Ministry of Agriculture,The geographical diversity of India supports a variety of crops grown in different parts of the nation. All these crops have a distinct identity of their own with variations in their input costs, farming techniques and profits they generate for their growers. Keeping all these facts in view, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has chalked out an exhaustive action plan for the sustainable development of the whole agriculture arena of the country. Effort has been taken to consult all the stakeholders of agriculture, ie. Farming community, scientists, policy makers and public representatives in the course of the formation of these plans. The far sighted and future oriented thinking and guidance of our honourable Prime Minister has been at the foundation of these plans. He has a definitive view that our farmers must be enabled to feed the whole country and the world and also a strong determination to make agriculture viable and profitable for the farmers. To keep the welfare of farmers as the prime motive, my Government has changed the name of Ministry ‘Ministry of Agriculture’ to ‘Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare’. As a result, main emphasis of Government of India policy formulation on Agriculture has shifted from production and productivity to farmer welfare centric.
One of the major worry of the farmer is the loss of crop due to natural disasters, such as hail, drought, and floods, etc. To overcome this allay of farmers, my Government has approved the ‘Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)’ - a path breaking scheme for farmers’ welfare. Under this scheme there be a uniform premium of only 2% to be paid by farmers for all Kharif crops and 1.5% for all Rabi crops. In case of annual commercial and horticultural crops, the premium to be paid by farmers will be only 5%. The premium rates to be paid by farmers are very low and balance premium will be paid by the Government to provide full insured amount to the farmers against crop loss on account of natural calamities. There will be no upper limit on Government subsidy. Even if balance premium is 90%, it will be borne by the Government. Also, farmers will get claim against full sum insured without any reduction under this scheme. The use of technology will be encouraged to a great extent to reduce the delays in claim payment to farmers. The new Scheme is in line with One Nation – One Scheme theme. It incorporates the best features of all previous schemes and at the same time, all previous shortcomings/weaknesses have been removed. I hope with this scheme, my farmer brothers and sister will be able to grow their crop without any worry for the natural calamities.
An increased profit for the farmers requires decreasing costs of inputs and an improved price for their produces. To achieve this goal, the all inclusive action plan of the Ministry of Agriculture majorly emphasizes upon various steps taken to reduce the input costs of farming. The much progressive plan of providing Soil Health Card to each and every farmer is the first and most essential step taken towards this direction, after which farmers would be able to use soil nutrients as per the specific requirements of their fields and refrain.from excessive utilization of fertilizers. This will result in reduced input costs along with a much healthy soil and a clean environment as well. The country is still facing the consequences of the careless and excessive usage of fertilizers during and after the Green Revolution. The imbalanced application of fertilizers in the quest of increasing productivity has given rise to many deformities in the soil of our country. Thus taking lesson from this, we have to make sure to not to commit any such mistakes during the much required second Green Revolution. Our Prime Minister reaffirms his conviction that all care must be taken to protect our environment and soil in the run up development. This intention clearly shows in allocating Rs. 300 crores to promote traditional farming, under which the centre is insisting upon organic farming for the first time.
The other biggest challenge in the path of agriculture development is the lack of proper irrigation facilities in our country. In last few years significant work has been done in this regard in the states of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, which has benefitted the farmers of these states. With the aim of extending irrigation facilities to every field of the country ‘Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY)’ has been formulated with the vision of extending the coverage of irrigation ‘Har Khet ko pani’ and improving water use efficiency ‘More crop per drop' in a focused manner with end to end solution on source creation, distribution, management, field application and extension activities. PMKSY has been approved for implementation across the country with an outlay of Rs. 50,000 crore in five years. For 2015-16, an outlay of Rs.5300 crore has been made.
Next important aspect of agriculture development is the improved profitability for the farmers and better connection and coordination between producers and consumers, the absence of which compels the farmers to sell their produces to the middlemen. To achieve this objective, the scheme of a ‘National Agriculture Market (NAM)’ is being implemented through Agri-Tech Infrastructure Fund (ATIF). The scheme envisages implementation of the National Agriculture Market (NAM) by setting up of an appropriate common e-market platform that would be deployable in selected 585 regulated wholesale markets in States/UTs desirous of joining the e-platform. These were very sought after demands of the agriculture sector of the nation, which have been addressed in the very first year of the working of the present government.
My Government has increased the compensation to the farmers affected by the calamities 1.5 times. Previously, only the farmers whose crop was damaged more than 50% due to calamities, were getting the compensation. Now, the farmers whose crops has been damaged by 33% will also get the compensation. During the time of previous Government, the grains which were broken or of low quality or damaged due to heavy rain were not procured and were paid low price. Now, my government has taken a decision not reduce the price of such grains and to pay full support price.
My Ministry has approved the Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF) as a Central Sector Scheme, with a corpus of Rs.500 crores, to support market interventions for price control of perishable agri-horticultural commodities. PSF is being used to advance interest free loan to State Governments and Central agencies to support their working capital and other expenses on procurement and distribution interventions for such commodities.
Apart from these, a scheme named ‘CHAMAN’ has been initiated to promote the farming of horticulture crops after carrying out a coordinated estimation and management of horticulture in the country with the help of geo-informatics.
