The white paper on status of agriculture in Andhra Pradesh
The white paper on status of agriculture in Andhra Pradesh
Patna: The Bihar Agriculture cabinet has set up a Resource Management Group (RMG) to raise Rs 1.52 lakh crore to give a boost to the farming in the state in the next five years. The RMG headed by Chief Secretary Navin Kumar has been assigned to oversee the implementation of the agriculture road map for Bihar.
The RMG would be authorized to arrange the fund for the state plan, central and private sources besides financial institutions. A. K Sinha, state agriculture production commissioner said that the private sector would invest a whopping Rs 23,746 crore in agriculture.
After the fifth meeting of the agriculture cabinet, Sinha said that the department would start consultations with the farmers seeking their suggestions on various agriculture aspects from February one next.
The interaction programme with the farmers would be organised by the state government in Patna on February 1 in which more than 2000 farmers were expected to turn up.
Under the agriculture roadmap it was estimated that the state would spend Rs 26,000 crore during 2012-2013 and Rs 30,000 crore between 2013-2014, Rs 32,000 crore during 2014-2015, Rs 34,000 crore between 2015-2016 and Rs 31,000 crore during 2016-2017, Sinha added.
Sinha further said the state government has proposed to invest Rs 14,000 crore for boosting agriculture production, Rs 10,000 crore on electricity and Rs 36,000 crore for expansion of rural road network in next five year
DEVELOPMENT OF ABIOTIC STRESS RESISTANT CROP VARIETIES AND DISSEMINATION OF PRODUCTION ENHANCING TECHNOLOGIES –REVIEW OF R&D AND EXTENSION EFFORTS IN THE COUNTRY
Oct 18, 2011
THE TIMES OF INDIA
LUCKNOW: The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday demanded that agriculture must be declared national occupation. Addressing a rally in Meerut during the Jan Swabhiman Yatra on Monday, former BJP president Rajnath Singh said that the BJP believes that neglect of agriculture sector will severely hamper the national growth. “Both the governments at the Centre and the state, have failed to address farmers’ issues. As a result gross domestic productivity in the agriculture sector has slipped from 50% to 16-17%,” he said.
Rajnath demanded a special session of Parliament for 10 days to discuss the issues plaguing agriculture. “Agriculture must have a separate budget,” he said and promised farmers 1% interest loans if BJP is voted back to power.Hitting out at the sale of sugar mills by the UP government, Rajnath said that the wheeling dealing between the BSP supremo and sugar barons has led to net loss of Rs 26,000 crore to state coffers. Cane farmers are long being cheated in UP and it is time their problem is taken seriously, he said.
Meanwhile, SP leader Akhilesh Yadav has asked the chief minister to resign immediately.Due to recent sacking of ministers and removal of a number of MLAs from the BSP, the government has lost majority and the chief minister should immediately step down, he said at Budaun.
Meanwhile MP and national vice-president of BJP Kalraj Mishra attacked BSP government for misutilising the funds sanctioned by the Finance Commission for development of Purvanchal. The money meant for the purpose has been distributed among the BSP legislators’ and party coordinators, he charged.
Addressing a public rally in Jaunpur, Kalraj said, “UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi should explain what made her promise amnesty in the DA case.” Chief minister Mayawati has publicly charged Sonia with calling her up and offering all support to settle her case with the CBI. And since the CBI has already prepared the charge-sheet against Mayawati the delay in filing the document only shows a sinister design of the Congress,” he said.
Congress has always been known to manipulate the investigative agency and this is the reason why the NRHM scam, which has been entrusted to CBI, has drawn a blank. The CBI has not been able to find the murders of Dr YS Sachan as well, he said.
Sharad Pawar had mooted the idea last week.
In a season of inter-ministerial rifts, another one has surfaced. Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh is opposed to using funds under the government’s flagship National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) to provide cheap agricultural labour to farmers.
The idea was mooted last week by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar in Pune. Ramesh told Business Standard this move would be unacceptable to his ministry. The rural development ministry is the nodal ministry handling NREGS.Ramesh conceded he was yet to receive any such formal proposal. But senior agricultural ministry officials confirmed they were working on a joint circular with the rural development ministry to include agricultural labour in activities like harvesting and sowing under NREGS. How funds earmarked for NREGS can be used for direct farming operation like sowing and harvesting is being explored by the ministry, an agriculture ministry official said.
