Problems of agriculture and planning

 

  • The Department of Agriculture has been created mainly to provide Agricultural Extension services to farmers and to transfer the latest technical knowledge to the farming community, introduction of high yielding varieties, laying demonstrations, imparting training to farmers to improve skills & knowledge to boost up the agricultural Production and productivity.
  • The other objectives of the Department are to assess requirements of agriculture inputs well in advance and to regulate their production and monitor timely supply of seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, implements, credit etc., to farmers.
  • The Department also performs the statutory functions under various acts and regulations (i.e., quality control) to ensure supply of quality inputs i.e., Seeds, Fertilizers and Pesticides to farmers and implementation of Dangerous Machines Regulation Act.
  • The Department also carries out certain other facilitating functions such as 1) soil testing 2) soil and water conservation 3) soil survey 4) credit assessment / arrangements 5) media production 6) training to farmers 7) arranging P.P. campaigns /Diagnostic team visits whenever necessary 8) monitoring and evaluation 9) disaster management 10) crop insurance 11) agricultural mechanisation 12) extending technical assistance to various agencies

 

  • EVOLUTION
  • Introduction :
  • Agriculture – Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said “Everything else can wait but not for Agriculture” Worldwide – is a vital determinant of the livelihoods of small holder farmers and rural communities.
  • Agriculture growth throughout global history – has been the pro-genitor of broad-based economic growth and development, as linkages between farmers and non-farm economic generated widely-based employment, income and growth. Sustainable growth in Agriculture sector is the “need of the hour” not only for the State of Andhra Pradesh but also for the Country as a whole. Economy of Andhra Pradesh continues to be predominantly agrarian.
  • Andhra Pradesh is one of the biggest States in India. The population (2011 census) is 84.6 million i.e., 6.99% of India’s total population of 1210 million (2011 census). It accounts for 8.4% of India’s total geographical area and 6.99% of population, ranking 4th in terms of geographical area and 5th in terms of population among the Indian States. The density of population at 308 per Sq.km is lower than the density 382 at all India level. The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes account respectively for 16.2% and 6.6% of the total population in the State. About one-third of the State population is living in urban areas and the rest is in the rural areas of the State. Rural Andhra Pradesh is predominantly agricultural with more than three fourth of its work force engaged directly in Agriculture sector.
  • Andhra Pradesh “the bejeweled rice bowl of India”. Agriculture is the chief source of income to the State’s economy. Two important rivers of India, the Godavari, and Krishna, flow through the State providing irrigation. Andhra Pradesh is agrarian in character, and it is considered as one of the most progressive States with respect of agriculture development, maintaining high levels of crop production compared to several other States.

 

  • Significant growth in Agriculture:
  • Around -6.22% declined growth rate over previous year of first revised estimates at Constant prices (2004-05) of the State GSDP is from Agriculture (including Horticulture sectors etc.,) during 2011-12 and -2.69% during 2012-13, whereas at current prices -1.29% during 2011-12 and 7.63 % during 2012-13 estimate as advance declined due to drought conditions prevailed in the State.
  • Around 8.70% contributes of first revised estimates at current prices of the State GSDP is from Agriculture (including Horticulture sectors etc.,) during 2011-12 and 10.79% during 2012-13 as advance estimates whereas at constant prices 0.78% during 2011-12 and 1.96% during 2012-13 and also it provides employment to around 65% of the State’s population. The State enjoys a position of supremacy in respect of crop production (source: Socio economic survey 2012-13).
  • The strengths of fundamentals of the economy is evident from the remarkable transition to a high growth path, which was achieved in the recent years. With the various strategic initiatives put in place by the State/ Department ofAgriculture by and large have improved the living standards of the people. Basic theme of the 12th Five Year Plan is “Faster, More inclusive and sustainable growth”.

 

ü  About the Department of Agriculture:
  • In the process of making the mission a reality, the department is adopting following strategies
  • “Sustained and coordinated efforts” for facilitating a second green revolution and device strategies for optimum use of natural resources to create new avenues in Agriculture for livelihood and strengthen the rural areas. Government site-specific system to ensure that at least a part of the fallow lands are brought under cultivation by increasing irrigation sources. New seed technology and post harvest technology are need to be addressed.
  • Involvement of marginal and small farmers in crop diversification and food security are the important aspects to be addressed in accelerating crop diversification in the State.
  • Credit provides necessary liquidity and insurance provides command over resource to the farming community.
  • Provision of banking facilities in un-banked and under banked areas, financial inclusion, SHG bank-linkage programme, financing rural godowns and agricultural Infrastructure are the thrust areas.
  • Re-engineering extension approach for effective extension reach
  • Empowering the farmer with advance agricultural practices
  • Capacity enhancement of Departmental Staff for an efficient extension of technology.
  • Ensuring timely input supply.
  • Regulation of inputs and quality control.
  • Soil test based fertilizer recommendation
  • Promotion of self- reliance in seed production among farmers.

