Ministry of Agriculture reforms and its possible impact
PRADHAN MANTRI FASAL BIMA YOJANA: After through review of erstwhile scheme of Modified National Agriculture Insurance Scheme (MNAIS), the Government launched PMFBY in April, 2016. Under new scheme, farmers are charged uniform rate of premium of 1.5 % in Rabi, Which is the minimum rate till date. The scheme includes not only coverage of risks to standing crops, but also covers risk such as prevented sowing and post-harvest losses. Under this scheme, farm level assessment of losses due to localized calamities is being done for the first time and 25 % of the assessed claims are paid online immediately. Most importantly, capping has been removed and to maximize the compensation, now farmers will get full cost of cultivation against their losses. There is a lot of emphasis on the use of technology for insurance claims so that payment is not delayed.
It is pertinent to State here that in the year 2016-17, not only has the total sum insured increased to approximately twice that of 2015-16, but coverage of non-loanee farmers has also increase from 5 % in 2015-16 to 25 % in 2016-17, which shows the increasing acceptance of the scheme.
NATIONAL AGRICULTURE MANDI: Earlier. different states had different regulations for the mandis. After consultation with the states, rectification of three rules – recognition of e-trading, implementation mandi tariff on single window and single licence across the state – have been implemented to provide single mandi for trading to the farmers. Hon’ble prime Minister has inaugurated the web based online trade portal on the eve of Ambedkar anniversary on 14th April 2016 so as to provide readily available market to the farmers. Through this portal the farmers will enable themselves to dispose off their products in the mandis spread all over the country. By 8th June 2017 419 mandis of 13 states, 46 lakh farmers, 90,000 traders and 47,000 commission agents have been linked with e-NAM portal. Through which a transaction of 96 lakh MT products costing to Rs. 22,179 crore is carried out.
SOIL HEALTH CARD (SHC): Earlier to 2015-16 the soil health card were prepared in separate edition on small level by different State Governments. And for this purpose no amount was allocated separately. Keeping in view the importance of this subject time soil health card scheme was initiated for the first in which an unanimous soil specimen unification and trial methodology has been adopted. Through this scheme 12 soil health parameters are analysed so that the farmers might be aware accurately about the use of fertilizers and nutrients in their fields. Through this scheme there will not only be reduction in the cost of farming but also the identification of nutrients in the land and their importance will be established. There has been 8 to 10 % reduction in the consumption of the fertilisers during 2016-17 as compared to 2015-16. At the same time there has been a 10 to 12 % growth in the production.
AGROFORESTRY: The Sub-Mission on Agroforestry has been launched for the first time by the present government to augment tree planting activities, intercropping and Medh Par Ped. The scheme has been implemented in the states having liberalised transit regulations for transport of timber. This will not only help in reducing the effects of climate change, increase soil biodiversity, but it will also provide a source of income for farmers. Under this scheme, the work have started in the 8 states in the year 2016-17 and in the 5 states in 2017-18 after liberalised transit regulations. Other states are also being motivated to do so.
Rashtriya Gokul Mission: This scheme for the first time has been commenced for the conservation and promotion of domestic bovines in a scientific and consolidated way. Through this 35 projects have been approved in 27 states, under which 31 mother bull farm of high breeding (for genetic improvement), recording of cow’s milk productivity, training to 30,000 artificial semen technicians conducive for 6 crore artificial semen activity during this year as well as 14 gokul gram (Bovine Development Centres) for special conservation are being established. Apart from this 2 Kamdhenu Breeding Centres for special conservation of domestic species on national level are being set up in Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. This mission will help in the productivity of 30 crore bovines and buffaloes as well as 7 crore milk producing farmers.
NATIONAL BOVINE PRODUCTIVITY MISSION: National bovine productivity mission has been started in November 2016 for the enhancement of income of animal rearers, milk production and productivity. For the first time in the country, 8.8 million milch animals are being issued Nakul Swastha Patra and UID cards under the Pashudhan Sanjeevani scheme and are being provided comprehensive health treatment. With the aim of increasing the number of female bovines, advanced breeding techniques like Sex Sorted bovine Semen, 50 Embryo Transfer Techniques and In vitro Fertilization (IVF) Centers are being opened.
Assisted Reproductive Technique is being used to increase the availability of disease-free female bovines through sex-sorted semen technology and 50 embryo transfer technology labs are being established. Through National Bovine Genomic Centre, indigenous breeds will be made acceptable for increased milk production and productivity. The centre will play a crucial role in the identification of disease free High genetic merit bulls. In 2016, first ever e-Pashudhan Haat portal had been launched in order to facilitate the sale and purchase of high-quality breed / native livestock and availability of good quality semen doses. Till June 12, 2017, information about 15,831 live animals, 4.71 crore semen doses and 373 embryos has been uploaded on this portal. Through this transparent high-level cattle market has been established where sale and purchase of livestock and semen can be done without any middleman. So far, 3 crore semen doses and 100 livestock have been sold on the portal.
BLUE REVOLUTION: Blue Revolution has been concentrated on one point for all of its schemes related to the productivity of water resources, fisheries, inland fisheries in order to enhance the security of fish rearers, marine fisheries, mericulture and the development of the harbours for fishery farmers. Consequent upon there has been an increasement in fisheries upto 19.75% and number of the insured fishermen raised to 16%. It is mentionworthy here that government has enhance the amount to be given in saving cum relief component from Rs. 600 to Rs. 1500 per month. Thus the accommodation component amount for the fishermen has been enhanced from Rs. 75000 to Rs. 1.20 lakh and for North Eastern States Rs. 1.30 lakh.
STUDENT READY PROGRAMME IN AGRICULTUE EDUCATION: Earlier there were 4 year programmes for different streams in which there was less stress in skill development and only 6 months rural demonstrations. At present rural demonstration progamme has been extended for the whole one year resulting in the job provider degree holders instead of job seeking ones. Along with the students will enjoy beneficial production processes through industrial atmosphere which lead them to establish their own business in agricultural sector in the time to come.
AGRICULTURE EDUCATION IS TO BE DECLARED AS PROFESSIONAL DEGREE: Recently ICAR has declared agriculture, horticulture, fisheries and agro forestry stretched to 4 years span as profession degrees. These degrees enable the students for obtaining fellowship, admission in universities and different post graduation degrees abroad. They will impart priority on the allocation of dealership of not only agriculture chemicals, tools and equipments but also it will extend assistance for the processing, value addition, export oriented profession and seeking loans from the banks.
PERSONNEL INFORMATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM, DEPLOYMENT AND TRANSFER SYSTEM: Online computerized platforms have been prepared for both the above mentioned operations. Through them one can get an expeditious knowhow about the strength of the scientists, their existing status, deployment in specific unit as well as existing vacancies within no time. Through this platform we have got information about such 468 scientists whose deployment was not as per their sanctioned posts. The appropriate modifying measures have been taken in this respect. Apart from this there will be a complete check on the discrepancies and the transfer of the persons due to the lack of information about computerized deployment and transfer system.
PORTAL FOR E-GOVERNANCE: The following portals have been made through the use of information and communication technology which has carried out expeditious performance in a transparent way. The burning example of them are ERP system, KVK knowledge portal, Management system for post graduation and education, Educational and E-Learning module, E-Dialogue, Agriculture e-office and E-Agriculture Mandi.