|3rd Five Year Plan||
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Programmes of agricultural production lie at the base of the comprehensive approach to the reconstruction of the rural economy which is embodied in the Third Five Year Plan. Development of irrigation, from large as well as small works, soil conservation programmes and supplies of fertilisers, improved seed and credit, along with the provision of extension services reaching down to the village level, are measures undertaken directly to increase production. In support of these programmes, through the community development movement, the energies of each village community as a whole are sought to be harnessed and its manpower and other resources effectively mobilised. Land reform policies aim at removing impediments to greater production due to the agrarian structure inherited from the past and to prepare the way for the development of a progressive agriculture organised on a cooperative basis. The various programmes of cooperative development which have been undertaken and will be given still greater emphasis in the Third Plan are intended to build up the necessary institutional framework for rapid economic development in rural areas such as will be of special benefit to the weaker sections of the rural population. Schemes for increasing agricultural production are closely bound up with the success of animal husbandry and dairying and the development of insheries and of rural industry. From the aspect of long-term development, care of forest wealth, conservation of soil and moisture and the growing of village fuel plantations are of great importance. In some parts of the country rural electrification is already beginning to make a significant impact on rural life through extension of irrigation and speeding up of technological change; this impact will become progressively larger. These various aspects of agricultural development and, in particular, the specific programmes for increasing agricultural production for which the Plan provides, gain in significance when seen against the wider background of the large-scale transformation in rural life which is being brought about through successive Five Year Plans.
PROGRESS UNDER THE FIRST AND SECOND PLANS
2. By the end of the Second Plan, the index of agricultural production (base-1949-50) rose to 135, the index for goodgrains being 132 and that for other crops 142. In the First Plan, agricultural production rose by about 17 per cent. During the Second Plan, two years out of five 1957-58 and 1959-60were unfavourable, and the overall increase in agricultural production amounted to about 16 per cent. The following Table shows the production trends since 1949-50*.
Table 1 Agricultural Production- 1949-501960-61.
coverage of crop statistics gradually increased in the course of the First
Five Year Plan and from time to time changes were also introduced in the
techniques of estimation. The estimates of production of foodrgains in
the table have been adjusted to suit these changes upto 1956-57.
3. Before the Second Plan took final shape, it was realised that the programme of economic development with special emphasis on heavy industries which the Plan embodied would demand a larger increase in agricultural production than had been at first envisaged. Accordingly, in consultation with State Governments, the initial targets were reviewed, and in November, 1956. the following revised targets were proposed : foodgrains, 80.5 million tons; oilseeds, 7.6 million tons; sugarcanc (gur), 7.8 million tons;cotton, 6.5 million baies; and jute, 5.5 million bales. The level of food production in 1960-61 which has been shown in the Table above at 76 million tons is expected to reach about 78 million tons when the revised estimates of crop production become available. The Second Plan target for the production of sugarcane has been exceeded; on the other hand, there has been stagnation in cotton and jute. In oilseeds also, production has fallen below the target. In view of the production trends during the Second Plan, it is of the highest importance that in the Third Plan, besides achieving self-sufficiency in foodgrains, substantial increases should be secured in commercial crops, specially cotton, oilseeds and jute. With the growth of the economy and increase in domestic demands as well as the need to step up exports, success in increasing the production of commercial crops is as vital as increase in the production of foodgrains.
4. In the Second Plan, out of a total anticipated outlay under agriculture and community development of Rs. 529 crores, agricultural production programmes accounted for about Rs. 290 crores. In addition, there was a total outlay of Rs. 372 crores on major and medium irrigation schemes. In the course of the Plan additional resources were provided for minor irrigation. The following Table summarises information received from State Governments regarding progress in carrying out programmes of agricultural development.
