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Year End Review 2019: Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare

  • 01 May 2020
  • 7 min read

Important Schemes and Policies

Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana (PM-KMY)

  • Launched in September 2019, the central sector scheme aims to provide the social security net for the Small and Marginal Farmers (who own cultivable land up to 2 hectares).
  • It provides for payment of minimum pension of Rs.3000/- per month to the eligible small and marginal farmers on attaining the age of 60 years.
  • It is a voluntary and contributory pension scheme, with entry age of 18 to 40 years.
  • The monthly contribution by farmer ranges between Rs.55 to 200.
  • Central Government will contribute an equal amount in the pension scheme.
  • The Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) is the Pension Fund Manager for the Scheme.
  • On exit from the scheme, the beneficiary will receive his/her accumulated share and the Government’s contribution will be deposited in the LIC Fund.
  • After the subscriber’s death, the spouse or heir shall be entitled to receive 50% of the pension as family pension, provided he/she is not already an SMF beneficiary of the Scheme.
  • On the death of the subscriber during the period of contribution, the spouse shall have the option of continuing the Scheme by paying regular contribution.

Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN)

  • Launched in February 2019, the central sector scheme, provides for transfer of an amount of Rs. 6000/- per year in three equal instalments each of Rs. 2000/- directly into the bank account of beneficiary farmer families.
  • The Scheme initially covered only small and marginal farmer families as beneficiaries, subject to certain exclusion criteria for higher-income status. The Government later extended the scheme to all farmer families irrespective of landholding size.
  • The entire responsibility of identification of beneficiary farmer families rests with the State/UT Governments.

Increased MSP for Kharif and Rabi Crops- 2019-2020

  • The Union Government increased the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Kharif and Rabi 2019-20 seasons.
  • The MSP is the rate at which the government buys grains from farmers.
  • Reason behind the idea of MSP is to counter price volatility of agricultural commodities due to the factors like variation in their supply, lack of market integration and information asymmetry.

Fixation of MSP

  • The MSP is fixed on the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP).
  • Factors taken into consideration for fixing MSP include:
    • Demand and supply;
    • Cost of production (A2 + FL method)
    • Price trends in the market, both domestic and international;
    • Inter-crop price parity;
    • Terms of trade between agriculture and non-agriculture;
    • A minimum of 50% as the margin over cost of production; and
    • Likely implications of MSP on consumers of that product.

Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP)

  • The CACP is an attached office of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, formed in 1965. It is a statutory body that submits separate reports recommending prices for Kharif and Rabi seasons.

National Commission on Farmers: Swaminathan Committee

  • On 18th November, 2004, the Union government formed the National Commission on Farmers (NCF) with MS Swaminathan as its chairman.
    • The main aim of the committee was to come up with a sustainable farming system, make farm commodities cost-competitive and more profitable.
  • It, in 2006, recommended that MSPs must be at least 50% more than the cost of production.
  • It talked about the cost of farming at three levels:
    • A2: All the types of cash expenditure to generate the crop like seeds, manure, chemicals, labour costs, fuel costs and irrigation costs.
    • A2+FL: It includes A2 plus an imputed value of unpaid family labour.
    • C2: Under C2, the estimated land rent and the cost of interest on the money taken for farming are added to A2 and FL.

Read TTP on Cropping Patterns in India-I

Read TTP on Cropping Patterns in India-II

e-NAM –One Nation One Market

  • 421 new mandis have been approved for integration under the e-NAM. Along with these, FPOs have also been on-boarded on e-NAM portal and they have started uploading their produce for trading from their premise.
  • e-NAM was launched on 14th April 2016 as a pan-India electronic trade portal linking Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs) across the States.
  • It is an electronic national agriculture market (eNAM) to connect all regulated wholesale produce markets through a pan-India trading portal.
  • It provides for contactless remote bidding and mobile-based anytime payment for which traders do not need to either visit mandis or banks for the same.

Seed-Hub Centres

  • 25 Seed-Hub Centres have been sanctioned across the country for increasing availability of quality seeds of Nutri-Cereals (Millets).
  • In 2018-19, the Government of India launched a National Millet Mission which included renaming millets as “Nutri-cereals”.
  • Millet is a collective term referring to a number of small-seeded annual grasses that are cultivated as grain crops, primarily on marginal lands in dry areas in temperate, subtropical and tropical regions.
  • Some of the common millets available in India are Ragi (Finger millet), Jowar (Sorghum), Sama (Little millet), Bajra (Pearl millet), and Variga (Proso millet).
  • Millets are cultivated in low-fertile land, mountainous, tribal and rain-fed areas. These areas include Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana.
  • Millets also are known as ‘nutri-cereals’ and have a high protein content, short growing season, climate change resilience and low water requirement.
  • India's proposal to observe an International Year of Millets in 2023 has been approved at the by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
  • India celebrated 2018 as the national year of millets.
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