Issues and initiatives in the field of agriculture in India

Agriculture in India plays a pivotal role in providing livelihood, ensuring food security, reducing poverty and sustaining growth.

Overview of agriculture sector in India

  • Agriculture & GVA: India is witnessing a general decline in share of agriculture in Gross Value Added (GVA). However, growth rate of agriculture & allied sectors have been fluctuating at 1.5% in 2012-13 to (-)0.2% in 2014-15 to 4.9% in 2016-17 primarily due to fact that more than 50% of agriculture in India is rainfall dependent and private investment has declined.

 

  • Crop Production: There is an overall increase in food production on account of good rainfall during 2016-17 and policy initiatives taken by government.

 

 

  • Structural changes in sector: A gradual shift can be seen in Indian Agriculture sector, where the share of livestock in GVA has increased and share of Crop sector has declined.This also coincided with the change in sources of income of farm households.

 

  • Feminisation of Agriculture: Role of women as cultivators, entrepreneurs, and labourers has increased with growing rural to urban migration by men. According to Census 2011, out of total female main workers, 55% were agricultural labourers and 24% were cultivators. However, there is a gender disparity in ownership of landholding in agriculture (only 12.8% owned by women) along with concentration of operational holdings (25.7 per cent) by women in the marginal and small holdings categories.

 

 

  • Cropping pattern: India has highest net cropland area (NCA) with 179.8 Mha (9.6% of global NCA). However, according to Index of Crop Diversification, there is a declining inter-temporal behavior in crop diversification among most of States (exception being Himachal Pradesh & Jharkhand). This monoculture practices has been the reason for declining productivity, lower response to fertilizer, degradation of soil health and declining profitability of cultivation.

Input Management in Agriculture:

  • A sustainable use of inputs like irrigation, seeds, fertilizer, credit, machines, extension services etc. helps in improving the productivity without losing soil fertility and causing environmental damages. However, lack of educational level of farmers had impacted their capacity to adopt and inculcate new methods of cultivation and input management.

Irrigation: Only 34.5% of total cropped area is irrigated in India. To improve irrigation facility Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana was launched by government.

Agriculture Mechanization: As 50% of Indian population would be urban by the year 2050 (World Bank), It is estimated that percentage of agricultural workers of total work force would drop to 25.7% by 2050 from 58.2% in 2001. Thus, there is a need to cater the increasing food security need by enhancing the level of farm mechanization in the country which has the potential to increase productivity up to 30% and reduce the cost of cultivation up to 20%.

 

Crop Insurance and crop loss:

  • According to the NSSO Report (July 2012 – June 2013), very small share of agricultural households engaged in crop production activities was insuring their crops. Government initiated PMFBY which provides comprehensive coverage of risks from pre-sowing to post harvest against natural nonpreventable risks.

Agriculture credit and marketing Initiatives

  • Credit is a critical input in achieving high productivity and overall production in the agricultural sector. Institutional Credit helps in delinking the farmers from noninstitutional sources of credit, and increases financial inclusion.
  • Marketing reform has been undertaken to benefit farmers from remunerative prices for their produce in the market like electronic National Agriculture Market (e-NAM).

 Agriculture Research and Development

  • It is the main source of innovation, which is needed to sustain agricultural productivity growth in the long-term.
  • There has been an increasing allocation for it which is manifested in development of a total 209 new varieties/hybrids for Cereals, Pulses, Oilseeds, Commercial and Forage crops, tolerant to various biotic and abiotic stresses with enhanced quality.

 

SCHEMES

PM FASAL BIMA YOJANA

  • It replaced all other existing insurance schemes except the Restructured Weather-Based Crop Insurance Scheme (uses weather parameters as proxy for crop yield in compensating the cultivators for deemed crop loses)
  • A uniform premium of only 2% to be paid by farmers for all Kharif crops and 1.5% for all Rabi crops.
  • In case of annual commercial and horticultural crops, the premium to be paid by farmers will be only 5%.
  • There is no upper limit on Government subsidy so farmers will get claim against full sum insured without any reduction.
  • The difference between the premium paid by farmers and the actuarial premium charged was paid by the Centre and state government in the ratio of 50:50.
  • It is compulsory for loanee farmers availing crop loans for notified crops in notified areas and voluntary for nonloanee farmers.
  • Yield Losses: due to non-preventable risks, such as Natural Fire and Lightning, Storm, Hailstorm, Cyclone, Typhoon, Tempest, Hurricane, Tornado. Risks due to Flood, Inundation and Landslide, Drought, Dry spells, Pests/ Diseases also will be covered.
  • Post-harvest losses are also covered.
  • Mandatory use of technology: Smart phones, drones etc., will be used to capture and upload data of crop cutting to reduce the delays in claim payment to farmers. Remote sensing will be used to reduce the number of crop cutting experiments.

