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V2C7: AGRICULTURE AND FOOD MANAGEMENT

MAJOR HIGHLIGHTS

Agriculture and its allied sectors play a significant role in the economic transformation of our country especially in the arena of rural livelihood, employment and national food security.

  • It is still the largest source of livelihoods in India as 70% of its rural households still depend primarily on agriculture for their livelihood (including 82% of farmers being small and marginal).
  • Its contribution to national income has gradually declined from 18.2% in 2014-15 to 16.5 in 2019-20, reflecting the development process and the structural transformation taking place in the economy.
  • The livestock sector is one of the largest in the world which has grown at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 8% over the last five years. It assumes an important role in income, employment and nutritional security.
  • The food processing sector plays a significant role in reducing post-harvest losses and creation of additional market for farm outputs thus it require more focused attention. It is growing at an average annual growth rate of more than 5% over the last six years ending 2017-18.
  • India’s food management should focus on rationalisation of food subsidy (which has increased from INR 113171.2 crore in 2014-15 to INR 171127.5 crore in 2018-19) while addressing the challenges of food security, especially of the most vulnerable sections.
  • Indian Agriculture is suffering from the issue of lower farm mechanisation which is only about 40% as compared to about 60% in China and around 75% in Brazil.
  • To realise the goal of doubling the farmers income, it is needed that the challenges of the sector such as access to credit, income support scheme, mechanization, agriculture marketing reform, insurance coverage, irrigation facilities, etc. are addressed.

OVERVIEW OF AGRICULTURE

  • The share of agriculture and allied sectors in the total Gross Value Added (GVA) of the country has been declining (from 18.2 per cent in 2014-15 to 16.5 per cent in 2019-20) on account of relatively higher growth performance of non-agricultural sectors because of structural changes taking place in the economy.
  • The growth of GVA & Gross Capital Formation (GCF) of agriculture and allied sectors has witnessed a fluctuating trend.

AGRICULTURE INPUTS

Mechanization in Agriculture

Agriculture mechanization is an essential input to modern agriculture to increase the productivity by making judicious use of other inputs and natural resources (land and water), etc., besides reducing the human menial labour and cost of cultivation.

  • There is also good scope for using this technology in closely spaced crops like rice, wheat, onion, potato etc.
  • A dedicated Micro Irrigation Fund (MIF), created with NABARD, has been approved in facilitating the States in mobilizing the resources for expanding coverage of Micro Irrigation envisaged under PMKSY-PDMC and also in bringing additional coverage through special and innovative initiatives by State Governments.
  • The coverage of irrigation facilities needs to be extended while ensuring an effective water conservation mechanism. An inclusive approach to provision for agricultural credit has to be undertaken to address the issue of skewness in its regional distribution.

AGRICULTURAL CREDIT

  • The agricultural credit flow target for 2019-20 has been fixed at Rs.13,50,000 crore, and till 30th November, 2019, a sum of Rs. 9,07,843.37 crore has been disbursed.
  • The regional distribution of agricultural credit in India is highly skewed. It is observed that credit is low in North Eastern, Hilly and Eastern States. The share of North Eastern States has been less than one percent in total agricultural credit disbursement.

FERTILIZERS

The New Urea Policy-2015 (NUP- 2015) was notified by Department of Fertilizers on 25th May, 2015 with the objectives of maximizing indigenous urea production; promoting energy efficiency in urea production; and rationalizing subsidy burden on the government. Total fertilizer subsidy stands near Rs. 80000 Crores in 2019- 20 as per estimates.

Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) System (w.e.f. October, 2016) in Fertilizers:

  • Under the fertilizer DBT system, 100 per cent subsidy on various fertilizer grades is released to the fertilizer companies on the basis of actual sales made by the retailers to the beneficiaries.
  • Sale of all subsidized fertilizers to farmers/buyers is being made through Point of Sale (PoS) devices installed at each retailer shop and the beneficiaries will be identified through Aadhaar Card, KCC Voter Identity card, etc.

AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH AND EDUCATION

The Department of Agricultural Research & Education (DARE) provides the necessary government linkages for the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), the premier research organisation for co-ordinating, guiding and managing research and education in agriculture, including horticulture, fisheries and animal sciences.

