Promotion of Soil Test Based Balanced and Judicious Use of Chemical Fertilizers, Bio-Fertilizers and Locally Available Organic Manures



Promotion of Soil Test Based Balanced and Judicious Use of Chemical Fertilizers, Bio-Fertilizers and Locally Available Organic Manures 
The Government is promoting soil test based balanced and judicious use of chemical fertilizers, bio-fertilizers and locally available organic manures like Farm Yard Manure, compost, Vermi Compost and Green manure to maintain soil health and its productivity. 


‘Soil Health Card’ (SHC) scheme has been launched in February 2015 to assist State Governments to evaluate fertility in all 14 crore farm holdings and issue soil health cards to farmers regularly in a cycle of 2 years. Soil health cards provide information to farmers on nutrients status of their soil along with recommendations on appropriate dosage of nutrients to be applied for improving soil health and its fertility.

In order to reduce use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers in the country, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is recommending Integrated Pest Management (through a combination of agronomic, chemical and biological methods) and Integrated Nutrient Management (INM) envisaging conjunctive use of both inorganic and organic sources of nutrients. Besides, split application and placement of fertilizers, use of slow releasing N-fertilizers and nitrification inhibitors, inclusion of legumes in cropping system, adoption of Resource Conservation Technologies (RCTs) and fertigation are also being advocated. ICAR also imparts training, organizes Front Line Field Demonstrations to educate farmers on all these aspect.

Under the scheme ‘Strengthening and Modernisation of Pest Management Approach in India’ farmers are educated to adopt Integrated Pest Management (IPM) as cardinal principle and main plank of plant protection strategy in overall crop production programme. Under the ambit of (IPM) programme, the Government of India has established 31 Central IPM Centres which conduct Farmers Field Schools (FFSs) to educate farmers about mechanical, cultural and biological control measures including use of biopesticides against different crop pests and weeds and judicious use of chemical pesticides as a measure of last resort.

The Insecticides Act 1968 and the Rules framed there under mandate that pesticides are registered for use in agriculture in India only after a detailed evaluation of safety. Once registered, a pesticide is legally obligated to display and carry approved labels and leaflets containing critical information on safe use of pesticides for the benefit of farmers & extension functionaries etc. Application of pesticides in accordance with instructions on the label and leaflets is not likely to cause any harm to human health.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Sh. Mohanbhai Kalyanjibhai Kundaria in Rajya Sabha today. 

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Unified National Market for Agriculture Commodities 
The Government has approved a scheme for setting up of National Agriculture Market (NAM) through Agri-Tech Infrastructure Fund (ATIF) on 01.07.2015 with a budget of Rs.200 crore and to be implemented during 2015-16 to 2017-18.

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 regulated wholesale markets in States/UTs desirous of joining the e-platform. Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) will implement the national e-platform in 585 selected regulated markets and will cover 400 mandis in 2016-17 and 185 mandis in 2017-18. Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW) will meet expenses on software and its customization for the States and provide it free of cost to the States and Union Territories (UTs). DAC&FW will also give grant as one time fixed cost subject to the ceiling of Rs.30.00 lakhs per Mandi (other than to the private mandis) for related equipment / infrastructure in 585 regulated mandis, for installation of the e-market platform. State Governments will propose the regulated markets which are to be integrated with NAM .

Integration of regulated markets with NAM requires certain pre-requisites in the State Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Acts, namely- (i) a single license to be valid across the State, (ii) single point levy of market fee and (iii) provision for electronic auction as a mode for price discovery. Only those States/UTs that have provided for these three pre-requisites will be eligible for assistance under the scheme.

Presently the scheme envisages integration of only 585 regulated markets with NAM platform. The schedule for implementation is as follows:-

i. Launch of NAM platform on pilot basis: 14th April 2016.

ii. Integration of 200 regulated markets: By September, 2016.

iii. Integration of 200 regulated markets: By March, 2017.

iv. Integration of 185 regulated markets: By March 2018

This information was given by the Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Sh. Mohanbhai Kalyanjibhai Kundaria in Rajya Sabha today. 

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Subsidy for Purchasing Combine Harvester 
Under the Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization being implemented by the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare, subsidy @ 40% of the project cost limited to a maximum of Rs. 24 lakhs, whichever is less, is extended to the rural entrepreneurs, progressive farmer and self help groups for establishment of farm machinery banks for custom hiring comprising of various agricultural machinery & equipment including combine harvester.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Sh. Mohanbhai Kalyanjibhai Kundaria in Rajya Sabha today. 

