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[op-ed snap] A sketchy roadmap

Image result for niti aayog 3 year action agenda agriculture

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Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Agriculture | Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Direct Benefit Transfer, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Krishi, Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY), National Agricultural Market, e-NAM

Mains level: Article has given 5 action points for 5 fronts in Agricultural sector. Please note down those points which can be used as suggestions to improve agricultural sector


News

Context

  1. Last month, the NITI Aayog released the Three Year Action Agenda (TYAA, a roadmap for reforming the various sectors of the economy.
  2. But it does not recognise the role of trade policy in agriculture, and is silent on money-guzzling food and fertiliser subsidies

The TYAA basically talks of action pertaining to

  1. Increasing productivity of land and water
  2. Reforming agri-markets on the lines of e-NAM
  3. Reforming tenancy laws
  4. Relief measures during natural disasters.

However TYAA does not talk about

  1. Prioritising policy actions
  2. Role of trade policy in agriculture
  3. Reforming the massive system of food and fertiliser subsidies. 

Urgent action is needed on five fronts

  1. Improve the profitability of cultivation by “getting markets right”
    • Attempts to reform the APMC markets, and Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing Act, 2017, have not achieved much success.
    • e-NAM scheme, has not succeeded in its endeavour so far.

Solution

    • Open up exports of all agri-products, without any restrictions
    • Allow private trade to build global value chains, keeping the Essential Commodities Act in abeyance.
  1. It needs to invest in water
    • The Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana is mandated to complete 99 irrigation projects by 2019
    • NABARD, with Rs 40,000 crore as Long-Term Irrigation Fund, is to help states in completing these projects
    • But open canal systems with flood irrigation don’t give high water-use efficiency.Solution
    • Accord higher priority to micro-irrigation (drip and sprinklers);
    •  Israel and the US could be good examples to follow
  2. Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) of food and fertiliser subsidies can release resources for investments
    • Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000 crores can be saved through DBT, which can be invested in water resources and upgrading marketing infrastructure.
  3. It should ensure that the new Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) delivers compensation to farmers in time
    • These lacunae can be fixed through modern technology and better governance
  4. It should free up land lease markets. 
    • China allows land lease for 30 years so that corporate bodies can work with farmers, bringing in their best expertise, inputs and investments.

Back2basics

Direct Benefit Transfer: Refer Civilsdaily 

What is e-NAM?: Refer Civilsdaily

 

[op-ed snap] From plate to plough: No feel for the pulse

Image result for pulses

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Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Agriculture | Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices

Once you are done reading this op-ed, you will be able to attempt the below.

“Pulses are an interesting and unique commodity group in the Indian agri-food space.” What are the issues faced by pulse production in India and suggest remedies?

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: MSP

Mains level: Pulses and related issues


News

Context

  1. India ranks first not only in Pulse production and consumption, but also their import.
  2. Domestic absorption in recent years (2012-13 to 2015-16) has hovered between 21 million metric tonnes (MMT) and 23 MMT, while domestic production has ranged from 16.4 MMT to 19.3 MMT.
  3.  In 2016-17, India witnessed its highest ever domestic production of pulses — a staggering 22.95 MMT.

Reasons behind record production?

  1. It can be attributed to a normal monsoon in 2016 after two consecutive drought years
  2. High market prices of pulses prevailing at the time of the kharif sowing
  3. Steep hikes in the Minimum Support Prices (MSP) — up to 9.2 per cent for kharif and 16.2 per cent for rabi pulses.
  4. These favourable conditions significantly drove up kharif acreage to almost 36 per cent above normal. 
  5. The production of kharif pulses increased by nearly 70 per cent in 2016-2017 over that of the previous year and the total production of pulses increased by about 40 per cent.

What are the problems involved ?

  1. Despite such such bumper production India imported a record 6.6 MMT of pulses, valued at nearly $4.3 billion at zero import duty
  2. As a result, domestic supply of pulses in 2016-17 shot up to 29.6 MMT, way above the typical supply of 22-23 MMT.
  3. This glut in domestic supplies caused wholesale prices to crash, despite a bold and first-of-its-kind effort by the government to procure around 1.6 MMT of pulses.
  4.  If there is no change in the government’s methods, we may either witness a decline in production of kharif pulses or another price crash this year. That may spur another round of farm loan waivers.

Solution to this problem??

  1.  The landed price of imported pulses should not be below the MSP of domestic pulses, else the MSP is irrelevant
  2.  Exports of all pulses must be opened up without any quantity or minimum export price (MEP) restrictions. Export restrictions betray anti-farmer policies.
  3. Pulses should be de-listed from the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act so that farmers can sell freely to whosoever they like,
  4. Essential Commodities Act (ECA), especially the provision that imposes stocking limits, must be critically evaluated and the act should be amended drastically
  5. Unless private players are reassured that no ad-hoc stocking limits will be imposed, there will be no investments in building storage and efficient value-chains.
  6. Give the farmer right incentives — at least some reasonable margin above the cost of production.
  7. Futures trading should also be allowed for all types of pulses so that planting and selling decisions of farmers are based on a futuristic rather than a backward-looking price information.

‘Study linking climate change and farmer suicides baseless’

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Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not Much

Mains level: Recently, we had a newscard on the same issue. This newscard presents the other side of the story. And presents some real errors, in the study by the PNAS.


News

Who are they saying it Baseless?

  1. Some professors have termed as “baselessthe claims of a recent study that links climate change and agricultural suicides
  2. According them, the claims are a consequence of “uncritical use of data, bad assumptions, flawed analysis” and “unacceptable neglect”
  3. These professors are from TISS School of Habitat Studies
  4. They have also submitted a formal comment on the study to PNAS

What did the study say?