  • High Yielding Varieties and Breeder Seeds: ICAR develops the new crop varieties having specific traits that improve yield and nutritional quality along with tolerance/resistance to various biotic and abiotic stresses besides matching crop production and protection technologies for target agro-ecologies.
  • Research & Education in Livestock and Fisheries Development The ICAR also works for the integrated development of all the subsectors as all these are integrated at the farmers’ farm.
  • The first gazette notification of 184 registered indigenous breeds was done in 2019. This will provide legal support for Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) of the registered breed/new varieties released and conservation of threatened breed and indigenous breeds.
  • It will enable placing the genetic information with legal tag in the public domain and help in protection of these bio-resources from bio-piracy and other IPR issues.
  • The country possesses 535.78 million livestock population, which includes 192.49 million cattle, 109.85 million buffalo, 74.26 million sheep, 148.88 million goat and 9.06 million pig; and 851.81 million poultry population (Livestock Census, 2019).
  • This vast and varied population of animals is mainly indigenous, while a sizeable population is crossbreds between exotic germplasm and native stock.
  • In order to make the country animal disease free, the diagnostic kits against Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and Bluetongue (BT) diseases and Subviral Particle based Infectious Bursal Disease Vaccine were developed.
  • Transferring Technologies from Lab to Farmer’s Field: The 716 Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) of the country have been linked with 3.37 lakh common service centers to enhance the reach of the KVKs amongst the farmers and provide the demand driven services and information. On-farm trail, Frontline Demonstration, Training of farmers, and making availability of quality seeds, planting material of horticulture crops, improved livestock strain ensuring the trafer of technology from Lab to field.

AGRICULTURE MARKETING

Minimum Support Prices

  • The objective of announcement of MSP for different crops by government is to encourage higher investment and production in agriculture. The Government announces Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for twenty-two mandated crops; and Fair and Remunerative Price for Sugarcane.
  • The Union Budget, 2018-19 had announced pre-determined principle to keep MSPs at levels of one and half times of the cost of production (All India weighted average cost of production for the season). Government has recently increased the MSPs for all mandated kharif and rabi crops for 2019-20 season in line with this principle. Further, direct income/investment support schemes have been introduced.

Income/Investment Support Schemes

Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN)

PM-KISAN is a Central Sector scheme (effective from 1.12.2018) with 100 per cent funding from Government of India. Under the Scheme an income support of Rs. 6000 per year is provided to all farmer families across the country in three equal instalments of Rs. 2000 at an interval of every four months.

Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) Scheme of Odisha

A Government of Odisha (since 2018-19 Rabi season onwards) scheme, to accelerate agricultural prosperity and elimination of poverty in the State. Benefits provisioned under different components are: financial support of `Rs.25,000 per farm family over five seasons will be provided to small and marginal farmers for farm input , financial assistance of Rs.12500 will be provided to each landless agricultural household for agricultural allied activities and financial assistance of Rs.10,000 per family per year to Vulnerable cultivators/landless agricultural labourers to enable them to take care of their sustenance. The scheme also has life and accident insurance covers for the farmers at very nominal premiums.

Mukhya Mantri Krishi Ashirwad Yojana of Jharkhand

Under the scheme, all the small and marginal farmers of the State, who have arable land up to a maximum of 5 acres, will be given a grant-in-aid at the rate of Rs. 5000 / – per acre per year (two installments through Direct Benefit Transfer) , which will help them reduce their dependence on loans. This is in addition to PM Kisan Nidhi Yojana.

Rythu Bandhu of Telangana

Government of Telangana has come up with a new concept of providing Investment Support at the rate of Rs 4,000 per acre per season to all the farmers (Pattadars) in the State towards purchase of various inputs like seeds, fertilizers etc., as initial investment before the crop season. During Rabi 2018- 19, the Government has taken a decision to transfer the amount through treasury e-Kuber to deposit money into the accounts of the farmers. During 2019-20, Government has enhanced the amount under Investment Support Scheme from `Rs. 4,000 to `Rs. 5,000 per acre per season.

AGRICULTURAL TRADE

India occupies a leading position in global trade of agricultural products. However, its total agricultural export basket accounts for a little over 2.15 per cent of the world agricultural trade.