Table 2 Agricultural programmesprogress in the Second Plan
Apart from the influence of unfavourable seasons, greater progress might have been achieved in agriculture during the Second Plan if the benefits of the substantial investments incurred, for instance, in the extension of irrigation, both from small and large irrigation works, and in the establishment of seed farms could have been realised more speedily. Programmes which require large-scale participation on the part of the people, such as, soil conservation, made only limited progress. The consumption of fertilisers, which has been recently stepped up to a considerable extent, increased very slowly during the first four years of the Second Plan. This was due both to the shortage of foreign exchange and to the inadequate progress made in establishing the new fertiliser plants. When the agricultural targets for the Second Plan were reviewed in 1956, it was specially emphasised that programmes for the multiplication of improved seeds, for the use of fertilisers and for irrigation, soil conservation, etc., would be implemented so as to yield the maximum benefits within the shortest time. It was envisaged that there would be carefully worked out programmes for covering every acre of land enjoying irrigation or assured rainfall with improved seeds and that the supply of fertilisers and organic and green manures would be ensured. Sufficient progress was not made in these directions. Consequently, a much larger task in agriculture remains to be accomplished during the Third Plan. More than any other factor, the success of the Third Plan will turn on the fulfilment of its agricultural targets.
APPROACH IN THE THIRD PLAN
5. In formulating agricultural production programmes for the Third Plan, the guiding consideration has been that the agricultural efforts should not be impeded in any manner for want of financial or other resources. Accordingly, finance is bsing provided on a scale which is considered adequate, and the further assurance is given that if, for achieving the targets of production, additional resources are found necessary, those will be provided as the Plan proceeds. Supplies of fertilisers are also to be made available on a large scale. Efforts are being made to strengthen agricultural administration in the States, and stress is being placed on the closest possible coordination between different agencies, notably, those concerned with agriculture, cooperation, community development and irrigation. Supplies of credit through cooperative agencies are being expanded, and the need for linking credit with production and marketing is emphasised. It may be stressed, however, that while these efforts should go a long way, they are not in themselves a sufficient guarantee that the agricultural objectives of the Third Plan can be realised.
6. The central task of the community development organisation and of extension workers at the block and village levels is to mobilise the rural community for intensive agricultural development, to impart a sense of urgency and direction to the work of all the agencies operating on behalf of the Government, and to ensure that the requisite supplies, services and technical assistance are available at the right time and place and in the most effective manner possible. At the same time, the Agriculture Departments must place at the disposal of the community development organisation at the block level the supplies, trained personnel, and other resources needed. This means that all families in the village, specially those engaged in cultivation, must be involved in the agricultural effort through the village cooperative and the panchayat, and enabled to achieve larger results through village production plans. In view of the experience in the Second Plan, these essential conditions cannot be too greatly stressed. As the country enters upon the larger tasks of the Third Plan, there is urgent need to improve the organisation of agricultural programmes at the local level as well as at higher levels in the States and at the Centre.
7. The Third Plan provides for an outlay on production programmes in agriculture, including large and small irrigation schemes, soil conservation and co-operation, of about Rs. 1280 crores, the comparable outlay in the Second Plan being of the order of about Rs. 667 crores.
3 Outlays on agricultural production
Besides resources provided for the Third Plan, finance from cooperative agencies will also increase substantially. Short-term and medium-term loans are expected to go up from about Rs. 200 crores and the amount outstanding on account of long-term loans from about Rs. 34 crores in the last year of the Second Plan to about Rs. 530 crores and Rs. 150 crores respectively by the end of the Third Plan.
8. Programmes and targets for agriculture embodied in the Draft Outline of the Third Plan were based on preliminary studies undertaken by State Governments and the Central Ministries concerned. These were intended to provide a basis for detailed agricultural programmes to be prepared in the light of local conditions and possibilities in districts, blocks and villages. It was suggested that with a view to securing the largest measure of local participation and, in particular, the fullest utilisation of the local manpower resources, programmes relating to agriculture, minor irrigation, soil conservation and the development of cooperation should be formulated through district and block plans. An attempt has been made in several States to draw up local plans on these lines. It has been observed, however, that plans at the local level are easier to formulate after the broad dimensions and objectives of the State plans have been established. Although in proposing targets and in evolving programmes. State Governments have taken advantage of their experience in preparing district and block agricultural plans, on the whole, the programmes and the estimates of production which now form part of the plans of States have'been arrived at through studies by the Departments concerned at the State level. Their proposals have been considered in two series of discussions between the States, the Planning Commission and the Central Ministries, and care has been taken to prepare them in some detail. Nevertheless, the limitation persists that they are not yet as firmly based on area plans as had been earlier hoped for. For realising the programmes and targets accepted by States there must, therefore, be continuing emphasis on the drawing up of annual district and block agricultural plans within the general scheme of the five year programme. Without district, block and village agricultural production plans, it will be difficult to ensure the widespread cooperation and local initiative and understanding of the tasks to be accomplished which are the fundamental conditions for success in agricultural development.