  1. The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) of the USA
  2. It found that temperatures during India’s main agricultural season have a “strong positive effect” on annual suicide rates
  3. The study calculated that “warming a single day by 1 degree Celsius during India’s agricultural growing season leads to roughly 65 suicides across the country
  4. Warming a day by 5 degrees Celsius has five times that effect

Arguments against the US’ study

  1. TISS professors have themselves conducted a detailed study of the impact of extreme temperatures on crop production in Karnataka
  2. But no study provides any corroborative evidence for the dramatic conclusions of this paper(PNAS)

Serious Errors in the study by PNAS

  1. Among the “serious errors” is the “incorrect use of suicide data”
  2. For example, the “paper uses state-level data on suicides, data that includes both urban and rural suicides
  3. But the study talked about farmer’s suicide(in rural area)

[op-ed snap] From plate to plough: Plan for the agri-futures

Image result for agri-futures

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Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Agriculture | Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices

Op-ed discusses about the India’s poor performance in Agri-future trading and lessons we can learn from Chinese success in Agri-future trading.

Once you are done reading this op-ed, you will be able to attempt the below.

“The futures market is one way to ensure that farmers’ planting and selling decisions are forward-looking.” Examine reasons for India’s poor performance in Agri-futures trading and give suggestions?

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Futures market, e-NAM

Mains level: Agri-trading in India-problems ,solutions


News

Context

  1. Even after 70 years of Independence, the marketing system for agri-products remains un-supportive to farmers.
  2. The e-NAM aims to create an all-India spot market by creating an electronic platform.

e-NAM, what is required?

  1. For transactions to take place across mandis and states, one has to do much more than installing a simple software.
  2. It needs assaying, grading, sorting, storing, delivering and settling disputes with respect to each transaction.

Agri-futures market

  1. The agri-futures market is one way to ensure that farmers’ planting and selling decisions are forward-looking, and not based on past prices.
  2. This can help smoothen the typical boom and bust problem in agri-prices.

India’s agri-futures trading experience

  1. India recorded the first trade in futures in 1875 in cotton in the Bombay Cotton Exchange, just 10 years after the first trade was consummated in USA.
  2. But India’s agri-futures could not develop much due to a series of suspensions around the Second World War in view of the shortage of essential commodities.
  3. This mind-set continued post-Independence, and only pepper and turmeric were allowed to trade in 1977
  4. In 2003 three national exchanges were set up and all commodities were allowed to be traded in futures markets. But since 2003, 15 commodity futures were suspended, leading to uncertainty in the market.

Problems with Indian agri-futures trading

  1. They are often disrupted by sudden bans or suspensions by the government as many policy-makers have a deep mistrust in the functioning of these markets
  2. Very few farmers or farmer producer organisations (FPOs) trade on futures, which in turn reinforces the mistrust of policymakers.
  3. The overall size of agri-futures in India remains trapped at low levels, and since 2012, it has been tumbling down

Lessons from the Chinese success

  1. China, which started in the early 1990s, and by 2016, it was the largest player in global agri-futures contracts with a whopping share of 69 per cent.
  2. State participation in the futures markets through the State Trading Enterprises
  3. No abrupt suspensions of commodities
  4. Focus on choice of commodities, which are not very sensitive from the food security point of view

Way forward

  1. Well thought-out strategy to pick the right commodities is a better way to develop agri-futures rather than a frequent stop-go policy
  2. India being now the largest importer of edible oils, especially palm and soya oils, these are promising candidates for agri-futures provided global players are allowed to trade in these.
  3. The trust in commodity futures will enhance once more FPOs start trading on agri-futures, and they start gaining directly or indirectly from agri-futures.
  4. SEBI can help incentivise the participation of FPOs on the futures trading platform, but the real onus lies with agri-commodity exchanges, and it is here that the progress has been extremely slow.

 

[op-ed snap] A gathering crisis: the need for groundwater regulation

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Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Op-ed discusses about increasing crisis of groundwater in India and the failure of the existing legal regime to address the issue. It discusses about the newly proposed Groundwater (Sustainable Management) Bill, 2017 and its provisions.

Once you are done reading this op-ed, you will be able to attempt the below.

How Groundwater Bill, 2017 can address the ground water crisis in India? Discuss the issues in the existing legal framework?

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

 Mains level: Groundwater Bill, 2017 and its provisions


News

Context:

  1. Urgent measures are necessary to address the water crisis in India
  2. While the crisis is often discussed, law and policy measures to address it remain insufficient

Why?

  • Primary source of domestic water and irrigation is groundwater but the media and policymakers still focussing on surface water.
  • This needs to change as water tables have been falling rapidly in many parts of the country, and use exceeds replenishment.

 Reasons for excessive use of groundwater

  1. Legal framework governing access to the resource
    • Landowner have the right to access groundwater found under their land, and they see groundwater as their own and as a resource they can exploit without considering the need to protect and replenish it since there are no immediate consequences for over-exploiting it.
  2. Access to a source of groundwater has become a source of power and economic gain
  3. With the propagation of mechanical pumps, big landowners to sell water to others for economic gain

Problems with the current framework?

  1. Mechanical pumping led to the situation that recharge could not keep pace with use. 
  2. 1970 model Bill focused on State-level control over new, additional uses of groundwater but did not address the iniquitous regime giving landowners unlimited control over groundwater.
  3. The States that have groundwater legislation based on the model Bill,1970 failed to address the problem of falling water tables due to increasing use
  4. There is no provision to protect and conserve groundwater at the aquifer level.
  5. It fails to give gram sabhas and panchayats a prevailing say in the regulation and the framework remains mostly top-down and is incapable of addressing local situations adequately.
  6. Planning Commission and Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation recognised that present legal regime has failed to address the ground water crisis.
  7. The result is the Groundwater (Sustainable Management) Bill, 2017

Groundwater (Sustainable Management) Bill, 2017

  1. Proposes a different regulatory framework
  2. Based on the recognition of the unitary nature of water, the need for decentralised control over groundwater and the necessity to protect it at aquifer level
  3. Recognition that water is a public trust (groundwater is a common pool resource), the recognition of the fundamental right to water and the introduction of protection principles, including the precautionary principle, that are currently absent from water legislation.
  4. Builds on the decentralisation mandate that is already enshrined in general legislation but has not been implemented effectively as far as groundwater is concerned and
  5. Seeks to give regulatory control over groundwater to local users.