  • The major export destinations are USA, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Nepal and Bangladesh. India has remained consistently a net exporter of agri-products since the economic reforms in 1991, touching Rs.2.7 lakh crore exports and imports at Rs.1.37 lakh crore in 2018-19.
  • A number of trade policy measures have been undertaken by the Government over the past few years to protect the domestic farmers in the country, which include:
  • Import duty has been raised on several imports (from 0 to 10% on tur, 0 to 50% on peas, 0 to 60 %on gram (chana) and 0 to 30%on lentils).
  • Imposition of Quantitative restrictions on imports (4 lakh tonnes per year on tur and 1.5 lakh tonnes on peas, urad & moong per year).
  • Exports of all varieties of pulses have been allowed with effect from 22.11.2017 to ensure the greater choice in marketing as well as the better remuneration for farmers’ produces.
  • Restriction on export of all types of edible oils (except mustard oil) has been lifted on 06.04.2018 to encourage export of indigenous edible oils and their industries.
  • Government has imposed Minimum Import Price (MIP) on pepper and arecanut to protect the domestic growers and their livelihood from cheap import of the commodity as well as to save the domestic industries of pepper and arecanut.
  • Under Foreign Trade Policy 2015- 20, rates of reward under merchandise exports from India (MEIS) were enhanced on export of various agriculture items on 1st November, 2017 to offset high transit cost.
  • Government has recently initiated a comprehensive “Agriculture Export Policy” aimed at doubling the agricultural exports and integrating Indian farmers and agricultural products with the global value chains.
  • Created Agri cells in many Indian embassies abroad to take care of agricultural trade related issues.

MITIGATING RISKS IN AGRICULTURE: CROP INSURANCE

To mitigate the risk of crop failure, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) has been under implementation since kharif 2016 season, it provides comprehensive coverage of risks from pre-sowing to post harvest against natural non-preventable risks. PMFBY envisages increase in coverage from the existing 23 per cent to 50 per cent of Gross Cropped Area (GCA) in the country. Though the scheme is voluntary for the States, 26 States/Uts implemented the scheme in 2017-18. In 2018-19, 23 States/ UTs implemented the scheme.

  • The insurance premium is paid to insurance companies on actuarial/on bidding basis, with very low share contributed by the farmers across the country (2 per cent and 1.5 per cent of the sum insured for food and oilseed crops for kharif and rabi seasons, respectively) and 5 per cent for commercial/horticultural crops and balance premium to be paid upfront and shared equally between Central and State Governments. It also provides better protection for the farmers in terms of sum insured which has been made equal to the scale of finance.

Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) was introduced by the Government in April 2017 to help farmers receive claims directly in their bank accounts, which made registration through Aadhar number mandatory. This was a deliberate step by the Government to weed out ghost/duplicate beneficiaries and help genuine farmers through Aadhar based verification. The Government has also created a National Crop Insurance Portal that provides interface among all stakeholders.

During 2018-19 season, 564.50 lakh farmer applications (tentatively) covering an area of 517.70 lakh ha have been insured for a sum of about Rs. 2,35,642 crore.

On the basis of the experience of implementation of PMFBY and with a view to ensuring better transparency, accountability and timely payment of claims to the farmers, Government has comprehensively revised the operational guidelines of the scheme which have become effective from 01.10.2018 and, inter-alia, include the following:

  • Provision of 12 per cent interest rate per annum to be paid by the Insurance Company to farmers for delay in settlement of claims beyond 10 days of prescribed cut-off date for payment of claims;
  • State Governments have to pay 12 per cent interest rate for delay in release of State share of subsidy beyond three months of prescribed cut-off date/submission of requisition by Insurance Companies;
  • Increased time for change of crop name for insurance – upto 2 working days prior to cut-off date for enrolment instead of earlier provision of one month before cut-off date;
  • Time for intimation of loss due to localized calamities and post-harvest losses has been increased from 48 hours to 72 hours;
  • Detailed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for settlement of claims under localized calamities, postharvest losses, mid-season adversity and prevented sowing and redressal of disputes regarding yield data including add on features;
  • Inclusions of perennial crops and add on coverage for damage by wild animals on pilot basis.

