Inflow of FDI in Agriculture Sector

Inflow of FDI in Agriculture Sector 
As per data on sector-wise Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows maintained by the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Government of India, during April 2000 to June 2015, FDI inflows in the agriculture services has been US $ 1763.57 Million (i.e. Rs.8747.4 crore) which is higher than the FDI inflows into sectors like textiles, mining and electronics. However, FDI inflows in the agriculture services during the above period has been lower as compared to computer software & hardware, telecommunications, automobiles etc. In agriculture machinery, FDI inflows during the above period has been US $ 418.65 million.

To attract more FDI in agriculture sector, 100% FDI has been allowed in coffee, rubber, cardamom, palm oil tree and olive oil tree plantations, besides tea plantation in which FDI has already been allowed.

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

Step taken by the Government for Welfare of Farmers 
The Department of Agriculture and Cooperation and the Ministry of Agriculture have been renamed as the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare respectively. With a view to focus on the issues of farmers welfare, the DAC&FW has created a separate Division called ‘Farmers Welfare’ under the charge of a senior officer. The Government believes, that farmers’ welfare will improve if there is increase in net income from the farms. With this end in view, the approach is to reduce cost of cultivation, enable higher yield per unit and realize remunerative prices. Some of the important new initiatives in this context are:

Soil Health Card (SHC) scheme by which the farmers can know the exact nutrient level available in their soils which will ensure judicious use of fertilizer application and save money. The balanced use of fertilizer will also enhance productivity and ensure higher returns to the farmers.

Similarly, Neem Coated Urea is being promoted to regulate use urea, enhance its availability to the crop and cut on cost. The entire quantity of domestically manufactured is now neem coated.

Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) is being implemented with a view to promoting organic farming in the country. This will improve soil health and organic matter content and increase net income of the farmer so as to realize premium prices.

The Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) is another innovative scheme to expand cultivated area with assured irrigation, reduce wastage of water and improve water use efficiency.

In order to promote reforms of the agricultural marketing sector and to provide a common electronic platform deployable in selected regulated markets across the country, national scheme called ‘National Agriculture Market’ (NAM) has been introduced.

The proposed new National Crop Insurance Scheme will protect the interest of farmers with a broader coverage towards crop losses and other such natural calamities. This is an intervention to cover the risks involved in farming.

The State Governments are primarily responsible for development of the agriculture sector. However, the Government of India supplements the efforts of the States through appropriate policy measures and budgetary support. Various programmes/ schemes/missions for the development of agriculture sector are being implemented in a decentralized manner with flexibility to State Governments to formulate and implement appropriate projects to suit their specific requirements. Some of the important schemes/programmes implemented as Centrally Sponsored Schemes are National Food Security Mission (NFSM); Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH); National Mission on Oilseeds & Oil Palm (NMOOP); National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA); National Mission on Agricultural Extension & Technology (NMAET); National Crop Insurance Programme (NCIP); Unified National Agriculture Markets; and Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY).

Other measures taken for the benefit of the farmers include enhancement in the Minimum Support Prices (MSP) to eliminate distress sale of agricultural produce by farmers, support to the farmers from time to time like debt waiver/relief, interest subvention on crop loans, revival package for strengthening Short Term Rural Cooperative Credit Structure, etc

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

Production of Vegetables with Lesser Cost 
The Indian Council of Agricultural Research has released a total number of 50 improved/hybrid/resistant varieties of vegetables like tomato, ladies finger, french beans, chillies, brinjal, amaranthus, palak, bottle gourd, bitter gourd, cabbage, capsicum, carrot, cauliflower, cucumber etc. suitable to hilly regions. The production costs are comparatively lower and they give better returns to the farmers.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India under the scheme Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture provides financial assistance for adopting modernized methods of production of vegetables. Various components of the scheme are production and distribution of improved varieties of vegetable seeds, area expansion under hybrid varieties of vegetables, protected cultivation of vegetables under controlled conditions, promotion of micro irrigation and fertigation, integrated nutrient, pest and disease management, good agricultural practices, human resource development, organic farming, horticulture mechanization etc. 

Sufficient Stock of Foodgrains under Central Pool 
Production and acreage of major crops in some States during 2014-15 and 2015-16 have been lower than the previous years on account of delayed/deficient rainfall during monsoon season and untimely rains/hailstorm during rabi season.

Despite decline in the pace of growth in agriculture sector due to loss of production and productivity of major crops on account of unfavourable rainfall and weather conditions etc. during 2014-15 and 2015-16, the decline in the production of rice and wheat in the country has not been significant. Further, there is sufficient stock of foodgrains under central pool to provide enough quantity for the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) and other Welfare Schemes and also for making foodgrains available in open market at affordable prices. As on 1st November, 2015 there is a stock of 112.92 lakh tonnes of rice as against the stocking norm of 102.50 lakh tones and 299.06 lakh tonnes of wheat as against the stocking norm of 205.20 lakh tonnes.

