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AGRICULTURE

Singh enumerates achievements and initiatives of agriculture ministry
Saturday, 31 December, 2016, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
Radha Mohan Singh, minister of agriculture and farmers’ welfare, listed the achievements of and initiatives taken by his ministry during the last two-and-a-half years, and stated that demonetisation has not had an adverse impact.

Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana
About 309 lakh farmers from 23 states had been covered under Fasal Beema during Kharif2015. Of these, 294 lakh farmers were loanee and 15 lakh farmers were non-loanee.During Kharif 2016, 366.64 lakh farmers have been covered. Of these, 264.04 lakh farmers are loanee and 102.60 lakh farmers are non-loanee. The Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojana was implemented by 21 states during Kharif 2016.

Soil health card scheme
Against a targeted collection of 2.53 crore soil samplesupto March 2017, 2.33 crore soil samples have been collected. From these, 12.82 crore soil health cards were made. Out of these, 4.31 crore soil health cards have been printed and 4.25 crore soil health cards have been distributed to the farmers and the remaining are under process. In 2016-17, 0.20 crore samples are to be collected. From these, 1.10 crore soil health cards will be prepared. Between 2014 and 2017, 460 soil testing laboratories have been sanctioned, while in 2013-14, only 15 soil testing laboratories were sanctioned. In addition to 460 soil testing labs, 4,000 mini labs have also been sanctioned to the states.

Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana
The scheme was started in 2014 to promote organic farming with an allocation of Rs 597 crore for three years and a target to set up 10,000 clusters. Till December 2016, the state governments have made 9.186 clusters.

National Agriculture Market (NAM)
Under this scheme, 250 mandis of ten states have been integerated with the e-NAM portal. In-principle approval has been given to integrate 399 mandis with e-NAM, for which an amount of Rs 93 crore has been released. About 35,04,371.13tonnes of agricultural produce worth Rs7,131.21 crore has been transacted on the e-NAM platform. About 9,49,112 farmers, 59,742 traders and 31,317 commission agents have been registered on the e-NAM platform.

Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY)
In 2013-14, an area of 4.3 lakh hectare was covered under micro-irrigation. Whereas between 2014 and 2016, an area of 12.74 lakh hectare has been brought under micro-irrigation under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY), which is an increase of 200 per cent. The PMKSY scheme is being implemented in mission mode with aim of completing 99 major and medium irrigation projects with the capacity of 76.03 lakh hectare in a phased manner by December2019 with command area development with an amount of Rs 77,595 crore. During the year 2016-17, a sum of Rs12,517 crore will be incurred to implement 23 irrigation schemes under the PMKSY mission.

Development of beekeeping
Honey production has increased from 1,48,450 metric tons (MT)between 2012 and 2014 to 2,63,930 MT between 2014 and 2016, which is an increase of 78 per cent. An amount of Rs7.15 crore was released to the National Bee Board (NBB) in the last two years (2014-15 and 2015-16) in comparison to an amount of Rs5.94 crore released during last three years (i.e. between 2011-12 and 2013-14). An amount of Rs12crore has been approved for the National Bee Board (NBB) for the year 2016-17.

Farmer producer organisation (FPOs)
568 FPOs were registered in the two years between 2014 and 2016, against the 223 FPOs registered in the three years between 2011 and 2014, which is an increase of 155 per cent.

Financing of joint liability groups (JLGs)
About 18.21 lakh JLGs were financed in the two-and-a-half-year period between 2014 and 2016 as compared to 6.7 lakh JLGs during the seven-year periodbetween 2007 and 2014. In comparison to the cumulative achievement of Rs 6,630 crore during the seven-year period between 2007 and 2014, Rs 18,005.79 crore were made available to JLGs during the two-and-a-half-year period between 2014 and September 2016.

Horticulture

In the last decade,the area under horticulture has increased by about 2.7 per cent per year and annual production has increased by 5.5 per cent.In spite of two successive droughts in 2014-15 and 2015-16, the production of horticulture crops has increased.

Coconut development
From the beginning of this financial year 2016-17, India has started exporting coconut oil to Malaysia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. It used to import the same from these countries earlier. India became the leader in coconut production and productivity in the world. Coconut area, production and productivity reached 1.97 million hectares, 20.439 billion nuts and 10,345 nuts per hectare, respectively. A 33 per cent increase was found in replanting and area rejuvenation of the Coconut Development Board (CDB) during the period between 2014 and 2016 as compared to the three-year-period between 2011 and 2014.

State Disaster Relief Fund

Between the years 2010 and 2015, a provision of Rs33,580.93 crore was made for the State Disaster Response Fund. The same has been increased to Rs61,220 crore for the period between 2015 and 2020.

