Kurukshetra October 2019 - Agricultural Reforms (Part 1) (Download PDF)


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Key Topics Included In This Article: Research and Technology, Reforms in fertiliser Sector, Agriculture Sector In India: Current Scenario, Pradhan Mantri Kisan, Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN), Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY), Kisan Credit Card, E-National Agriculture Market (e-NAM), Conservation Agriculture, Integrated Farming Systems (IFS), Precise Nutrient Management & soil Health cards, Efficient Water Management, Organic Faming, Efficient Management Resources, Performance of e-NAM since 2016, Genesis of PPP, India’s Agriculture Area, Food Processing,


  • India is predominantly a rural economy, where mainstay of people is agriculture.
  • More Than 50 % of population is directly dependent on agriculture & allied sector.
  • As an agrarian economy, country derives 18 % of its GDP from Agri sector.
  • Women play a pivotal role in mgmt. & rearing of livestock & other activities like fodder collection, post-harvest activities & farm cleaning activities.
  • Several million small & marginal farmers that form backbone of Indian agriculture & economy.
  • Policy support, production strategies, public investment in infrastructure, research & extension for crop, livestock & fisheries have significantly helped to increase food production & its availability. Govt. has also set a goal of doubling farmers’ income by 2022
  • More importance is accorded by Govt. to Constructive use of water, proper crop selection & use of modern irrigation technologies to ensure a high agricultural productivity.
  • Ministry of agriculture through its various steps & awareness programmes is constantly encouraging farmers to adopt new technologies & advancements to get better farm produce.
  • Schemes like, Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana & Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana are helping farmers & agriculture sector in a big way

Agriculture Reforms: Towards Doubling Farmers’ Income

  • Govt. is reorienting agriculture sector by focusing on an income centeredness
  • Income approach focuses on achieving high productivity reducing cost of cultivation & remunerative price on produce w/a view to earn higher profits from farming.
  • Non-budgetary resources have been mobilized to supplement budgetary resources.
  • Recently a High powered committee of Chief Ministers for ‘Transformation of Indian Agriculture’ is constituted & two meeting of Committee have been held on 18th July 2019 & 16th August 2019 to deliberate & firm up their report.

For Higher Production Thru Productivity Gains:

  • National Food Security Mission (NFSM) - for cereals, pulses oilseeds, nutria-rich cereals commercial crops
  • Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) for high growth rate of horticulture crops.
  • National Mission on Oilseeds & Oil Palm (NMOOP) launched in 2014 - 15 for increasing production of oilseeds & oil palm

For Reduction In Cost of Cultivation:

  • Soil Health Card (SHC) to ensure judicious & optimal use of fertilizer application thus saving the input cost for farmers.
  • Neem Coated Urea (NCU) is being promoted to regulate use of urea, enhance availability of nitrogen to crop & reduce cost of superfluous fertilizer application.
  • Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) micro irrigation component (1.2 million ha/yr target) w/motto of ‘Har Khet Ko Paani’ for providing end-to-end solutions in irrigation supply chain comprising water sources, distribution network & farm level applications.

For Providing Assistance To Small & Marginal Farmers

  • Gol. Has launched Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM KISAN) scheme w/an aim to provide assistance to small & marginal farmer families w/an amount of Rs. 6000/- per year.
  • Fund will be directly transferred to bank accounts of beneficiaries Till date, PM KISAN has over 6.37 crore beneficiaries & Rs. 20,520 crores is transferred as direct benefit to farmer families.
  • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan Dhan Yojna (PM-KMY) is launched which provides for a payment of a minimum pension of Rs. 3000 per month to eligible small & marginal farmers on attaining age of 60 years It is a voluntary & contributory pension scheme, w/entry age of 18 to 40 years.
  • Monthly contribution by farmers ranges b/w Rs. 55 to 200 depending on their age
  • Central Govt. will contribute an equal amount in this contributory pension scheme.