“Something like a joint circular could be worked out to ensure that there is no conflict between the agriculture and rural development ministry,” he said. “There is no difference of opinion between both the ministries, hence we are exploring the idea of a joint circular,” he added.
Ramesh’s stand is in sync with that of civil society groups, who feel NREGS should not be used to replace any existing employment. Ashwani Kumar, an ex-member of NREGS’s Central Employment Guarantee Council, said if NREGS-3 was going to be a scheme to provide cheap farm labour, then NREGS-4 would be ‘no NREGS’.
He says the Act was not meant to provide workers to private individuals. “it would be paving way to a return of feudalism,” he warned and charged the agriculture ministry with ideological bankruptcy in failing to find solutions for farms with low yield. K S Gopal, also an ex-CEGC member and now with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, says NREGS should be used to improve productivity in farms rather than subsidising labour.
“Such a move will kill employment opportunities for farm labourers who may be getting higher wages and large number of work days. Will NREGS provide 200 days of work and higher wages too?” he asked.
Nikhil De, an activist and member of CEGC formed under NREGS, said: “The basic premise of NREGS is to provide jobs for the jobless. So, it is to generate additional work. How can you use it to replace existing jobs?”
Pawar’s recent statement came in the context of a massive agitation in Maharashtra’s Vidarbha region by several farmer organisations like Shetkari Sanghatana, demanding support for farmers in the drought-hit areas of Vidarbha. They were demanding NREGS be used to provide cheap labour in these areas.
Says Vijay Jaywantia, who heads Shetkari Sanghatana: “We wound up the agitation after Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan heard us and said the state government could discuss the logistics of using the rural employment scheme of Maharashtra to provide labour in drought-hit tehsils. He said the matter could be taken up further with the Centre.”
However, Chavan told this newspaper no decision had been taken on the matter. Pawar, in his statement, had said the Centre was proposing to use NREGS to provide farm labour, with the Centre bearing 75 per cent of the wages, while the private individual in whose farm the worker would be employed would pay the rest, even at market rates.
Farmers organisations like Kisan Mitra and Shetkari Sanghatana charge the activists who oppose use of NREGS with ignorance and short sightedness.
“The activists oppose this as they consider the farmers as rich landlords. But in Bundelkhand farmers go and work in each other’s fields as they have no money to pay workers,’’ the organisations say.
The Indira Gandhi Institute ofDevelopment Research(IGIDR), Mumbai and International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), New Delhi organized a workshop ‘Strengthening the Role of Agriculture for Nutrition Secure India’ on 13 September 2011 at New Delhi.
Half a century ago, scholars first noticed that small farms in India demonstrated a higher per acre productivity than large farms. In the 21st century these farms still produce more per acre than large farms. We should be looking at making the most of the higher agricultural productivity on small landholdings.
Where earlier seed varieties were seen as a crucial input for Indian Agriculture, it is now water that has become a critical resource because of its over-exploitation and wasteful use on crop land. In the search for better ways to harvest and use water resources, there has been tendency to hark back to the past and look at small and localized systems, but we forget that the demographic settings then were different and we do not acknowledge the fact that the institutional settings of the time made for inequitable access.
AS the government grapples with modifying the 2002 National Water Policy, an independent effort is made to formulate a draft that looks at water use in all areas in a holistic manner. These and other articles in this review look at different aspects of Indian Agriculture.