 

PRADHAN MANTRI KRISHI SINCHAYEE YOJANA

  • Decentralized State level planning and projectised execution’ structure, in order to allow States to draw up a District Irrigation Plan (DIP) and a State Irrigation Plan (SIP). These plans need to be prepared in order to access PMKSY fund.

 

  • It will be supervised and monitored by Inter-Ministerial National Steering Committee (NSC) under PM with Union Ministers of all concerned Ministries. A National Executive Committee (NEC) is to be constituted under the Chairmanship of the Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog to oversee programme implementation.
  • PMKSY has been formulated amalgamating ongoing schemes viz. Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP); Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP); and On Farm Water Management (OFWM) component of National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA).

 

  • Water budgeting is done for all sectors namely, household, agriculture and industries.
  • Investments will happen at farm level. So, farmers know what is happening and can provide valuable feedback.
  • Recently, Long Term Irrigation Fund has been instituted under PMKSY in NABARD for funding and fast tracking the implementation of incomplete major and medium irrigation projects.

SEED INDUSTRY

  • India is the fifth largest seed market across the globe.
  • It is expected to grow at more than 15% during 2017–2022, and can reach a value of more than US$ 7 Billion by 2022.
  • The seed market is majorly contributed by non-vegetable seeds such as corn, cotton, paddy, wheat, sorghum, sunflower and millets.
  • Direct contribution of quality seed to the total production can be raised up to 45% with efficient management of other inputs.

Silk industry (Sericulture) in India

  • India is the second largest producer of silk in the world. It provides employment to over 8.25million people in the country.
  • There are four major types of silk produced in India: Mulberry, Tasar, Muga, Eri of which Mulberry accounts for 70% of total raw silk production.
  • India currently produces all four variety of silk – mulberry, eri, muga and tassar. The silk production is mostly prevalent in Karnataka, Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Major Export destination of Indian Silk exports are USA and UAE followed by UK, France, Italy and Germany. Mostly natural silk yarns, fabrics, made-ups, readymade garments, silk carpets and silk waste are exported.
  • For growth and development of the silk industry Indian Silk Export Promotion Council has also been set up. It organises trade shows and fairs across the world to promote trade with different countries. The council also facilitates meetings between exporters and potential customers.
  • India’s north eastern region has the unique distinction of producing all these commercial varieties of silk contributes about 21% of the total silk production in the country

Sugar Industry in India

  • The money would be credited directly into the bank accounts of farmers, who haven’t received the “fair and remunerative price” (FRP) for sugarcane fixed by the Centre.
  • The Centre’s Sugarcane (Control) Order mandates mills to pay the FRP within 14 days of cane purchase from farmers, failing which 15% annual interest is charged on the due amount for the period of delay. Considering the large cane price arrear dues to farmers the mills say they cannot pay farmers beyond 75% of their realisations from sugar and thus the amount sanctioned by government is grossly inadequate.
  • The populist increases in SAP recent years has resulted in excessive production of sugarcane, estimated at 295.07 lakh tone thus triggering a glut of supply of sugar which reached an all-time high of 29.98 million tonne.
  • Further considering the high cost of production of sugar (partly due to high cane prices in India) in other countries the export prices of sugar are much lower than from domestic sales.

Role of agriculture in Indian economic development-interrelationship between agriculture, industry and service sectors

Role of agriculture in Indian economic development

Contribution to National Income

From the very beginning, agriculture is contributing a major portion to our national income. In 1950-51, agriculture and allied activities contributed about 59 per cent of the total national income. Although the share of agriculture has been declining gradually with the growth of other sectors but the share still remained very high as compared to that of the developed countries of the world. For example, the share of agriculture has declined to 54 per cent in 1960-61, 48 per cent in 1970-71, 40 per cent in 1980-81 and then to 18.0 per cent in 2008-09, whereas in U.K. and U.S.A. agriculture contributes only 3 per cent to the national income of these countries.

Source of Livelihood

In India 50% of our working population are engaged directly on agriculture and also similarly depend for their livelihood. According to an estimate, about 66 per cent of our working population is engaged in agriculture at present in comparison to that of 2 to 3 per cent in U.K. and U.S.A., 6 per cent in France and 7 per cent in Australia. Thus the employment pattern of our country is very much common to other under-developed countries of the world.

Source of Food Supply

Agriculture is the only major source of food supply as it is providing regular supply of food to such a huge size of population of our country. It has been estimated that about 60 per cent of household consumption is met by agricultural products.