 

 
The Infrastructure:
  • The Departments has a strong chain of human resources consisting of more than 4000 extension staff of field and supervisory cadre. The staff is periodically oriented with the advance technology emerging from time to time by re-engineering through trainings, workshops, interactions etc., in addition, the department supports a number of Farmers Training Centers, laboratories, Farmers Field Schools etc., to equip the farmer with necessary deal and knowledge for successful agriculture
  • The Allied Departments:
  • The research support to the Department is endowed by the State Agriculture University and the National and International Institutes. The input support is solicited through various autonomous bodies like APSSDC, APAIDC, APMARKFED, APOILFED, HACA etc., The other eco-coordinating Departments are Horticulture, Sericulture, Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, Irrigation, Forests, Rain Shadow Area Development and Power.
  • Financial support is rendered by NABARD and other Banks, not only to land owning farmers but also to tenant farmers.
  • ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE

v  State Level

v  Secretariat :
  • It is headed by hon’ble Minister for Agriculture, assisted by an officer of the cadre of Principal Secretary/ Secretary. The Principal Secretary Agriculture and Co-operation is the administrative head in the secretariat on behalf of the State Government assisted by Joint Secretaries, Deputy Secretaries, Asst. Secretaries, Section Officers and Sub staff.
v  Commissionerate of Agriculture :
  • The Head of the dept. is Commissioner of Agriculture, who is senior IAS Officer. He virtually handles the post of Director of Agriculture also. He is assisted by Five Additional Directors of Agriculture, of whom one Additional DA is the principal, SAMETI Old Malakpet and other four are stationed in the Commissionerate of Agriculture.
v  District level:
  • At the District level the Department is headed by Joint Director of Agriculture and assisted by DDAs ADAs and AOs at District, Division and Mandal levels
v  Agriculture Division level:
  • The Divisional ADA is the head of the Agriculture division and assisted by the agricultural officers at the mandal level. There are 254 divisions in the state
v  Mandal Level:
  • In all the 1105 Rural and Urban mandals of the state, atleast one Agriculture Officer is working in each mandal. These AOs are assisted by few Agricultural Extension Officers in the field work
  • Statement showing Sanctioned strength of Technical Staff in Agriculture Department is given below
v  Laboratories :
  • The Department has setup five pesticide testing laboratories, five FCO Laboratories, two seed Testing Laboratories 82 Soil Testing Laboratories(including AMC level) and -14 Biological Control Laboratories in the state

Extension Activities:

  • The government is taking up extension activities in a big way and utilizing the campaign modes to educate farmers in all possible forms.

Polam Pilusthondi:

  • The main objective of the scheme is to strengthen the extension reach at farmers’ doorstep for increasing productivity, profi tability, sustainability and explore the possibilities of value addition to increase the income of the farmers. In order to foster rapid and sustainable agricultural growth and raise increased farm income key strategies such as providing effective extension services, promoting farmer led extension, scientifi c approach, improved use of technologies are being used.

Focused Areas:

During the Polam Pilusthondhi Programme, the main emphasis is being given on the following issues:

  • Distribution of Soil health cards and soil test based fertilizer application. Correction of Micro nutrient defi ciency
  • Encouraging the Organic farming / Natural Farming/ Zero budget natural farming
  • Soil & Water conservation measures ( Dead furrows, Recharging of Bore wells, Recharge of Ground Water, Farm ponds, rainguns etc)
  • Issue of Certifi cate of Cultivation to Tenant farmers for obtaining Institutional Credit and other benefits
  • Pest and Disease Attack and Remedial measures to be taken up.
  • Drought Mitigation

 

Chandranna Rythu Kshetralu:

  • Inculcating best management practices Important crops like Paddy, Pulses, Coarse cereals, Oil seeds and Cotton are cultivated in considerable extent in the state. The production and productivity levels in case of majority of crops are below the possible potential. In order to enhance the productivity of these crops, special programme involving the gross root level functionaries and farmers, Chandranna Rythu Khsetralu-(CRKs) are being conducted on farm demonstrations with latest technological interventions.
  • Chandranna Rythu Kshetralu programme is implemented to promote best agronomic and farm management practices for achieving increase in productivity and reducing cost of cultivation. CRK is an on farm demonstrations of 10 Ha. each cluster at fi eld level with a subsidy of Rs.5000/- per Ha. During 2017-18, 3307 CRKs were organized in all the 13 districts in the State in all the major crops i.e., Rice, Groundnut, Pulses, Maize, Cotton and Sunfl ower.

