Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Read B2B, Coffee Connect and Krishi Tharanga
Mains level: Coffee Cultivation in India
Minister for Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu has launched Coffee Connect – India coffee field force app and Coffee Krishi Tharanga – digital mobile extension services for coffee stakeholders.
The mobile app Coffee Connect has been developed to ease the work of field functionaries and to improve the work efficiency.
This application provides solution by harnessing the power of mobility comprising the latest technology in easing the whole process of the field.
This includes activities like digitization of Coffee Growers & Estates with Geo Tagging, collecting the Plantation details.
It will also help in transparency in the activities of the extension officers and officials, transparency in subsidy disbursement and real time report generation.
Coffee Krishi Tharanga
The Coffee KrishiTharanga services are aimed at providing customized information and services to increase productivity, profitability, and environmental sustainability.
The service is pilot tested in the Chikmagalur and Hassan districts of Karnataka State covering 30,000 farmers during the first year and will be extended to remaining growers in a phased manner.
NABARD has partly funded the Pilot project.
The solution will help in to reach maximum growers in limited period, efficient, timely, customised advisory, improve the efficiency through digitization and leverage existing mobile reach for wider delivery of improved technology.
Coffee cultivation in India
Coffee is cultivated in India in about 4.54 lakh hectares by 3.66 lakh coffee farmers and 98% of them are small farmers.
Its cultivation is mainly confined to Karnataka (54%), Kerala (19%) and Tamil Nadu (8%) which form traditional coffee tracts.
New fields are also developed in NE states.
Indian coffee, grown mostly in southern states under monsoon rainfall conditions, is also termed as “Indian monsooned coffee”.
The two well known species of coffee grown are the Arabica and Robusta.
The first variety that was introduced in the Baba Budan Giri hill ranges of Karnataka in the 17th century was marketed over the years under the brand names of Kent and S.795.
Coffee Board of India
The Coffee Board of India is an organisation managed by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of the government of India to promote coffee production in India.
Head Office is in Bangalore.
The Coffee Board of India was established by an act of Parliament in 1942.
Until 1995 the Coffee Board marketed the coffee of many growers from a pooled supply, but after that time coffee marketing became a private-sector activity due to the economic liberalisation in India.
The Coffee Boards tradition duties included the promotion of the sale and consumption of coffee in India and abroad, conducting coffee research, financial assistance to establish small coffee growers, safeguarding working conditions for laborers, and managing the surplus pool of unsold coffee.
Mains Paper 3: Agriculture | Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country
Prelims level: Jute Cultivation in India, I-CARE programme
Mains level: The news card highlights the need for revitalizing the labour intensive Jute Industry in India
Jute Sector is declining
The outcry and ban against plastic bags and single-use plastic packaging holds potential for the jute sector.
But more than the 100-year-old sector, supporting five million families at the farm and the industry-level, may not be in a position to benefit from this opportunity.
The availability of quality raw jute and shrinking acreage on the one hand and the failure of most jute mills to modernise has left the sector dependent on government-support like packaging reservations.
Primitive, labour-intensive cultivation methods and retting (drenching raw jute in water to extract the fibre) — a crucial determinant in raw jute quality — creates problems.
The Jute Foundation (TJF)
It is trying to address many issues pertaining to the environment-friendly product.
It is trying to engage all stakeholders –farmers, workers, mills, research organisations and consumers.
TJF initiative is being introduced for the industry to work jointly with research and development agencies like IJIRA (Indian Jute Industries’ Research Association) and others to develop thin and slim jute shopping bags.
Jute Production in India
West Bengal is India’s single largest raw jute cultivator producing almost 75 % of the crop in Nadia, Dinajpur, Murshidabad and North 24 Parganas districts.
But acreage had stagnated amid low productivity and falling prices of the cash crop.
The I-CARE programme unveiled by the National Jute Board and the Jute Corporation of India in 2015 seeks to address this issue by introducing a pilot project on retting technologies aimed at increasing farmers’ returns.
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: National Bamboo Mission (NBM), National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA)
Mains level: Various schemes for promoting plantation sector
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National Bamboo Mission (NBM) under National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA).
The Mission will be implemented for the remaining period of Fourteenth Finance Commission (2018-19 & 2019-20)
The scheme is proposed to bring about one lakh ha area under plantation, it is expected that about one lakh farmers would be directly benefitted in terms of the plantation.
Bamboo plantation will contribute to optimizing farm productivity and income thereby enhancing livelihood opportunities of small & marginal farmers including landless and women as well as provide quality material to industry.
National Bamboo Mission (NBM) started as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme in 2006-07, was mainly emphasizing on propagation and cultivation of bamboo, with limited efforts on processing, product development and value addition.
There was a weak linkage between the producers (farmers) and the industry.
The restructured proposal gives simultaneous emphasis to the propagation of quality plantations of bamboo, product development and value addition including primary processing and treatment; micro, small & medium enterprises as well as high-value products
West Bengal, leading tea producer after Assam, has proposed a bill that envisages setting up a Rs. 100 crore fund.
Fund can be utilised for providing interest subvention, scholarship to children of tea garden employees and for sick or closed gardens.
WB’s 3 tea regions — Darjeeling, Terai and Doors — account for a quarter of India’s 1,100-odd million kg tea crop.
For the first time the State has offered to partner the industry in respect of the social welfare cost, which under Plantation Labour Act (PLA), 1951 is required to provide certain amenities to workers.