[op-ed snap] The classroom and the field

Related image

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Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Agriculture | Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices

Op-ed discusses about the performance of ICAR over the years and issues faced by Agriculture education in India.

Once you are done reading this op-ed, you will be able to attempt the below.

The Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) mandate is agriculture education, research and farm extension. Critically evaluate its performance over the years and how it must be revamped?

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: ICAR

 Mains level: Issues associated with ICAR, Agriculture education in India.


News

Context:

  1. Even after 71st year of Independence  Indian farmers are not able to attain self-sufficiency
  2. Poverty- ridden farmers are still committing suicide, and the economists and scientists are still equating food sufficiency to farmer sustainability.

Introspection

The Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR)

Issues

  1. Its mandate is agriculture education, research and farm extension
  2. Contributed during the most challenging years of food scarcity but success came at an environmental cost
  3. Far from being an autonomous body, ICAR has become an extension of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare
  4. ICAR has a strong bias in favour of crop sciences at the cost of animal husbandry
  5. Yields for irrigated crops like rice and wheat are comparable with the best in the world, but research on rain-fed farms, pulses, oilseeds, fruits and vegetables lags considerably
  6. Of the three activities of ICAR, technology transfer or farm extension is shared with the states and abdication by the state public extension system has allowed the private shopkeepers to usurp the role of farm advisories to disastrous consequences for farmers, human health and the ecology.
  7. Around 700 Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVK) funded by the ICAR are neither fully staffed nor equipped.
  8. ICAR recruitments are manipulated, inbreeding and nepotism are rampant. Salary structures based on government promotion rules of time-bound promotion do not recognise research output and talent is ignored.
  9. Most farmhands are women, but women are not even recruited in equal numbers
  10. Research is routinely stolen from ICAR institutes by private companies. Thus, IPR registrations and internal resource generation like that in the developed world universities is improbable.

What needs to be done?

  1. It should be transformed into a truly autonomous body reporting directly to the prime minister like the Atomic Energy Commission
  2. Its functions should be restricted to farm research, education and oversight of non-ICAR agriculture institutes.
  3. Farm extension services should be completely delegated to the state governments.
  4. Climate resilient agriculture require a reorientation of priorities and mind-sets.
  5. The capacities for market intelligence and forecasting models have to be cultivated.

Agriculture education

Issues

  1. The deterioration in agriculture education is deplorable.
  2. Some state agriculture universities (SAU) are even conducting courses in fashion design
  3. 1,000s of unregulated private agriculture colleges are working without proper labs, infrastructure or farm land.
  4. As agriculture is a state subject ICAR/Central government jurisdiction doesn’t apply to these proliferating private profiteers.
  5. States haven’t enacted a regulatory framework. The Punjab government has notified a regulatory act; other states must follow.
  6. State governments barely manage to fund the SAUs. To offset the constant paucity of funds, SAUs are forced to augment their resources by seeking research grants irrespective of the state’s priorities.
  7. Inter-departmental coordination is lacking within the 71 agriculture universities

Way forward?

  1. Budget allocations for agriculture R&D must be 2 per cent of the GDP from the less than 1 per cent at present.
  2. A metric to audit outcomes and establish accountability is needed to resolve the crisis
  3. When decisions are made, the theoretical knowledge of policymakers supersedes the grounded experience of the practitioner, allowing these crises to fester indefinitely. This issue must be addressed properly.

[op-ed snap] A field of her own

Note4students

Mains Paper 1: Social issues | Role of women and women’s organization

Q.) “Advancing rights of women farmers can revolutionise the rural ecosystem.” Discuss the relevance of this statement in the current Indian context.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: The article gives important facts on women’s contribution in Indian farming system. Article also shows how giving more power to women in fields will eventually benefits our society.


News

Context

  1. The article is related to growing contribution of Indian women in farming and issues related to it

Current Scenario

  1. Presently, women constitute close to 65 per cent of all agricultural workers
  2. Also, 74 per cent of the rural workforce, is female

Why are women not counted as Farmers?

  1. Women are not officially counted as farmers because they are either labelled “agricultural labourers” or “cultivators
  2. Why: this is because the government does not recognise as farmers those who do not have a claim to land under their name in official records
  3. As many as 87 per cent of women do not own their land, only 12.7 per cent of them do

Reason behind less rights to women in farming system
There are two primary reasons behind this:

  1. First, land being a state subject is not governed by the constitution under a uniform law that applies equally to all citizens but rather is governed by personal religious laws
  2. It tends to discriminate against women when it comes to land inheritance
  3. Second, the cultural aspect hinder women’s ownership of land in patriarchal societies cannot be discounted

Why is women with land ownership good for Indian farming society?

  1. According to many studies, women have a greater tendency to use their income for the needs of their households
  2. Land-owning women’s offspring receive better nourishment
  3. Land-owning mothers also tend to invest in their children’s education

Possible impact of giving land ownership to the women(at micro level)

  1. The chance of propertied women being physically abused is reduced from 49 per cent to 7 per cent due to an increase in the wife’s bargaining power
  2. If female farmers are provided security of land tenure, they will be officially recognised as farmers

The way forward

  1. India has the intention to ensure food security for its citizens and boost women’s rights
  2. These intentions constitute goals two and five of the Sustainable Development Goals that our country committed to in 2015
  3. Giving more empowerment to women farmers is critical in realising these outcomes

Studying the climate of farm suicides

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Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From the UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not Much

Mains level: The article gives interesting connection between Farmers’ suicide problem in India and Climate Change


News

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)

  1. According to a study by the PNAS of the US, over 1,900 farm suicides were triggered every year over the last 30 years in India by warming related to climate change
  2. Name of the Study: “Crop-damaging temperatures increase suicide rates in India”

Other points from study

  1. The study calculates that “warming a single day by 1 degree Celsius during India’s agricultural growing season leads to roughly 65 suicides across the country, whenever that day’s temperature is above 20 degrees Celsius”
  2. Warming a day by 5 degrees Celsius has five times that effect

[op-ed snap] The difficult economics of the Indian farmer

Image result for crisis indian farmer

Image source

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Agriculture | Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices

Op-ed discusses about problems faced by Indian farmers. It gives some suggestions to reduce price risk. Please note down those points.

