Competitive Exams: Current Affairs 2011: Agriculture


Lab to Land Initiative

  • Under the initiative, 43 districts have been identified from 28 states across the country wherein on a pilot basis the effectiveness of program implementation would be enhanced through field level training.

  • The initiative aims to build a collaborative knowledge and innovation community and demonstrate full achievement of the objective of all schemes of the rural sector (Rural Development, Agriculture, Watershed, Environment, Income generation, Employment, Roads, Health, Education, Sanitation, Drinking water, Electrification, Food Security, Land records, Industries, Irrigation, Citizen's charter, Grievance redressal mechanism etc.).

  • In News: RD Ministry Organizes National Seminar on Lab to Land Initiative in Gangtok

Highest Ever Foodgrain Production

Estimated at 235.88 Mt 3rd Advance Estimates of Crop Production for 2010 − 11 Released

  • Foodgrains 235.88 million tonnes: Highest ever
  • Rice 94.11 million tonnes
  • Wheat 84.27 million tonnes: Highest ever
  • Coarse Cereals 40.21 million tonnes
  • Maize 20.23 million tonnes
  • Pulses 17.29 million tonnes: Highest ever
  • Tur 3.15 million tonnes
  • Urad 1.82 million tonnes
  • Moong 1.37 million tonnes
  • Oilseeds 30.25 million tonnes: Highest ever
  • Soyabean 12.59 million tonnes
  • Groundnut 7.09 million tonnes
  • Cotton 33.93 million bales of 170 kg each: Highest ever
  • Sugarcane 340.55 million tonnes

Shri Arun Yadav (Minister of State for Agriculture) Exhorts Cooperatives to Maintain Identity, Bring in


  • Shri Yadav said that the Government is determined to give full autonomy to cooperatives through amendment of the Constitution.

  • The Government has already accepted the recommendations of the Vidyanathan Committee for strengthening the cooperative sector.

  • The Minister informed that the Multi-State Cooperatives (Amendment) Bill 2010 and a Constitutional Amendment Bill have been placed in the Lok Sabha and expressed the hope that passage of these Bills will go a long way in strengthening the cooperative sector.

  • The Government of India (GoI) appointed a Task Force under the Chairmanship of Prof. A Vaidyanathan in 2004 to analyse the problems faced by the CCS (cooperative credit structure) institutions and to suggest an action plan for their revival. Annual Report of Department of Agriculture & Cooperation Farm Sector to Grow 5.4% in 2010 − 11

  • Public Investment in Agriculture on The Rise

Progress of implementation of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana

The Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) will be implemented in the coming year (2011 − 12) with a budget of Rs. 7860 crore and nine sub-schemes. This represents a quantum jump in funds from Rs. 6775 crore in 2010 − 11 and wide expansion in the scope of the scheme.

The RKVY will now have nine sub-schemes. Three of the sub-schemes were introduced in 2010 − 11 and will be continued this year also. The sub-schemes are as follows:

  1. Extending Green Revolution to the Eastern Region of the Country

  2. Integrated Development of 60, 000 Pulses Villages in Rainfed Areas.

  3. Promotion of Oil Palm

  4. Initiative on Vegetable Clusters.

  5. Nutri-cereals.

  6. National Mission for Protein Supplements.

  7. Accelerated Fodder Development Program.

  8. Rainfed Area Development Program.

  9. Saffron Mission.

Inviting Private Participation in Agriculture Supply Chain

The Government proposes to invite private sector participation in agriculture supply chain, in order to eliminate the existing marketing inefficiency due to multiplayer structure of intermediaries.

In order to facilitate adequate investment for development of marketing infrastructure and supply chain including that by the private sector, the Ministry of Agriculture has circulated Model Agricultural Produce Marketing (Development and Regulation) Act (APMC Act) 2003 to all the States/Union Territories for their adoption.

The Model Act provides for contract farming, direct marketing, setting up of markets by private and cooperative sectors which is intended to improve the remuneration to the farmers for their produce through provision of efficient supply chain and reduction of intermediation in the marketing system.

