1st Five Year Plan
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Introduction || APPENDIX (CH-4) || APPENDIX (CH-9) || ANNEXURE (CH-12) || APPENDIX (CH-14) || APPENDIX (CH-24) || APPENDIX (CH-29) || Conclusion
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Chapter 14:

In an earlier chapter we have indicated the shortages which exist in respect of foodgrains and the principal commercial crops. The problem of agricultural shortages has been intensified by certain special circumstances which arose during recent years, namely, the loss on account of Partition of about 20 million acres of irrigated land and the imperative need since 1949 of reducing the dependence of the jute and cotton industries on imported raw-materials. The programmes outlined in this chapter seek to overcome or reduce these deficiencies, to the extent possible, in respect of the major crops, namely, foodgrains, cotton, jute, oil seeds and sugarcane.

Production Targets

2. The production targets in the Five Year Plan have been reached on the basis of programmes of works which aim at making specific additions to the existing production potential in each State. These programmes include, for instance, measures to bring additional areas under irrigation, to reclaim and develop new lands or bring fallow lands back to cultivation, and to extend the use of manures, fertilisers and of improved seeds. In assessing the agricultural targets which are proposed, three considerations need to be kept in view. In the first place, allowance for seasonal variations cannot be made in advance; these variations are inherent in agricultural production itself and may extend to as much as 10 percent of the average production thus upsetting all calculations. Secondly, through crop-cutting experiments and other tests, fairly reliable yardsticks about the production effects of different measures are now available for a number of States. In addition, as far as possible, in suggesting the targets every State has tried to take into account its own experience over the past few years. In the third place, estimates of increased production resulting from the programmes have been made on a cautious basis, especially in respect of schemes for the increased use of improved seed and manures and fertilisers. It is true that through improved agricultural practices and double cropping it is possible to secure a substantial increase in production in the course of a few years. On the other hand, until there is sufficient assurance that these practices have become part of the normal operations of agriculture in any area, there is some risk of over-estimation of the possible benefits which may be anticipated.

3. The targets of additional production envisaged in the Plan are as follows:.—

Commodity Quantity (in millions) ercentage increase
Foodgrains 7-6 (tons)* 14
Cotton i -26 (bales) 42
Jute 2-09 (bales) 63
Sugarcane 0. 7 (gur tons) 12
Oilseeds 0-4 (tons) 8

the target of 7'6 million tons of foodgrains would roughly comprise about 4 million tons of rice, 2 million ton* of wbeal, a million tons of gram and pulses and 0-5 million tens of other cereals.

These targets have been arrived at as a result of prolonged discussions with State Governments. They were first worked out in the summer of 1951 and early in 1952 the programmes on which they were based were reappraised in considerable detail in a series of conferences with representatives of individual State Governments. As a result of the re-appraisement the targets for cotton, jute, sugarcane and oilseeds were those indicated above. In regard to foodgrains, however, as against the initial target of 7 • 2 million tons, re-appraisement indicated a total increased production over the five year period of only 6-5 million tons. If allowance were to be made for diversion of area from foodgrains to commercial crops, the net increase in the production of foodgrains worked out to about 6'o million tons. The diversion in the area from food to commercial crops or vice versa does not, however, follow a fixed pattern from year to year and is governed by various considerations such as seasonal factors, rotation of crops, changes in prices and the ability of the growers to finance the operations*

4. The shortfall in the original targets was recently examined by the Grow More Food Enquiry Committee. The Committee recommended additional measures so that, at the very least, the target for foodgrains proposed in 1951 for the five year period could be realised. The agricultural programme, as now presented, consists of two parts, namely, (a) schemes of State Governments, which together account for a total net food production target of 6'o million tons to be achieved at a total cost ofRs. 125 crores; and (A) supplementary schemes proposed by the Planning Commission with a view to achieving additional food production of at least r6 million tons. The detailed break-up of the agricultural targets given in this chapter relates to the schemes of State Governments. During the course of implementation of the Plan, the additional schemes will be further considered in consultation with State Governments, and incorporated into the programmes of individual States. The measures now proposed as supplementary to those already included in the State programmes are as follows:—