To Ensure Remunerative Returns:

  • National Agriculture Market Scheme (e-NAM) is an innovative market process to revolutionize agri-markets by ensuring real-time better price discovery moving towards ‘One Nation One Market’.
  • Model Agricultural Produce & Livestock Marketing Promotion & Facilitation Act, 2017 is released on 24th April 2017 for its adoption by States/UTs
  • Provision under Act include setting up of private markets, direct marketing, farmer-consumer markets, special commodity markets & declaring warehouses/silos/cold storages or such structures as market sub yards
  • Existing 22,000 rural haats to be developed, & upgraded into Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAMs).
  • Agriculture produce Marketing Committees (APMCs) will provide farmers, facility to make direct sale to consumers & bulk purchasers
  • Minimum Support Price (MSP) is Notified by Govt. for certain crops periodically Giving a major boost for farmers’ income, Govt. has recently approved increase in MSP for all Kharif crops for 2019 - 20 season.
  • Procurement of oilseeds, pulses & cotton are undertaken by central agencies at MSP under Price Support Scheme (PSS) at request of State Govt. Concerned.

For Risk Management & Sustainable Practices

  • Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) & Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (RWCIS) provides insurance cover at all stages of crop cycle including post-harvest risks in specified instances & available to farmers at very low rates of premium.
  • Government provides total interest subvention up to 5 % (inclusive of 3 % prompt repayment incentive) on short-term crop loans up to Rs. 3.00 lakh Thus. Loan is available to farmers at a reduced rate of 4 % per annum on prompt repayment.
  • Paramparagat Krishi vikas yojana (PKVY) is being implemented with a view to promote organic farming in country.
  • Mission organic farming in North –East- MoVCD (NE) for realizing potential of organic faming in North Eastern Region of country.

Allied Activities:

  • ‘Har Medh par ped’ launched during 2016 - 17 to encourage tree plantation on farm land along w/corps/cropping system.
  • National Bamboo Mission is announced in the Union Budget 2018 - 19 for value chain based holistic development of this sector as a supplement to farm income.
  • Bee- keeping is promoted under Mission for integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) to increased productivity of crops thru pollination.
  • For dairy development there are 3 imp Scheme: National Dairy plan -1 (NDP-1), National Dairy Development Programme (NPDD) & Dairy Entrepreneurship Development Scheme.
  • Rashtriya Gokul Mission Launched in Dec 2014 for gene pool of indigenous cattle & buffaloes.
  • National Livestock Mission Launched in 2014 - 15 to ensure intensive development of livestock especially small livestock (Sheep/goat, poultry, etc…. ) along e/adequate available of quality feed & fodder.

Roadmap For Agricultural Reforms: -

  • Agricultural & allied sectors enjoy centrality in any development planning Process in India for its significance in engaging & employing people, providing food & ensuring food security, raw material for sugar textile, herbal & food processing industries.
  • To ease out farmers distress Govt. introduce Pradhan mantri Kisan samman yojana providing Rs. 6000/- year to each farm household. Law price realization, excessive intermediation in trade & low private investment in infrastructure development are some of the priority areas of reforms that need concerted efforts of all stakeholders.
  • India will be home of 1.6 billion people by 2035. per capita available of land water & other finite natural resource will decline & water stress would augment due to climate change. foodgrain demand is estimated over 340 - 356 million tonnes by 2033 & similar increase for other commodities.
  • Estimates show that potential of rainfed areas can be unlocked w/investment of Rs. 50,000/- ha or more against present investment of Rs. 12 - 15000/- ha. There is need for a multi-Sector & connectivity- based growth to ensure food & nutrition & income security, alleviate poverty, increase trade & also enhance income of those who work in farm & related activity.
  • Research & Technology: Development of varieties/hybrids involving GM technologies is essential. Simultaneously, renewed focus on reducing application of chemical fertilisers need some new plant type s & plant root & microorganism symbiosis to mobilise already available phosphorus & other nutrients from soil reserve.
  • Frontier areas like gene editing, genomics, artificial intelligence, nano technology are ushering in 4th industrial revolution need special attention.

Water- Governance

  • As close to 84 % of fresh water is used in agriculture.
  • Which is water stressed county w/annual water availability at 1544 m cube per capita & approaching towards scarcity ( < 1000 m cube per capita).
  • Central groundwater Board, thru. Their study of 6607 units (block/mandals/taluks), proved that 16.2 % of there assessed units are ‘overexploited’ & 14 % either ’ critical’ or ‘semi-critical’.
  • State should encourage to push such model through corpus of Rs. 5000 crore established in NABARD for micro-irrigation & water budgeting based on a strong traffic regime. related policy on free power to agriculture should also be reversed w/a metering system as done in Gujarat.