Role of Agriculture for Industrial Development

Agriculture in India has been the major source of supply of raw materials to various important industries of our country. Cotton and jute textiles, sugar, vanaspati, edible oil plantation industries (viz. tea, coffee, rubber) and agro-based cottage industries are also regularly collecting their raw materials directly from agriculture.  About 50 per cent of income generated in the manufacturing sector comes from all these agro-based industries in India. Moreover, agriculture can provide a market for industrial products as increase in the level of agricultural income may lead to expansion of market for industrial products.

Commercial Importance

Indian Agriculture is playing a very important role both in the internal and external trade of the country. Agricultural products like tea, coffee, sugar, tobacco, spices, cashew-nuts etc. are the main items of our exports and constitute about 50 per cent of our total exports. Besides manufactured jute, cotton textiles and sugar also contribute another 20 per cent of the total exports of the country. Thus nearly 70 per cent of India’s exports are originated from agricultural sector. Further, agriculture is helping the country in earning precious foreign exchange to meet the required import bill of the country.

Role of Agriculture in Economic Planning

The prospect of planning in India also depends much on agricultural sector. A good crop always provides impetus towards a planned economic development of the country by creating a better business climate for the transport system, manufacturing industries, internal trade etc.  A good crop also brings a good amount of finance to the Government for meeting its planned expenditure. Similarly, a bad crop lead to a total depression in business of the country, which ultimately lead to a failure of economic planning. Thus the agricultural sector is playing a very important role in a country like India and the prosperity of the Indian economy still largely depends on agricultural sector. Thus from the foregoing analysis it is observed that agricultural development is the basic precondition of sectoral diversification and development of the economy.

Source of Government Revenue

Agriculture is one of the major sources of revenue to both the Central and State Governments of the country. The Government is getting a substantial income from rising land revenue. Some other sectors like railway, roadways are also deriving a good part of their income from the movement of agricultural goods.

Interrelationship between agriculture, industry and service sectors

Industry is not the substitute of agriculture, rather they are complementary to one another. Both these sectors are so attached with each other that it is not possible to increase the growth of one sector sector without the improvement of the other sector. If agriculture is considered as the ‘heart’ of the country, then obviously industry must be consider as the ‘brain’.

Impact of Agriculture on Industry

  • It regularly supplies raw materials like sugarcane , jute cotton, oilseeds, tea, spices, wheat; paddy etc. to the consumer goods industries.
  • It supplies cereals, vegetables and other food items to the industrial labourer and fodders for the domestic animals in the dairy industries on a regular basis.
  • Farmer-households used to save their money in the bank and other financial institutions which ultimately is used by the industry owners in the form of investment.
  • Both for consumer and capital goods Industries agriculture sector gives a ready market for the finished products.

Impact of Industry on Agriculture

  • It regularly supplies scientific tools and equipment’s like tractors, harvesters, pump-sets chemical fertilizers etc. to agriculture increase the per hectare production.
  • To increase the market for finished agricultural goods some infrastructural development like roads, railway, storage etc. are very essential. In this connection industry plays a vital role.
  • Industries provide huge employment opportunities and therefore help to absorb all the surplus labour in our agriculture. This lea to more industrial development.
  • Agricultural sector itself is a huge market for the different finished products of Industries. Farmers buy several industrial products like bi-cycle, torch, radio etc. All these flourishment of industries.

Agricultural Strategy and Agricultural Policy

Main Issues

In national priority setting, the following recurring and emerging issues for sustainable agricultural development and poverty alleviation must be considered:

  • Population pressure and demographic transition;
  • Resource base degradation and water scarcity;
  • Investment in agriculture, structural adjustment and impact on the poor;
  • Globalization and implication on the poor;
  • Modern science and technology and support to research and technology development; and
  • Rapid urbanization and urbanization of poverty, and deceleration in rural poverty reduction.

Vision

The Agriculture Policy document must articulate a clear vision on following few basic parameters of the agricultural sector around which a policy framework must be developed.