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Reforms in Agricultural Marketing 
To address the demands for marketing of increased and diversified agricultural marketable surplus there is a need to strengthen the network of regulated markets and augment it with alternative marketing channels.  As per the recommendation of the National Farmers Commission (2004), that a regulated market should be available to farmers within a radius of 5 Km (corresponding market area of about 80 square km.). However, presently all-India average area served by a regulated market is 487.40 square km. The number of commodity specific markets with requisite infrastructure are also limited.
Agriculture Marketing is governed by the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Acts, which are administered by respective State Governments. Some State Governments have ushered reforms in their marketing sector to meet the challenges. 
            In order to keep pace with the changing production pattern and growing marketable surplus, the Government advocates development of adequate number of markets equipped with modern infrastructure, with increased private sector participation and development of other marketing channels like direct marketing and contract farming etc. The Government is actively pursuing  with States to amend their marketing laws to provide suitable legal framework and policy atmosphere to usher such developments.  The reform agenda of the Government focuses on 7 vital areas for reforms. State-wise progress is given below.
Further, as a part of reforms, Government announced a scheme for setting up of  National Agriculture Market (NAM).   Under NAM, a common e-market platform is to be deployed for on-line trading across the States/ Country.   It is expected that NAM would address the marketing constraints of fragmentation, lack of transparency in bidding, poor price discovery, information asymmetry between sellers and buyers and provide farmers with a larger share of the consumer rupee.  
Status of  Marketing  Reforms with reference to 7 key areas vis-a-vis Model APMC Act as  updated on 25/02/2016.

Sl. No.
Area of Reforms
States adopted the suggested area of marketing  reforms

1.
Establishment of private market yards/ private markets managed by a person other than a market committee.
Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam,  Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka,  Maharashtra,  Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa (excluding for paddy / rice), Rajasthan,  Sikkim,  Telangana, Tripura, Punjab, UT of Chandigarh, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, West Bengal .
2.
Establishment of  direct purchase of agricultural produce  from agriculturist  (Direct Purchasing from producer)
 Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Goa, Haryana (for specified crop through establishment of Collection Centres) Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh,    Maharashtra, Mizoram, Nagaland, Rajasthan,  Sikkim,  Telangana, Tripura, Punjab (only in Rule ), UT of Chandigarh (only in Rule ),Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and West Bengal . 
U.P. (Only for bulk purchase under  executive order issued  time to time)
3.
To promote and permit  e-trading,
 Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Haryana, H.P., Karnataka, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra (has granted license to Commodity Exchanges registered under FMC), Mizoram,  Telangana, Uttarakhnad .
4.
Establishment of  farmers/ consumers  market managed by a person other than a market committee (Direct sale by the producer)
Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka,    Maharashtra, Mizoram, Nagaland, Rajasthan,  Sikkim, Tripura,  Jharkhand,  Uttarakhand and West Bengal.
5.
Contract Farming Sponsor shall register himself with the Marketing Committee or with a prescribed officer in such a manner as may be prescribed.
Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka,  Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Punjab (separate Act), Rajasthan,   Sikkim, Telangana, Tripura,  Uttarakhand.
6.
Single point levy of market fee
Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan,  Gujarat ( for processor, grader, packer, value addition and exporter), Goa,  Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Nagaland, Jharkhand, Sikkim, UT of Chandigarh, Punjab, Mizoram,  Telangana, Uttar Pradesh  and Uttarakhand.
7
.
Single registration/ license  for trade/  transaction in more than one market
 Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka (in Rules only), Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh  Madhya Pradesh,   Maharashtra, Mizoram Nagaland,  Telangana ((in Rules only), Sikkim .


    
This information was given by the Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Sh. Mohanbhai Kalyanjibhai Kundaria in Rajya Sabha today. 

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Per Capita, Per Day Net Availability of Pulses 
The per capita, per day net availability of pulses from 2012 to 2014 (latest available) are as under:
Year
Per Capita Net Availability of pulses (Gram per day)
2012
41.7
2013
43.3
2014(P)
47.2
                            (P): Provisional
State-wise details of per capita, per day availability of pulses are not compiled by Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare.

             In order to increase production of pulses in the country, Government of India has been implementing through State Governments, the National Food Security Mission (NFSM)-Pulses since 2007-08. Presently, around 50% of the funds under the umbrella scheme of NFSM are allocated for promoting cultivation of pulses. Since 2014-15, NFSM-Pulses is being implemented in 622 districts of 27 States including all districts of North-Eastern and hill States.  