National Disaster Relief Fund

Between 2010 and 2014, the states sought an assistance of Rs92,044 crore and were granted Rs12,516 crore. Between 2014 and 2016, they sought an assistance of Rs94,787 crore and were granted Rs24,556 crore.

Neem-coated urea

In one year, the Modi government has made available 100 per cent neem-coated area in the country. Due to this, diversion of unauthorised use of urea by chemical factories hasstopped. Now farmers are getting urea in adequate quantities. Besides this, the cost of production has reduced by 10-15 per cent with the use of neem-coated urea. Productivity will also increase with the use of neem-coated urea.

Agroforestry

For the first time, the sub-mission on agroforestry has been initiated which will accelerate the Medh Par Ped programme. In addition, trees would also be grown as strip and intermittent plantation on farm land along with the crops/cropping system and as block plantation in cultivable waste land. The implementation of the scheme only in the states having liberalised transit regulations for the transport of timber and will be extended to other states as and when such relaxations are notified by them. So far, the scheme is being implemented in eight states.

Coordinated programme on Horticulture Assessment and Management using Geo-informatics (Chaman)

The programme has the objective to develop and firm up methodology for estimation of area and production under horticulture crops using remote sensing technology and sample survey methodology. It was launched in September2014 and is expected to be completed in three years.

Initiation of mobile apps for farmers

The following mobile apps have been launched for the welfare of farmers: Kisan Suvidha, Pusa Agriculture, Agri Market, Crop Insurance and Crop Cutting Experiment (CCE). These can be downloaded from the Google Play Store as well as from www.mkisan.gov.in

National Food Security Mission (NFSM)/Steps taken for pulse production

?    Till 2013-14, only three crops - rice, wheat and pulses - were covered under the National Food Security Mission (NFSM). During Modi’s tenure, it hasincreased to five food crops (rice, wheat, pulses, sugarcane and coarse cereals)

?    Till2013-14, 482 districts of 16 states were included in the NFSM.Now with the addition of the eight north-eastern states, three hilly states (Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand),Goa and Kerala, the Mission covers all 638 districts of 29 states in the country

?    Out of the total allocation of Rs 1,700 crore under NFSM for 2016-17, Rs1,100 crore (the Central share) was allocated for pulses, which amounts to more than 60 per cent of the total allocation

?    For expansion of cultivation of new kinds of seeds, Rs7.85 lakh mini-kits are being distributed to farmers free of cost in the year 2016-17, through state governments

?    In 2016-17, demonstrations of new techniques for pulse production are being carried out in 31,000 hectares by 534 agriculture science centres through ICAR and state agriculture universities, and Rs25.29 crore were allocated for this purpose

?    Seed hubs are being created through ICAR, state agriculture universities and Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) to ensure the availability of new kinds of seeds. For this purpose, Rs225.31 crore have been approved for establishment of 150 seed centres between 2016-17 and 2017-18, out of which Rs131.74 crore is proposed for 2016-17. From these seed centres, 1.50 lakh quintals of improved seeds will be ensured

?    The production target for pulses for the year 2016-17 is 20.75 million metric tonnes. The production of kharif pulses in 2016-17 is expected to be about 8.70 million tonnes (as per the first advance estimates) against the target of 7.25 million tonnes

Rashtriya Gokul Mission

With a view to conserve and develop indigenous bovine breeds, Rashtriya Gokul Mission, a new initiative under the National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development, has been launched for the first time in the country, with an allocation of Rs 500 crore. Under the Mission, 14 Gokul Grams are being established, 35 bull mother farms modernised with an investment of more funds and 3,629 bulls have been inducted for genetic upgradation. Between 2007-08 and 2013-14, a meagre amount of only Rs 45 crore was spent for the development of indigenous breeds. Whereas, the current government has, in just one-and-a-half years (upto December 2015), has approved 35 projects from 27 states and sanctioned Rs 582.09 crore. This amount has been increased by more than 13 times in the last two years. Two National Kamdhenu Breeding Centres, one in the northern region (Madhya Pradesh) and the other in the southern region (Andhra Pradesh), are being established in the country with an allocation of Rs 50 crore.

Milk production

In comparison with the period between 2014 and 2016,the growth rate between 2012 and 2014 is 11.7 per cent. Annual milk production has increased by 6.3 per cent during 2015-16.

