India is a primarily agricultural based economy with almost 60% people of India directly dependent on agri-sector for their living. However, the agricultural practices in India still remain outdated and unscientific. People directly involved in agriculture are mostly poor. With such a huge fraction of population (~60%) directly related to agricultural sector and most of them poor, it has always been looked upon as a “powerful vote bank”.

Successive governments have given them freebies and looked upon them as vote banks, due to which neither the agriculture sector nor the farmers have benefited in last 70 years. Since it is such a huge vote bank, political parties have tried to build the image of “pro-farmer” and any party perceived as “anti-farmer” has lost the elections, be it at state level or central level. Opposition parties and Lutyen’s media, which is loyal to ‘the dynasty’ have played a huge role in trying to paint Narendra Modi as an “anti-farmer” and “pro-corporate” PM. However, the reality is far from what media portrays. If we look at the achievements of the Agricultural ministry, the figures are a hard slap on the opposition, Lutyen’s elite and the Left.

 

  1. PRADHAN MANTRI FASAL BIMA YOJANA:

About 309 lakh farmers of 23 states had been covered under Fasal Beema during previous Kharif Season 2015 in which 294 lakh farmers were lonee and 15 lakh farmers were non-lonee.  During Kharif 2016, however, 366.64 lakh farmers have been covered out of which 264.04 lakh farmers are lonee and 102.60 lakh farmers are non-lonee. Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojana has been implemented by 21 states during Kharif 2016.

 

  1. SOIL HEALTH CARD SCHEME:

2.33 crore soil samples have been collected from which 12.82 crore soil health cards are being made. Out of these, 4.31 crore soil health cards have printed and 4.25 crore soil health cards have been distributed to the farmers and remaining are under process. During 2014-17, 460 Soil Testing Laboratories have been sanctioned. In addition to 460 Soil Testing Labs, 4000 mini labs have also been sanctioned to the States.

 

  1. 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, State Governments have made 9186 clusters while in 2015-16 it was 8000 clusters.

 

  1. NATIONAL AGRICULTURE MARKET (NAM):

Under this scheme, 250 mandis of 10 states have been integerated with e-NAM Portal. In principal approval has been to integrate 399 mandis with e NAM for which an amount of Rs. 93 crore has been released. 35.04 lakh  tonnes of agriculture produce worth Rs. 7,131.21 crore has been transacted on e-NAM platform. As on 27.12.2016, 9,49,112 Farmers, 59,742 Traders and 31,317 Commission Agents have been registered on the e-NAM platform.

 

  1. DEVELOPMENT OF BEE KEEPING :

Honey production has increased to 2,63,930 MT during 2016. An amount of Rs. 12.00 crores has been approved for National Bee Board (NBB) for the year 2016-17.

 

  1. COCONUT DEVELOPMENT:

From the beginning of this financial year 2016-17, India has started exporting Coconut Oil to Malaysia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka from where coconut oil was being imported from these countries in previous years. India became first in coconut production and productivity in the world. Coconut area, production and productivity reached 1.97 million ha, 20.439 billion nuts and 10345 nuts per ha respectively.

 

  1. NEEM COATED UREA:

In one year, Modi Government has made available 100% neem coated area in the country. Due to this diversion of unauthorized use of urea by Chemical Factories has been stopped. Now farmers are getting urea in adequate quantity. Besides this, the cost of production is being reduced by 10-15% with the use of neem coated urea. Productivity will also increase with the use of Neem Coated Urea.

 

  1. AGROFORESTRY:

For the first time, Sub-Mission on Agroforestry has been initiated which will accelerate the programme “Medh Par Ped”. In addition, trees would also be grown as strip and intermittent plantation on farm land along with crops/ cropping system and as block plantation in cultivable waste land. Implementation of the scheme only in the states having liberalized transit regulations for 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 8 states.

 

  1. NATIONAL FOOD SECURITY MISSION (NFSM) / STEPS TAKEN FOR PULSE PRODUCTION :
  • Out of the total allocation of Rs.1700 crores under NFSM for 2016-17, Rs.1,100 crore (central share) was allocated for pulses which amounts to more than 60% of total allocation.
  • For expansion of cultivation of new kinds of seeds, Rs.7.85 lakhs mini-kits are being distributed to farmers free of cost in the year 2016-17, through State Governments.
  • In the year 2016-17, demonstrations of new techniques for pulse production are being carried out in 31,000 hectares by 534 Agriculture Science Centers through ICAR & State Agriculture Universities and Rs.25.29 crores were allocated for this purpose.
  • Seed Hubs are being created through ICAR, State Agriculture Universities and Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) for ensuring the availability of new kinds of seeds. For this purpose, Rs. 225.31 crore have been approved for establishment of 150 seed centers during 2016-17 to 2017-18, out of which Rs.131.74 crore is proposed for 2016-17. From these seed centers 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 about 8.70 million tonnes (as per 1st Advance Estimates) against target of 7.25 million tonnes.