Reforms in Fertiliser sector:

  • Alternate sources of nutrition like microbial consortia, bio stimulant, bio compost, plant growth promoters, & their specification can appropriately be included in fertiliser (control) order, 1985 & insecticides Act, 1986 to promotes their trade & commercialisation & Compensate part of chemical fertilisers thru these alternate sources.
  • Soil Health card scheme is one its kind with 100 % penetration to every farm household. Over 206 millions soil health care system by including date of crops, cropping systems w/calibrated fertilisers requirement for farmer’s holding size. Pradhan mantri Fasal Bima yojana (PMFBY) has been launched in January 2016 Subsuming multiple insurance schemes.
  • Crop cutting Experiments (CCE) data. Hence conducting adequate number of Cces though significant is yet most challenging for success of PMFBY. State have to reform to accept & including technologies like remote sensing, drones smart phones etc. as an effective & accepted tool for conducting field level assessments of area insure & losses.

Credit in Need to Needy:

  • Sarangi committee (2016) recommendation on interest subvention are implemented by Govt. On model act on agricultural Land Leasing, 2016 prepared by NITI Aayog which will help mainstreaming tenants under fold of institutional agricultural credit as provisioned by Government in 2018 - 19 Budget.
  • Reforms in banking procedures with least paper work for availing short- term crop loans perhaps would help greatly.
  • Small & marginal farmers constitute 86 % of farm households & 45 % of area but sell only 12 to 33 % of their output.
  • Value of output data for year 2013 - 14 Shows that fruits & vegetable crops on average generate Rs. 3.30 lakh worth of output per ha compared to Rs. 0.38 lakh by cereals, Rs. 0.29 lakh by pulses & 0.49 lakh per ha by cereals, oilseeds.
  • Input dealers FPOs, agro- processors, exporters, financial service providers, insurance agencies etc should integrate to work w/farmes as entrepreneurs. Reforms in contract farming, traffic & tax regimes, credit is pivotal for achieving commercialisation in agriculture.

Manage Post – Harvest

  • Annual Post –harvest losses are estimated at Rs. 92651 Cr. Reforms in Essential Commodity Act relating to stock holdings & storage could reduce losses to great extent
  • Better synergy amongst agriculture, food processing, & commerce is also required.
  • FPOs/Joint liability groups can be promoted to channelize small growers into value chain.

Minimise the price Shocks

  • Govt. in budget 2018 - 19, announces for introducing MSP 1.5 times of production cost NITI Aayog & Ministry of agriculture in consultation w/sate suggestion price deficiency payment systems & private stockists procurement systems as alternate mechanism.
  • State should also enact their APMC laws based on the model agriculture & Livestock Marketing (APLM) Act, 2017 to facilitate out- of mandi transaction, exemption of market fee on perishables, electronic Marketing etc.
  • Govt. in may 2018 launched model Act on Contract Farming to empower farming to decide their price & negotiate w/sponsor. State should enact appropriate contract Farming Act based on Model Act.

Make Indian Farmers Competitive:

  • Make Indian farmers globally competitive for quality produce & price, Vibrancy of private sector on a larger scale, should be mainstreamed for investment ‘in ’ and ‘for’ agriculture.
  • Poultry sector is one such example which grew into a well-organised industry.
  • Private Sector may be encouraged to supplement investments in high-risk high-potential projects.
  • A consistent policy regime at least for some specified period will establish India as a good buyer and seller of agri-commodities helping domestics producers a long way.

Turing Small into Big:

  • Farmers Producer organizations (FPOs) Earlier, in 2014 - 15, a corpus of Rs. 200 Cr. Was established in NABARD to create 2000 (FPOs) NABARD established 2174 FPOs Under corpus These FPOs are all in nascent stage. Further scaling up of membership, equity mobilisations, capacity building & initial business of input supplies etc.
  • Should be supported w/appropriate reforms the modernisation of income tax law allowing exemption to FPOs income, approving direct marketing by FPOs to buyers & single state-Wide license for trading of inputs are some reforms needs immediately.
  • FPOs registered under companies Act may also be made eligible for loans from cooperative banks, etc…
  • FPOs may also be allotted breeder seed for multiplication into quality seeds as being made to NCS, state seed corporations & Farmers cooperatives (IFFCO & KRIBHCO).