PROGRAMMES FOR INCREASING AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION
9. The principal technical programmes for increasing agricultural production, around which intensive work is to be organised, are : (1) irrigation, (2) soil conservation, dry farming and land reclamation, (3) supply of fertilisers and manures. (4) seed multiplication and distribution, (5) plant protection, (6) better ploughs and improved agricultural implements, and adoption of scientific agricultural practices. In all areas, and specially in the development blocks taken up under the community development programme, these programmes will need to be implemented with the largest measure of participation on the part of local communities and to reach as many families as possible through the village production plans. In addition, in fifteen districts, in which conditions are specially favourable on account of the availability of irrigation and assured rainfall, and the co-operative movement is fairlv established, it is proposed to undertake agricultural programmes on a more intensive scale than may be generally feasible. In all areas. and more especially in these, a concentrated effort will be made to reach all farmers and to promote the adoption by them of a minimum combination of improved practices.
10. The main targets under different development programmes for agriculture are summarised below :
Table 4 Targets of agricultural programmes Third Plan
The targets of agricultural development agreed to in consultation with individual States are set out in Annexure I to this chapter.
11. The gross area irrigated during the Third Plan from irrigation schemes is estimated at 25.6 million acres12.8 million acres each from major and medium irrigation works and from minor irrigation works. Of the latter, schemes financed from provisions under the community development programme are expected to irrigate about 3.3 million acres, the rest of the irrigation being secured from schemes within the agricultural programme.
Statistics relating to land utilisation are not yet available beyond 1957-58, and it is difficult to ascertain the actual increase in net irrigated area during the first two Plans as a result of the irrigation programmes which have been carried out. Minor irrigation works include a variety of schemes, some of which stabilise existing irrigation or, as in the case of drainage schemes and embankments, improve the existing irrigation without necessarily increasing the area irrigated. Allowance has also to be made for minor irrigation schemes which go out of use on account of 'depreciation' or are replaced by irrigation from major and medium irrigation schemes. Tn the Draft Outline it was reckoned that at the end of the Second Plan the net irrigated area might be of the order of 70 million acres, increasing to about 90 million acres by the end of the Third Plan. Recent estimates appear to suggest lower figures, but the available data are far from satisfactory. There is considerable discrepancy between statistics of progress reported in respect of both large and small irrigation schemes, and those relating to land utilisation which become available after a lag of about three years. It is proposed to undertake a special investigation into these differences.
12. In the Third Plan the total outlay on minor irrigation from provisions under agriculture and community development is likely to be about Rs. 250 crores, in addition to such finance as cooperative agencies may provide. Thus, minor irrigation is one of the larger investment programmes in the Third Plan. The principal advantages of minor irrigation works are that they can be executed quickly, entail small outlays and there is only a short lag between their completion and the realisation of benefits. Moreover, they can be undertaken at the initiative of individuals and small groups and offer scope for participation by the community. Yet, it has been observed that minor irrigation programmes are tending increasingly to develop as programmes for small-scale irrigation works executed by Government agencies with little voluntary labour or participation by the people. It is of the utmost importance that for the greater part minor irrigation should be developed in all States as essentially a community programme in which local contributions in money and labour are specially stressed. When the scale of the minor irrigation programme becomes large, it involves problems of organisation, investigation and utilisation which may in some ways be even more difficult than those which arise in the case of larger irrigation works. In the early phases of the minor irrigation programme the simpler categories of works can be taken up and the need for extended surveys is not always felt. Preliminary studies suggest that the possibilities of minor irrigation development could extend eventually to a gross area of about 75 million acres. To realise this potential, surveys and investigations should be undertaken in every State in a systematic manner for various river basins, and there should be adequately staffed investigation units working in different areas. At present few areas have minor irrigation projects which are worked out sufficiently in advance for implementation without delay.
