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HomeEconomyErratic monsoon takes its toll on kharif crops

Erratic monsoon takes its toll on kharif crops

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New Delhi — The 1st advance estimates of production of major kharif crops for 2014-15 have been released by the Department of Agriculture & Cooperation. The assessment of production of different crops is based on the feedback received from States and validated with information available from other sources.

Due to delayed as well as deficient rainfall, area coverage under most of the crops during current kharif season has declined. Erratic rainfall and dry spells in several parts of the country have also impacted productivity of crops. Due to lower area coverage and productivity, production of most of the crops is expected to be lower than their record production levels achieved during the last year. However, these are preliminary estimates and do not take into account the positive impact of rainfall of September 2014. Also, as per past experience, the first advance estimates reported by States are generally conservative and subsequently undergo upward revision.

Total production of kharif foodgrains is estimated at 120.27 million tonnes which is lower by 8.97 million tonnes as compared to record production of 129.24 million tonnes of foodgrains achieved during kharif 2013-14.

Estimated production of major crops during kharif 2014-15

Foodgrains  –  120.27 million tonnes

  • Rice  –  88.02  million tonnes
  • Coarse Cereals  –  27.05 million tonnes
  • Maize  –  16.03 million tonnes
  • Pulses  –  5.20 million tonnes
  • Tur  –  2.74 million tonnes
  • Urad  –  1.15 million tonnes

Oilseeds  –  19.66 million tonnes

  • Soybean  –  11.82 million tonnes
  • Groundnut  –  5.02 million tonnes
  • Castorseed – 1.96 million tonnes

Cotton  –  34.62 million bales (of 170 kg each)

Sugarcane – 342.79 million tonnes

Production of kharif rice estimated at 88.02 million tonnes, though lower by 3.67 million tonnes as compared to last year’s record production of 91.69 million tonnes, is higher by 1.34 million tonnes than its 5 years’ average production. Delayed arrival of monsoon impacted sowing of jowar, bajra and maize in some major States such as Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, leading to significant decline of 18.56 lakh hectares in the overall area under kharif coarse cereals than the last year. Decline in area has adversely affected production of above crops, leading to decline in the total production of kharif coarse cereals, which is estimated to be lower at 27.05 million tonnes as compared to 31.53 million tonne during 2013-14. Decline in area under tur and moong has also affected production of kharif pulses which is estimated at 5.20 million tonnes as against their production of 6.02 million tonne during kharif 2013-14.

Among oilseeds, on account of decline in area and productivity in Gujarat, total production of groundnut in the country has suffered considerably and declined to 5.02 million tonnes as compared to its record production of 7.81 million tonnes during 2013-14. Production of soybean estimated at 11.82 million tonnes is also marginally lower than the last year. Due to setback in the production of above two major Oilseeds, total production of kharif oilseeds is expected to decline to 19.66 million tonnes i.e. 2.75 million tonnes lower than their record production of 22.41 million tonnes achieved during kharif 2013-14.

Production of sugarcane estimated at 342.79 million tonnes, though lower by 7.23 million tonnes than the last year, is higher by 5.40 million tonnes than its average production. Production of cotton estimates at 34.62 million bales (of 170 kg each) is also lower by 1.97 million bales than its record production of 36.59 million bales during 2013-14 but higher by 2.02 million bales than the average production. Production of jute estimated at 10.87 million bales (of 180 kg each) is also marginally lower than its last year’s production but higher than the average production of last five years.

Minister’s ‘achievements’ and ‘solutions’

RMS

Union Minister of Agriculture Radha Mohan Singh has said that all round development of the Agro Sector is the higher priority of the Government. It has taken a number of initiatives for the development of Agro and allied sector which include advance research facilities for farm techniques, use of information technology to transfer information and knowledge to the farmers at grass root level and improved crop insurance and finance to the farmers.

