Agricultural News - Area Coverage under Rabi Crops

Area Coverage under Rabi Crops

As per Rabi Crops data released by Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Ministry of Agriculture, total area coverage as on today under Rabi crops moves to 470.74 lakh hectares while last year’s sowing area was at 503.66 lakh hectare. Wheat`s sowing area is at 241.91 lakh hectares as compared to last year’s 251.32 lakh hectares. The area under sowing of total Coarse cereals is at 46.22 lakh hectares as compared to last year’s 50.62 lakh hectares. The area under sowing of Gram is at 71.51 lakh hectares this year while the last year’s figure was 85.75 lakh hectares. Area coverage under Total Pulses is at 111.13 lakh hectares while the last year’s sowing area coverage was 124.78 lakh hectares. Similarly sowing area under total oilseeds is at 69.91 lakh hectares as compared to 75.33 lakh hectares last year.


Depleting Grazing Land

As per the latest available Land Use Statistics data, area under Permanent pastures & other grazing lands in the country has marginally declined from 10.5 million hectares in 2001-2002 to 10.3 million hectares in 2011-12.

Under the, National Policy for Farmers 2007 (NPF 2007), State Governments have been advised to earmark lands with low biological potential such as uncultivable land, land affected by salinity, acidity, etc., for non-agricultural development activities, including industrial and construction activities. National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy, 2007 (NRRP, 2007) has recommended that, as far as possible, projects may be set up on wastelands, degraded land or un-irrigated land. Acquisition of agricultural land for non agricultural use in projects may be kept to the minimum.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Agriculture Shri Mohanbhai Kundaria in the Rajya Sabha today.

Marketing Facilities to Farmers

Agri marketing is a State subject and while the Government has been engaging the States in a continuous dialogue on agri marketing reforms, the initiative in the sector lies with the States. The Government on its part, has been advocating multiple avenues of sale including direct marketing by bulk buyers, processors, exporters, etc. at the farm gate and promotion of Farmer Producer Organisations to leverage benefits of aggregation specially for market linkages. The Government also implements Price Support Scheme (PSS) and Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) in order to provide remunerative prices to the farmers and avoid distress sale. Assistance is also being provided for construction of scientific warehouses to enhance small and marginal farmers’ retention capacity and to enable them to avail marketing credit by way of pledge financing and Negotiable Warehouse Receipts System (NWRs).

In the instance of Vidarbha Maharashtra has already reformed their marketing regulations. Under the Maharashtra Agricultural Produce Marketing (Development and Regulation) Act, 1963, farmers are at liberty to sell their produce anywhere. In the State, there are 304 Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs), out of which 103 are in Vidarbha region. Further as a result of having reformed their marketing laws, several alternative marketing channels for sale of farmers produce have come up. State has granted 77 licenses for direct marketing (sourcing the produce directly from the farmers) and 21 for private markets. In Vidarbha region, marketing infrastructure has been created in the APMCs under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) and infrastructure is also being created under Maharashtra Agricultural Competiveness Project (MACP), Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded project and Convergence of Agricultural Interventions in Maharashtra (CAIM) project. Further to avoid distress sale by farmers, Government has provided several facilities like- (i) Collateral management wherein Pledge loan is given to farmers at minimum interest rate by Banks and APMCs (ii) Marketing Federation is procuring produce at Minimum Support Price (MSP); (iii) 9713 storage structures with capacity of 58,12134 Metric Tonnes are available with various organizations like Cooperative societies, APMCs, Central & State Warehousing Corporation and private owners where farmers can store and avail credit from Banks by pledging Warehouse Receipts.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Agriculture Shri Mohanbhai Kundaria in the Rajya Sabha today.

Fall in Production of Wheat due to Air Pollution

             A model based study conducted by Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune under the Ministry of Earth Sciences estimated that ground level ozone damaged 3.5 million tonnes of wheat, 2.1 million tonnes of rice, 0.17 million tonnes of cotton and 0.23 million tonnes of soyabean in the country during the year 2005.

The experiments conducted by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) have also shown that ozone pollution can potentially reduce crop yields. Besides, long term use of waste water for irrigation can adversely affect crop yields on account of higher pest incidence and disturbance in plant metabolism due to heavy metal contents.

However, as a result of various Crop Development Schemes of Government of India being implemented through State Governments, production of most of the agricultural crops including wheat in the country during the recent years has been increasing. Details of production of wheat during 2010-11 onwards are as under:


Production of Wheat  (Million Tonnes)

2010-11 2011-12  2012-13  2013-14*

86.87    94.88    93.51    95.91

*4th advance estimates

             Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Government of India has taken various measures to contain air pollution in cities which, interalia, includes supply of cleaner fuels as per Auto Fuel Policy, use of gaseous fuel for public transport in select cities, Pollution Under Control (PUC) Certificate System for in-use vehicles, stringent source-specific emission standards and their compliance, use of beneficiated coal in thermal power plants, strengthening public transport system, expansion of metro train system in select cities, implementation of revised emission norms for gensets, etc.