  • Organization of agriculture: A clear long-term vision where inter-sectoral linkages are explicit.
  • Sustainability and natural resource management: Prescription must lie in the domain of political economy. Otherwise, allocating funds for watershed development, agroforestry, soil conservation, and so on will not produce desired results.
  • Institutional change: Policy document must spell out new approaches and new institutions free from the shackles of bureaucratic and self-help framework.
  • Investment priorities: There is a need to develop a consensus on investment themes, priorities and policies. Policy document must lend strength to the claim for greater investment in rural areas, and also re-examine its programmes in the light of complementarities.
  • Risk management

Strategies

Enhancing Yield of Major Commodities

Yield of major crops and livestock in the region is much lower than that in the rest of the world. Considering that the frontiers of expansion of cultivated area are almost closed in the region, the future increase in food production to meet the continuing high demand must come from increase in yield. There is a need to strengthen adaptive research and technology assessment, refinement and transfer capabilities of the country so that the existing wide technology transfer gaps are bridged. For this, an appropriate network of extension service needs to be created to stimulate and encourage both top-down and bottom-up flows of information between farmers, extension workers, and research scientists to promote the generation, adoption, and evaluation of location specific farm technologies. Ample scope exists for increasing genetic yield potential of a large number of vegetables, fruits as well as other food crops and livestock and fisheries products. Besides maintenance breeding, greater effort should be made towards developing hybrid varieties as well as varieties suitable for export purposes. Agronomic and soil researches in the region need to be intensified to address location specific problems as factor productivity growth is decelerating in major production regimes. Research on coarse grains, pulses and oilseeds must achieve a production breakthrough. Hybrid rice, single cross hybrids of maize and pigeonpea hybrids offer new opportunities. Soybean, sunflower and oil palm will help in meeting future oil demands successfully. Forest cover must be preserved to keep off climatic disturbances and to provide enough of fuel and fodder. Milk, meat and draught capacity of our animals needs to be improved quickly through better management practices.

Integrated nutrient management

Attention should be given to balanced use of nutrients. Phosphorus deficiency is now the most widespread soil fertility problem in both irrigated and unirrigated areas. Correcting the distortion in relative prices of primary fertilizers could help correct the imbalances in the use of primary plant nutrients.

Arresting deceleration in total factor productivity

Public investment in irrigation, infrastructure development (road, electricity), research and extension and efficient use of water and plant nutrients are the dominant sources of TFP growth.

Bridging Yield Gaps

Vast untapped potential in the yield exists for all crops in most of the states accounting for more than three-fourths of crop area. Emphasis must be given to the states in which current yield levels are below the national average yield. Bihar, Orissa, Assam, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh are the priority states accounting for 66% of rice area which need emphasis on bridging yield gaps to attain target demand and yield growth. For wheat we must focus mainly on Uttar Pradsh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan accounting for 68% of wheat area.

Water for Sustainable Food Security

India will be required to produce more and more from less and less land and water resources. Alarming rates of ground water depletion and serious environmental and social problems of some of the major irrigation projects on one hand, and the multiple benefits of irrigation water in enhancing production and productivity, food security, poverty alleviation, as mentioned earlier, are well known to be further elaborated here: In India, water availability per capita was over 5000 cubic metres (m3 ) per annum in 1950. It now stands at around 2000 m3  and is projected to decline to 1500 m3  by 2025. Further, the quality of available water is deteriorating. Also, there are gross inequalities between basins and geographic regions.

Accent on Diversification of Agriculture and Value Addition

In the face of shrinking natural resources and ever increasing demand for larger food and agricultural production arising due to high population and income growths, agricultural intensification is the main course of future growth of agriculture in the region. Research for product diversification should be yet another important area. Besides developing technologies for promoting intensification, the country must give greater attention to the development of technologies that will facilitate agricultural diversification particularly towards intensive production of fruits, vegetables, flowers and other high value crops that are expected to increase income growth and generate effective demand for food.

Accent on Empowering the Small Farmers

Contributions of small holders in securing food for growing population have increased considerably even though they are most insecure and vulnerable group in the society. The off-farm and non-farm employment opportunities can play an important role. Against expectation under the liberalized scenario, the non-agricultural employment in rural areas has not improved. Greater emphasis needs to be placed on non-farm employment and appropriate budgetary allocations and rural credit through banking systems should be in place to promote appropriate rural enterprises. Specific human resource and skill development programmes to train them will make them better decision-makers and highly productive. Human resource development for increasing productivity of these small holders should get high priority. Thus, knowledge and skill development of rural people both in agriculture and non-agriculture sectors is essential for achieving economic and social goals. A careful balance will therefore need to be maintained between the agricultural and non-agricultural employment and farm and non-farm economy, as the two sectors are closely inter-connected.

Schemes for Agricultural Developement

Extension Activities:

  • The government is taking up extension activities in a big way and utilizing the campaign modes to educate farmers in all possible forms.

Polam Pilusthondi:

  • The main objective of the scheme is to strengthen the extension reach at farmers’ doorstep for increasing productivity, profi tability, sustainability and explore the possibilities of value addition to increase the income of the farmers. In order to foster rapid and sustainable agricultural growth and raise increased farm income key strategies such as providing effective extension services, promoting farmer led extension, scientifi c approach, improved use of technologies are being used.