Full text of the minister’s address:

“Our country has made tremendous progress in the fields of tele-communication, information technology, service sector, automobiles, health, space technology, etc.  However, on a comparative basis, the progress in agriculture is not to the same extent.  Though we have come a long way from the stage of import of food grains in 1960s to self-sufficiency since last several years, but still we have a long way to go to achieve the full potential of production and productivity in agriculture sector.  As of now, there are manifold opportunities in the agriculture sector. In many areas of the country, many varieties of fertile soil, optimum availability and use of water for agriculture, new thinking and innovation of farmers, reducing production costs, stronger infrastructure facilities etc. can lead to many opportunities in Indian agriculture.  Further, there is a great potential of providing gainful employment to a large population by stepping up activities in the agriculture sector.

  • We have to work actively and primarily to increase production and productivity.  We can rise from the present achievement of self-sufficiency in food grains to the much more ambitious goal of emerging as a world agricultural power.
  • Our Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has got a clear thinking and vision for agriculture and agricultural development.  His vision is to reduce the gap from lab to land to increase productivity, to use new technologies on a continuous basis in agriculture and to increase the exports of agricultural commodities leading to rapid economic growth.  During the last four months, we have been following the vision of our Hon’ble Prime Minister leading to effective and speedy implementation of agricultural programmes thereby proving how effective leadership can boost the country’s economy.
  • The new Government was constituted in May 2014, facing the challenges of deficit rainfall due to delayed monsoon. The task before the Ministry was to maintain the increasing agricultural output of the country despite the impending deficit rainfall. Advance preparations were made to deal with the situation, by holding discussions with State Governments to organize seeds and disseminate appropriate farming practices, prepare district-wise Contingency action plans and bring in  flexibility in various schemes so that States don’t face any hurdle in making any desired changes in  the approved action plans to tackle the situation arising out of deficit rainfall. The Central Research Institute for Dry land agriculture (CRIDA) with the active cooperation of  Agricultural Universities and State Governments prepared District Contingency plans in respect of 571 districts
  • The deficit of rain in June 2014 was (-) 43%, which by July 2014 became (-) 22%. To cope with this deficit rainfall,   Government took some important measures, such as diesel subsidy scheme, additional financial assistance  to protect horticulture crops, increase in seed subsidy, additional fodder development scheme, waiving of import duty on  oil cakes etc.
  • It may be noted that coverage in sowing position is as per average of last 5 years, and is only 3% lower than the situation of last year. With improved rainfall, it is estimated that kharif production will be approximately 120 million tonnes. This major achievement is due to hard work put in by our farmers and active cooperation of State Governments.
  • In some rain deficit parts of the country, there is still a possibility of adverse impact on Rabi crops due to lack of adequate soil moisture. The Rabi Conference was held on 17-18 September 2014 with the State officials and an effective plan has been prepared to combat this challenge.  We have targeted to achieve production of 94 million tonnes of wheat, 14 million tonnes of Rabi paddy, 12.5 million tonnes of pulses and 11 million tonnes of oilseeds in the ensuing Rabi season.
  •  Ministry of Agriculture has prepared a Mission Mode Scheme to issue Soil Health Card to all farmers. A programme has been formulated to issue 3 crore Soil Health Cards in 2014-15, 5.5 crore in   2015-16 and 5.5 crore Soil Health cards in  2016-17. State-wise allocation has been made for establishing 100 Mobile Soil Testing Laboratories in 2014-2015.
  • Under the Prime Minister Krishi Sinchai Yojana, being launched shortly, the implementation of small and major Irrigation schemes held up for years will be expedited under the joint monitoring of Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Rural Development and Agriculture Ministry.
  •  In order to check rising prices of fruits and vegetables, these have been kept outside the purview of APMC Act in Delhi.  Other States have also been advised to take similar steps. Some States have already taken steps in this direction. In a short span of time, we have completed all formalities to set up a Kisan mandi in Alipur,  Delhi, which will be inaugurated on 25th September. Farmer Producer Organizations have started direct marketing of onion and potatoes at reasonable prices in Delhi.  With the help of newly announced Price Stabilization Fund, work is going to commence very soon to buy from farmers and sell directly to consumers at reasonable prices, Potato and Onion in the initial phase and gradually extending this to other vegetables.