(i) Additional provision for minor irrigation works (Rs crores) 30
(2) Additional programme for the construction of tubewells . 6
(3) National extension organisation for intensive area development 3
(4) Supplementary allotment for Grow More Food during 1952-53 10
(5) Community projects, including 55 projects already initiated 90

Two other measures may be mentioned. In the later stages of the Plan it is expected that the fertiliser programme will be substantially enlarged. The Plan also provides for agricultural finance on a very much larger scale than has been hitherto considered possible. It is now expected that in accordance with the recommendations of the Grow More Food Enquiry Committee, by 1955-56 short-term finance to the extent of Rs. 100 crores will become available to the farmers from the Government and through the co-operative movement. During the period of the Plan about Rs. 25 crores are likely to become available by way of medium-term finance and at least Rs. 5 crores by way of long-term finance. These proposals for agricultural finance, which are described more t'rlly in a later chapter, include the amount: ot finance at present made available through government agencies and the co-operative movement.

5. The precise effects on production of the expanded programmes referred to above are at present difficult to estimate in detail. They will depend upon the actual programmes w-iich are adopted in consultation with the States. On the basis of past experience it is C3nsidered that an increase of I -6 million tons in the production of foodgrain over and above the net estimate of 6 'o million tons on account of the present State programmes would be a cautious anticipation. Additional minor irrigation works are expected to provide an increase in food production of 0-6 million tons, community projects and intensive development area projects of o'5 million tons, and the additional fertiliser programme of a further 0-5 million tons. Although these details have necessarily a tentative character, the general conclusion indicated above follows from the substantial increase in agricultural investment that is now contemplated and the steps which are being taken to create the necessary extension organisation. Depending upon the distribution of the additional investment as between different States, some increase in the production of commercial crops is also to be expected;for the present, however, the targets already worked out are being retained.

6. Whereas after the achievement of the targets outlined above the deficiency in food-grains will have been largely met, gaps will still remain in respect of the commercial crops, though they will be considerably reduced. The Plan, therefore, provides for imports upto i'3 million bales of cotton and o'8 million bales of jute,

7. The increase of 6 "5 million tons in food production through programmes worked out by State Governments as distinguished from the supplen entary programmes mentioned in paragraph 4, is expected to be achieved as follows:—

(million tons)
Major irrigation works 2'01
Minor irrigation works 1-78
Land reclamation and development1 1-51
Manure? and fertilizers 0-65
Improved seeds 0-56
total 6-51

The break-up of 6 "5 million tons by States is given in Appendix I to this chapter. The total area expected to receive irrigation from major and minor irrigation works during the period of the Plan is outlined in Appendix III Including 3 million acres to be irrigated as a result of the additional minor works programme costing Rs. 30 crores, to which reference has been made above, the total area which will come under irrigation during the period of the Plan is 19.7 million acres. Of this, minor irrigation works account for n '3 million acres as below:—

(million acres)
(a) Schemes of State Governments
1. Dams and channels 4-4
2. Wells (new and repaired) 6
3. Tube-wells (other than those included under major irrigation) 0-7
4. Tanks (improvement and construction) 0-8
5. Pumping installations 0-7
total (a) 8-2
{b) Additional minor irrigation programme (Rs. 30 crores) 3-0
total (a) and (b) 11-2

The details of the minor irrigation programme included in the State Plans will be found in Appendix IV. The total cost of the minor irrigation schemes including the special provision ofRs. 30 crores comes to about Rs. 77 crores. In addition, about a third of the expenditure on development in a community project is devoted to irrigation so that, with the progress of community projects, a larger area than that indicated above is likely to receive irrigation from minor works. In the execution of the minor irrigation programme three considerations have to be kept in view. Firstly, the schemes should be selected after a proper survey of the potentialities. Secondly, in selecting schemes a priority should be accorded to existing works which have gone out of use for lack of repairs and can be repaired at reasonable cost. Lastly, the benefits of mino: irrigation schemes have been seen not to last for long for want of adequate arrangements for their repair and it is, therefore, necessary that the responsibility for the maintenance of the works be placed on. local communities and, if necessary, a cess levied for the purpose.

