Diversify crops, shift rice to places that can support it: Central panel

What is the News?

The Commission for Agricultural Cost and Prices(CACP) has recommended the promotion of crop diversification, favouring oilseed crops amid the global inflation in oilseeds and vegetable oils prices.

What are the recommendations given by CACP?
Need for Crop Diversification

Dependence on rice-wheat cropping systems especially in States like Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh has resulted in depletion of groundwater and deterioration of soil quality posing a serious challenge to its sustainability.

To overcome this challenge, farmers in these states can adopt crop diversification.

​​On the other hand, states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Odisha can be encouraged for rice production owing to their sustainability in terms of land as well as water productivity.

Challenges associated with crop diversification

There have been several initiatives, especially in Punjab and Haryana to encourage crop diversification through incentives but not much progress has been made so far.

This is due to reasons such as— low returns and high risks from alternative crops, lack of assured marketing and remunerative prices, and non-availability of appropriate proven technology for alternative crops among others. 

Favour Oilseed Crops

Government should favour oilseed crops amid the global inflation in oilseeds and vegetable oil prices.

​​For instance, it should explore the possibilities of launching a modified version of the price deficiency payment scheme(PDPS), which allows only oilseeds farmers to receive upto 25% of the minimum support price (MSP) in case the mandi rates fall below the benchmark rate.

Source: The post is based on the article “Diversify crops, shift rice to places that can support it: Central panel” published in Down To Earth on 10th June 2022.

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