  •   Saffron Park inaugurated in Kashmir with an aim to improve the productivity, quality and marketing of saffron.
  •  Encouragement to Industry and Trade: Katupalli Sea Port in Tamil Nadu and Kochi Airport notified as import entry points for plants and plant materials.
  • Digitization of research papers for development of e-repository has been launched in all research institutes and agriculture universities.  
  • Efforts have been initiated to establish new Research Institutions on the lines of Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in the States of Asom and Jharkhand that are expected to give a new direction to the development of farming and farmers in these states.  The primary objective of national institution is to strengthen the agricultural research and education.  These institutions will provide guidance and national leadership in transfer of technology and setting up of standards and quality benchmarks.  It is expected that the establishment of these institutions will help to bring the green revolution in the eastern parts of the country.
  • New Agricultural Universities in Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan.
  • New Horticultural Universities in Telangana and Haryana.
  • Farmer FIRST (Farmer, Innovation, Resources, Science & Technology) Project involving linkage of farmers with scientists, technology assessment, demonstration and training and capacity development of farmers (Budget allocation Rs. 300 crores).
  • Student READY (Rural Entrepreneurship and Awareness Development Yojana) program in agricultural education for developing entrepreneurship among youth through skill development of students in project mode will be implemented in different agricultural universities (Budget allocation Rs. 50 crores).
  • ARYA (Attracting and Retaining Youth in Agriculture) – an innovative program to check the migration of rural youth and retain their interest in agriculture through creation of new employment opportunities will be implemented in project mode (Budget allocation Rs. 100 crores).
  • Four new Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) namely Bogaigaon, Morigaon and Buxa districts of Asom and Ramgarh district of Jharkhand have been established.  A review was undertaken of all KVKs in the country and a work plan initiated for meeting the infrastructural and human resource requirements of all the KVKs within a year.
  • A total of 56 new high yielding improved varieties of cereals (34), pulses (6), oilseeds (4), forage (2), vegetables (6), fruits (2) and sugarcane (2) have been notified and released.
  • New improved variety “Swarna Vaidehi” of Makhana released to the farmers.
  • Microbial source based nano fertilizers for phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, and iron commercialized for the first time in the country.
  • In relation to variable Monsoon of 2014, District Contingency Plans for 45 districts developed raising the total number of District Contingency Plans to 570.
  • A Weekly National Agromet Advisory has been launched jointly with Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).
  • Project for development of Land Resource Inventory at 1:10,000 scale for Agricultural Land Use Planning launched in collaboration with National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC).
  • At international level, draft sequence of bread-wheat genome has been deciphered so that the research on the feasibility of gene relating to disease resistance, high production and climate change could be undertaken.
  • A male buffalo calf has been cloned (named Rajat) from frozen semen of a progeny tested elite bull at NDRI, Karnal for the first time in the world on July 23, 2014.  This is a unique success in the world for cloning from the frozen semen of a male buffalo. This success has already been recorded in the Limca Book of Record.
  • New technique developed for the diagnosis of brucellosis disease in livestock.
  • New Live Attenuated Vaccine has been developed for Sheep pox disease using indigenous virus strain.
  • Hon’ble Prime Minister of India addressed the Vice-Chancellors of Agricultural Universities, Directors and Scientists of the ICAR on the occasion of 86th ICAR Foundation Day on 29th July, 2014. Hon’ble Prime Minister in his address called upon the scientists to develop such technologies that will improve farmers’ income, productivity of natural resources such as ‘per drop – more crop’, soil health cards and digitization of research papers/thesis.
  • Hon’ble President of India inaugurated International Conference on Natural Fibres at Kolkata on 1st August, 2014.  In his address, the President highlighted the environmental importance and export potential of natural fibres and emphasised the need to undertake appropriate research and development programmes.
  • Initiatives of Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) in Tribal Areas were discussed in an Interface Workshop and Exhibition organised at NASC, New Delhi on 19-20 August, 2014. In this workshop, the strength of tribal people in terms of their indigenous knowledge and germplasm was recognised.  In this workshop, it was decided to strengthen the infrastructure in the KVKs located in tribal areas so as to enable them to take modern agriculture technologies to the tribal farmers in order to improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of farming.