Issue : VOL 46 No. 26 and 27 Jun 25 – July 08, 2011
REVIEW OF AGRICULTURE
Irrigation in Telangana: The Rise and Fall of Tanks Gautam Pingle
Agriculture currently produces only 30% of total income in the Telangana region, but it remains the basis for survival of nearly 78% of the population. During the 53-year period, 1956-2009, Telangana lost 2.92 lakh hectares of tank irrigation. Meanwhile, despite the high cost of irrigation – both in capital and operating costs – over the same period the area irrigated by tube wells has grown up. The latter is entirely dependent on the recharge of groundwater and the availability and cost of power. Whatever the future irrigation policy and its implementation, it will need a close ground level, local district and regional governmental efforts in Telangana. View Full Article
Farmers’ Suicides in Punjab: A Census Survey of the Two Most Affected Districts R S Sidhu , Sukhpal Singh , A S Bhullar
This is a report on the first-ever census survey conducted on suicides by farmers in the two most affected districts of Punjab, Sangrur and Bhatinda. It tries to arrive at the number of farmer suicides, the reasons (whether they were caused by economic distress alone or they were due to the interplay of the forces of economic distress, social conflict, cultural backwardness and lack of community/state support) and also the present economic status of the families of the victims. View Full Article
Reorienting Land Use Strategies for Socio-economic Development in Uttar Pradesh Arun Chaturvedi , N G Patil , S N Goswami
While the per capita availability of agricultural land has been decreasing rapidly everywhere in India, this article points out the socio-economic implications of current land use and management strategies in Uttar Pradesh. It argues that a judicious land use policy in synergy with the physical, economic and institutional factors should be framed, even as investment is encouraged in non-agricultural sector for employment.View Full Article
Revitalising Higher Agricultural Education in India J Challa , P K Joshi , Prabhakar Tamboli
Agricultural education and R&D in India have grown overwhelmingly over the years but funding levels have not kept pace with growth in the number of programmes, institutions, colleges and universities. Restricted funding and vacant faculty positions are not allowing institutions to modernise the programmes and infrastructure to catch up with the changing needs of agriculture and agro-processing. This article proposes a comprehensive programme to revitalise higher agricultural education. View Full Article
Farm Size and Productivity: Understanding the Strengths of Smallholder and Improving Their Livelihoods Ramesh Chand , P A Lakshmi Prasanna , Aruna Singh
During the 1960s and 1970s there was an intense debate on the observed inverse relationship between farm size and per hectare agricultural productivity in India. It was subsequently argued that the higher productivity of smallholdings would disappear with the adoption of superior technology, modernisation and growth in general. However, close to half a century later, National Sample Survey data from the initial years of the 21st century show that smallholdings in Indian agriculture still exhibit a higher productivity than large holdings. These smallholdings however show lower per capita productivity and the incidence of poverty is widespread. Strategies for Indian agriculture and smallholding households should include reducing the inequality in land distribution and promoting off-farm work in the rural areas itself. The strategy of improving the crop land-man ratio by facilitating migration from rural India has not worked and will not work. The lives of smallholding families can be improved only by building on their higher per acre agricultural productivity and by promoting off-farm rural employment. View Full Article
Spread and Economics of Micro-irrigation in India: Evidence from Nine States K Palanisami , Kadiri Mohan , K R Kakumanu , S Raman
The adoption of micro-irrigation projects has resulted in water saving, yield and income enhancement at the farm level. However, the overall impression is that they are capital-intensive and suited to large farms. In this context, a study was undertaken in nine states, mainly to examine the actual area covered compared to the potential area and to understand the adoption level of mi as well as to analyse the cost and returns under different farm categories. The results indicated that only about 9% of the mi potential is covered in the country. Key suggestions include reduction in capital cost of the system, provision of technical support for operation after installation, relaxation of farm size limitation in providing subsidies and the establishment of a single state level agency for implementation of the programme. View Full Article
Water Harvesting Traditions and the Social Milieu in India: A Second Look Shri Krishan
India has a variety of local community traditions of water harvesting. There are a number of scholars and activists who tend to valorise premodern wisdoms without critically evaluating their sociocultural context and realising how deeply they were embedded in the social hierarchy of their times. There has been, of course, a great deal of stress lately on a kind of “eco-golden age”. This is clearly a case of an “anachronistic projection of modern phenomenon on to the screen of tradition”. Seen from such a perspective, all pre-industrial societies would exhibit a kind of harmony with nature. However, most of the times, it was the demographic and technological factors that made these societies less harmful to the environment. It was not that they wished to protect the whole canopy of nature. This reappraisal demonstrates how precepts and rites, culture and customary practices and state policy interact to lay the bases of water harvesting traditions. Social customs are the necessary conditions for sustaining these traditions, while local autonomy in resource management is the critical sufficient condition but it never results in equitable access for all. View Full Article
National Water Policy: An Alternative Draft for Consideration Ramaswamy R Iyer
The Ministry of Water Resources is at present engaged in revising the National Water Policy 2002. Instead of trying to make changes in the 2002 Policy, the ministry should put it aside and draft a new policy, starting from first principles. In that context, the draft presented here is an attempt to formulate the kind of document that could be drawn up. It seeks to set forth for consideration a broad national perspective on the nature of water and on its prudent, wise, sustainable, equitable and harmonious use.View Full Article