Focused Areas:

During the Polam Pilusthondhi Programme, the main emphasis is being given on the following issues:

  • Distribution of Soil health cards and soil test based fertilizer application. Correction of Micro nutrient defi ciency
  • Encouraging the Organic farming / Natural Farming/ Zero budget natural farming
  • Soil & Water conservation measures ( Dead furrows, Recharging of Bore wells, Recharge of Ground Water, Farm ponds, rainguns etc)
  • Issue of Certifi cate of Cultivation to Tenant farmers for obtaining Institutional Credit and other benefits
  • Pest and Disease Attack and Remedial measures to be taken up.
  • Drought Mitigation

 

Chandranna Rythu Kshetralu:

  • Inculcating best management practices Important crops like Paddy, Pulses, Coarse cereals, Oil seeds and Cotton are cultivated in considerable extent in the state. The production and productivity levels in case of majority of crops are below the possible potential. In order to enhance the productivity of these crops, special programme involving the gross root level functionaries and farmers, Chandranna Rythu Khsetralu-(CRKs) are being conducted on farm demonstrations with latest technological interventions.
  • Chandranna Rythu Kshetralu programme is implemented to promote best agronomic and farm management practices for achieving increase in productivity and reducing cost of cultivation. CRK is an on farm demonstrations of 10 Ha. each cluster at fi eld level with a subsidy of Rs.5000/- per Ha. During 2017-18, 3307 CRKs were organized in all the 13 districts in the State in all the major crops i.e., Rice, Groundnut, Pulses, Maize, Cotton and Sunfl ower.

 

Multi-Purpose Extension System :

 

  • The Government introduced Multi-Purpose Extension System in place of Adarsha Rythus for every 1000 Ha. of cultivable area. 4017 Multi-Purpose Extension Offi cers (MPEOs) are working in the State. The Performance of MPEOs is being assessed on monthly basis based on the Key Performance Indicators and MPEOs are graded based on the marks obtained on performance. Latest technical information on various schemes, objectives, guide lines, subsidy pattern and suggestions to the farmers related to the concerned season/ month are being published in the Telugu Monthly magazine ‘Padi Pantalu’.

 

Soil samples analysis and soil health cards:

  • Soil sampling and soil testing program is organized in a systematic manner to evaluate the fertility status and identify soil problems. The departmental Soil Testing Laboratories are equipped with advanced equipment (AAS, MPAES) to analyse 12 parameters i.e., PH, EC, OC, N, P, K, S, Zinc, Iron, Copper, Magnesium and Boron. The results of the soil analysis are being communicated to the respective farmers in the form of soil health cards. Fertilizer recommendations on the available nutrient contents on soil fertility status are to be given to the farmers in the soil health cards. During 1st cycle of soil health card scheme 13.48 lakh soil samples were analyzed and 54.28 lakh soil health cards were distributed to the farmers. The 2nd cycle of soil health card scheme i.e from 2017-18 and 2018-19 is under progress.

Enhancing Agricultural productivity – Soil Health Management:

  • Soil Health Management in a sub mission under NMSA, which aims to increase soil nutrient status and thus enhance crop productivity for ensuring food security and sustaining rural development.
  • Analysis of soil samples has indicated that 42% of soils in Andhra Pradesh are potentially defi cient in Zinc(Zn), 22% in Iron(Fe), 7% in Manganese (Mn),3% in Copper (Cu), 19% in Boron (B) and 11% in Molybdenum(Mo). Studies also revealed that 20-24% of soils in AP are defi cient in Sulphur. These large scale defi ciencies of multiple nutrients such as micro and secondary nutrients are reducing the response to the added N, P, K nutrients also. It is planned to take up a massive programme such as publicity on correction of micronutrient defi ciency through local media, Polam Pilustondi, wall poster and pamphlets, Hoardings and moving media etc. in the districts where micronutrient defi ciencies are high wide.
  • All the micro nutrients are being positioned and distributed on saturation mode. Yield impact studies taken up under the project has shown 8-15% yield increase over the control plots. During 2017-18 the Govt. has increased the subsidy from 50% to 100% duly relaxing the 2Ha. limit per farmer and 87,250 M.tons of micronutrients distributed through Aadhar enabled biometric system based on soil test results on production of Soil Health Card..