·         Under Agri Marketing Infrastructure, the Grameen Bhandaran Yojana has been made more effective, as a result of which the budget for the entire year has been released in only 4 months. 

·         A project titled “Bhartiya Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Pariyojana” has been formulated to promote Organic Farming. The objective is to promote eco-friendly concept of cultivation reducing the dependency on agro-chemicals and fertilizers and to optimally utilize the locally available natural resources for input production.

·                                Crop insurance schemes currently under implementation suffer from several deficiencies and operational difficulties. Suggestions have been sought from Chief Ministers of all the States/UTs in this regard. It is proposed to roll out new crop insurance scheme for insuring the production, productivity and income risk faced by the farmers.

·                                Information relating to registration of Multi State Cooperative Society has been made available online, in order to facilitate easy availability of information to the applicant and ensure transparency.

·                                 NABARD, since 12 September 2014, has started making available long term loan on concessional rates in Agriculture and related fields. Initial allotment of rupees five thousand crore has already been made for the purpose. 

·                                A project has been sanctioned to ICRISAT, an international institution for Rs. 12.65 crores for developing new varieties of chickpea, utilizing analysis of chickpea genome.

·                                 Stress tolerant varieties of rice have been introduced in ten thousand hectares in areas affected by drought, flood and salinity with assistance of IRRI, an international institution.

Unparalleled Success in Information Technology in Last 100 days.

·        In the last 100 days, 32.29 crore agriculture based information and advisories were sent to farmers over mobile which is almost equal to the number during the period since inception of this facility (16th July, 2013) till 25th May, 2014. Till date 186 crore SMSs have been sent to farmers which is not only the highest amongst all the e-Services of the Central Government but also the biggest initiatives from the Government towards providing SMS based Citizen Services.

·        The Department has started obtaining Farmers’ Feedback on the quality of information received by farmers through IVRS and SMS under the m-Kisan Portal and the Kisan Call Centres (through toll free number 1800-180-1551).

·        USSD technology has been implemented by the Department as a new initiative in a big way towards use of Information Technology in mobile telephony. Under this service the farmers can obtain selected information available on internet through an interactive session on SMS without having internet connection. This information is also provided through pull SMS.

·        A Farmers’ Portal (www.farmer.gov.in)(at present in Hindi and English) for the farmers and also m-Kisan portal (www.mKisan.gov.in) to present mobile based services in an integrated manner have been launched on internet.

E governance and Digitization

·        ICAR has started implementation of e governance to promote disposal of administrative matter electronically.

·        Financial Management System/Management Information System has been launched in 44 research institutes under ICAR.

·        Digitization of the technical data and development of geo-information system has been launched.

 

Agricultural Research and Education

·        Foundation Stone of Indian Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology laid in Ranchi, Jharkhand on 25 August, 2014 by Hon’ble Union Minister of Agriculture.

New National Initiatives sanctioned in EFC Meetings

Lab to Land

Climate Change and Monsoon Related Initiatives

New Researches

Important Meetings / Conferences

Rashtriya Gokul Mission

India has the largest bovine population in the world and ranks first among the world’s milk producing Nations since 1998. Milk production peaked at about 14 crore tonnes in 2013-14. 79% of the 30 Crore bovines in India are indigenous represented by 37 well recognized indigenous breeds of cattle and 13 buffalo breeds. Indigenous bovines are robust and resilient and are particularly suited to the climate and environment of their respective breeding tracts.  Rashtriya Gokul Mission, a project under the National Program for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development, is being launched with the objective of conserving and developing indigenous breeds to enhance their productivity  through professional farm management and superior nutrition and upgradation of indigenous bovine germplasm with an outlay of Rs. 500 Crores.