States Receive Over Rs. 360 Crore for Oilseeds and Maize Promotion

The Centre has released Rs. 362.67 crore to 19 states for promotion of oilseeds, oil palm and maize so far in the current financial year.

The major states receiving funds for this purpose under the Integrated Scheme of Oilseeds, Pulses, Oil Palm and Maize (ISOPOM) are: Andhra Pradesh, Madhyra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Orissa.

Government of India is implementing Integrated Scheme of Oilseeds, Pulses, Oil Palm and Maize (ISOPOM) for the benefit of the farmers since 1.4. 2004. Since 1.4. 2010, the pulses development program of ISOPOM has been merged with National Food Security Mission (NFSM).

Measures Being Taken to Keep Fruit, Vegetable Prices Under Check

  • In order to contain the prices of horticulture products especially onion, government uses Minimum Export Price (MEP). The MEP of onion was raised from US $275 PMT to US $1200 PMT during September, 2010 to December, 2010.

  • The most effective measure for stabilizing prices of horticulture products is to establish good Post Harvest Management infrastructure in the country for which Department of Agriculture & Cooperation provides assistance under National Horticulture Mission (NHM) and Horticulture Mission for Northo East and Himalayan States (HMNEH).

  • An Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG), under the chairmanship of Chief Economic Adviser (CEA), Ministry of Finance, with representatives from Departments of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Agriculture and Cooperation, Animal Husbandry, Planning Commission and Economic Affairs was recently constituted to review and suggest measures for control of prices with focus on primary food articles including onion.

India Free from Wheat Rust Disease Ug99

There are occurrences of stem rust fungal disease in wheat in different parts of the world including Africa.

Wheat varieties grown in India are resistant to most of the Indian races of stem rust. Several varieties are also resistant to the new race (Ug99) of stem rust as per testing carried out in Kenya and Ethiopia. UG99 stem rust has not yet been spotted in India as per the survey and crop health monitoring reports.

The following steps have been taken to prevent outbreak of Ug99 in India.

  1. Extensive surveys are in operation for detection of Ug99.

  2. Indian wheat varieties have been evaluated at Kenya and Ethiopia against stem rust race Ug99 and around 30 of those varieties have been found to carry resistance to this disease.

  3. Ug99 resistant genetic stocks are being used in wheat breeding program to develop disease resistant varieties.

Wheat Sown in 294.06 and Pulses in 156.01 Lakh Hectare

  • As per data received from States, wheat has been sown in 294.06 lakh hectare, which is 10.46 lakh hectare more than last year on this date.

  • The pulses acreage is up by 13.66 lakh hectare and oilseeds by 3.41 lakh hectare compared to last year. Focus on Raising Productivity of Pulses

  • As per the FA-Statistics 2009, the productivity of pulses in India is lesser than the advanced countries including China.

  • Government has been implementing National Food Security Mission-pulses in 16 major pulses producing states in the country to enhance the production and productivity of pulses in the country.

  • Besides, Accelerated Pulses Production Program (A3P) was also launched from Kharif, 2010 as a part of NFSM-Pulses for demonstration of Production and Protection Technologies as Village Level Compact Blocks for enhanced production and productivity of pulses as well as motivating farmers for increased investment in promoting pulses production. Assistance is also being provided to the farmers under other crop development programs such as Integrated development of 60, 000 villages of Pulses, Rashtriya Krishi

  • Vikas Yojana (RKVY), Macr-Management of Agriculture (MMA) & Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India (BGEI) for enhancing agricultural production including that of pulses.

Agriculture Census in XI Plan

The main objective of the Agriculture Census is the collection and derivation of quantitative information about the structural aspects of agricultural holdings in the country.

Negotiable Warehouse Receipt System

  • Henceforth, farmers can seek the loan from banks against the warehouse receipts issued to them against their storage. These receipts issued by the warehouses registered with the Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA) would become a fully negotiable instrument backed by a Central legislation.

  • The WDRA was setup by the Government in October 2010 to regulate and development of warehouses in the country (implementation of the provisions of the Warehousing (Development and Regulation) Act, 2007).

Courtesy: The Hindu and Times of India