Four new schemes for dairy sector

Pashudhan Sanjivani

?    It is an animal wellness programme, encompassing provision of animal health cards (Nakul Swasthya Patra) along with UID identification of animals in milk and a national database

?    Under the scheme, 8.5 crore animals in milk will be identified using UID and their data will uploaded in the INAPH database

?    This will play a crucial role in the control of spread of animal diseases. This will also lead to an increase in trade of livestock and livestock products

Advanced breeding technology

?    It is an assisted reproductive technique to improve the availability of disease-free female bovines through of sex-sorted semen technology

?    Under the scheme, 50 embryo transfer technology labs and in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) labs will be established

?    This will lead to an exponential increase in milk production and productivity of animals in an exponential manner

National Bovine Genomic Centre for Indigenous Breeds (NBGC-IB)

?    In developed dairy countries, genomic selection is used to increase milk production and productivity for attaining faster genetic gain

?    In order to increase milk production and productivity of indigenous cattle, a National Bovine Genomic Centre will be established in the country

?    By using genomic selection, indigenous breeds can be made viable within a few generations

?    This centre will play a crucial role in the identification of disease-free high-genetic merit bulls

E-Pashudhan Haat Portal

?    At present, there is no authentic market for bovine germplasm in the form of semen, embryos, male and female calves, heifers and adult bovines. Farmers depend on middlemen for the sale and purchase of quality germplasm

?    Breed-wise information on availability of bovine germplasm is not available, which is essential for promotion of indigenous bovine breeds

?    For the first time in the country, under National Mission on Bovine Productivity,an E-Pashudhan Haat portal has been developed. This portal will play an important role in connecting breeders and farmers of indigenous breeds

?    Through this portal, farmers will be aware about breed-wise information on indigenous breeds. Farmers/breeders can sell animals of indigenous breeds through this portal. Information on all forms of germplasm has been uploaded on the portal. Immediately farmers can obtain benefits of the portal

?    This portal will give new dimensions to development and conservation of indigenous breeds, as at present, information on availability of germplasm of indigenous breeds is not available with the farmers

?    Through the portal there will be no involvement of middlemen in the sale and purchase of animals. Portal for sale and purchase of germplasm in all the forms is not available even in developed dairy countries

Fish production

Fish production has increased from 186.12 lakh tonnes between 2012 and 2014 to 209.59 tonnes between 2014 and 2016 (an increase of 12.61 per cent). The annual growth rate of fish production during 2015-16 was 6.21 per cent.

Egg production

In the year 2015-16, 82,930 million eggs were produced, while in 2014-15, 78,484 million eggs were produced. Egg production is now increasing by 5.66 per cent annually. In comparison to the period between 2012 and 2014,the egg production growth rate between 2014 and 2016 was 10.99 per cent. The annual egg production rate is five per cent. The per-person availability of egg has reached 66.

Veterinary education

To ensure that the existing syllabus and standards for graduate veterinary education is aligned with the globally-accepted standards, wide-ranging amendments have been made in the Minimum Standards for Veterinary Education Regulations, 2008. In addition to this, to meet the shortage of trained veterinary manpower, the number of veterinary colleges has increased from 36 to 46. Intake of students in various veterinary colleges was enhanced from 60 to upto 100 seats. The total number of seats has been increased to 1,334 from 914 in 17 veterinary colleges.The number of veterinary graduates has increased by one-and-a-half times. Similarly the seats in veterinary colleges have increased by one-and-a-half times. The one-and-a-half time increase in post-graduate studies in veterinary education has been attained. Seats in veterinary colleges have been increased by one-and-a-half times.

Increase in recruitment of scientists

In comparison to only 66 per cent in 2013-14, the recruitment in 2014-15 and 2015-16 was 81 per cent. The accelerated recruitment process was through open competition and increase in representation of women scientists.

Empirical learning units

Between 2007 and 2013, the number of empirical learning units in agricultural colleges was 264. These have now been increased to 416 in the two years between 2014 and 2016, which is almost a 58 percent increase. The education budget has also been increased by 50 per cent in the last two years (2014-15 and 2015-16).

Strengthening of KVKs

Efforts were made to strengthen the KVKs by enhancing the number of staff positions of KVKs from the existing strength of 16 to 22.

Attracting students, youth towards agriculture and improving the scientist-farmer interface

Attracting and Retaining Youth in Agriculture (ARYA)

The ARYA project will attract and empower the youth in rural areas to take up various agri-enterprises in agriculture, allied and service sector for sustainable income and gainful employment. The project is running in 25 districts of 25 states through KVKs.

Farmer First

The Farmer First aims at enriching farmer-scientist interface, technology assemblage, application and feedback, partnership and institutional building and content mobilisation.It will provide a platform to farmers and scientists for creating linkages, capacity building, technology adaptation and application, on-site input management, feedback and institution building. The scientists from 100 ICAR institutes/universities are proposed to work with one lakh farmers directly.

Student Ready

The introduction of a fellowship from 2016-17 at Rs 3,000 per month for all the students for a period of six months during Student Ready, which was Rs1000 per month earlier.