In order to incentivize the farmers to increase production of agriculture crops by ensuring remunerative prices for their produce, the Government of India announces every season the Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) of major agricultural commodities including oilseeds. While a regular mechanism for procurement of rice, wheat and coarse grains through Food Corporation of India (FCI) already exists, during Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2015-16 the Government of India has also designated National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED), Small Farmers’ Agri-Business Consortium (SFAC), National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation (NCCF), Food Corporation of India (FCI) and Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) as nodal agencies for procurement of pulses and oilseeds. Similarly, for rabi marketing season 2016-17 also, the FCI has been designated as the Central Nodal Agency for procurement of pulses and oilseeds. Further, to discourage import of edible oils in the country, the Government has also raised custom duty on crude edible oils and refined edible oils from 7.5% and 15% to 12.5% and 20% respectively with effective from 17th September, 2015.

In order to boost agricultural production to meet the demand of foodgrains and other crops in the country, the Government of India is implementing through State Governments, several Crop Development Schemes/ Programmes such as Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), National Food Security Mission (NFSM), National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP), Bringing Green Revolution in Eastern India (BGREI), National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) etc.

Under these Schemes/Programmes, funds are provided to States for implementation of State-specific agricultural strategies including incentives to farmers for use of quality seeds, Integrated Nutrient Management (INM), Integrated Pest Management (IPM), farm mechanization, etc. The States are also provided support for creation of agricultural infrastructure for optimal use of water and other natural resources.

To achieve higher productivity of agricultural crops, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is also conducting basic and strategic research relating to crop improvement, production and protection technologies suitable to different situations including development of location-specific varieties/hybrids and technologies. 

Government has Decided to Set up Buffer Stock of Pulses 
The Union Government has decided to set up buffer stock of pulses. Procurement of Tur and Urad for the buffer stock in the current Kharif marketing season by National Agriculture Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED), Small Farmers Agri-Business Consortium (SFAC) and Food Corporation of India (FCI) at prevailing market prices is being done with assistance from Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF). NAFED and SFAC have been directed to procure 30,000 MT of Tur and 10,000 MT of Urad at an estimated cost of Rs.350 crore, while Rs.50.0 crore have been released to FCI for undertaking the procurement. The procured stocks will first be allocated to States based on their demand. In case States do not lift either full or a part of the procured pulses, these pulses will be offered by Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA) to agencies like Kendriya Bhandar, Mother Dairy for sale through their outlets. Alternatively, these pulses may be sold in open market on National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX) or any other electronic platform in a transparent manner. The procured pulses will be disposed off within one year of end of procurement period to consumers

As a price stabilisation measure to control rising prices of pulses in 2015, it was decided to import pulses through Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation of India (MMTC) with assistance from the PSF. MMTC floated a tender for import of 5000 MT of Tur dal and received 4927 MT of Tur dal @ 1078 US$ per Metric Tonne (MT) and at a total cost of Rs.38.43 crore. The landed cost for the imported Tur dal worked out to Rs.77/kg. which was offered to the States at approximately Rs.69/kg.

While import was undertaken only as a short term price stabilisation measure, however, to safeguard the interest of farmers the Government, on the recommendations of Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs and on the recommendation of Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), announced Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for Kharif Crops of 2015-16 Season and keeping in view the huge deficit of pulses, the Cabinet made an exception and decided to give a bonus of Rs.200 per quintal for pulses over and above the recommendations of the CACP. This is expected to give a strong price signal to farmers to increase acreage and invest for increase in productivity of pulses. However, presently, the wholesale prices for pulses like Tur and Urad are much above the MSP.

The Union Government took a number of steps to meet the short supply of pulses including extension of “Zero import duty” on all pulses (except gram and lentils) without an end date. In case of gram and lentils "zero import duty" has been extended only upto 31st December, 2015. 

Cultivation of Pulses 
            Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) are conducting large number of Front Line Demonstrations (FLDs) on various crops including pulses.  During 2015-16, 37910 FLDs of rabi pulses such as lentil, green gram, chick pea, field pea, black gram, rajmash, french bean and pigeon pea are being conducted. KVKs are also providing information to farmers on cultivation of various crops including pulses by conducting training programmes and large number of extension activities.
             Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has provided an amount of Rs.11.99 crore on 100% basis to KVKs for conducting FLDs of rabi pulses during 2015-16. 
            The details of budget allocated to various Agricultural Technology Research Institutes (ATARIs) during 2015-16 is given in
ATARI-wise budget approved for Cluster Front Line Demonstrations of Rabi Pulses-2015-16
Sl. No.
Implementing Agency

(Rs. in Lakhs)
ATARI, Zone-I, Ludhiana
ATARI, Zone-II, Kolkata
ATARI, Zone-III, Umain, Meghalaya
ATARI, Zone-IV, Kanpur
ATARI, Zone-V, Hyderabad
ATARI, Zone-VI, Jodhpur
ATARI, Zone-VII, Jabalpur
ATARI, Zone-VIII, Bengaluru



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