Keeping tab over the extensive structure and present requirements of agriculture, a scheme named ‘Rashtriya Gokul Mission’ has been initiated to upgrade and refine the native breeds of farm animals. Likewise ‘Neeli Kranti Mission’ has been started for the benefit of fish growers.
Work has been kick started in the first year itself towards empowering and upgrading the elderly population residing in villagers, which is a very important task. Government of India has launched a pension scheme for all citizens by the name of ‘Atal Pension Scheme’. This scheme provides great avenues for farmers as well. Those who have opened accounts under the ‘Jan Dhan Yojna’ can be benefitted under this pension scheme.
Our new central government aspires to strengthen and encourage education and research in the field of agriculture in keeping with its line of functioning, where agriculture remains the top priority. To promote agriculture education in every part of the country, we have allotted a budget of Rs 200 crores for the establishment of two new agriculture universities in Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan and two new horticulture universities in Telangana and Haryana. Apart from this, the north eastern states get a budget allocation of Rs 788.33 crores in order to establish 6 new agriculture colleges under the Central Agriculture University of Imphal and to open a new Central Agriculture University in Meghalya. A budget of Rs 467 crores has been allocated for the establishment of 4 new agriculture colleges in Jhansi and Datiya districts of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh respectively for the further expansion and reinforcement of Rani Laxmibai Central Agriculture University of Jhansi.
We have crossed another milestone in the mission of agriculture education and research with the declaration and subsequent signing of MOU with the Bihar state government regarding one of the oldest educational institutions of India- Rajendra Agriculture University, Pusa, Bihar. Following the widespread demand of agriculture sympathizers and general public, the university at pusa has been given the status of the central university. Just after the inception of Modi government at the centre, foundation stone had been laid for the National Institute of Bio Technology at Ranchi, Jharkhand to promote technological research in the field of agri-bio technology.
To give more strength and credibility to the research work, we have made provisions to establish two new centres of National Agriculture Research Institutes- one each in Assam and Jhakhand. Along with this, the network of nationwide Krishi Vigyan Kendra is being expanded and strengthened to realize the concept of ‘Lab to Land’. Work is in progress to increase the number of the current 637 KVKs in action to 641 at the end of the first year and 751 in the years to come. In this way the guidelines provided by our honourable Prime Minister to uphold the priority of agriculture education, research and investigation has been followed in word and action.
Another scheme is going to be launched by the name of ‘Mera Gaon Mera Gaurav’ to create and spread technological awareness amongst the farmers. For this purpose, five thousand groups of four scientists each will be visiting twenty five thousand villages in the year during their holidays or vacations. Each year twenty five thousand villages will be added to this list through this scheme. A scheme by the name of ‘Krishi Daak Sewa’ has also been launched to provide the farmers in the interior villages with the better and high yielding seeds.
Attracting and retaining the interest of youth in agriculture activities is a massive challenge. This is an essential aspect of agriculture development in the country, over which a scheme is being launched by the name of ‘ARYA’ (Attracting & Retaining Youth in Agriculture).
Friends, while reviewing and assessing the policies and action plans of the central government, you will find that our policies are based upon the concept of sustainable development. The welfare and interests of the whole farming community including the elderly, women and youth are the centre point of concern and many schemes are being introduced to address all of these. This clearly reflects the all inclusive mindset of our Prime Minister, which can be expressed in terms - ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’.
It is evident that the policies and schemes of our government will strengthen our future as well as the present. It is my ardent hope that all the initiatives taken by our government will benefit all my fellow countrymen. Your welfare is our mission. “Jai Jawaan, Jai Kisaan, Jai Vigyaan” .
One of the major worry of the farmer is the crop damage due to natural calamities, dought etc. To overcome this, My Government has approved the ‘Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana’ - a path breaking scheme for farmers’ welfare. The new Scheme is in line with One Nation – One Scheme theme. It incorporates the best features of all previous schemes and at the same time, all previous shortcomings/weaknesses have been removed. The highlights of this scheme are:
i) There will be a uniform premium of only 2% to be paid by farmers for all Kharif crops and 1.5% for all Rabi crops. In case of annual commercial and horticultural crops, the premium to be paid by farmers will be only 5%. The premium rates to be paid by farmers are very low and balance premium will be paid by the Government to provide full insured amount to the farmers against crop loss on account of natural calamities.
ii) There is no upper limit on Government subsidy. Even if balance premium is 90%, it will be borne by the Government.
iii) Earlier, there was a provision of capping the premium rate which resulted in low claims being paid to farmers. This capping was done to limit Government outgo on the premium subsidy. This capping has now been removed and farmers will get claim against full sum insured without any reduction.
iv) The use of technology will be encouraged to a great extent. Smart phones will be used to capture and upload data of crop cutting to reduce the delays in claim payment to farmers. Remote sensing will be used to reduce the number of crop cutting experiments.
I am of a very clear opinion that farmers and farming are the backbones of the economy of our nation and for the betterment of both, the infrastructural development and reforms are a must. The fact cannot be denied that the infrastructural redressal takes some time initially, but the outcome is long lasting and permanent.
Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana
Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana