Despite economic liberalisation at the beginning of the nineties, agriculture sector was left out. The Government therefore had realised that pro farmer’s reforms were essential to uplift the sector i.e. polices to see that the sector goes from strength to strength.
The major highlights of the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmer Welfare during the year 2020 are as follows:
Unprecedented Enhancement in Budget Allocation
- In the year 2020-21, the Budget allocation has been increased by more than 6 times to Rs. 1,34,399.77 crore. The Budget allocation for Department of Agriculture in the year 2013-14 was only Rs. 21933.50 crore.
Record foodgrains production
- The foodgrains production has increased from 251.54 million tonnes in 2015-16 to 296.65 million tonnes in 2019-20 which is the highest ever foodgrains production.
- As per third advanced estimates, horticulture production during 2019-20 is 319.57 MMT which is the highest ever for Indian horticulture.
Determination of MSP at one-and-a half times the cost of production
- Government has increased the MSPs for all mandated Kharif, Rabi and other commercial crops with a return of at least 50 per cent over all India weighted average cost of production from the agricultural year 2018-19.
- MSP for Paddy has increased to Rs. 1868 per quintal in 2020-21 from Rs. 1310 per quintal in 2013-14 marking an increase of 43%.
- MSP for Wheat increased from Rs. 1400 per quintal in 2013-14 to Rs. 1975 per quintal in 2020-21.
Increase in procurement from farmers
- MSP payment to farmers for paddy has increased by 2.4 times during the last five years in comparison to the period from 2009-10 to 2013-14. MSP payment of Rs 4.95 lakhs Crore has been made as against Rs 2.06 lakhs Crore of the previous 5 years
- MSP payment to farmers for wheat has increased by 1.77 times during last five years in comparison to the period from 2009-10 to 2013-14. MSP payment of Rs 2.97 lakhs Crore has been made as against Rs 1.68 lakhs Crore of the previous 5 years.
- MSP payment to farmers for pulses has increased by 75 times during the last five years in comparison to the period from 2009-10 to 2013-14. MSP Payment of Rs 49,000 Crore has been made as against Rs 645 Crore of the previous 5 years.
- MSP payment to farmers for oilseeds and copra has increased by 10 times during the last five years in comparison to the period from 2009-10 to 2013-14. MSP Payment of Rs 25,000 Crore has been made as against Rs 2,460 Crore of the previous 5 years.
- Paddy procurement for kharif 2020-21 has progressed smoothly and purchase of 356.18 lakh MT of paddy up to 8.12.2020 against 295.79 lakh MT of corresponding date of last year, showing increase of over 20%.
- Punjab alone has purchased 202.77 lakh MT as on 30.11.2020 which is 56.93% of the total procurement.
Income support to farmers through PM KISAN
- Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) was introduced by the central government in February 2019 under which Rs. 6,000 per year is transferred to the beneficiary farmer’s account per year in three instalments.
- Since the inception of the Scheme, more than 1,10,000 crore rupees have been released so far and 10.59 crore farmer families have been benefitted.
Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)
- Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) has completed 4 years of its implementation covering over 23 crore farmer applications and benefitting over 7.2 Crore applicants. During this period nearly ₹17,450 crores were paid by farmers as their share of premium against which claims of over ₹87,000 Crores have been paid to them. This means that for every 100 rupees of premium paid by farmers, they have received ₹532 as claims.
Institutional credit for agriculture sector
- Increase from Rs. 7.3 lakh crore in 2013-14 to Rs. 13.73 lakh crore in 2019-20 with a target to reach Rs. 15 lakh Crore in 2020-21.
- Rs 2 lakh crore concessional credit boost to 2.5 crore farmers through Kisan Credit Cards is envisaged.
- A special drive has been undertaken since February 2020 to provide concessional credit to PM-KISAN beneficiaries through Kisan Credit Cards. 146.46 KCC applications sanctioned and Rs. 1,57,815 crore loan sanctioned as part of the drive.