8. The programme for land reclamation and development on which a total sum of Rs. 25 crores is provided in State Plans and Rs. 10 crores in the Central Plan on account of the Central Tractor Organisation envisages the reclamation of about 7.4 million acres of land. Of this, the Central Tractor Organisation is expected to reclaim i. 4 million acres and State Tractor Organisations i. 2 million acres. Reclamation by farmers with the assistance of State Governments and measures to bring recent fallows back into cultivation are expected to result in the development of a total area of 4.8 million acres. The bulk of this area lies in Hyderabad and Madhya Pradesh. It is important that in their agricultural programmes these two States should make adequate administrative arrangements to ensure that the proposed reclamation programme will be fulfilled. The Central Tractor Organisation expects to reclaim during the five-year period, 474,000 acres in Madhya Pradesh, 238,000 acres in U.P., 300,000 acres in Madhya Bharat, 400,000 acres in Bhopal and 4,000 acres in Vindhya Pradesh. Several States thave been building up their own tractor organisations, Details'of area to be reclaimed in different States .under the Plan are given in Appendix V> The Plan also provides for land improvement operations such as bunding and drainage to the extent of about 3 million acres and extension of mechanised cultivation to the exteni of 3.4 million acres. Details of these programmes are also given in Appendix V.

9. Although the use of fertilisers has developed fairly rapidly during the past few years, there is considerable scope for further expansion and estimates of fertiliser requirements proposed in relation to the Five-Year Plan may be considered moderate. Agricultural programmes of the States assume an annual supply of 446,000 tons of nitrogenous fertilisers, 79,000 tons of superphosphates and 20,000 tons of bonemeal. It is expected, however, that during the course of the Plan the quantities which would in fact be available, after allowing for plantations and industries and assuming imports at an annual figure of about 150,000 tons, will be 610,000 tons of nitrogenous fertilisers and 176,000 tons of superphosphates in addition to 50,000 tons of bonemeal. It, therefore, follows that if imports are at the level indicated above, an additional fertiliser programme to the extent of about 300,000 tons can be undertaken by the end of the Plan. It is proposed to work out programmes for the utilisation of additional quantities of fertilisers. Some increase in production as a result of the increased use of organic manures which are locally available and constitute one of the most important items of rural extension work is also expected, but a quantitative estimate is not at present possible.

Commercial Crops

10. Production programmes for commercial crops and, in particular, for cotton and jute are more recent than those for food crops. Programmes prepared for individual crops some times overlook the fact that, except for the price factor, the basic conditions which favour increase in production in one direction also favour increase in production in others. Agricultural production in any area should, therefore, always be viewed and planned for as one whole. Administratively, production programmes for commercial crops have not yet been fully integrated with those relating to food crops. In respect of programmes for commercial crops, the Central Government are guided mainly by the views of commodity committees for cotton, jute, sugarcane, and oil seeds. The commodity committees for cotton and oil seeds derive their resources from special cesses while finance for sugarcane is provided from excise funds. These Committees are expected to finance the production programmes during the period of the Plan as follows:—

Cotton 3-5 crores,
Sugarcane 1.3 crores.
Oilseeds 0.5 crorcs

For jute there is no separate cess and the Plan provides a sum of Rs. 50 lakhs. The breakup of the targets by States for commercial crops has been given in Appendix II.

II. Production targets for commercial crops which were worked out in the summer of 1951 and were re-assessed early this year assume the continuance, broadly speaking, of the structure of relative prices between foodgrains and other crops which prevailed at the time. It is obvious that the production of these crops is influenced by price changes to a much greater extent than food production. It is, therefore, important to stress that during the period of the Plan any .attempt .to offer price incentives of a varying order for different crops should be avoided. Secondly, the maintenance of adequate degree of control over the prices of different agricultural commodities continues to be the essential condition of all agricultural planning. Here it is sufficient to state that excessive price stimuli in favour of some crops, either through deliberate alteration of prices or through relaxation of controls, may frequently have the effect of jeopardising the achievement of the agricultural targets under the Five Year Plan. Price policy remains therefore, a pre-eminent factor in the fulfilment of the agricultural plan.