 

Multi-Purpose Extension System :

 

  • The Government introduced Multi-Purpose Extension System in place of Adarsha Rythus for every 1000 Ha. of cultivable area. 4017 Multi-Purpose Extension Offi cers (MPEOs) are working in the State. The Performance of MPEOs is being assessed on monthly basis based on the Key Performance Indicators and MPEOs are graded based on the marks obtained on performance. Latest technical information on various schemes, objectives, guide lines, subsidy pattern and suggestions to the farmers related to the concerned season/ month are being published in the Telugu Monthly magazine ‘Padi Pantalu’.

 

Soil samples analysis and soil health cards:

  • Soil sampling and soil testing program is organized in a systematic manner to evaluate the fertility status and identify soil problems. The departmental Soil Testing Laboratories are equipped with advanced equipment (AAS, MPAES) to analyse 12 parameters i.e., PH, EC, OC, N, P, K, S, Zinc, Iron, Copper, Magnesium and Boron. The results of the soil analysis are being communicated to the respective farmers in the form of soil health cards. Fertilizer recommendations on the available nutrient contents on soil fertility status are to be given to the farmers in the soil health cards. During 1st cycle of soil health card scheme 13.48 lakh soil samples were analyzed and 54.28 lakh soil health cards were distributed to the farmers. The 2nd cycle of soil health card scheme i.e from 2017-18 and 2018-19 is under progress.

Enhancing Agricultural productivity – Soil Health Management:

  • Soil Health Management in a sub mission under NMSA, which aims to increase soil nutrient status and thus enhance crop productivity for ensuring food security and sustaining rural development.
  • Analysis of soil samples has indicated that 42% of soils in Andhra Pradesh are potentially defi cient in Zinc(Zn), 22% in Iron(Fe), 7% in Manganese (Mn),3% in Copper (Cu), 19% in Boron (B) and 11% in Molybdenum(Mo). Studies also revealed that 20-24% of soils in AP are defi cient in Sulphur. These large scale defi ciencies of multiple nutrients such as micro and secondary nutrients are reducing the response to the added N, P, K nutrients also. It is planned to take up a massive programme such as publicity on correction of micronutrient defi ciency through local media, Polam Pilustondi, wall poster and pamphlets, Hoardings and moving media etc. in the districts where micronutrient defi ciencies are high wide.
  • All the micro nutrients are being positioned and distributed on saturation mode. Yield impact studies taken up under the project has shown 8-15% yield increase over the control plots. During 2017-18 the Govt. has increased the subsidy from 50% to 100% duly relaxing the 2Ha. limit per farmer and 87,250 M.tons of micronutrients distributed through Aadhar enabled biometric system based on soil test results on production of Soil Health Card..

 

Information and Communication Technology:

  • Coverage of crop booking on real-time through e-crop booking software has supported the tenant farmers through LEC, CoC (Certifi cate of Cultivation). Thus these actual cultivators have enjoyed the fi rst low hanging subsidy fruits of the department through Digital Krishi Kalyan, Farm Machineries, Vaddi Leni Runalu. Concepts like FOSS (Farmer One Stop Shop) Farmer data base creations, Big data analysis, Internet of Things (IoT), Smart Home Technologies, cloud computing, mobile governance, Machine Learning, IVR, AR (Augmented Reality) &VR (Virtual Reality), Everything on Demand (Uberization), GPS fencing, Assets mapping, and Automation areas are going to further bolster the Information Technology pursuit by the AP Agriculture Department which is still peddling in new wider angles.

 

D-Krishi – a mobile based DBT solution for distribution of e-Seed& Micro Nutrients:

 

  • D- Krishi is a unique, simple, sustainable, secure and standard and user friendly mobile based DBT solution offered to farmers. Farmer or any one member of the farmer’s family is the main benefi ciary wherein land records, Aadhar and family database (Ration card) are integrated. Based on the landownership data of the farmer linked to his Aadhar ID, the area of land and associated eligible seed quantity shall be calculated by the system.

 

Drought proofing measures :

  • Two thirds of the area cultivated in the state is rain-fed. Keeping in view the climate change, government is giving emphasis on drought proofi ng. Technologies like automatic Weather Stations, Piezo meters, Soil Moisture meters etc are being used extensively. Water being a key factor in dry land farming, greater emphasis is given to ground water recharge through Farm Ponds (Panta Sanjeevini) and Neeru-Chettu, Geo mapping of all water resource bodies.

 

 

 

 

 

Crop Insurance

Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)

 

  • Government of India announced a crop insurance policy namely “Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana” in place of NAIS & MNAIS from Kharif 2016 season onwards. It incorporates the best features of all previous schemes and at the same time removing, all previous shortcomings/ weaknesses. The major improvements made are:

 

  • Farmer’s premium contribution in Kharif is 2% and in Rabi it is 1.5% for Food Crops and Oilseed Crops. Annual Commercial & Horticulture crops – farmer premium share will be maximum of 5%.
  • Premium subsidy will be paid by the Central and State Governments on equal proportion (50:50).
  • Cover for inundation apart from Hail storm and Postharvest crop damage.
  • Action plan to cover 50% of the area under Crop Insurance.