- Benefits of Interest Subvention have been extended to farmers for meeting short term working capital needs in allied activities like Animal Husbandry and Fisheries.
Providing Soil Health Cards to farmers
- A new Soil Health Card Scheme was introduced in the year 2014-15 to optimize usage of nutrients.
- Soil health cards have been issued free of cost to 10.74 crore farmers in first cycle, i.e., 2015-16 to 2016-17 and 11.75 crore farmers in second cycle i.e. 2017-18 to 2018-19 under a nationwide programme.
Promotion of organic farming in the country
- Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana was initiated in 2015-16 to promote organic farming in the country.
- 30,934 clusters benefitted.
- An area of 6.19 lakh ha has been covered and 15.47 lakh farmers have been benefitted.
- 3.5 lakh farmers are registered on to the dedicated web portal- www.Jaivikkheti.in to market their produce.
- Mission Organic Value Chain Development in North East Region (MOVCDNER) has been launched.
- 169 Farmer Producer Companies have been formed comprising of 83,096 farmers and 79,445 ha area.
- Export of ginger, turmeric, chillies, processed pineapple etc, to USA, UK, France, Dubai, Swaziland has been firmed up. Contract farming of black Thai ginger, medicinal plants has been initiated
Neem Coating of Urea
- Neem Coated Urea introduced since 2015-16 for reduced use of chemicals, improved soil health, overall increase in crop yields and reduction in the use of urea for non- agricultural purposes.
Agri Infrastructure Fund
Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF) was launched on 9th August 2020. The aim of the fund is to provide medium to long term debt financing for investment in viable projects for post-harvest management Infrastructure and community farming assets through interest subvention and financial support. The scheme shall be in effect for 10 years i.e. from FY 2020 to FY 2029.
National Bee and Honey Mission
- NBHM has been launched in 2020 as part of the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. Rs.500 crore for the period 2020-2021 to 2022-2023 has been allocated for the sector. Projects worth Rs. 100 crore is targeted for December 2020.
Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana
- Per Drop more Crops component of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY – PDMC) aims to increase water use efficiency at the farm level through precision micro irrigation technologies i.e. drip and sprinkler irrigation systems. Additional 50.1 lakh hectare area has been covered under micro irrigation from the year 2015-16 till date in the country. An amount of Rs. 13309 crores as central assistance has been provided to states under PMKSY since 2015-16.
Micro Irrigation Fund
- A Micro Irrigation Fund of Rs 5,000 crore has been placed with NABARD. The objective of the fund is to facilitate the States in mobilising resources to increase the coverage under micro irrigation through special and innovation projects.
- The Micro Irrigation Fund (MIF) and the Steering Committee of NABARD have approved projects worth Rs 3805.67 crore for covering 12.53 lakh hectares.
Agricultural mechanisation is extremely vital to modernise agriculture and reduce drudgery of farming operations. The government is making several interventions in this regard. During the period from 2014-15 to 2020-21 an amount of Rs.3606.72 crores have been allocated for agricultural mechanisation. Out of these, 11,62,437 numbers of machines and equipments have been provided to farmers on subsidy, 10,209 custom hiring centres, 255 high-tech hubs and 7,828 farm machinery banks have been established.
Changes in Disaster Relief Standards
- Major changes were made in disaster relief standards such as the assistance amount of all categories was increased by one and a half times.
- Where earlier compensation was payable only on crop loss of more than 50%, Now compensation is payable even if the loss is 33% only.
- The amount received by the kin of the victims of natural disasters has been increased from Rs.1.5 lakh to Rs.4 lakh.
- Assistance in all matters of admissibility has been increased from one hectare to two hectares.
- In 18 states and 03 UTs, 1000 markets have been integrated with the E-NAM Platform.
- 1.68 crore farmers are registered on the platform as well as 1.52 lakh traders. A total volume of 3.94 crore metric tonnes has been traded on the platform for a total value of Rs. 1.15 lakh crore.
- Farmer Product Organizations (FPO) were integrated with E-NAM Platform and trade started through the Platform.