Other Agricultural Products

12. Besides foodgrains, oil-seeds and sugar-cane, the production of fruits, vegetables, fish, milk and dairy products, which constitute important elements in the diet of the people, has to be systematically encouraged. Proposals relating to the production of fish, milk, and dairy products are described in subsequent chapters. It is considered that fish production might increase by about 50 per cent., from i-o million tons in 1950-51 to 1-5 million tons in 1955-56. Milk yields may increase by about 20 per cent., as a result of improvement in the breed of cattle and increase in the availability of fodder and feeds. Schemes for increasing the production of fruits and vegetables and other subsidiary foods e.g., potatoes and tapiocal figure in the programmes of some of the States and also qualify for assistance from the Centre as 'Grow More Food' schemes. It is not, however, possible to assess precisely the cumulative effect of these schemes. With the establishment of an adequate extension service, the implementation of these schemes may be expected to become more sustained than it is at present.

The Effect Of The Programme

13. It is difficult to forecast the effect of the agricultural programme on the crop pattern with any degree of precision. This is due to the fact that the decision of the cultivator to raise a crop is based on factors like prices, weather conditions, availability of capital resources, and supplies which vary from season to season. Even areas under rice and wheat may be diverted to crops like sugar cane, fruits and vegetables when irrigation is provided. Sugar-cane, cotton and jute afford recent examples of the effect of prices on the crop pattern. Improvement in transport facilities, growth of urban areas, changes in food habits also at times affect the acreage under different crops. The influence that each one of these factors exercises has to be studied in detail so that some basis for making estimates might become available. On the basis of the material available to us and taking into account the fact that the cropped and irrigated areas are likely to increase by 10* and 20 million acres respectively, the following pattern of crops may be anticipated at the end of the period of the Plan.

(Area in million acres)
  1950-51 1955-56
Rice * 76.0 80-0
Wheat 24-0 27-0
Other cereals 93.0 90-0
Gram and pulses 47-2 49-0
Cotton 14-5 18-0
Jute 1-4 2-0
Sugarcane 4-2 4-5
Oil seeds 26-7 27"0
Fruits and vegetables 5-0 6.0
Other crops 25-0 24'0
total 317-1 327'5

Agricultural Planning

14. In presenting the programmes described in this chapter, it may be useful to say a word about some of the implications of agricultural planning. The national targets of additional production or targets proposed for individual States indicate in a broad way the magnitude of the effort that is contemplated. They are of material assistance in laying down overall policies concerning prices of agricultural commodities and the allocation of resources for different programmes. They are, however, no more than a starting point for the actual planning which has to be done at different levels, from the village upwards. Agricultural production is subject to so many hazards that under the most favourable, conditions any targets that may be proposed are essentially rough estimates which may be realised if certain assumptions hold good. In each State the targets have to be broken up by districts and, within each district, by tahsils or taluks. Where the programmes already contemplated do not seem to promise the desired results, provided the necessary potential is available, these programmes should be suitably expanded or supplemented. Detailed agricultural planning will be possible in areas in which intensive development is undertaken through the rural extension service, for instance, in community project areas. In these areas special stress is to be laid on building up the village agency for development and on strengthening the co-operative movement. For an area as small as a development block, on the basis of local knowledge and experience, it should be possible to frame production programmes and provide for positive measures to ensure their fulfilment subject, of course, to circumstances such as failure of rainfall or floods.

15. Within the development block production has to be guided and aided in the main through the agency of the village body concerned with development. As a rule, it is unlikely that there is much to be gained by attempting to fix areas or proportions of individual holdings for particular crops. On the whole, it is best that each farm and each village should follow the crop plan which will enable it to utilize the available physical resources to the greatest advantage. Removal of large disparities between the return on the main competing crops is an obligation of overall policy rather than of detailed agricultural planning. To the extent to which individual farms join into co-operatives, crop planning will become the means, not merely for regulating production, but also for expanding it to the greatest extent possible. The first stage in developing an adequate structure for agricultural planning may be to carry the targets at least as far as individual development blocks where intensive work is undertaken, and in a less detailed manner, as far as tahsils and taluks. After some years of intensive development and experiment it should become possible to ensure that agricultural targets in each State and for the country as a whole are related, on the one hand, to obligations which individual farms and villages accept and, on the other, to the goals of national agricultural policy.

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