  • Prime function of Govt. agencies is to create an ecosystem for larger acceptance for reforms. This requires 3 things-information, intelligence & interaction

Shri Prakash Javadekar presents Reports card on 100 Days of Govt.

  • On Sept. 8,2019 union minister for environment, Forest & climate change & information & Broadcasting, Shri Prakash Javadekar, addressed a press conference on key decisions taken by Govt. In 1st 100 days of its 2nd term. Ministry released booklet ‘jan Connect’ & inaugurated an Exhibition on ‘Furthering India’s development 100 Day’s of Bold initiative & Decisive Action’.
  • Abrogation of Articles 370 & 35A with a view to betterment of life of common people of Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh.
  • Steps towards achieving vision of making India $5 trillion economy.
  • Historic merger of public sector Bank & additional credit expansion through PSBs; Support to Non-Banking Finance companies & housing Finance Companies linking repo rate reducing EMI for housing loans, vehicles etc infrastructure credits.
  • Ease of doing business measure such as CSR violations Transparency & accountability in tax administration relief from enhance surcharge on long –term/Shortterm capital gains customer ease; special measures for MSMEs;
  • Boost to start-ups- Measures to simplify Taxation, Labor Laws, Environmental clearance corporate Affairs, Deepening of bond markets in India: Access of Indian companies to global markets, Reduction in corporate tax Review of FDI Policy on various Sectors approved Companies Amendment Act 2019 Special Economic Zone (Amendment) Act, 2019.
  • Boost to Automobile Sector.
  • Code on Wages, 2019.
  • Ensuring Social Justice to all sections of the society including legislation against triple talad, amendment of POCSO Act Transgender persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2019 etc. .
  • Several measures for delivering Tribal & minorities welfare.
  • Ensuring wage security Code on Wages 2019 ensuring women’s equality, etc.
  • Measurements Towards Doubling Farmers Income.
  • Formation of Jal Shakti Ministry towards commanding water security, Har Ghar Bilji Yojana, Ujjwala scheme for gas connections, Ayuhman Bharat, Jan Bhagidari movements, Fit India & campaign against ending menace of single use plastics etc.
  • Steps takes towards ensuring Good Governance
  • Focus on Development of higher Education infrastructure
  • Emphasis on Discovery & & scientific Endeavours,
  • Focus on security & Defence Sectors.
  • India’s expanding sphere of influence in worlds, neighborhood 1st policy.
  • Empowering North East etc.

Initiative in Agriculture Sector

  • Primary challenge for agriculture sector is to provide food to 1.3 billion population in India. Nearly 50 per cent of population employed in it
  • Agriculture sector supports industry by providing raw materials and necessary inputs for its production. It consumes fertilizers, pesticides produced by industries for its own production.
  • Agriculture sector In Indian: Current Scenario:
  • India’s economic growth in FY 2019 is estimated at 6.8 %%. Agriculture accounts for nearly 18 % of GDP, & employee almost half of country’s total workforce.
  • India is also 2nd largest producer of rice, Wheat groundnuts, cotton & sugarcane. It is also 2nd - largest fruit & vegetable Producer, accounting for 10.9 % & 8.6 % of world fruit & vegetables production respectively share of agriculture sector in total exports of country is 11.76 % year 2018 - 19 as per DGCIS data.

Key Challenges facing the Indian Agriculture Sector:

  • Impediments such as decreasing size of agriculture lands holdings, poor transport infrastructure, poor storage facilities, lack of use of modern technology, lack of proper irrigation facilities & inadequate on monsoons, loss of soil fertility, inadequate access to agriculture credits & lack of marketing support hamper agricultural productivity in India.
  • Since Storage facility is inadequate farmers are compelled to sell off their produce immediately after harvest at prevailing market prices which are low, Resulting in loss of remunerative income for farmer.
  • Farmer require credit to purchase seeds, fertilizers tools & machineries for production so that they have a smooth agriculture season starting from sowing of seeds to its harvest.