            Further, since 2010-11 the Scheme “Bringing Green Revolution in Eastern India (BGREI)” is being implemented in Eastern States of Assam, Bihar, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Eastern Uttar Pradesh. To give a boost to their area and production, pulses have also been included under BGREI from 2015-16 as part of demonstrations under cropping systems based approach to target rice fallow areas. 
            In order to increase productivity of pulses, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has undertaken research programmes in different pulses at commodity based research institutes. The research programmes include basic and strategic research related to crop improvement and production technologies in different pulse crops. For developing location-specific varieties/hybrids and suitable production technologies of pulses to improve their production and quality, the research findings are validated in relevant agro-ecologies by  crop-specific All India Coordinated Research Projects (AICRPs), mostly situated in the State Agricultural Universities (SAUs).
            To encourage farmers to grow more pulses by ensuring remunerative prices, the Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) of pulses have also been increased over the years. Further, for 2015-16, over and above MSPs, the Government has announced a bonus of Rs.200/- per quintal for kharif pulses and Rs.75/- per quintal for rabi pulses.
This information was given by the Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Sh. Mohanbhai Kalyanjibhai Kundaria in Rajya Sabha today. 

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Buffer Stock of Pulses 
It has been decided to create a buffer stock of pulses of 1.5 lakh tonnes to control fluctuation of prices of pulses.  Government has engaged National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (NAFED), Small Farmers Agri-business Consortium (SFAC) and Food Corporation of India (FCI) to procure pulses for buffer stock.  The progress of procurement of pulses by these agencies so far is as under:-

(Quantity in quintals)
FCI
NAFED
SFAC
Total

2,01,046.36

2,17,603.25

83,809.51

5,02,459.12


This information was given by the Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Sh. Mohanbhai Kalyanjibhai Kundaria in Rajya Sabha today. 
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Horticulture Production Outpacing Production of Foodgrains 
Despite the deficit monsoon, unseasonal rains and hailstorm in the major part of the country, the production of horticulture crops have outpaced the production of food grains since 2012-13 as may be seen in the table below:

Year
Production (In Million Tonnes)

Total Horticulture*
Total Foodgrains**

2012-13
268.85
257.13

2013-14
277.35
265.04

2014-15
280.99
252.02

Source:  * Horticulture Statistics Division, DAC&FW
** Directorate of Economics and Statistics
There has been an increase of 1.3% in horticulture production and reduction of 4.9% in foodgrain production in 2014-15 as compared to 2013-14.
This information was given by the Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Sh. Mohanbhai Kalyanjibhai Kundaria in Rajya Sabha today. 
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Extending Support to Farmers in Case of Crop Failure 
Farmers are indebted to both institutional and non-institutional sources of credit. However, borrowing from non-institutional sources is the major reason for debt-related farmers’ distress which is one of the reported reasons for farmers’ suicide in the country. In order to reduce the dependence of farmers on private money lenders for meeting their credit needs and for providing relief to the indebted farmers, Government has already taken several measures which include the following:

Financial Institutions (Commercial Banks, Cooperative Banks and Regional Rural Banks) have been directed to provide short term crop loans and medium/ long term loan to farmers for various agricultural activities. Short term crop loan of upto Rs.3.00 lakh is provided to farmers at an interest rate of 7% per annum. Farmers, who promptly repay their crop loans as per the repayment schedule fixed by the banks, get the benefit of interest subvention of 3%. Thus, the effective interest rate for the short term crop loan is 4% per annum.

The limit of collateral free farm loan has been increased from Rs.50000 to Rs.100000.

Kisan Credit Card (KCC) Scheme, which enables the farmers to purchase agricultural inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, etc. and to draw cash to satisfy their consumption needs. The KCC Scheme has since been simplified and converted into ATM enabled debit card (Rupay KCC- RKCC).

Reserve Bank of India has allowed State Level Bankers’ Committee/ District Level Consultative Committees/ Banks to take a view on rescheduling of loans if the crop loss is 33% or more. Banks have been advised to allow maximum period of repayment of upto 2 years (including the moratorium period of 1 year) if the crop loss is between 33% and 50%. If the crop loss is 50% or more, the restructured period for repayment is extended to a maximum of 5 years (including the moratorium period of 1 year).