 

Information and Communication Technology:

  • Coverage of crop booking on real-time through e-crop booking software has supported the tenant farmers through LEC, CoC (Certifi cate of Cultivation). Thus these actual cultivators have enjoyed the fi rst low hanging subsidy fruits of the department through Digital Krishi Kalyan, Farm Machineries, Vaddi Leni Runalu. Concepts like FOSS (Farmer One Stop Shop) Farmer data base creations, Big data analysis, Internet of Things (IoT), Smart Home Technologies, cloud computing, mobile governance, Machine Learning, IVR, AR (Augmented Reality) &VR (Virtual Reality), Everything on Demand (Uberization), GPS fencing, Assets mapping, and Automation areas are going to further bolster the Information Technology pursuit by the AP Agriculture Department which is still peddling in new wider angles.

 

D-Krishi – a mobile based DBT solution for distribution of e-Seed& Micro Nutrients:

 

  • D- Krishi is a unique, simple, sustainable, secure and standard and user friendly mobile based DBT solution offered to farmers. Farmer or any one member of the farmer’s family is the main benefi ciary wherein land records, Aadhar and family database (Ration card) are integrated. Based on the landownership data of the farmer linked to his Aadhar ID, the area of land and associated eligible seed quantity shall be calculated by the system.

 

Drought proofing measures :

  • Two thirds of the area cultivated in the state is rain-fed. Keeping in view the climate change, government is giving emphasis on drought proofi ng. Technologies like automatic Weather Stations, Piezo meters, Soil Moisture meters etc are being used extensively. Water being a key factor in dry land farming, greater emphasis is given to ground water recharge through Farm Ponds (Panta Sanjeevini) and Neeru-Chettu, Geo mapping of all water resource bodies.

 

 

 

 

 

Crop Insurance

Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)

 

  • Government of India announced a crop insurance policy namely “Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana” in place of NAIS & MNAIS from Kharif 2016 season onwards. It incorporates the best features of all previous schemes and at the same time removing, all previous shortcomings/ weaknesses. The major improvements made are:

 

  • Farmer’s premium contribution in Kharif is 2% and in Rabi it is 1.5% for Food Crops and Oilseed Crops. Annual Commercial & Horticulture crops – farmer premium share will be maximum of 5%.
  • Premium subsidy will be paid by the Central and State Governments on equal proportion (50:50).
  • Cover for inundation apart from Hail storm and Postharvest crop damage.
  • Action plan to cover 50% of the area under Crop Insurance.

 

  • Under PMFBY scheme, in Kharif 2017, Paddy crop is covered under “Village Insurance Unit” in 12 districts, Red gram in Ananthapuramu district and other 18 crops covered under Mandal Insurance Unit.13 Districts have been grouped into two clusters with balanced risk profi le and sum insured. The results of the CC Experiments are being compiled through online system for quick settlement insurance claims.

 

  • During Rabi 2017-18, Paddy crop is covered under “Village Insurance Unit” in 5 Districts ( East Godavari, West Godavari, Krishna, Nellore & Chittoor, Bengalgram in 3 districts (Prakasam, Kurnool & Kadapa), Maize in Guntur District and 10 crops ( Rice, Maize, Jowar, Greengram, Blackgram, Bengalgram, Groundnut, Sunfl ower, Red Chilly, Onion covered under Mandal Insurance Unit. All the districts have been grouped into two clusters with balanced risk profi le and sum insured.

 

Unified Package Insurance Scheme (UPIS) (Pilot scheme):

 

Apart from PMFBY & WBCIS, GOI has also announced “Unifi ed Package Insurance Scheme (UPIS) on pilot basis during 2017-18.

  • Srikakulam district is selected to implement UPIS during 2016-17 on pilot basis.

 

  • The pilot scheme includes seven sections viz., 1. Crop Insurance (PMFBY/WBCIS), 2. Personal Accident Insurance (PMSBY), 3. Life Insurance (PMJJBY) 4.Building & Contents Insurance (fi re and allied perils), 5.Agriculture Pump Sets Insurance, 6.Student Safety Insurance, 7. Agriculture Tractor Insurance

 

  • Out of these seven sections Crop Insurance (PMFBY / WBCIS) is compulsory. However, farmer can choose at least two sections from remaining six to avail applicable premium subsidy under PMFBY/WBCIS.

 

Agricultural Credit:

 

  • The Annual Credit Plan for the year 2017-18 was Rs.87470.67 cr. towards Agriculture Credit. Rs.49054.81 cr. (56.08 %) was disbursed up to Sept. 2017 under Agriculture Credit. An amount of Rs.38893.59 crores (61.63%) was disbursed under crop loans (short term loans) against the target of Rs.63105.51 crores and an amount of Rs.10161.22 crores (41.70%) was disbursed against the target of Rs.24365.16 crores under Agriculture Term Loans including allied activities.

