National Conference on Agriculture | 21 Sep 2019

Recently the Union Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare inaugurated the ‘National Conference on Agriculture for Rabi Campaign 2019.’

  • In the Conference, he highlighted the fact that the Centre-State cooperation has made possible an all-time high production of rice (116 million tonnes), wheat (102.5 million tonnes), pulses and oilseeds.
    • Although the concern was expressed regarding the shortage of oilseeds for which a separate mission might be launched in the future to increase the capacity and reduce import of edible oils.
  • The Minister emphasized that the demand for fertilizers should be made after consultation with farmer organizations at the District level so that the availability can be ensured to farmers at the crucial stages of crop production.
  • Seed mini-kits for rabi crops, pulses and oilseeds will be distributed to the farmers, with the active involvement of State Agriculture Departments.
  • Keeping in view the agricultural slowdown, several changes were announced:
    • Kisan Credit Card: Major changes in terms of
      • Waiver of the registration fee,
      • Minimum time for issuance of Kisan Credit Cards,
      • Widening the range of loans, etc. have been made for covering a large number of farmers.
    • Inputs from State Agriculture Departments were received for modifying and initiating better review mechanism for Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).
    • 45-biofortified varieties with an enhanced percentage of nutrients, proteins, etc. were also released.
    • The State Agriculture Departments will be organizing Fertilizer Awareness Drive with the onset of Rabi season to take advantage of favourable weather conditions for timely sowing of the crop and increase the final yield.
  • There is a need to strengthen the Lab to Land connect for ensuring maximum benefit to farmers.
    • For that purpose, the State Agriculture Departments have been asked to provide support for strengthening the seed hubs.

Kisan Credit Card (KCC)

  • The Kisan Credit Card (KCC) scheme was introduced in 1998 for providing adequate and timely credit support to the farmers for the cultivation and other needs like the purchase of agriculture inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, etc.
  • The scheme was further extended for the investment credit requirement of farmers for the allied and non-farm activities, in the year 2004.

Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)

  • PMFBY was launched in the year 2016.
  • The scheme is being administered by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
  • It replaced the National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS) and the Modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (MNAIS).
  • PMFBY fixes a uniform premium of 2% of the value of sum insured to be paid by farmers for all Kharif crops, 1.5% for all rabi crops, and 5% for annual commercial and horticultural crops or actuarial rate, whichever is less.

Source: PIB