Govt. schemes for Enhancing The Socio-Economic status of Agriculture:

  • Govt. of India has increased allocation to agriculture sector by 78 % budget for FY 20 Budgetary allocation stands at Rs. 1.39 Lakh Cr. for agriculture, of which Rs. 75,000/- Cr. Will be spent on GOI flagship scheme Pradhan Mantri Kissan Samman Nidhi (PM- KISAN) For Pradham Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) GOVT. is increased its allocation to Rs. 14,000 Cr.
  • Current Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) Govt. has increased its allocation to Rs. 14,000 Cr. In current fiscal compared to Rs. 12975.70 Cr. allocation during FY 19. for Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) Govt. Has raised Budgetary allocation to Rs. 3,500 Cr. For FY 20 from FY 20 from Rs. 2,954,69 Cr. In FY 19.
  • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN)
  • PM-KISAN is a central sector scheme launched on 01.12. 2018 w/full funding from Govt. of India. Under this Scheme, an amount of Rs. 6000/- Under 3 equal installments are provided to farmer families
  • Amount is being transferred to beneficiaries directly in their bank accounts.
  • Scheme was initially launched to augment he income of small & marginal farmer having cultivable land holding upto 2hectares.
  • This scheme is extremely beneficial for small farmer.

Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY)

  • Earlier programmes such as accelerated irrigation Benefits scheme, har khet ko paani, per Drop more crop & watershed Development is brought under one umbrella Scheme which is Pradhan mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana implemented across country in a 5 year span from 2015 - 16 to 2019 - 20
  • Major objective of PMKSY are to increase cultivable area under irrigation, improve on farm water use efficiency by reducing wastage of water use efficiency by reducing wastage of water, enhance & encourage use of precision irrigation & promote various water conservation practices to conserve water.
  • So far as per data available with Ministry of agriculture & Farmer’s welfare under PMKSY–per Drop More crop component, an amount of Rs. 2240.35 Cr. Is released to states.
  • An area of 6.48 Lakh hectares is already covered under micro irrigation under this scheme Till Dec. 2018,12,473 numbers of water harvesting structure is constructed.

For Pradham Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY):

  • PMFBY is another scheme which is helped farmer immensely.
  • This particular scheme offers crop insurance at a very negligible cost to farmers.
  • Scheme was launched in 2016 w/aim to protect farmers from any financial loss due to natural calamities.
  • In this scheme, framers have to pay an annual premium of 2 % for kharif crop, 1.5 % for Rabi & oilseed & 5 % for commercial/horticulture crops.

Interest subvention scheme of ministry of agriculture:

  • Govt. is introduced an interest subvention scheme for short term crop loans up to Rs. 3 Lakhs at a reduced interest rate of 7 % p. a. This Scheme provides interest rate of 7 % per annum to bank on use of their own resources.
  • Kisan Credit Card:
  • To Encourage digital payments & also to provide adequate credit facility for purchasing necessary inputs for agricultural & other requirements, Kisan credit card scheme was launched & converted into ATM enabled RuPay debit card.

Soil Health Card:

  • To ensure crop fertility, soil health card has been introduced which would evaluated fertilizer of soil across country w/respect to several parameters.
  • One, yields are higher due to efficient use of ingredients & Secondly use of fertilizer can also be restricted through this process.

E-National Agriculture Market:

  • To facilitate better marketing opportunities & expose farmers to greater number of markets, e-NAM is launched in 2016.
  • As per information available in ministry of agriculture, 585 regulated wholesale market (APMCs) is integrated to e-NAM platform by 31st March, 2018 & another 415 market are expected to be integrated by 31st march, 2020.
  • This platform provides wider market access to farmer & also ensures better price for the produce.

National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture:

  • National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) was launched in 2014 - 15 w/primary objective of holistic improvement of agriculture by making it more productivity, sustainable, remunerative & climate resilient thru. Process of implementation of location specific integrated/composite farming systems soil & moisture conservation measures, comprehensive soli health mgmt. efficient water mgmt. practices & mainstreaming rainfed technologies.
  • Rainfed area Development Programme focuses on integrated Farming system for enhancing productivity & minimizing risks associated w/climate variability by integrating crops w/activities like horticulture, livestock, fishery, vermi-organic composing etc. . As it allow farmers to maximize their returns for sustained livelihood & also reduce impact associated with natural calamities such as drought, flood etc….
  • Agriculture sector is to achieve its objective of maximizing efficiency & also ensuring equity in a sustainable manner It also has to grow in tandem with other sector, & then only dream of becoming a 5 trillion dollar economy by 2024 - 25. will be fulfilled

- Published/Last Modified on: November 2, 2019


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