 

Credit to Land Licensed Cultivators (Tenant farmers):

 

  • The State Government has taken up a major initiative to facilitate financing to the land licensed cultivators (tenant farmers) through passing an act named the “Andhra Pradesh land licensed cultivators Act No 18 of 2011’’ to provide loan and other benefi ts eligibility cards to land licensed cultivators (tenant farmers).

 

Rythu Sadhikara Samstha

 Agricultural Debt Redemption Scheme to farmers:

 

  • Government of AP is implementing the Agriculture Debt Redemption scheme with an outlay of Rs.24000 Crores. At present 3 installments of Debt Redemption is being released for the farmer families who are entitled for Debt Redemption of more than Rs.50000/-. Including the 3rd installment so far released, in to Rs.14,428 Crores has been released.
  • While releasing the II installment of Debt Redemption the farmers are given interest @10% for one year on 2nd installment and for 2 years @10% while releasing the 3rd installment.
  • In respect of Horticultural crop loan Debt Redemption it is considered upto maximum of Rs.50000/-@ Rs.10000 per Acre and for Horticulture Debt Redemption so far Rs.384.47 crores was released in favour of 2.23lakh Loan accounts of farmers

 

 

 

Vaddileni Runalu and Pavala Vaddi Scheme on Crop Loans:

  • To mitigate the fi nancial burden of the farmers, the Government has announced Rythu Sri (vaddileni panta runalu/pavala vaddi) scheme on crop loans disbursed. The Government has announced Interest free crop loans to all the farmers up to Rs.1.00 lakh and Pavala Vaddi for crop loans from Rs.1.00 lakh to Rs.3.00 lakhs if repaid in time (maximum period of one year).

 

Rashtriya Krishi Vikasa Yojana – A GoI Initiative :

  • Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) is one of the flagship programme of Government of India with Central and State sharing 60:40. The State Level Sanction Committee (SLSC) has sanctioned projects worth of Rs. 782.85 crores during 2017-18. Out of which, Rs.120.89 crores has been sanctioned to Agriculture Sector.
  • ORIGIN
  • The Department of Agriculture has been created mainly to provide Agricultural Extension services to farmers and to transfer the latest technical knowledge to the farming community, introduction of high yielding varieties, laying demonstrations, imparting training to farmers to improve skills & knowledge to boost up the agricultural Production and productivity.
  • The other objectives of the Department are to assess requirements of agriculture inputs well in advance and to regulate their production and monitor timely supply of seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, implements, credit etc., to farmers.
  • The Department also performs the statutory functions under various acts and regulations (i.e., quality control) to ensure supply of quality inputs i.e., Seeds, Fertilizers and Pesticides to farmers and implementation of Dangerous Machines Regulation Act.
  • The Department also carries out certain other facilitating functions such as 1) soil testing 2) soil and water conservation 3) soil survey 4) credit assessment / arrangements 5) media production 6) training to farmers 7) arranging P.P. campaigns /Diagnostic team visits whenever necessary 8) monitoring and evaluation 9) disaster management 10) crop insurance 11) agricultural mechanisation 12) extending technical assistance to various agencies

 

  • EVOLUTION
  • Introduction :
  • Agriculture – Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said “Everything else can wait but not for Agriculture” Worldwide – is a vital determinant of the livelihoods of small holder farmers and rural communities.
  • Agriculture growth throughout global history – has been the pro-genitor of broad-based economic growth and development, as linkages between farmers and non-farm economic generated widely-based employment, income and growth. Sustainable growth in Agriculture sector is the “need of the hour” not only for the State of Andhra Pradesh but also for the Country as a whole. Economy of Andhra Pradesh continues to be predominantly agrarian.
  • Andhra Pradesh is one of the biggest States in India. The population (2011 census) is 84.6 million i.e., 6.99% of India’s total population of 1210 million (2011 census). It accounts for 8.4% of India’s total geographical area and 6.99% of population, ranking 4th in terms of geographical area and 5th in terms of population among the Indian States. The density of population at 308 per Sq.km is lower than the density 382 at all India level. The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes account respectively for 16.2% and 6.6% of the total population in the State. About one-third of the State population is living in urban areas and the rest is in the rural areas of the State. Rural Andhra Pradesh is predominantly agricultural with more than three fourth of its work force engaged directly in Agriculture sector.
  • Andhra Pradesh “the bejeweled rice bowl of India”. Agriculture is the chief source of income to the State’s economy. Two important rivers of India, the Godavari, and Krishna, flow through the State providing irrigation. Andhra Pradesh is agrarian in character, and it is considered as one of the most progressive States with respect of agriculture development, maintaining high levels of crop production compared to several other States.