National Kamdhenu Breeding Centre

            “National Kamdhenu Breeding Centre” will be set up for development, conservation and preservation of Indigenous Breeds, as a Centre of Excellence to develop and conserve Indigenous Breeds in a holistic and scientific manner. An allocation of Rs 50.00 crore has been announced in the Budget in July 2014 for conservation and development of indigenous breeds. This fund will be used to establish two National Kamdhenu Breeding Centres – one each in the northern and southern part of the country. The National Kamdhenu Breeding Centre will be a repository of indigenous germplasm and a source of Certified Genetics in the Country.  Elite certified germplasm will be made available to Farmers, Breeders, Breeding Institutes and Trusts maintaining Indigenous Breeds. A Nucleus Herd of all the Indigenous Bovine Breeds will be conserved and developed with the aim of enhancing their productivity and upgrading genetic merit. The State Governments are being consulted to obtain their comments and to identify suitable land for this purpose.

 Rail Milk Network

In order to promote Agri. Rail network for transportation of milk, orders have been placed by AMUL and NDDB on behalf of Dairy Cooperative Federations for procurement of 30 new Rail Milk Tankers and will be made available by Railways. At present 96 RMTs are running along the milk grid to supply milk from cooperatives having excess milk to milk deficient areas. The procurement of 30 new tankers by Amul and by NDDB, for use by cooperative federations, will augment the existing 96 RMTs in movement of milk from milk surplus areas to areas of demand, benefitting the consumer and enhancing farmers’ market access.

Stakeholder Consultations

The Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries organized a Dairy Conference Dairy Vision 2025 and the Way Forward, 5 September 2014 along with Confederation of Indian Industry. The Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries organized Conference of State Ministers of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries on 16 September 2014 to identify the requirement of States and UTs to lay down road map for development of the sector. 

J&K Relief Emergent Respone

The Department of Animal Husbandry Dairying and Fisheries has arranged to send relief materiel in the form of Milk and Milk Products for the flood affected regions of the State dispatched though the Air Force to J&K Government for relief. So far five tones of SMP, 70 tonnes of WMP and 17 tonnes of ESL milk along with small quantities of other milk products have been dispatched. Adequate stocks are kept ready for immediate dispatch as per the requirement of the State Government.

National Livestock  Mission

This Division has launched National Livestock Mission (NLM) recently. Recently the Executive Committee of the National Livestock Mission (NLM) has approved the annual plan for the seven States and has approved Rs 96 Crores for the same.

Livestock Health

Intensive vaccinations have been undertaken in the States against various animal diseases through Central Schemes and funds made available to the States. The Department has established Equine Disease Free Zone (EDFZ) at Remount Veterinary Corps, Meerut, for movement of sports horses from India for sporting events. This facility has come into existence for the first time in the country. During last Asian games, our supports were not allowed to participate by China in the absence of EDFZ facility and disease free zone.

The procurement and sale of Milk by the Dairy Cooperative Federations has increased substantially over the same period last year (by 10% and 8% respectively), despite the onset of the lean season in North India and a lower than average Monsoon.

An amount of Rs. 272 Crores has been released under Dairy Development Schemes namely, National Programme for Dairy Development (NPDD), Dairy Entrepreneurship Development Scheme (DEDS) and National Dairy Plan, phase-I (NDP-I),  for creation of dairy infrastructure.

National Programme for Dairy Development and Bovine Breeding (NPBBDD):

Under NPDD component of NPBBDD scheme, 8 new projects have been approved in Kerala (3), Tamil Nadu (3), Nagaland (1) and Punjab (1) with a total outlay of Rs.96 Crores for the 12th Plan period and an amount of Rs 34 Crores have been released to the States for the first phase.

An amount of Rs. 19 Crores has also been released for 12 ongoing dairy infrastructure projects in 11 States namely, Gujarat, Karnataka, Mizoram, West Bengal, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Sikkim and Uttarakhand under NPDD.

National Dairy Plan:

The number of Projects sanctioned in the last 4 months is 47 with an outlay of Rs 102 Crores. Progeny Testing and Pedigree selection for Indigenous cattle undertaken for eleven indigenous breeds like Gir, Rathi, Kankrej, Tharparkar and Sahiwal  under NDP.

