At the onset, let me clarify that most of the schemes that we discuss in this series may get altered, may get renamed, may get trashed etc. so the data might become irrelevant for the users studying these blogs after the 12th Five Year Plan ends (2012-2017) but, but – the underlying philosophy and narrative will always remain the same.
Cool? Good! Let’s start with a question today.
With so many schemes and missions in place, why is that the condition of Indian Agriculture is still not great?
To answer this question, let’s understand the RKVY scheme along with the CAG’s audit report on it. We will get to know the overall scheme of things in a much better way.
In 2007, RKVY was launched to promote decentralised agriculture planning. This is a special Additional Central Assistance (ACA) Scheme introduced to incentivize States:
- To draw up comprehensive agriculture development plans,
- Taking into account agro-climatic conditions,
Natural resources and technology for ensuring more inclusive and integrated development of agriculture and allied sectors.
As per the State of Indian Agriculture, 2011-12, “experience from BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries indicates that one percent growth in agriculture is at least 2 or 3 times more effective in reducing poverty than the same growth emanating from non-agriculture sectors.”
Do you understand the gravity/ uniqueness of this scheme?
- For the first time, agricultural planning was decentralised and plans prepared at the district and state level: District Agriculture Plan (DAP) and State Agriculture Plan (SAP).
- The state governments were to make sure of RKVY’s convergence with other programmes as well as with Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs).
- States had the flexibility and autonomy to adopt an effective monitoring system at grassroots level within this provision.
What were the objectives of RKVY?
- To incentivize the States so as to increase public investment in agriculture and allied sectors
- To provide flexibility and autonomy to States in the process of planning and executing agriculture and allied sector schemes
- To ensure the preparation of Agriculture Plans for the districts and the States based on agro-climatic conditions, availability of technology and natural resources
- To ensure that the local needs/crops/ priorities are reflected in the agricultural plans of the States
How does the funding take place? What are the criteria?
The RKVY funds are provided to the states as 100% grant by the Central Government. But since RKVY is a State Plan Scheme, the amount of assistance would depend upon the amount provided in State Plan Budgets for Agriculture and allied sectors, above a baseline expenditure on these sectors. That’s where state planning becomes crucial.
It is an incentive scheme – allocations are not automatic.
The states are mandatorily required to prepare the District and State Agriculture Plans (SAP and DAP) that comprehensively cover resources and indicate definite action plans.
You are likely not to be quizzed upon the structure and flow of reports and approval for these funds so we will skip that part and come straight to the sub-schemes under RKVY.
At present RKVY has following 6 sub-schemes
#1. Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern Region – This programme was initiated in 2010-11 targeting the improvement in the rice based cropping system of Assam, West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand, Eastern Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
#2. Initiative on Vegetable Clusters – Growing demand for vegetables was proposed to be met by a robust increase in the productivity and market linkage. For the purpose, an efficient supply chain needed to be established, to provide quality vegetables at competitive prices.
#3. National Mission for Protein Supplements – National Mission for Protein Supplements was launched with an allocation of Rs.300 crore during 2011-12 to take up activities to promote animal based protein production through livestock development, dairy farming, piggery, goat rearing and fisheries in selected blocks.
#4. Saffron Mission – The Scheme was initiated in 2010-11 with an overall Government of India budgetary support of Rs.288.06 crore over four years. The mission was meant to bring economic revival of J&K Saffron.
#5. Vidarbha Intensive Irrigation Development Programme – The Scheme was initiated in 2012-13 which seeks to bring in more farming areas under protective irrigation.
#6. Crop Diversification – The original Green Revolution States have the problem of stagnating yields and over-exploitation of water resources. The answer lies in crop diversification.
This info comes straight from this pib article and now we should resume our assessment of RKVY (as per CAG).
What were the deficiencies in the implementation of RKVY?
- As per CAG’s report (2015), there were deficiencies in the preparation of SAP and DAP
- In most of the states, the planning process was deficient in aspects like participation of grassroots local agencies such as gram sabha or gram panchayat
- The DAPs did not integrate the centrally-sponsored schemes like Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, Backward Region Grant Fund, Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana and Bharat Nirman
- The capacity building of field extension professionals is very important and it was lagging. Field level extension workers of the agriculture department were not well oriented with RKVY’s concepts, objectives and programs.
- The report also revealed that RKVY funds to the tune of Rs. 91.24 crore were diverted for other purposes in 9 projects.
That’s all for the third lesson. We move onto next in a few days only if I know that this helped you in some practical way. What are the next natural questions that come to you about Indian Agriculture? This is a unique initiative to make things interesting for you all so give your inputs!
References: Apart from extensive research around news articles, the mainstay of this series is the annual report of the Ministry of Agriculture to the GOI –Click to download a copy
All articles in this series are listed here – First timers to IAS Prep? Prepare Indian Agriculture for GS Mains with me!