FOOD MANAGEMENT

The main objectives of food management are procurement of foodgrains from farmers at remunerative prices, distribution of foodgrains to consumers, particularly the vulnerable sections of society at affordable prices and maintenance of food buffers for food security and price stability. The nodal agency which undertakes procurement and storage of foodgrain is the Food Corporation of India (FCI). The distribution of foodgrains is primarily under the National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA) and other welfare schemes of the Government and is governed by the scale of allocation and its offtake by the beneficiaries.

  • The NFSA provides for coverage of upto 75 per cent of the rural population and upto 50 per cent of the urban population for receiving foodgrains under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), thus covering about two-thirds of the population of the country for receiving foodgrains at the rate of ` 1/2/3 per kg for nutri-cereals/wheat/rice respectively. Identification of beneficiaries under the Act is under two categories households covered under Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Households, within the coverage determined for the State/UT Priority Households are entitled to receive 5 kg per person per month, AAY households, which constitute the poorest of the poor, continue to receive 35 Kg of foodgrains per householdper month. At present, the Act is being implemented in all the States/UTs covering about 80 crore persons to get highly subsidized foodgrains.
  • To ensure adequate availability of wheat and rice in central pool, to keep a check on the open market prices and to ensure food security, the Central Government has undertaken a number of measures, which include: –
    • State Governments, particularly those undertaking Decentralized Procurement (DCP), are encouraged to maximize procurement of wheat and rice.
    • Strategic reserves of 5 million tonnes of food grains over the operational stocks are maintained to be used in extreme situations.
    • Sale of wheat and rice is undertaken through Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) (Domestic) so as to check inflationary trend in prices of foodgrains.
    • There are good examples of PDS reforms such as One Nation – One Ration Card, Aadhaar authenticated distribution through e-POS machines.

Food grains Stocking Norms for the Central Pool : The objective of Foodgrain Stocking Norms (revised from jan 2015)

  • to meet the prescribed minimum stocking norms for food security,
  • to ensure monthly releases of foodgrains for supply through the TPDS/ Other Welfare Schemes,
  • to meet emergency situations arising out of unexpected crop failure, natural disasters etc. and
  • to use the foodgrain stock in the Central Pool for market intervention to augment supply so as to help moderate the open market prices.
  • The stock between 20-30 million tonnes is maintained which also include the strategic reserve of 50 LMT.

Economic Cost of Food Grains to FCI: The Economic Cost of foodgrains is determined by three components, namely, pooled cost of grains, procurement incidentals and the cost of distribution.

  • The pooled cost of food grains is the weighted MSP of the stock of foodgrains available with FCI at the time of calculating the economic cost. The economic cost for both wheat and rice witnessed significant increase during the last few years due to increase in MSPs and proportionate increase in the incidentals.
  • An examination of the determinants of the real economic cost of wheat suggests that MSP, stocks handling charges and average stock of the grain are the significant factors. Increase of one unit in real MSP leads to 0.48 unit increase in real economic cost and the impact is significant.

Food Subsidy

Food subsidy comprises of

  • subsidy provided to FCI for procurement and distribution of wheat and rice under NFSA and other welfare schemes and for maintaining the strategic reserve of foodgrains and
  • subsidy provided to States for undertaking decentralized procurement.

The difference between the per quintal economic cost and the per quintal Central Issue Price (CIP) gives the quantum of food subsidy. While the economic cost has increased, the CIP for NFSA beneficiaries has not been revised from Rs 200/ quintal in case of wheat and Rs. 300/quintal in case of rice. These rates were fixed under the Act initially for a period of three years from the date of commencement of the Act (July 13, 2013) and thereafter were to be fixed by the Central Government from time to time, while not exceeding the minimum support price.

  • However, it has not been revised since 2013. This has resulted in widening of the gap between the economic cost and CIP and the food subsidy incurred by the Government has risen substantially over the years.
  • The reasons for widening of the food subsidy have been many. The NFSA while on one hand providing a wider coverage than the erstwhile TPDS, also made the Antyodaya CIPs uniformly applicable to all NFSA beneficiaries. Further, APL/BPL categorizations were done away with under NFSA. Coverage under the Act was also delinked from the poverty estimates as it was substantially high to ensure that all the vulnerable and needy sections of the society get its benefit. While retaining the AAY category, the Act covers the rest of the beneficiaries as Priority Households. Moreover, build up of the foodgrain stocks much higher than their norms, increase in economic cost and real MSP and decline in sale realization due to decline in average Central Issue Price for APL households have contributed to the rise in food subsidy.
  • While the interests of the vulnerable sections of the population need to be safeguarded, the economic rationale of increasing the CIPs under NFSA also cannot be undermined. For sustainability of food security operations, the issue of burgeoning food subsidy bill needs to be addressed.