DEDS (Dairy Entrepreneurship Development Scheme):

Under DEDS, the Department has released Rs.147 Crores to NABARD for release of back-ended capital subsidy, of which NABARD has released Rs. 122 Crores to the beneficiaries for setting up of 34,540 dairy units in various States as on 31.08.2014.

Cattle Development:

During the last four months, 8 projects under National Programme for Bovine Breeding have been sanctioned with an outlay of Rs 398 Crores. During the current year, 64 Crores has been disbursed to the States of Madhya Pradesh, UP, Tamil Nadu and Nagaland and Rs 37 Crores is being released to the States of Odisha, Kerala, Manipur and Sikkim .

A Compendium of MSPs and SOPs has been prepared and circulated to all the States in order to improve the quality of genetic upgradation programmes.

Farmers Manual and MSP for Embryo Transfer Technology have been developed recently and circulated among the States for their comments/suggestions.

ISO 9001-2008 has been initiated as a pilot project for CCBF, Chiplima.  Once it is obtained, other CCBFs will also be ISO certified.

CHRS units have been integrated with INAPH data base.

At CFSP&TI strength of indigenous bulls has been increased and Tharparkar and Red Sindhi bulls of high genetic merit have been inducted.

Strengthening of CFSPTI has been taken under NDP.

National Livestock Mission(NLM):

The Department has supplied 7,22,450 commercial hatching eggs and 4,55,985 commercial chicks along with 6,204 high genetic value parent hatching eggs and 33,316 parent day-old high genetic breeding chicks during 2014-15. 

3,750 quintals of high-yielding fodder variety seeds for fodder crops, grasses and legume seeds have been sown to enhance production during 2014-15.

Rs. 93 crore has been released to NABARD for Entrepreneurship Development and Employment Generation, like Rearing of goat, sheep, pig, poultry etc.

Livestock Health:

 Intensive vaccinations have been undertaken in the States against various animal diseases during the last three months.

Rs.161 crore for FMD vaccine and its vaccination under FMD Control Programme (FMD-CP) have been released to the States for prevention & control of FMD.

The Department is extending FMD control programme to Bihar.

Rs.46.27 crore have been released to the States under Assistance to States for Control of Animal Diseases (ASCAD) programme for prevention & control of various economically important diseases.

Fisheries: National Blue Revolution

India is world’s second largest producer of fish, however, it still scores low on the productivity scale. India has large natural resources, such as water bodies, reservoirs, lakes, ponds and 8118 kilometre long coastline and is well positioned to now have a Blue Revolution in Fisheries. Keeping in view the potential of the country the government has announced a new scheme:“Blue Revolution –Inland Fisheries” to increase the fish production. Thiswill focuson increasing productivity and introduction of new technologies. A budget of Rs.50 Crores has been sanctioned for the purpose.

Besides, during the last four months period the following steps have been undertaken:

India hosted 33rd Session of FAO Asia –Pacific Fishery Commission meeting on 23-25 June, 2014 in Hyderabad to give a greater impetus to fisheries in the Asia Pacific region. This meeting was inaugurated by Hon’ble Minister for Agriculture and was attended by 28 delegates from 17 Countries

Fisheries Statistics 2014 have been released on 29th August 2014.

During the period of these four months, 830 fishermen houses have been approved under National Scheme of Welfare of Fishermen.

To focus on Beel fisheries (wetland fisheries) is on the agenda of the government. Government has initiated stakeholder consultation and conference of stakeholders was held in Guwahati, Assam on 27th August 2014.

Government has received the Report of Expert Committee constituted for comprehensive review of the Deep Sea Fishing Policy and Guidelines, 2014 and a comprehensive review of the Marine policy has been initiated during the period of these four months.

6013 fishermen have been trained during these four months under various training programmes of the Ministry.

2700 traditional boats in the coastal states will be motorized for which an assistance of Rs.400.00 lakhs has been released and 7 construction fishing harbours has been supported with the release of Rs.1500 lakh.

The Government has planned for providing assistance of Rs 157 Crores for construction of new hatcheries, ponds, cages, open sea cages, cold water fisheries, etc. under the National Mission of protein supplement and RKVY”.

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