.
  2. Expand cultivable area under assured irrigation.
  3. Improve on-farm water use efficiency to reduce wastage
  4. of water.
  5. Enhance the adoption of precision irrigation and other water-saving technologies (Per drop, More crop).
  • The mission is administered by the Ministry of Water

Resources, River Development, and Ganga Rejuvenation with the Per Drop More Crop component being administered by the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation, and Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW).

Agriculture Credit:

Objective:

  • The government has pegged the agricultural credit target at Rs 15 lakh crore for fiscal2020-21.
  • The Department implements the Interest Subvention Scheme under which interest subvention is provided on short-term crop loans up to ? 3 lakh for a period of one year which is made available to farmers at a subvented interest rate of 7 percent per annum and in case of timely repayment, the same gets reduced to 4 percent per annum.

Crop Insurance

Objective:

To protect farmers against crop failure due to natural calamities, pests and diseases, weather conditions.

Pradhan Mantri FasalBima Yojana (PMFBY) was implemented from kharif 2016 along with restructured pilot Unified PackageInsurance Scheme (UPIS) and Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS).

Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices:

  • Set up to evolve a balanced and integrated price structure.
  • Mandated to advice on the price policy (MSP) of 23 crops:
    • Seven cereal crops: Paddy, Wheat, Jowar, Bajra, Maize, Ragi and Barley.
    • Five pulse crops: Gram, Tur, Moong, Urad and Lentil.
    • Seven oilseeds: Groundnut, Sunflower seed, Soyabean, Rapeseed mustard, Safflower, Nigerseedand Sesamum), Copra (dried coconut), Cotton, Rawjute and Sugarcane.
  • CACP submits its recommendations in the form of PricePolicy Reports every year, separately for five groups of commodities namely Kharif crops, rabi crops, sugarcane, raw jute, and copra.

Determinants of MSP:

  • Important factors in the determination of MSP:
    • Cost of production (CoP)
    • Demand and supply
    • Price trend in the domestic and international markets
    • Inter-crop price parity
    • Terms of trade between agricultural and non-agricultural sectors
    • Likely impact of MSPs on consumers
  • Thus, the pricing policy is rooted not in the ‘cost-plus’ approach, though the cost is an important determinant of MSP.

Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR):

  • An autonomous organization under the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE). Formerly known as Imperial Council of Agricultural Research.
  • It was established on July 16, 1929, as a registered society under the Societies Registration Act,1860, with its headquarters in New Delhi.
  • It is the apex body for coordinating, guiding, and managing research and education in agriculture including horticulture, fisheries, and animal sciences.
  • With 101 ICAR institutes and 71 agricultural universities spread across the country, this is one of the largest national agricultural systems in the world.
  • Its role in Green Revolution and research and technology in agriculture enabled the country to increase the production of foodgrains by 5.4 times, horticultural crops by 10.1 times, fish by 15.2 times, milk 9.7 times, and eggs 48.1 times since 1951 to 2017.
  • It has played a major role in promoting excellence in higher education in agriculture.

Soil and Water Productivity:

  • The National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning (NBSS&LUP) developed NBSS BHOOMI Geo-portal to access various thematic information on major physiographic regions, sub-physiographic regions, agro-ecological regions (1992), agroecological regions (2015) and agro-ecological sub-regions of the country.
  • Area/region-specific efficient and remunerative crops and cropping sequences were delineated based on soils, landforms, rainfall, temperature, length of growing period, and irrigability.
  • The NBSS&LUP developed an android based mobile application on a GIS platform to facilitate a web-based decision support system (DSS) for land use planning and dissemination of soil health card information at village and farm level for Gujarat.

Genetic Resources:

  • Major explorations were undertaken and 1,532 germplasm accessions were collected comprising 1,095 of cultivated plants and 437 wild accessions.
  • The explorations were undertaken two each in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and one each in Andaman and Nicobar, Arunachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Nagaland, Odisha, Tripura, and Uttarakhand.
  • The population of momordica cochinchinensis, collected from the middle Andaman Island, was described as a new subspecies Momordica cochinchinensis subsp. and amanica, which was subsequently validated through DNA barcoding.

Crop Improvement:

  • Major emphasis was to develop new varieties/hybrids tolerant to various biotic and abiotic stresses with enhanced quality.
  • 209 varieties were developed117 high-yielding varieties/hybrids of cereals comprising 65 of rice, 14 of wheat, 24 of maize, 5 of finger millet, 3 of pearl millet, 1 each of sorghum, barley, foxtail millet, Kodo millet, little millet, and proso millet and released for cultivation in different agro-ecological regions of the country.
  • Twenty-eight high-yielding varieties of oil seeds, 32 of pulses, 24 of commercial crops (cotton, sugarcane, and jute), and eight of forage crops were released for cultivation in different agro-ecologies.

Livestock:

  • Improvement of indigenous cattle breeds through selection project was conceptualized for the genetic improvement of Gir, Kankrej, and Sahiwal cattle in their home tracts.
  • Under network projects of buffalo improvement Nli-Ravi, Bhadawari, and Swamp breed centers are functioning as conservation and improvement units whereas Jaffarabadi, Pandarpuri, and Surti breed centers are concentrating on field progeny testing and maintaining the elite herd for bull production and a breedable herd of 567.
  • All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) on goat improvement covered 13 tribal villages and contributed to better livelihood security for tribal people as goats are major source of income to poor people in tribal areas and North-Eastern Hill region.
  • Under AICRP on poultry breeding, all the 12 centers are working on the development of location-specific rural chicken varieties.