 

  1. RASHTRIYA GOKUL MISSION:

With a view to conserve and develop indigenous bovine breeds, Rashtriya Gokul Mission, a new initiative under 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 modernized with investment of more funds and 3629 Bulls have been inducted for genetic upgradation. Since 2007-08 to 2013-14, a meagre amount of only Rs 45 crore was spent for the development of indigenous breeds. Whereas, the current Government has in only one and a half years, upto December 2015, has approved 35 projects from 27 States and has sanctioned Rs 582.09 crore. This amount has been increased by more than 13 times in the last two years. Two National Kamdhenu Breeding Centre, one in northern region-Madhya Pradesh and other in Southern region- Andhra Pradesh, are being established in the country with an allocation of Rs 50 crores.

 

  1. FOUR NEW SCHEMES FOR DAIRY SECTOR:
    a) PASHUDHAN SANJIVANI :
    – An animal Wellness Programme; encompassing provision of Animal Health cards (‘Nakul Swasthya Patra’) along with UID identification of animals in milk and a National Data Base.
    – Under the scheme 8.5 crore animals in milk will be identified using UID and their data will uploaded in the INAPH data base.
    – This will play crucial role in control of spread of animal diseases. This will also lead to increase in trade of livestock and livestock products.b) ADVANCED BREEDING TECHNOLOGY:
    – Assisted Reproductive Technique to improve availability of disease free female bovines through of sex sorted semen technology.
    – Under the scheme 50 embryo transfer technology labs and In Vitro Fertilization labs care will be established.
    – This will lead to exponential increase in milk production and productivity of animals in an exponential manner.c) NATIONAL BOVINE GENOMIC CENTER 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 few generations.
    – This center will play crucial role in identification of disease free High genetic merit bulls.

    d) E-PASHUDHAN HAAT PORTAL:
    – At present there is no authentic market for bovine germplasm in the form of semen, embryos, male & female calves; heifers and adult bovines. Farmers depend on middlemen for 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 E Pashudhan Haat portal has been developed. This portal will play 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 sale 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.

 

  1. FISH PRODUCTION: Fish production has increased from 150 lakh tonnes during 2015 to 209.59 tonnes during 2016. The Annual growth rate of fish production during 2015-16 is 6.21%.

 

  1. EGG PRODUCTION: During the year 2015-16, 82,930 million eggs produced while during 2014-15, 78,484 million eggs were produced. Egg production is now increasing by 5.66% annually. In comparison to 2012-14 during 2014-16 egg production growth rate is 10.99 %. Annual egg production rate is 5 %. Per person availability of egg has reached 66.

 

  1. VETERINARY EDUCATION:

To ensure that the existing syllabus and standards for graduate veterinary education is aligned with globally accepted standards, wide-ranging amendments have been made in 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. Total number of seats has been increased to 1,334 from 1,332.  The number of veterinary graduates has increased by one and half times. Similarly the seats in veterinary colleges have increased by one and half times. 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 time.

 

  1. INCREASE IN RECRUITMENT OF SCIENTISTS:

81 % recruitment in 2014-15 and 2015-16 in comparison to only 66% in 2013-14, accelerated recruitment process through open competition and increase in representation of women scientists.

 

  1. EMPIRICAL LEARNING UNITS:

Compared to 2007-13, the number of empirical learning units in agricultural colleges was 264 which have now been increased to 416 in just two years during 2014-16 which is almost 58 percent increase. Education budget has also been increased by 50% in the last two years (2014-15 & 2015-16).

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. ATTRACTING STUDENTS, YOUTH TOWARDS AGRICULTURE AND IMPROVING THE SCIENTISTS – FARMERS INTERFACE:

a)  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.

b)  FARMER FIRST:

The Farmer FIRST aims at enriching Farmers –Scientist interface, technology assemblage, application and feedback, partnership and institutional building and content mobilization.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.

 

  1. AGRICULTURE EDUCATION:

To make agriculture graduation courses income oriented, Government has approved the 5th Dean’s Committee report recommendations of the committee. 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 earn their livelihood in future.

Is this government really anti-farmer and anti-poor ? Think again !

PS : The data has been sourced from Press Information Bureau
(Link : http://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=156064 )


Kshitij Mohan