Once you are done reading this op-ed, you will be able to fully attempt the below.

“Policy should focus not just on higher production but also on helping farmers manage risks” Discuss. How price deficiency payments can address price risk?

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: MSP, CACP, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Price deficiency payment

Mains level: Multiple crisis faced by Indian farmers


News

Context:

  1.  Author discusses the hardships faced by Indian farmers on different fronts due to climate, price risk, Government policy problems etc.

Problems

  1. The risks begin with sowing. The production in the months ahead is deeply dependent on weather conditions.
  2. Price risk: A bumper crop can pull down prices in wholesale markets. Farmers are reported to have not been able to even recover the cost for some crops
  3. Recent report that the fall in inflation has increased the real debt burden of farmers, which has risen faster than real income in recent years.
  4. The opportunities for risk mitigation are minimal.
  5. MSPs was originally conceived as a way to mitigate risk through guaranteed prices. It later degenerated into a tool to buy the political support of large farmers.
  6. Farmers who suffered losses in the last year have not yet received compensation for 55% of the estimated claims from Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. Crop insurance will not benefit farmers if the compensation is not paid in time
  7. A more robust mechanism is needed to mitigate the price risk. The lack of future prices means that farmers base their production decisions on prices at the time of sowing.
  8. In majority of agri-products, the policymakers used restrictive export policies to keep domestic prices low. This showed the pro-consumer bias in the policy complex

How to reduce price risk?

  1. Price deficiency payment, which has been advocated by NITI Aayog
  2. In price deficiency payment, farmers can be compensated through direct benefit transfer if prices fall below a predetermined threshold level.
  3. A deeper derivative market in agricultural commodities will also help farmers in hedging against price risks.
  4. The market regulator has done well by allowing option contracts.
  5. However, the government should avoid its response of banning trading whenever prices rise.

 Way forward?

  1. Strike a balance between the interests of both the producer and the consumer
  2. The actual impact of higher remunerative farm prices can be contained by making markets more efficient and removing middlemen from the system.
  3. Building a common agriculture market is also necessary.
  4. Government policy should focus not just on higher production but also on helping farmers manage risks

 

 

[op-ed snap] Equity in taxes: Rich farmers should be treated on par with other taxpayers

Context:

  1. A controversial proposal by Bibek Debroy, a member of the government think tank NITI Aayog, to tax agricultural income above a particular threshold has led to a public exchange of views

Opinions:

  1. Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian made it clear that taxing farm income is a State subject
  2. The public image of farming being a poor man’s venture and the sizeable vote share that farmers enjoy have made the idea of farm taxes a political taboo
  3. There is frequent distress faced by poor or marginal farmers, which could be attributed to structural issues
    other than taxation

Taxing farmers:

  1. India has a presence of rich farmers as well and there exists as a strong justification for taxing them in order to
    widen the country’s embarrassingly narrow tax base
  2. Debroy suggested that an appropriate tax policy should draw a distinction between rich and poor farmers, thereby addressing the widespread political apprehension of bringing agriculture under the tax net

Low tax base:

  1. India’s tax base, standing at a minuscule 5.9% of the working population, is already among the lowest in the
    world
  2. This unnecessarily burdens the more formal sectors of the economy that are already overtaxed; at the same
    time, it handicaps government spending on the social sector
  3. The case for treating agriculture on a par with other sectors is thus clear

Issues concerned:

  1. Policymakers must also show equal care and urgency in addressing the structural issues facing the sector
  2. This includes reforms to the broken agricultural supply chain that still leaves farmers at the mercy of middlemen cartels
  3. Such reforms are crucial if farming is to become a sustainable enterprise in the long run
  4. Else, a tax on high-income farmers will result only in driving resources away from agriculture into other
    sectors
  5. It would make no difference to poorer farmers stuck in agriculture, merely because of the lack of opportunities
  6. A tax on lucrative high-value farm ventures, which affects their ability to absorb labourers from low-value farming
  7. This could make life more difficult for farmers unable to make the cut in industry or services

Farm suicides get attention of Supreme Court

  • Source: A study conducted across 13 States by the Union Agriculture Ministry throws up the all-too-familiar
    reasons that drive farmers to suicide
  • Reasons: Frequent crop failure, vagaries of the monsoon, absence of assured water resources, attacks of pests and diseases, debts, farming and social causes
  •  Union Home Ministry’s National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) reports up to 2015 reveal identical causes of suicides among farmers — bankruptcy, farming-related issues, family problems, illness, drug abuse or alcoholism
  • Centre views: In an affidavit filed by the Agriculture Ministry in the Supreme Court last week, the Centre
    agrees with the court that the deaths of farmers are an “unfortunate issue”
  •  But it can only formulate a line of action to resolve the issue, the actual implementation at the ground level is
    the responsibility of the individual States
  • SC hearing: The court is scheduled to hold a hearing on May 1 on this affidavit filed on the basis of a petition
    filed by the organisation, Citizens Resource and Action Initiative (CRANTI), against Gujarat
  • The court expanded the ambit of the petition to farmers’ suicides across the country and had asked the Centre on March 27 to provide an action plan to end the human tragedy
  • The affidavit suggests crop insurance, crop and enterprise diversification, government intervention through minimum support price (MSP) covering cost of production plus a reasonable profit margin, establishing farmers’ welfare cells as support groups and regulating informal credit market as remedies
  • Alternate view: There is a disconnect between the Centre and States, which leaves the farmer empty-handed
  • “It is clear that the Centre controls most important policies pertaining to farm livelihoods whether it is MSP, credit, crop insurance, disaster compensation, trade policies and so on”
  • “Often, the States are not consulted on these matters. The MSP is not realised by most farmers. Credit is being cornered by non-farmers”
  • “Many of these policies are actually going against farmers’ interests. Unless these are addressed, farm
    suicides can’t be prevented”
  • The government affidavit: However, points to relief measures such as the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana

Rise in cotton output likely in northern States

  1. Though farmers have sown less cotton this kharif season, the production in key northern States is likely to be higher in 2016-17 against 2015-16
  2. Reason: This is because of expectation of better yield due to conducive weather conditions
  3. In north India, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan are the major cotton producing States
  4. After the GM cotton crop suffered huge damage last year in Punjab and Haryana due to the whitefly pest attack, distressed farmers had sown less cotton this year
  5. The whitefly pest attack had caused extensive damage to Bt cotton varieties last year in Punjab and Haryana
  6. It resulted in a drop of nearly 40 per cent in production

[op-ed snap] Missing stock is harming our food security

  1. Theme: Spoilage and pilferage of foodgrains.
  2. Background: During April this year, missing stock worth around Rs 20,000 crore was discovered in Punjab’s food purchases.
  3. Concerns: According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, around 40% of the food produced in India is wasted.
  4. Wastage from the public distribution system, which is meant for ensuring food security in the country, makes up almost half of the total.
  5. Considering that India ranked a lowly 97th of 118 nations in the recently released Global Hunger Index, spoilage and pilferage are not things the country can afford.
  6. The way ahead: The concept of a Negotiable Warehouse Receipts system, as proposed by the Shanta Kumar Committee for restructuring FCI, is one way to break the monopoly of state agencies and incentivize farmers. It allows farmers to deposit their produce in registered warehouses for an advance and sell it later when market prices are high.
  7. Strict adherence to quality standards and norms should be made mandatory for the registered warehouses, private or otherwise.
  8. A combination of private and public agencies is essential to handle the vast and diverse agricultural output in the country.
  9. Meanwhile, the FCI should be streamlined and allowed to focus on states’ surplus produce meant for distribution in other states.
  10. Most of the produce meant for a state’s own consumption should be left to the state agencies.
  11. Provisions must also be made to liquidate stocks as and when they exceed buffer stocks to minimize wastage.
  12. Efforts should be made to revamp the food processing sector in India to reduce the perishability of food items.
  13. The setting up of mega food parks and cold storage chains as part of the Make In India project, and 100% foreign direct investment through the Foreign Investment Promotion Board route in the marketing of food produced and manufactured in India is welcome in this context.
  14. Conclusion: A robust food-supply chain, which can make value additions through better storage, distribution and processing, will ensure that the agricultural sector remains competitive, transparent and profitable.
  15. This may also change banks’ negative perceptions of the sector.

Private forecaster predicts ‘above average’ monsoon

  1. News: New Delhi-based weather forecaster Skymet is expecting India’s monsoon rainfall to be ‘above average’ due to waning El Nino
  2. Central India and the western coast would see ‘fairly good rains’ and the latter half of the monsoon was likely to see better rainfall
  3. Concern: Parts of Maharashtra are reeling under drought-like conditions with key Indian reservoirs at a decadal low
  4. Significance: A good monsoon this year is critical to boost agricultural productivity as well as farm incomes, especially on the back of successive monsoon failures in 2014 and 2015

Won’t allow big firms to exploit farmers: Centre

  1. News: The govt would continue to regulate cotton seed prices and would not allow big companies to exploit farmers
  2. Reason: To bring about uniformity in cotton seed prices across the country
  3. Background: In Dec 2015, the Agriculture Ministry issued an order to regulate cotton seed prices, including royalty value for the 2016-17 crop year
  4. In Mar 2016, the Centre fixed a maximum sale price for Bt cotton seed varieties

Budget could help achieve 4% growth in agriculture sector

  1. News: The Union Budget would put the agricultural sector towards path of progress and would help in addressing agriculture distress and achieve 4% growth
  2. Finance: Rs.35,984 crore has been allocated for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Ministry
  3. Aim: To double the income of farmers in the next 5 years, to multiply yield per unit and better returns on the products related to farmers

Do read our blog Discussing Budget 2016-17 | Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare to know more

Will double farm income by 2022: PM

  1. News: PM Modi urged States to give priority to agriculture, aimed to double the income of farmers by 2022, to mark India’s 75 years of independence
  2. Context: To attain that goal, Centre had adopted a scientific approach to farming and urged farmers to utilise the various agricultural initiatives
  3. Farmer’s Challenges: The family size is increasing and land is being divided into smaller units and share of each family member is shrinking
  4. How to resolve challenges? Need to divide farming practices into 3 sectors, traditional farming, tree or timber plantation and livestock rearing
  5. If farmers plant timber on the outer edges of their fields, in 15-20 years they will see results
  6. Focus: Needed to be given to all 3 pillars – agriculture, manufacturing and service sectors for economic growth

Union Budget set to boost farm sector

  1. Context: Govt to double annual spending on irrigation and crop insurance, and develop a national digital platform for farm produce to ensure better prices for farmers
  2. Rationale: Push to reduce rural distress following the 1st back-to-back drought in India in 3 decades
  3. Rural distress, why? 2 consecutive failed monsoons & unseasonal rains ahead of the winter harvest in 2015
  4. Aim: Reducing rural distress and boosting farm production, which is projected to grow at a dismal 1.1% in the year

Punjab to diversify with hybrid maize this kharif

  1. Context: To give an impetus to crop diversification
  2. News: Punjab is planning to replace the rice with hybrid maize in 2 lakh hectares this kharif season (2016-17)
  3. Reason: Hybrid maize is considered the best alternative to paddy
  4. Hybrid varieties of maize that yield 6-7 tonnes a hectare are now available
  5. Support: The govt has established a maize board to help farmers in production and marketing

Karnataka 1st state to record failure of winter crop

  1. State seeks central aid of Rs 1,417 cr after rabi crop worth Rs 7,209 crore damaged in more than 70% of sown area
  2. An unusually dry and warm winter has affected planting across India & also raised fears of another failed crop, especially in parched states such as Maharashtra and UP
  3. Agri ministry data- winter planting has already been cut by 3 million hectares in country
  4. This could sharpen the rural distress and push many farmers into a condition of grave indebtedness or, in some cases, even take extreme steps
  5. According to the state’s farm ministry, over a thousand farmers have killed themselves in Karnataka in the last year

Milk production touches new height in 2014-15

Agricultural education must conform to global standards: President

  1. India has only 3 per cent of the world’s land resources and 5 per cent of water resources, yet, Indian agriculture system supports 18 per cent of the world population.
  2. India’s transformation from a state of “ship-to-mouth” to a leading exporter of foodgrains has been made possible largely
  3. Due to the scientific developments in premier institutes such as the IARI
  4. For this, there is a need to create a large pool of competent faculty empowered with state-of-the-art research infrastructure
  5. A strong network of teachers, learners and practitioners will facilitate lab-to-field dissemination of good agricultural practices

Food imports rise as govt struggles to revive rural India

Droughts, lack of long-term investment in agriculture and increasing demands are undermining the country’s bid to be self-sufficient in food.