Storage

The storage capacity available with the FCI, a part of warehousing capacity available with the Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) and State Warehousing Corporations (SWCs) and capacity hired from private sector are used for storage of foodgrains procured for central pool. The total capacity available with FCI and State Agencies for storage of foodgrains as on 30.11.2019 was 750.00 LMT.

  • Private Entrepreneurs Guarantee Scheme (PEG): To augment the existing storage capacity, construction of godowns has been undertaken in PPP mode in 22 States under Private Entrepreneurs Guarantee (PEG) Scheme through private sector as well as CWC and SWCs.
  • Central Sector Scheme (erstwhile Plan Scheme): This scheme is implemented in the North Eastern States along with a few other States. Funds from annual budgetary allocation are released by the Government of India to FCI and also to the State Governments for construction of godowns.
  • Construction of Steel Silos: Government of India has also approved an action plan for construction of steel silos in the country for a capacity of 100 LMT in Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode for modernizing storage infrastructure and improving shelf life of stored foodgrains.
  • Online Depot Management System (ODMS): FCI is implementing an Online Depot Management System (ODMS), also known as Depot Online System (DOS), to automate the entire process of depot operations including receipt of foodgrains at the depot, storage, maintenance activities and issue of foodgrains. It has inbuilt modules for inventory management, quality control, weighbridge integration, storage and transit losses management, gunny inventory etc. This helps in optimizing costs and improving functional efficiency of FCI at the depot level and preventing/ easily detecting any malpractices/lapses. As on 31.12.2019, Depot Online System (DOS) is operational at 533 depots of FCI.
  • Often, FCI stocks are way above buffer norms, which needs to be addressed in time. With a large share of poor people, maintaining food security is still a challenge. The rates fixed under the NFSA initially for a period of three years have not been revised since 2013, resulting in burgeoning food subsidy. The rates under NFSA and the coverage need to be revisited.

FOOD PROCESSING SECTOR

Significance: A well-developed food processing sector with higher level of processing

  • helps in the reduction of wastage, improves value addition,
  • promotes crop diversification,
  • ensures better return to the farmers,
  • Promotes employment as well as increases export earnings.
  • Growth in the food processing sector is also expected to open up opportunities for players having strong linkages in the agri-value chain.

During the last 6 years ending 2017-18, Food Processing Industries sector has been growing at an average annual growth rate of around 5.06 per cent. The sector constituted as much as 8.83 per cent and 10.66 per cent of GVA in Manufacturing and Agriculture sector respectively in 2017-18 at 2011-12 prices.

According to the Annual Survey of Industries for 2016-17, the total number of persons engaged in registered food processing sector was 18.54 lakhs.

  • Unregistered food processing sector supports employment to 51.11 lakh workers as per the NSSO 73rd Round, 2015-16 and constitutes 14.18 per cent of employment in the unregistered manufacturing sector.
  • The value of processed food exports during 2018-19 was of the order of US $ 35.30 billion accounting for about 10.70 per cent of India’s total exports (total exports US $ 330.08 billion). The value of import of processed food during 2018-19 was US $ 19.32 billion which is 3.76 per cent of India’s total imports.

Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY): it provides subsidy-based support to create robust modern infrastructure for agriculture and agro-based industries along the entire value/supply chain.

  • It is expected to reduce wastage of agriculture produce, increase the processing level, enhance the export of the processed foods, enable availability of hygienic and nutritious food to consumers at affordable prices.
  • The scheme components are: Mega Food Parks, Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure, Creation/Expansion of Food Processing & Preservation Capacities, Infrastructure for Agro-processing Clusters, Creation of Backward and Forward Linkages, Food Safety and Quality Assurance Infrastructure, Human Resources and Institutions, and Operation Greens.
  • It will benefit 20 lakh farmers and generate 5,30,500 direct/ indirect employment in the country on completion of sanctioned projects.
  • So far, 701 projects have been sanctioned under different component schemes, which are expected to benefit about 46.37 lakh farmers and generate about 5.6 lakh direct/ indirect employment in the country on completion of the projects.

