From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Operation Green
Mains level : Paper 3- Expanding Operation Green
The article compares the performance of Operation Flood with Operation Green and offers several lessons for the success of Operation Green.
Operation Green and its expansion
- There were three basic objectives when OG was launched.
- First, that it should contain the wide price volatility in the three largest vegetables of India (TOP).
- Second, it should build efficient value chains of these from fresh to value-added products with a view to give a larger share of the consumers’ rupee to the farmers.
- Third, it should reduce the post-harvest losses by building modern warehouses and cold storages wherever needed.
- The Union budget for the FY 2021-22 proposes the expansion of Operation Green (OG) beyond tomatoes, onions, and potatoes (TOP) to 22 perishable commodities.
- The move reflects the government’s intentions of creating more efficient value chains for perishables.
Comparing performance of OG with horticulture sector
- A closer examination of the scheme reveals that it is nowhere near achieving its objectives.
- ICRIER research reveals that price volatility remains as high as ever.
- It also reveals that farmers’ share in consumers’ rupee is as low as 26.6 per cent for potatoes, 29.1 per cent in the case of onions, and 32.4 per cent for tomatoes (see graph).
- In cooperatives like AMUL, farmers get almost 75-80 per cent of what consumers’ pay.
- Operation Flood (OF) transformed India’s milk sector, making the country the world’s largest milk producer, crossing almost 200 million tonnes of production by now.
- Although OG is going to be more challenging than OF there are some important lessons one can learn from OF.
Lessons from operation flood
- First and foremost is that results are not going to come in three to four years.
- OF lasted for almost 20 years before milk value chains were put on the track of efficiency and inclusiveness.
- There has to be a separate board to strategise and implement the OG scheme, more on the lines of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) for milk.
- Second, we need a champion like Verghese Kurien to head this new board of OG.
- The MoFPI can have its evaluation every six months, but making MoFPI the nodal agency for implementing OG with faceless leaders is not very promising.
- Third, the criteria for choosing clusters for TOP crops under OG is not very transparent and clear.
- The reason is while some important districts have been left out from the list of clusters, less important ones have been included.
- What is needed is quantifiable and transparent criteria for the selection of commodity clusters, keeping politics away.
- Fourth, the subsidy scheme will have to be made innovative with new generation entrepreneurs, startups and FPOs.
- The announcement to create an additional 10,000 FPOs along with the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund and the new farm laws are all promising but need to be implemented fast.
Consider the question “What are the objectives of Operation Green? How far has Operation Green succeeded in achieving its objectives?”
These lessons from Operation Flood will help in securing the success of the expanded Operation Green.