(The Gist of Kurukshetra) AGRICULTURE -
A KEY COMPONENT OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT
AGRICULTURE - A KEY COMPONENT OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT
- The agriculture sector is facing several challenges, The Economic
Survey (2017-18) had I stated, "the last few seasons have witnessed a
problem of plenty: farm revenues declining for a number of crops despite
increasing production and market prices falling below the Minimum Support
- To meet the challenges faced by the agriculture sector and
improving the economic condition of the farmers, an InterMinisterial
Committee has been constituted under the Chairmanship of Chief Executive
Officer, National Rainfed Area Authority, Department of Agriculture,
Cooperation and Farmers Welfare to examine issues relating to doubling of
farmers' income in real terms by the year 2022.
Major highlights observed by the committee
- The committee has identified seven sources of income growth-
improvement in crop and livestock productivity; resource use efficiency or
savings in the cost of production; increase in the cropping intensity;
diversification towards high value crops; improvement in real prices
received by farmers; and shift from farm to non-farm occupations. The
committee is also looking into the investments in and for agriculture -
increasing public investments for agriculture-rural roads, rural
electricity, irrigation; the need for policy support to enable investments
by corporate sector in= agriculture.
- Other Schemes are - Soil Health Card (SHC) Scheme, Neem Coated
Urea (NCU), Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY), Pradhan Mantri
Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan (PMAASHA), Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana
(PKVY), National Agriculture Market scheme (e-NAM), Pradhan Mantri Fasal
Bima Yojana (PMFBY).
- Schemes like National Food Security Mission (NFSM), Mission for
Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH), National Mission on Oilseeds
& Oil Palm (NMOOP), National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA),
National Mission on Agricultural Extension & Technology (NMAET) and
Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) have been and revamped for ensuring
overall development of farm sector. Hike in MSP
- The Minimum Support Prices (MSPs} has been increased for all
notified Kharif & Rabi Crops and other commercial crops for the season
2018-19 with a return of at least 50 per cent over cost of production. This
has redeemed the promise of fixing the MSPs at least at a level of 50
percent return over cost of production as announced in the Union Budget
- The umbrella scheme Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan
(PMAASHA)' provides for a holistic arrangement for assurance of a
remunerative and stable price environment for growers/farmers to increase
agriculture production and productivity. This umbrella scheme comprises the
Price Support Scheme for pulses & oilseeds, Price Deficiency Payment Scheme
& Pilot of Private Procurement & Stockist Scheme for oilseeds to ensure MSP
to the farmers.
- In order to provide an alternative to farmers for marketing
avenues, the electronic National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) was launched in
April, 2016. The scheme envisages initiation of marketing platform at
national level and support creation of infrastructure to enable e-marketing
in 585 regulated markets across the country by March 2018. All the regulated
markets have been linked electronically. This innovative market process is
revolutionizing agri-markets by ensuring better price discovery, bringing in
transparency and competition to enable farmers to get improved remuneration
for their produce moving towards 'One Nation One Market'.
As per Union Budget announcement (2018-19)/ decision
has been taken to develop and upgrade existing rural haats into Gramin
Agricultural Markets (GRAMs). These GRAMs, electronically linked to eNAM
portal and exempted from regulations of Agriculture Produce Marketing
Committees (APMCs), will provide farmers facility to make direct sale to
consumers and bulk purchasers. PMFBY
In April, 2016, the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)
was launched after rolling back the earlier insurance schemes - National
Agriculture Insurance Scheme (NAIS), Weather-based Crop Insurance scheme and
Modified National Agricultural insurance Scheme.
Under the PMFBY, farmers pay a uniform premium of just
2 per cent for the more rain-dependent kharif crops and 1.5 per cent for all
rabi crops. The remaining share of the premium is borne equally by the
Centre and the respective State Governments.
In the schemes that existed earlier, the premiums paid
by farmers was in the range of 4-8 percent of the insured value. The number
of farmers who received claims due to crop loss under PMFBY has increased
from 1.44 crore in 2016-17 to 1.62 crore in 2017-18.
Launch of PM KISAN
- To provide an assured income support to the small and marginal
farmers, 'Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN)' programme has been
launched. Under this programme, vulnerable landholding farmer families,
having cultivable land upto two hectares, will be provided direct income
support at the rate of Rs 6,000 per year. Around 12 crore small and marginal
farmer families are expected to benefit from PMKISAN.
- Under the programme the income support will be transferred
directly into the bank accounts of beneficiary farmers in three equal
installments of Rs 2,000 each. The programme would be made effective from
1st December 2018 and the first installment for the period upto 31st March
2019 would be paid during this year itself. This programme would not only
provide assured supplemental income to the most vulnerable farmer families,
but would also meet their emergent needs especially before the harvest
season. Kisan Credit Card to Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Farmers
- The KCC programme was announced in 1998 with the aim to provide
short-term credit needs of the farmers during the sowing and harvesting of
crops. It was also introduced to reduce the dependence of farmers on the
informal banking channels like moneylenders. According to National Bank for
Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), a total number of 5.37 crore
farmers have 'live and operative' KCCs issued by Public Sector Banks,
Cooperative Banks and Regional Rural Banks so far.
- Those who have KCCs get agriculture credit at a reduced interest
rate of 7 per cent per annum while Agriculture Ministry implements "an
interest subvention scheme" for short-term crop loans up to Rs. 3 lakh.
Under the subvention scheme, additional subvention of 3 per cent is given to
those farmers who repay their short term crop loan on time, thus reducing
the effective rate of interest to only 4 per cent per annum. All farmers who
own cultivable and, tenant farmers, share croppers and SHGs of farmers could
get credit under KKCs. However KCC was never expanded to include those
farmers who carry out activities like fisheries, dairy etc.
- Several announcements have been made to improve rural
infrastructure which would directly support improving efficiency of the
- Under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), 15.80 lakh
habitations out of a total of 17.84 lakh habitations have already been
connected with pucca roads and the work Is expected to be completed soon.
- PMGSY is being allocated Rs. 19,000 crore for 2019-20 (budget
estimate) as against Rs. 15,500 crore in 2018-19 (revised estimate).
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