ALLIED SECTORS: ANIMAL HUSBANDRY, DAIRYING & FISHERIES

Allied sector have contributed to the food basket and draught animal power and maintain ecological balance along with generating gainful employment, particularly among the landless, small and marginal farmers and women, besides providing nutritious food to millions of people.

Livestock Sector: Livestock income has become an important secondary source of income for millions of rural families and has assumed an important role in achieving the goal of doubling farmers’ income.

  • Livestock sector has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 7.9 per cent during last five years.
  • Government has launched a new Central Sector Scheme “National Animal Disease Control Programme (NADCP) for control of Foot & Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis”. This scheme envisages complete control of FMD by 2025 with vaccination and its eventual eradication by 2030.
  • This will result in increased domestic production and increased exports of milk and livestock products. 7.25 India continues to be the largest producer of milk in the world.
  • Milk production in the country was 187.7 million tonnes in 2018-19 and registered a growth rate of 6.5 per cent over the previous year .
  • The per capita availability of milk has reached a level of 394 grams per day during 2018-19.
  • Egg production in the country, increased to 103318 million numbers in 2018-19.

According to NSSO 66th Round Survey (July 2009-June 2010) on Employment and Unemployment, 15.60 million workers as per usual status (Principal status plus subsidiaries status) were engaged in farming of animals, mixed farming and fishing. As per estimate of 68th Round (July 2011-June 2012), 16.44 million workers were engaged in the activities of farming of animals, mixed farming, fishing and aquaculture.

Fisheries Sector: Fisheries remain an important source of food, nutrition, employment and income in India.

  • The sector provides livelihood to about 16 million fishers and fish farmers at the primary level and almost twice the number along the value chain.
  • The sector has been showing a steady growth in the total GVA and accounts for 6.58 per cent of GDP from agriculture, forestry and fishing. The fish production in India has registered an average annual growth rate of more than 7 per cent in the recent years.
  • The sector has been one of the major contributors of foreign exchange earnings with India being one of the leading seafood exporting nations in the world. USA and South East Asia are the major export markets for Indian seafood with a share of 34.81 per cent and 22.67 per cent respectively.
  • India has rich and diverse fisheries resources. The marine fisheries resources are spread along the country’s vast coastline and 2.02 million square km Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and 0.53 million sq.km continental shelf area. The inland resources are in the form of rivers and canals (1.95 lakh km), floodplain lakes (8.12 lakh hectares), ponds and tanks (24.1 lakh hectares), reservoirs (31.5 lakh hectares), brackish water (12.4 lakh hectares), saline/alkaline affected areas (12 lakh hectares) etc.
  • The total fish production in the country stood at 13.42 million metric tonnes (provisional) during 2018-19. Of this, the marine fisheries contributed 3.71 million metric tonnes and the inland fisheries contributed 9.71 million metric tonnes.
  • Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund: To address the gaps in fisheries infrastructure, the government has created the Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF) during 2018-19 with a total fund size of Rs.7,522.48 crore.
  • The FIDF provides concessional finance/loan to the Eligible Entities (EEs), including State Governments/ Union Territories (UTs) and State entities for development of identified fisheries infrastructure facilities.
  • The concessional finance under the FIDF is provided by the Nodal Loaning Entities (NLEs) namely (i) NABARD, (ii) National Cooperatives Development Corporation (NCDC) and (iii) All scheduled Banks.

Allied sectors such as animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries sectors need to be given a boost to provide an assured secondary source of employment and income especially for the small and marginal farmers. Coverage of food processing sector needs to be scaled up to create an additional source of market for agricultural commodities.

WAY FORWARD

The realisation of the objective of doubling farmers’ income necessitates addressal of some of the basic challenges of agriculture and allied sector. The issues such as investment in agriculture, water conservation, improved yields through better farming practices, access to market, availability of institutional credit, increasing the linkages between agricultural and non-agricultural sectors, etc. need urgent attention.