  1. The long term impact of rising food imports on commodity markets could be significant.
  2. Last month, India made its first purchases of corn in 16 years & it has also been increasing purchases of other products, such as lentils and oilmeals.
  3. Wheat and sugar stocks, while sufficient in warehouses now, are depleting fast, leading some traders to predict the need for imports next year.
  4. India’s entry into the market as a net importer is good news for suppliers like Brazil, Argentina, the US and Canada, which are suffering from a global commodity glut.
  5. Boosting irrigation, raising crop yields and encouraging farmers to avail of a new crop insurance scheme will help address growing distress in the countryside.

Ghosts Of Ship-To-Mouth: What ails agriculture in India?

Price spikes, production fluctuations challenge us, not insufficient food production.

  1. India is into an era of marketable surplus but there are no buyers for produce.
  2. Anxiety on onions and pulses etc. are the consequences of lopsided farm support programmes.
  3. The conversation on the farm sector needs to radically shift from focusing on fears of insufficient production to issues of nutrition and safety.
  4. India is already among the largest producers of foodgrain, pulses, sugarcane, tea etc., even though we lag behind in crop yields.
  5. Differences in the yields b/w farms and labs can be bridged by improved extension services.
  6. Productivity can also be enhanced across the spectrum without adding extra inputs (and with fewer seeds) if we simply upgrade sowing machinery.
  7. Farmer-ownership of machinery will lead to debt, service leasing will lead to prosperity.

Convergence of schemes to boost investments in agriculture

  1. As per govt data, public investment showed lower growth (11.42%) than private investment (19.81%) during 2004-05 to 2012-13.
  2. Currently, public and private investments are financed through two sources:
    • Loans from financial institutions by individuals and govts.
    • Budgetary support from the central and state govts.
  3. To achieve high growth in agriculture, we need to increase both public and private investments.
  4. Higher investment will lead to creation of backward and forward linkages, besides supporting production, processing and marketing.
  5. Since the Centre and states have similar schemes for financing investments, there is duplication or concentration of activities in particular areas.
  6. Therefore, there is a need to pool the financial resources of the central and state govts.

Agri problems and solutions

  1. From 1999 till 2012, India’s farming sector has experienced about the best record of growth, production and farmer income.
  2. India’s “best” records of productivity lag other nations by a large margin.
  3. During the last two agricultural seasons, India’s farming has been devastated by inclement weather.
  4. India needs an integrated, managerial framework for agriculture — state-led entrepreneurial risk-taking with respect to farming
  5. The holistic plan should encompass 5 pillars – technology, risk institutions and financing , institutions of governance, policy and skills,
  6. Agriculture being a state subject ,developing a consensus with the states and executing a national agenda is an urgent requirement.

Insurance firms to get cluster of districts

  1. Between 15-20 districts will be clubbed together and given to one insurance company for providing crop insurance to farmers.
  2. The advantage is that similar geographies will lead to similar weather and thus an identical claim pattern.
  3. It will be easier to track and pay the sum assured to farmers of a cluster.
  4. There may be fewer chances of fraud—either by the insurance company or a farmer.

What is the advantage of land leasing law?

  1. It will ease the exit of those farmers who find farming unattractive or non-viable.
  2. It will economically strengthen those farmers who want to stay in the farming and raise the scale of operational holdings.
  3. It will help in consolidation of operational holdings as there is steadily decline in the size of land holdings.
  4. It will solve other problems of Indian agriculture such as fallow land, access to institutional credit, and productive use of land belonging to farmers unwilling to engage in farming.

Enhancing crop productivity vital

Globally, India lags behind in productivity of most crops and it is of utmost importance to pull out farmers from poverty.

  1. Productivity and production could not be improved till the quality of land improves.
  2. Therefore, improving soil health is one of the most important issues in agriculture especially in irrigated areas.
  3. In irrigated areas, extensive use of urea has resulted in deterioration in soil health
  4. The farmers are not able to get the optimal yields, as they are not aware of the soil conditions.
  5. Centre had been emphasising on improving the health of soil by integrated nutrient management.

What are some of the winter crops in India?

  1. When we say winter crops, we refer to those which are sown at the onset of winter & harvested in spring.
  2. These crops are called Rabi.
  3. They are sown in October last and harvested in March April every year.
  4. Major Rabi crops in India include Wheat, Barley, Mustard, Sesame, Peas etc.

Warm and dry winter impacts sowing of winter crops. How?

Compared to last year, wheat sowing is lower by 5.6%, pulses by nearly 7% and oilseeds shows a lag of nearly 12%

  1. Planting of winter crops begins by October and harvest starts from January.
  2. Wheat, pulses & oilseeds have shown a decline.
  3. Winter crops are sown with the residual moisture in the soil after kharif crops are harvested,
  4. and dry soil and a delayed onset of winter has meant lower sowing.

Let’s know about Seed Act of 1966?

  1. The existing Seed Act of 1966 has provisions to deal with issues related to germination and physical purity.
  2. But, there is nothing that regulates the genetic purity.
  3. Only amending the Act, can handle issues such as crop destruction due to pest attack that see outbreak in Raichur district now.

Let’s know more about FAO?

Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy.

  1. The Food and Agriculture Organization is an agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition.
  2. FAO was established on 16 October 1945, in Quebec, Canada.
  3. In 1951, its headquarters were moved from Washington, D.C. to Rome, Italy.