To provide financial support to the farmers in the event of failure of crops as a result of natural calamities, Government is implementing crop insurance schemes since 1985. At present, two Crop Insurance Schemes namely, National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS) and National Crop Insurance Schemes (NCIP) with three component schemes namely, Modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (MNAIS), Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS) & Coconut Palm Insurance Scheme (CPIS) are under implementation in the country.

Under the crop insurance schemes, claims are paid to the insured farmers under any of the notified crop insurance scheme in the area notified by the State Government. Admissible claims are worked out and paid as per the provisions of the respective schemes. As an incentive to the farmers, premium subsidy @ 10% to small and marginal farmers under NAIS, upto 75% under MNAIS, upto 50% under WBCIS and upto 75% under CPIS is provided to all participating farmers and the financial liabilities under the aforesaid schemes are equally shared by the Central Government and the concerned State Government.

These crop insurance schemes have recently been reviewed in consultation with various stakeholders including States/ UTs and a new scheme namely, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) has been approved for implementation from Kharif 2016 season along with pilot Unified Package Insurance Scheme (UPIS) and the restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS). Under the PMFBY, a uniform maximum premium of only 2% will be paid by farmers for all Kharif crops and 1.5% for all Rabi crops. In case of annual commercial and horticultural crops, the maximum 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 is no upper limit on Government subsidy. 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. The use of technology will be encouraged to a great extent. Smart phones will be used to capture and upload data of crop cutting experiments to reduce the delays in claim payment to farmers. Remote sensing will be used to rationalize the number of crop cutting experiments.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Sh. Mohanbhai Kalyanjibhai Kundaria in Rajya Sabha today. 

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Assessment of Demand and Supply of Agricultural Produces 
The Working Group on Crop Husbandry Demand and Supply Projections, Agricultural Inputs and Agricultural Statistics constituted as a part of the formulation of the Twelfth Five Year Plan (2012-17) projected demand and supply for different agricultural crops till 2016-17.
            The Working Group estimated demand and supply on the basis of various approaches of supply and demand projection methods. The detailed demand projections and actual production in recent years is given in table below. The relevant information on various aspects, such as prices, production, supply etc., of agricultural commodities is extensively disseminated to farmers through agricultural extension  services,  Kisan  Call Centres, farmers   portal   and  m-Kisan   portal   under National e-Governance Plan in Agriculture (NeGP-A) to help in their farming/cropping decision which are profitable to them.
            Government has taken a number of initiatives to improve quality of statistical inputs used for demand and supply projections through improved survey methodology on Household Consumer Expenditure Surveys of National Sample Survey Office as well as use of modern techniques/ technologies such as remote-sensing, etc., in Crop Cutting Experiments for assessment of yield/production, besides thorough scrutiny of data on production reported by State Governments. 
Projected Demand and Supply of Food Commodities during 12th Plan                                                                                                                                                                                
(Million Tonnes)
Crop/Group of Crops
Projected Demand
Projected Supply

Actual Production

Terminal Year 12th Plan
2016-17
Terminal Year 12th Plan 2016-17

2011-12


2012-13


2013-14

2014-15


2015-16*
 Rice
110
98-106
105.30
105.24
106.65
105.48
103.61
Wheat
89
93-104
94.88
93.51
95.85
86.53
93.82
Coarse Cereals

36

42-48

42.01

40.04

43.29

42.86

38.40
Total
Cereals

235

240-251

242.20

238.79

235.79

234.87

235.83
Pulses
22
18-21
17.09
18.34
19.25
17.15
17.33
Foodgrains
257
258-272
259.29
257.13
265.04
252.02
253.16
Oilseeds
59
33-41
29.80
30.94
32.74
27.51
26.34
Sugarcane
279
365-411
361.04
341.2
352.14
362.33
346.38
Vegetables
161
NA
156.33
162.19
162.90
169.48
168.51**
Fruits
97
NA
76.42
81.29
88.97
86.60
89.02**

             *2nd Advance Estimates        
             ** 1st Estimates
This information was given by the Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Sh. Mohanbhai Kalyanjibhai Kundaria in Rajya Sabha today. 

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Schemes for Agro Startups 

Government of India is implementing schemes for Start-ups, including Agro Start-ups through Schemes such as ‘Start-up India Scheme’ of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and ‘A Scheme for Promotion of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Agro-Industry’ (ASPIRE) scheme under Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

This information was given by the Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Sh. Mohanbhai Kalyanjibhai Kundaria in Rajya Sabha today. 

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