While Government measures are in operation aimed at improving productivity and its marketing, efforts of farmers need to be supplemented with better coverage of direct income/investment support. There is a need to give increased focus on exploring global markets for agricultural commodities to give an additional source of market for the surplus of agricultural produce India currently has.

There is also a need to reallocate labour resources to other sectors. Though, the structural transformations involved a falling share of agriculture sector and rising share of services sector jobs, more needs to be done to create manufacturing jobs to absorb the large pool of workers.

Questions

  1. Consider the following statements about the ” “Integrated Management of Public Distribution System (IM-PDS)”:

1. The main objective of the scheme is to introduce nation-wide portability of ration card holders under NFSA through ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ System.
2. This system would largely benefit numerous migratory beneficiaries who frequently change their place.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?
A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both 1 and 2
D. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. C
The Department of Food & Public Distribution in collaboration with all States/UTs is implementing a Scheme namely “Integrated Management of Public Distribution System (IM-PDS)” during 2018-19 and 2019-20. The main objective of the scheme is to introduce nation-wide portability of ration card holders under NFSA through ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ System, to lift their entitled foodgrains from any Fair Price Shop (FPS) in the country without the need to obtain a new ration card.

This system would largely benefit numerous migratory beneficiaries who frequently change their place of dwelling in search of work/employment or for other reasons across the country and eventually get deprived of their quota of subsidised foodgrains under NFSA due to migration from their native place.

2. Consider the following pairs of the schemes in the agricultural sector and the respective state in which they are implemented:

Scheme                                                                     State

1. Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and – Odisha
Income Augmentation (KALIA) Scheme
2. Mukhya Mantri Krishi Ashirwad Yojana – Jharkhand
3. Rythu Bandhu – Telangana

Which of the above pairs is/are correctly matched?
A. 1 and 2 only
B. 2 and 3 only
C. 3 only
D. 1, 2, and 3

Ans. (D)
Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) Scheme was launched by Government of Odisha in 2018-19 Rabi season onwards, to accelerate agricultural prosperity and elimination of poverty in the State.

3. What is/are the expected benefits from the successful implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY)?
1. Enable availability of hygienic and nutritious food to consumers at affordable prices
2. Enhance the export of the processed foods
3. Reduce emissions from the burning of crop residues

Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) 1 and 2 only
(d) 2 and 3 only

Solution: C
The government has restructured its schemes under a new central sector scheme of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY). With a financial allocation of 6,000/- crore for the period 2016-20, PMKSY provides subsidy-based support to create robust modern infrastructure for agriculture and agro-based industries along the entire value/supply chain.

  • It is expected to reduce wastage of agriculture produce, increase the processing level, enhance the export of processed foods, enable the availability of hygienic and nutritious food to consumers at affordable prices.
  • The scheme components are Mega Food Parks, Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure, Creation/Expansion of Food Processing & Preservation Capacities, Infrastructure for Agro-processing Clusters, Creation of Backward and Forward Linkages, Food Safety and Quality Assurance Infrastructure, Human Resources and Institutions, and Operation Greens. Hence only statements 1 and 2 are correct.

Benefits provisioned under different components are: financial support of 25,000 per farm family over five seasons will be provided to small and marginal farmers so that farmers can purchase inputs like seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, labour & other investments. For landless agriculture households, financial assistance of ` 12500 will be provided to each landless agricultural household for agricultural allied activities such as small goat rearing unit, mini-layer unit, duckery units, fishery kits for fisherman, mushroom cultivation and bee-keeping, etc.

Vulnerable cultivators/landless agricultural labourers will get financial assistance of `10,000 per family per year to enable them to take care of their sustenance. The scheme also has life and accident insurance covers for the farmers at very nominal premiums.

Under the Mukhya Mantri Krishi Ashirwad Yojana of Jharkhand, all the small and marginal farmers of the State, who have arable land up to a maximum of 5 acres, will be given a grant-in-aid at the rate of 5000 / – per acre per year, which will help them reduce their dependence on loans.

Under the “Rythu Bandhu” scheme of Telangana, the Government of Telangana has come up with a new concept of providing Investment Support at the rate of ` 4,000 per acre per season to all the farmers (Pattadars) in the State towards the purchase of various inputs like seeds, fertilizers etc., as an initial investment before the crop season.

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December 2022
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