Crop Management:

  • A long-term tillage experiment in maize-wheat and rice-wheat system indicated that the wheat crop was not affected by tillage in rice or maize.
  • Enhancing crop yield per unit water use through improved agro-techniques involving sprinklers in summer green gram indicated higher stability in Samratover IPM 205-7.
  • Sprinkler irrigation resulted in less water use (26.3 percent) with higher water productivity (43.2 percent) and net return (28.4) over flood irrigation.

Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries:

  • Animal Husbandry, Dairying, and Fisheries activities, along with agriculture, continue to be an integral part of human life since the process of civilization started.
  • These activities have contributed not only to the food basket and draught animal power but also by maintaining ecological balance.
  • Played a significant role in generating gainful employment in the rural sector, particularly among the landless, small and marginal farmers and women, besides providing cheap and nutritious food to millions of people and finally being a dependable “bank on hooves” in times of need.
  • Livestock production and agriculture are intrinsically linked, each being dependent on the other, and both crucial for overall food security.
  • There are about 300 million bovines, 65.07 million sheep, 135.2 million goats, and about 10.3 million pigs as per the 19th livestock census in the country.

Livestock Production:

  • According to estimates of the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the value of output livestock sector at current prices was about ? 5,91,691 crore during 2015-16 which is about 28.5 percent of the value of output from the agricultural and allied sector.
  • At constant prices, the value of output from livestock is about 29 percent of the value of the output from total agriculture and allied sector.
  • India continues to be the largest producer of milk in the world.

Milk Production

  • Milk production (2018-19)- 187.7 milliontonnes.
  • Per capita availability (2018-19)- 394gm/day.

Egg Production

  • Tenth Plan (2006-07) was 50.70 billion as compared to 66.45 billion at the end of the Eleventh Plan (2011-12).
  • Total poultry population (2018-19)- 851.81 million (as per 20th Livestock Census).
  • Egg production (2018-19)- 100 billion.
  • Per capita availability (2017-18)- 79 eggs per annum

Wool Production

  • Declined marginally at the end of the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2011-12) to 44.7 million kg from 45.1 million kg in the end of the Tenth Five Year Plan (2006-07).
  • Wool production in the beginning of Twelfth Plan (2012-13 was 46.05 million kgs and increased to 48.1 million kgs in 2014-15 but declined to 43.5 million kgs in 2016-17.

Meat Production

  • At the end of the Tenth Five Year Plan (2006-07)- 2.3 million tonnes.
  • At the end of the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2011-12)- 5.5 million tonnes.
  • In the beginning of TwelfthPlan (2012-13)-5.95 million tonnes which further increased to 7.7 million tonnes in 2017-18.

Fisheries Production

  • The country has vast potential for fisheries in view of the long coastline of about 8,118 kms apart from the inland water resources.
  • During 2018-19, Indiaexportedseafood worth USD 6.72 billion with a quantity of 13.92 lakh tonne.

National Livestock Mission:

  • Launched in 2014-15 with an approved outlay of? 2,800 crores during XII Plan.

Objectives:

  • Sustainable development of livestock sector.
  • Focusing on improving the availability of quality feed and fodder.
  • Risk coverage and effective extension.
  • Improved flow of credit
  • organisation of livestock farmers/rearers, etc.

With the following submissions:

  • sub-mission on livestock development;
  • sub-mission on pig development in north-eastern region
  • sub-mission on fodder and feed development
  • sub-mission on skill development, technology transfer, and extension.

National Livestock Mission

Livestock Health:

  • For control of major livestock and poultry diseases by way of prophylactic vaccination, the required quantity of vaccines is being produced in the country at 27 veterinary vaccine production units including 20 in public-sector.
  • At present, the Drugs Controller General of India regulates the quality of veterinary drugs and biologicals.

Livestock Census:

  • The first livestock census was conducted during 1919-1920 and since then itis being conducted quinquennially by all states/UTs of the country.
  • It is the only source, which gives disaggregated information on various species of farm animals and poultry birds.
  • The 20th Livestock Census was conducted in 2019 in the country in participation with animal husbandry departments of the states/UTs.
  • It indicates that the livestock population in the country increasedby4.6 percent to 536 million from 512.06 million in 2012.

Indian Fisheries:

  • India- second largest fish producing and second-largest aquaculture nation in the world.
  • India is also a major producer of fish through aquaculture and ranks second in the world after China.
  • Total fish production(2017-18)- 12.61 million metric tonne (MMT), [8.92 MMTinland sector + 3.69 MMT marinesector].
  • Fisheries is a sunrise sector with varied resources and potential, engaging over 14.50 million people at the primary level.
  • The transformation of the fisheries sector from traditional to commercial scale has led to an increase in fish production.
  • Inland fisheries emerged as a major contributor to the overall fish production in the country.
  • Within inland fisheries, there is a shift from capture fisheries to aquaculture during the last two and a half decades.
  • Freshwater aquaculture with a share of 34 percent in inland fisheries in the mid-1980s has increased to about 80 percent in recent years.
  • Fish Farmers Development Agencies (FFDA) was set up in various districts for delivering a package of technologies, practices, training, and extension and for providing financial assistance to the beneficiaries.
  • Mariculture in the country over the years was confined largely to bivalve molluscs viz., mussels, edible oysters and pearl oysters, and to some extent seaweeds.

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