3 Main goals are –

  • Eradication of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition.
  • Elimination of poverty and the driving forward of economic and social progress for all.
  • Sustainable management and utilization of natural resources.

Rural landholding almost halved over 20 years

Tribal people are over-represented among the landless, SCs among marginal land-owners, and forward castes among medium and large landholders.

  1. The size of landholdings have decreased across the country, almost halving in the last 20 years.
  2. Migration is highest among households with marginal landholdings, as they are unable to provide the family much income.
  3. The avg rural Indian household is a marginal landowner, growing mainly cereals on a small patch of land and reliant on groundwater for irrigation.

What is the Environment impact assessment (EIA) ?

  1. EIA is an important management tool for ensuring optimal use of natural resources for sustainable development.
  2. A beginning in this direction was made in our country with the impact assessment of river valley projects in 1978-79.
  3. The scope has subsequently been enhanced to cover other developmental sectors such as industries, thermal power projects, mining schemes etc.
  4. EIA has now been made mandatory under the Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986 for 29 categories of developmental activities involving investments of Rs. 50 crores and above.

Let’s know about Forest Rights Act, 2006?

  1. The Ministry of Tribal Affairs is the nodal agency for implementing the provisions of the Forest Rights Act, 2006.
  2. Act seeks to recognize and vest the forest rights and occupation in forest land in forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers.
  3. Who have been residing in such forests for generations but whose rights could not be recorded.

Farmers urge Centre to implement Forest Rights Act

Hundreds of landless farmers, agricultural workers and labourers from across 20 States assembled at Jantar Mantar under a joint platform ‘Bhumi Adhikar Andolan’.

  1. The Forest Rights Act (FRA) was enacted in 2006, but successive governments have never taken efforts to implement the Act.
  2. Social activists pointed out that attempts were being made to dilute the Environment Law (Amendment) Bill 2015.
  3. Environment impact assessment (EIA) and public hearing form the only basis for communities to participate in development process.
  4. It was important to note that the comprehensive report of high level committee (HLC) on the status of Adivasis submitted in 2014.
  5. Report says that the implementation of these Acts have been weak despite the promising provisions.

What are the factors responsible for the degradation of soil?

  1. Excessive use of chemical fertilisers, especially in the north-western parts of the country.
  2. Imbalanced nutrient application, injudicious use of pesticides, intensive cropping system, decline in soil biodiversity and depletion of organic matter in soil.
  3. It mainly caused by natural processes like wind or rain and exacerbated by human activity like deforestation and urbanisation.
  4. It is closely intertwined with climate change and biodiversity loss.

A third of India’s soil degraded: experts

This could cast a shadow on the sustainability of agriculture in near future.

  1. According to Indian Council of Agricultural Research (2010), of the total geographical area of 328.73 mha in country, about 120.40 mha is affected by various levels of land degradation.
  2. Land degradation is posing a major threat to India’s food and environmental security, resulting from loss in biological or productive capacity of soil.
  3. As water and wind erosions are widespread across India, some 5.3 billion tonnes of soil got eroded every year.
  4. Of this, 29% is permanently lost to the sea, 10% is deposited in reservoirs, reducing their storage capacity, and the rest 61% gets shifted from one place to another.

70% of farm households own less than a hectare

The report underline the fact that India is a land of marginal and small agricultural households.

  1. The new NSSO data shows that an avg. agricultural household in India earns just Rs 6400/month and owns less than 1 hectare of land.
  2. India had over 90 million agricultural households, i.e. households which owned, leased or operated land.
  3. UP alone had a fifth of India’s agricultural households, while the southern states had the smallest shares.
  4. About 70% of agricultural households owned less than 1 hectare of land, and just 13% owned more than 2 hectares.
  5. Most Scheduled Caste households had very small land holdings, while OBCs constitute over 45% of all agricultural households.

A third of India’s soil degraded: experts

A third of India’s soil was degraded, casting a shadow on the sustainability of agriculture in near future.

  1. The loss in the biological or productive capacity of soil is posing a major threat to India’s food and environmental security.
  2. Land degradation is mainly caused by natural processes like wind or rain, is often exacerbated by human activity like deforestation and urbanisation.
  3. It is closely intertwined with climate change and biodiversity loss.
  4. The situation is worsened by imbalanced nutrient application, injudicious use of pesticides, intensive cropping system, decline in soil biodiversity and depletion of organic matter in soil.

Let’s know characteristics of Jute?

  1. An important characteristic of jute is that it absorbs and retains moisture.
  2. This makes it very effective in the construction of roads and protection of hill slopes, by inducing vegetation growth.
  3. It also helps in stabilising sand dunes.
  4. Products that can be made from jute are waste-paper baskets, folders, laptop bags, and moulded item and other.

Govt. to breathe new life into ailing jute industry

Over 40 lakh farmers and nearly four lakh mill workers depend on the jute industry for their livelihood.

  1. Union Textiles Ministry has urged State governments to help diversify the ailing jute industry by exploring new avenues for promotion.
  2. Most importantly, jute geo-textile products can be used in civil engineering works such as road construction and protection of hill slopes.
  3. India accounts for an estimated 70 per cent of the world’s total production of jute products.
  4. Over 90 mills are currently operational, 67 in West Bengal alone.
  5. The rest are in Bihar, Assam, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.

NITI Panel Proposes Agri Reforms to Curb Price Rise

NITI Aayog’s Task Force on Agriculture has recommended big bang reforms to address issue of frequent spurt in crop prices.

  1. Report talks about the need for reforms in the agriculture sector in a big way to address issues.
  2. As Bad weather, fluctuation in crop prices, and demand and supply problems in the long term.

Important Recommendations 

  • Guaranteed prices for at least half the key crops
  • Setting up of a unified national agriculture market
  • Changing land lease laws
  • Mechanism to facilitate easy exit for farmers who want to move out of agriculture.

India to emerge as largest cotton producer

Trade estimates suggest that the production will be around 400 lakh bales of 170 kg each, taking India to the first position.

