|Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual introduction.
Body. Discuss major Initiatives taken by the government for enhancing productivity of agriculture and efficiency of agricultural markets. Suggest some measures for the same.
Conclusion. Way forward.
Agricultural efficiency is always a cause of concern in the country. According to the crop yield data of the government, India’s rice yield was 2191 kg/hectare, while the global average stood at 3026 kg/hectare and that of wheat is 2750 kg/hectare as against the world average yield of 3289 kg/hectare. The government has always made efforts in various ways to enhance agricultural productivity with the aim of doubling farmers’ income.
Major government Initiatives to enhance agricultural productivity and efficiency of agricultural markets:
- Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan (PMAASHA): PM-AASHA was launched in 2018 with 3 components i.e. Price Support Scheme (PSS), Price Deficiency Payment Scheme (PDPS) and Private Procurement & Stockist Scheme (PDPS).
- Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY)- Per Drop More Crop: PMKSY launched with focus on enhancing water use efficiency through expansion of cultivable area under assured irrigation, improve on-farm water use efficiency to reduce wastage of water, enhance the adoption of precision-irrigation and other water saving technologies, enhance recharge of aquifers and introduce sustainable water conservation practices.
- Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY): PMFBY was introduced to provide better insurance coverage for agricultural crops and thereby mitigate risk.
- Soil Health Card scheme: It aims to assist State Governments to issue soil health cards to all farmers in the country. Soil health cards provides farmers information on the nutrient status of their soil along with recommendation on appropriate dosage of nutrients to be used for their soil conditions.
- E-NAM: National Agriculture Market (eNAM) is a pan-India electronic trading portal which networks the existing APMC mandis to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities.
- Micro Irrigation Fund (MIF): The fund has been set up under NABARD, which will provide this amount to states on concessional rate of interest to promote micro-irrigation.
- National Mission For Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA): National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) has been formulated for enhancing agricultural productivity especially in rainfed areas focusing on integrated farming, water use efficiency, soil health management and synergizing resource conservation.
- Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY): PKVY is an initiative to promote organic farming in the country. According to the scheme, farmers will be encouraged to form groups or clusters and take to organic farming methods over large areas in the country.
- Livestock insurance Scheme: This scheme aims to provide protection mechanisms to the farmers and cattle rearers against any eventual loss of their animals due to death with the ultimate goal of attaining qualitative improvement in livestock and their products.
- National Scheme on Welfare of Fishermen: This scheme was launched to provide financial assistance to fishers for construction of house, community hall for recreation and common working place.
Some measures to enhance agricultural productivity and market efficiency:
- Irrigation Facilities: Canals, tube wells should be constructed to provide better irrigation facilities for the security of crops. Extensive flood control measures should be adopted to prevent the devastation caused by floods.
- Institutional Credit: To save the farmers from the clutches of moneylenders, adequate credit facilities should be made available at reasonable cheap rates in rural areas. The land mortgage banks and co-operative credit societies should be strengthened to provide loans to the cultivators.
- Proper Marketing Facilities: Marketing infrastructure should be widened and strengthened to help the farmers to sell their products at better prices.
- Supply of Quality Input: The farmer in the country should be supplied with quality inputs at proper times and at controlled prices. To protect the farmer’s exploitation, effective steps are needed to be taken to check the sale of adulterated fertilizers as aimed in Pesticide bill, 2020.
- Consolidation of Holdings: In various states consolidation of holdings is not satisfactory. Therefore, efforts should be made towards completing the consolidation work in the specific period of time. Big areas of land which are lying waste, can be reclaimed and made fit for cultivation.
- Development of Cottage and Small Scale Industries: In rural areas, more emphasis should be made to set up cottage and small scale industries. This will raise the income of the peasants and keep them busy during the off season.
- Land Reforms: It is also suggested that efforts should be made to plug the loopholes in the existing land legislations so that the surplus land may be distributed among the small and marginal farmers.
Agriculture is the biggest contributor in terms of employment to the country (about 48% of population). Efforts must be made to enhance the agricultural productivity and market efficiency to deal with agricultural crisis and for food security of the nation.