The components of this scheme are:

?    Experiential learning (EL)

?    Rural agriculture work experience (RAWE)

?    In-plant training/industrial attachment/internship

?    Skill development training

?    Student project

The Mera Gaon- Mera Gaurav programme has been initiated to effectively promote direct interface of scientists of ICAR institutes and state agricultural universities with the farmers to hasten the lab-to-land process. For this, a group of four scientists each will adopt five villages. Thus, there will be nearly 5,000 groups of scientists adopting 25,000 villages. At present, agricultural scientists have started providing information on newer technologies to the farmers in 15,000 villages.

Climate-resilient varieties (drought-resistant and floor-tolerant)

Between 2014 and 2016, 127 varieties of food grains, 70 varieties of pulses, 58 varieties of oilseeds and 37 varieties of others (i.e. a total of 292 new varieties) were developed.

Agriculture education

?    Recognising the enormous potential of North-East India, six new colleges were opened by the Modi government under the Central Agricultural University, Imphal. Due to this, the number of agricultural colleges in the north-easthas increased by almost 85 percent in the last two years

?    Similarly, in the Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh, four new colleges under Rani Lakshmi Bai Central Agricultural University, Jhansi and conversion of the Central Agriculture University have been completed

?    To make agriculture graduation courses income-oriented, the government has approved the 5th Dean’s Committee report recommendations. The Dean’s Committee report will be implemented in this educational session (i.e. 2016-17). Through this new curriculum, all agriculture-based graduation courses will be altered into the professional ones, which will be conducive to earning their livelihood in future

Special initiatives

?    Four new ICAR awards in two years:ICAR Administrative Award, Haldhar Organic Farmer Award, Pandit Deendayal Antyodaya Krishi Puruskar and Pandit Deendayal Rashtriya Krishi Vigyan Protsahan Puruskar

?    Pandit Deendayal Unnat Krishi Shiksha Yojana has been started in the year 2016 by way of 130 training programmes on organic farming/natural farming and cow-based economy in 32 state agriculture universities of the country

?    Rashtriya Krishi Shiksha Divas is being celebrated onDecember 3 in remembrance of the country’s first agriculture minister, DrRajendra Prasad
?    Jai Kisan-Jai Vigyan Week is being celebrated since the year 2015 across the entire country between December 23 and 29, to mark the birth anniversary of Chaudhary Charan Singh and the birthday of Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Demonetisation- A positive step

Milk sale

Singh said, “If the data of sale of milk is studied, we will find that there is no adverse effect of demonetisation on it. Rather, it has increased.”

Amul

Before demonetisation, the average sale of milk per day was Rs64.55 crore. After demonetisation, it has increased to Rs74.25 crore per day in November-December.

Mother Dairy

Similarly, before demonetisation, the average sale of Mother Dairy milk was 28.06 lakh litre, and the average cost was Rs11.42 crore. After demonetisation, it has increased to 29.61 lakh litre per day. In November-December, the average cost was Rs12.05 crore per day.

Delhi Milk Scheme

Under the Delhi Milk Scheme, the average sale was 2.70 lakh litre per day and average cost was Rs1.05 crore per day. After demonetisation, it has increased to 2.76 lakh litre in November-December, and the average cost has become Rs1.07 crore per day.

Seed

The minister said, “Ifthe data of 2016 is compared with the data of sale of seed of Rabi 2015, we will find that in most of the states either the data has increased or it is equivalent. For example,the Madhya Pradesh State Seed Corporation sold 10.42 lakh quintal for sowing of Rabi 2015, it has increased to 11.93 lakh quintal this year. Similarly, the Maharashtra State Seed Corporation sold 2.64 lakh quintal seedslast year. This year it is 2.7 lakh quintal. The Karnataka State Seed Corporation sold 1.36 lakh quintal seeds last year. This year it is 1.49 lakh quintal.”

“If the data of the National Seed Corporation is studied, we will find that till December 23, 2015, 5.51 lakh quintal seeds was sold by it. There is a slight decrease. It is 5.20 quintal this year. Similarly, in Telangana, the sale of seed was 1.55 lakh quintal in Rabi 2015. There is a slight decrease in it, and it is 1.48 lakh quintal. In Uttarakhandalso, there is a slight decrease in it. It was 3.8 thousand quintal. In the year 2016, it is 3.7 thousand quintal,” Singh added.

NAFED

Singhsaid, “Similarly, it is clear from the study of the data of the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED)the before demonetisation, its average salewas Rs 2 lakh per day. This has increased one-and-a-half times after demonetisation andbecome Rs 3.70 lakh per day. The main reason of this was the continuation of circulation of the old Rs500 and Rs 1,000 notes in the cooperative shops. In December 2016, this income has stabilised at Rs2.31 lakh per day, which is more than the data of sale before demonetisation.”
 
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