  1. China has had to vacate its place as the largest producer of cotton to India.
  2. Cotton production in China and the U.S. has been estimated to be lower by 13.3 per cent and 17.7 per cent respectively.
  3. It anticipated yield to come down to 524 kg per hectare, lower than the previous yield of 527 kg per hectare.
  4. Because of deficient rains in the later half of the monsoon season and instances of pest presence in Gujarat and Punjab.

A model to conserve indigenous paddy varieties

The system brought down input costs, two to four kg of seeds per acre against 30 kg needed for fertiliser-based, water-intensive farming

  1. A model evolved for applying traditional wisdom in farming helped in conserving indigenous paddy varieties, under threat of extinction.
  2. The Biodiversity Rainfed Farming System, promoted by Rural Organisation for Social Education, Tamil Nadu.
  3. It has revived the cultivation of 18 indigenous paddy varieties that are disease and drought-resistant.
  4. It focused on climate resilience, conservation of traditional paddy varieties, sustained productivity and food and nutrition security.

The 18 varieties raised using System of Rice Intensification techniques include Mappillai Samba, Garudan Samba, Poongar, Karunguruvai, Chandikar, Thooyamalli, Thanga Samba, Manjal Ponni, Milagi and Sornamusiri.

Government trying to increase domestic opium production

Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh are the only three states allowed to grow opium in the country.

  1. India is one of the few countries that legally grow opium poppy and the only country which legally produces opium gum.
  2. Opium poppy plant is the source of opium gum, which contains several indispensable alkaloids such as morphine, codeine and thebaine.
  3. Morphine is the best analgesic in the world, Codeine is commonly used in the manufacture of cough syrups.
  4. The licencing policy allows cultivators to overshoot their actual area under cultivation by only up to 5 per cent, failing which their licence will not be renewed the next year.

From plate to plough: Does anyone love the farmer?

Agriculture, where almost half of India’s workforce is engaged, continues to be in the doldrums. And no one seems to be perturbed about it. That’s pathetic and tragic.

Since 2012-13, agriculture is limping, partly due to droughts and partly due to the collapse in commodity prices.


  • Since 2012-13, agriculture is limping, partly due to droughts and partly due to the collapse in commodity prices.
  • Government officials vie with the RBI in taking all the credit for taming inflation, especially food inflation.
  • If policy instruments are so powerful then, how prices of onions and pulses, have gone up by more than 50 per cent in a single year?

What Analysis and reports say about ?

  • Analysis shows that almost two-thirds of the decline in food inflation has resulted from the fall in global prices.
  • This is leading to a decline in agri-exports, rising imports and falling food inflation at home.
  • The average growth of agriculture during the first four years of the 12th Five Year Plan is going to be only around 1.5 per cent.

What is the role of public policy and Solutions to resurrect Agri economy ?

  • First , we need a true champion of agriculture in the Union cabinet, someone who has a clear vision and the commitment and passion to tap the full potential of Indian agriculture in a global setting.
  • Second, it is about time the Centre declared a drought in the worst-hit states, like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana and even Punjab.
  • The Centre should ask the states to assess the damages in the next two weeks.
  • Further, the assessments being made, based on the degree of damage, the Centre should frontload the compensation package.
  • Crop insurance needs to be resurrected. And farmers should be mainstreamed so that they avail of life insurance schemes, the Atal pension scheme, etc.

These measures will reveal the PM’s concern and compassion for the farming community. It would be good economics, as well as good politics.

Deficiency in rainfall may hit rural incomes

For the second year in a row, India has had a deficient monsoon.

  1. The vulnerability of domestic farm sector continues due to deficiency of rainfall.
  2. Rainfall deficiency was most acute in the north-west region, followed by central, south peninsula and east and north-east.
  3. The sensitivity of agriculture sector to monsoon has been moderating due to improvement in yields, rising share of irrigation, increased global linkages and pro-active food management policies by govt.
  4. As agriculture suffers, the biggest impact will be on rural demand.

ICRISAT introduces finger millet as mandate crop

The ICRISAT genebank holds nearly 6,000 finger millet germplasm accessions from 24 countries, conserved for use in research and development.

  1. Finger millet, which figured among the six small millets in research portfolio of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).
  2. It provides economic opportunity for smallholders.
  3. Harnessing Opportunities for Productivity Enhancement of Sorghum and Millets in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia (HOPE) project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
  4. Showing encouraging results in improving productivity of finger millet and household incomes in East Africa.
  5. ICRISAT scientists in East and Southern African region have generated a whole genome sequence of finger millet.

In Karnataka finger millet is among the ‘climate smart’ crops that figures high on the agenda of the government.

42% of India facing a rain deficit: Met dept

“Back-to-back crop failures will worsen farm distress and this should be a wake-up call for the government,” said Ashok Gulati, agriculture chair professor at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, New Delhi.

  1. Overall monsoon deficit has widened to 13% of long-period average even as the southwest monsoon began its withdrawal.
  2. The monsoon is crucial for India as nearly 54% of the crop area lacks assured irrigation.
  3. More than 70% of the annual rainfall is concentrated between June and September.

SHG women now make a livelihood from algae farming

Algae cultivation has proved beneficial for many SHG women in Andhra Pradesh. Since, Andhra Pradesh has a coastline of 974 km, algae cultivation is an opportunity to improve the living conditions of lakhs of fishermen there and also earn foreign currency.

 


 

  1. Algae, popularly known as seaweeds, can be cultivated in seawater, including shallow and brackish waters.
  2. It has been of immense industrial, human and agricultural value.
  3. Substances of the seaweeds are being used as additives in food products and drugs to give them a smooth texture and help them retain moisture.
  4. They are also used in lipsticks, soaps, film, paint, varnish and buttons and of huge demand in the domestic and international markets.
  5. Algae is a highly subsidised crop in Andhra Pradesh, as the farmers would get 50% of subsidy on input costs.
  6. The crop duration is just 45 days and there has been a steady increase in the demand for the produce in the international.

Fisherfolk, especially women self-help groups from Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, have already been enjoying the benefits of algae cultivation while their counterparts from Kerala are on the job of tapping the potential.

Know more indigenous innovations like these which are picking up heat? Let us know in the comments!



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