 

  • Significant growth in Agriculture:
  • Around -6.22% declined growth rate over previous year of first revised estimates at Constant prices (2004-05) of the State GSDP is from Agriculture (including Horticulture sectors etc.,) during 2011-12 and -2.69% during 2012-13, whereas at current prices -1.29% during 2011-12 and 7.63 % during 2012-13 estimate as advance declined due to drought conditions prevailed in the State.
  • Around 8.70% contributes of first revised estimates at current prices of the State GSDP is from Agriculture (including Horticulture sectors etc.,) during 2011-12 and 10.79% during 2012-13 as advance estimates whereas at constant prices 0.78% during 2011-12 and 1.96% during 2012-13 and also it provides employment to around 65% of the State’s population. The State enjoys a position of supremacy in respect of crop production (source: Socio economic survey 2012-13).
  • The strengths of fundamentals of the economy is evident from the remarkable transition to a high growth path, which was achieved in the recent years. With the various strategic initiatives put in place by the State/ Department ofAgriculture by and large have improved the living standards of the people. Basic theme of the 12th Five Year Plan is “Faster, More inclusive and sustainable growth”.

 

ü  About the Department of Agriculture:
  • In the process of making the mission a reality, the department is adopting following strategies
  • “Sustained and coordinated efforts” for facilitating a second green revolution and device strategies for optimum use of natural resources to create new avenues in Agriculture for livelihood and strengthen the rural areas. Government site-specific system to ensure that at least a part of the fallow lands are brought under cultivation by increasing irrigation sources. New seed technology and post harvest technology are need to be addressed.
  • Involvement of marginal and small farmers in crop diversification and food security are the important aspects to be addressed in accelerating crop diversification in the State.
  • Credit provides necessary liquidity and insurance provides command over resource to the farming community.
  • Provision of banking facilities in un-banked and under banked areas, financial inclusion, SHG bank-linkage programme, financing rural godowns and agricultural Infrastructure are the thrust areas.
  • Re-engineering extension approach for effective extension reach
  • Empowering the farmer with advance agricultural practices
  • Capacity enhancement of Departmental Staff for an efficient extension of technology.
  • Ensuring timely input supply.
  • Regulation of inputs and quality control.
  • Soil test based fertilizer recommendation
  • Promotion of self- reliance in seed production among farmers.

 

 
v The Infrastructure:
  • The Departments has a strong chain of human resources consisting of more than 4000 extension staff of field and supervisory cadre. The staff is periodically oriented with the advance technology emerging from time to time by re-engineering through trainings, workshops, interactions etc., in addition, the department supports a number of Farmers Training Centers, laboratories, Farmers Field Schools etc., to equip the farmer with necessary deal and knowledge for successful agriculture
  • The Allied Departments:
  • The research support to the Department is endowed by the State Agriculture University and the National and International Institutes. The input support is solicited through various autonomous bodies like APSSDC, APAIDC, APMARKFED, APOILFED, HACA etc., The other eco-coordinating Departments are Horticulture, Sericulture, Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, Irrigation, Forests, Rain Shadow Area Development and Power.
  • Financial support is rendered by NABARD and other Banks, not only to land owning farmers but also to tenant farmers.
  • ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE

v State Level

v Secretariat :
  • It is headed by hon’ble Minister for Agriculture, assisted by an officer of the cadre of Principal Secretary/ Secretary. The Principal Secretary Agriculture and Co-operation is the administrative head in the secretariat on behalf of the State Government assisted by Joint Secretaries, Deputy Secretaries, Asst. Secretaries, Section Officers and Sub staff.
v Commissionerate of Agriculture :
  • The Head of the dept. is Commissioner of Agriculture, who is senior IAS Officer. He virtually handles the post of Director of Agriculture also. He is assisted by Five Additional Directors of Agriculture, of whom one Additional DA is the principal, SAMETI Old Malakpet and other four are stationed in the Commissionerate of Agriculture.
v District level:
  • At the District level the Department is headed by Joint Director of Agriculture and assisted by DDAs ADAs and AOs at District, Division and Mandal levels
v Agriculture Division level:
  • The Divisional ADA is the head of the Agriculture division and assisted by the agricultural officers at the mandal level. There are 254 divisions in the state
v Mandal Level:
  • In all the 1105 Rural and Urban mandals of the state, atleast one Agriculture Officer is working in each mandal. These AOs are assisted by few Agricultural Extension Officers in the field work
  • Statement showing Sanctioned strength of Technical Staff in Agriculture Department is given below
v Laboratories :
  • The Department has setup five pesticide testing laboratories, five FCO Laboratories, two seed Testing Laboratories 82 Soil Testing Laboratories(including AMC level) and -14 Biological Control Laboratories in the state

 

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