 

  • Under PMFBY scheme, in Kharif 2017, Paddy crop is covered under “Village Insurance Unit” in 12 districts, Red gram in Ananthapuramu district and other 18 crops covered under Mandal Insurance Unit.13 Districts have been grouped into two clusters with balanced risk profi le and sum insured. The results of the CC Experiments are being compiled through online system for quick settlement insurance claims.

 

  • During Rabi 2017-18, Paddy crop is covered under “Village Insurance Unit” in 5 Districts ( East Godavari, West Godavari, Krishna, Nellore & Chittoor, Bengalgram in 3 districts (Prakasam, Kurnool & Kadapa), Maize in Guntur District and 10 crops ( Rice, Maize, Jowar, Greengram, Blackgram, Bengalgram, Groundnut, Sunfl ower, Red Chilly, Onion covered under Mandal Insurance Unit. All the districts have been grouped into two clusters with balanced risk profi le and sum insured.

 

Unified Package Insurance Scheme (UPIS) (Pilot scheme):

 

Apart from PMFBY & WBCIS, GOI has also announced “Unifi ed Package Insurance Scheme (UPIS) on pilot basis during 2017-18.

  • Srikakulam district is selected to implement UPIS during 2016-17 on pilot basis.

 

  • The pilot scheme includes seven sections viz., 1. Crop Insurance (PMFBY/WBCIS), 2. Personal Accident Insurance (PMSBY), 3. Life Insurance (PMJJBY) 4.Building & Contents Insurance (fi re and allied perils), 5.Agriculture Pump Sets Insurance, 6.Student Safety Insurance, 7. Agriculture Tractor Insurance

 

  • Out of these seven sections Crop Insurance (PMFBY / WBCIS) is compulsory. However, farmer can choose at least two sections from remaining six to avail applicable premium subsidy under PMFBY/WBCIS.

 

Agricultural Credit:

 

  • The Annual Credit Plan for the year 2017-18 was Rs.87470.67 cr. towards Agriculture Credit. Rs.49054.81 cr. (56.08 %) was disbursed up to Sept. 2017 under Agriculture Credit. An amount of Rs.38893.59 crores (61.63%) was disbursed under crop loans (short term loans) against the target of Rs.63105.51 crores and an amount of Rs.10161.22 crores (41.70%) was disbursed against the target of Rs.24365.16 crores under Agriculture Term Loans including allied activities.

 

Credit to Land Licensed Cultivators (Tenant farmers):

 

  • The State Government has taken up a major initiative to facilitate financing to the land licensed cultivators (tenant farmers) through passing an act named the “Andhra Pradesh land licensed cultivators Act No 18 of 2011’’ to provide loan and other benefi ts eligibility cards to land licensed cultivators (tenant farmers).

 

Rythu Sadhikara Samstha

 Agricultural Debt Redemption Scheme to farmers:

 

  • Government of AP is implementing the Agriculture Debt Redemption scheme with an outlay of Rs.24000 Crores. At present 3 installments of Debt Redemption is being released for the farmer families who are entitled for Debt Redemption of more than Rs.50000/-. Including the 3rd installment so far released, in to Rs.14,428 Crores has been released.
  • While releasing the II installment of Debt Redemption the farmers are given interest @10% for one year on 2nd installment and for 2 years @10% while releasing the 3rd installment.
  • In respect of Horticultural crop loan Debt Redemption it is considered upto maximum of Rs.50000/-@ Rs.10000 per Acre and for Horticulture Debt Redemption so far Rs.384.47 crores was released in favour of 2.23lakh Loan accounts of farmers

 

 

 

Vaddileni Runalu and Pavala Vaddi Scheme on Crop Loans:

  • To mitigate the fi nancial burden of the farmers, the Government has announced Rythu Sri (vaddileni panta runalu/pavala vaddi) scheme on crop loans disbursed. The Government has announced Interest free crop loans to all the farmers up to Rs.1.00 lakh and Pavala Vaddi for crop loans from Rs.1.00 lakh to Rs.3.00 lakhs if repaid in time (maximum period of one year).

 

Rashtriya Krishi Vikasa Yojana – A GoI Initiative :

  • Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) is one of the flagship programme of Government of India with Central and State sharing 60:40. The State Level Sanction Committee (SLSC) has sanctioned projects worth of Rs. 782.85 crores during 2017-18. Out of which, Rs.120.89 crores has been sanctioned to Agriculture Sector.
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