Further, in order to curb crop residue burning which   causes air pollution, the Government of India has finalized National Policy for Management of Crop Residues (NPMCR)-2014. The Policy envisages adoption of technical measures including diversified uses of crop residue, capacity building & training along with formulation of suitable law/legislation. The above Policy also envisages extending central financial assistance for various interventions proposed by States under the ongoing Schemes/Programmes/Missions of Department of Agriculture & Cooperation.

         This information was given by the Minister of State for Agriculture Shri Mohanbhai Kundaria  in the Rajya Sabha today.


Per Capita Availability of Foodgrains

            The per capita net availability of foodgrains for the years 2009 to 2013 is given below:

Per Capita Availability of Foodgrains

                                               (Grams per day)
2013 (P)
 (P) Provisional

Fluctuations in per capita net availability are mainly due to fluctuations in production on account of variations in weather conditions, increasing population, change in stocks etc.

            Government implements various programmes/schemes viz. Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), National Food Security Mission (NFSM), Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India (BGREI) etc. with the objective of increasing production and productivity of rice, wheat and other crops. In addition, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and State Agricultural Universities (SAU) have developed a number of improved varieties/hybrids of foodgrain crops to enhance production and productivity of food crops.

Government has also taken steps for increasing investment, improving farm practices, rural infrastructure and delivery of credit, technology and other inputs, extension, marketing etc. to improve agricultural production and productivity. Other measures taken by the Government include incentivisation through higher Minimum Support Prices of agricultural commodities, increase in credit flow to agriculture sector, interest subvention on crop loans etc.

In addition, Government imports various agricultural commodities to augment their domestic availability.
         This information was given by the Minister of State for Agriculture Shri Mohanbhai Kundaria  in the Rajya Sabha today.


Use of Pesticides in Agricultural Activities

The Government is popularizing Integrated Pest Management Approach to reduce use of pesticides since 1991-92 through 31 Central Integrated Pest Management Centres (CIPMCs) in 28 States and one UT (Andaman & Nicobar). CIPMCs conduct pest surveillance, monitor pest incidence/situation, mass produce biological agents for releasing in the fields, conserve natural bio-control agents, promote bio-pesticides as an alternative to chemical pesticides and advocates judicious and safe use of chemical pesticides as a last resort. These activities are implemented through Farmers Field Schools (FFAs), training to State Agriculture Extension officers and NGOs/Private Bodies. For smooth and effective implementation of IPM activities Central Government provides funds to the State Government provides funds to the State Govt./SAUs/KVKs/NGOs/Private Bodies.

If pesticides are used as per instructions on label and leaflet, they are safe and efficacious. A ‘Grow Safe Food’ campaign has been initiated to carry the message of safe and judicious use of pesticides to farmers and other stakeholders. A simple message on the five essential principles of judicious pesticide use – application of pesticides on the right crop, against pests for which the pesticide has been approved, at the right time, in approved doses and as per approved method of application-is sought to be conveyed through hoardings, banners etc. in regional languages in Gram Panchayats and rural areas. Advisories have been sent to pesticides dealers through State Governments to stock and distribute/self approved pesticides and to advise farmers to follow instructions on label and leaflets of pesticides.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Agriculture Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Balyan in the Rajya Sabha today.


Action Plan to Increase Production of Pulses and Oilseeds

To increase production of pulses, Government of India is implementing National Food Security Mission (NFSM) from 2007-08 onwards. During 11th Plan period, the target was to increase pulses production by 2.00 million tonnes and achievement was 2.89 million tones. During 2013-14, there was a record pulses production of 19.27 million tones. The Mission has been continued in 12th Plan with target of increasing pulses production by 4 million tonnes by the end of 2016-17. NFSM – Pulses are being implemented in 615 districts in 27 States during 2014-15.

For oilseeds, Government of India implemented Integrated Scheme of Oilseeds, Pulses, Oil Palm and Maize (ISOPOM) from 2004-05 to 2013-14. During 2013-14, there was a record oilseeds production of 32.89 million tonnes. From 2014-15 onwards, National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP) is under implementation to achieve oilseeds production of 35.51 million tonnes by the end of 12th Plan. The Mission is being implemented in 23 States during 2014-15.

In order to encourage farmers to take up cultivation of pulses and oilseeds, financial support is provided on various need based interventions. Under NFSM, support is provided on interventions like block demonstrations, distribution of quality seeds, integrated nutrient management, integrated pest management, sprinkler sets and pipes, farm machinery and implements, etc.

Under NMOOP, financial support is provided on interventions like production and distribution of foundation, certified seeds of oilseed crops, supply of minikits, block demonstrations, farmers field school, supply of improved farm machinery and implements, sprinkler sets and pipes, bio-agents and bio-fertilizers etc.

Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Punjab are implementing both NFSM and NMOOP during 2014-15.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Agriculture Shri Mohanbhai Kundaria in the Rajya Sabha today.

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