13. Experience during the First and Second Plans suggests certain directions in which the implementation of the minor irrigation programme needs to be improved if full benefits by way of increase in agricultural production as well as adequate financial returns are to be realised. These relate to better maintenance, adoption of appropriate crop patterns, better utilisation and water management, and efficiency in execution. Investigations undertaken by the Committee on Plan Projects and other studies have pointed to the need for strengthening the present arrangements for the maintenance of minor irrigation works on the part of the State Governments as well as local communities, thereby reducing losses due to 'depreciation' which appear to occur at present at an alarmingly high rate. An increasing proportion of minor irrigation works now under construction are such that State Governments should undertake responsibility for their maintenance. The technical and administrative organisation for minor irrigation works must therefore be strengthened and regular inspection and supervision assured.
It is also essential that certain obligations should be placed by law on local communities and beneficiaries. In most parts of India obligations relating to the maintenance of field channels were long in existence and were entered in revenue records. These customary obligations have, however, tended to fall into disuse, and greater definiteness has now to be given to them through legislation. Some States have already enacted such legislation. The main obligations to be undertaken relate to construction and maintenance of field channels, maintenance of bunds and tanks, and desilting of the beds of tanks where the works are not of such magnitude that they must be taken up by Government. It is envisaged that statutory powers should be conferred on village panchayats for enforcing these obligations on the part of beneficiaries. If the latter fail to carry out the works in time, the panchayat should carry them out and realise the cost. In the event of village panchayats failing to carry out the works, the Government or, on its behalf, the Panchayat Samiti of the development block may arrange for their execution, the cost being recovered eventually from beneficiaries.
14. The problem of reducing time lags between the completion of works and realisation of their benefits arises not only for large schemes but also for a large proportion of small irrigation schemes. Being widely dispersed, minor irrigation works demand in fact greater attention from the extension agencies. A recent field study of the problems of minor irrigation by the Programme Evaluation Organisation suggests that non-utilisation of facilities is a factor of quite serious dimensions even in the case of minor irrigation, and calls for close study in each area with reference to different types of works. Irrigation in any area calls for a series of agricultural measures, including adoption of new crop patterns, land development, soil and water conservation and other improved agricultural practices. It is important that agricultural extension personnel should concentrate on these measures, so that irrigation yields the expected benefits. The methods to be adopted are well-known and the question is primarily one of advance planning and of giving continuous attention to the tasks mentioned above.
15. Execution of the minor irrigation programme has suffered to some extent because experienced personnel able to adapt their technical knowledge to different kinds of construction works have not been available in sufficient numbers. The situation has improved to some extent. However, in view of the large size of the programme to be carried out in the Third Plan, it is necessary that suitable technical cadres should now be built up in the States. This will become all the more important if a large-scale rural works programme devoted specially to agricultural development, as has been visualised, is to be successfully organised. Moreover, in several parts of the country the scope of the minor irrigation programme is itself being enlarged through the development of rural electrification. During the Second Plan, minor irrigation programmes suffered to some extent from difficulties in acquiring land, inadequate delegation of financial and administrative powers to personnel in charge of works, and failure to sanction works in advance of the construction season.
16. There are other problems of an administrative nature to which attention should be drawn. There has been a tendency for overlapping financial provision for minor irrigation schemes under agriculture and under community development. It is necessary that the financial provisions for minor irrigation schemes, whether under agriculture or community development, are pooled together at the block level and utilised for the maximum benefit of the area. It is considered that for individuals assistance for minor irrigation works should come, as far as possible, from cooperative agencies and taccavi loans and from the Agricultural Departments. Provisions available under the community development block budget should give preference to schemes benefiting large numbers of persons jointly. They may be undertaken either by village panchayats or by cooperative groups.
17. In recent years, in irrigation as in other fields of agricultural development, different kinds of subsidies have been used as a method of stimulating new activity. The general policy should be to reduce these subsidies progressively and, where possible, to eliminate them. There might be some justification for a subsidy which is intended to benefit the poorer sections of the community or to support for a limited period innovations or improved practices which have not yet been accepted. The existing schemes of subsidies should be review critically and, after examining other ways of achieving the same objects, phased programmes should be drawn up for reducing and, to the extent feasible, terminating the subsidies.
18. For the Third Plan the Central Government have sponsored two new schemes in the field of minor irrigation. A programme of applied research is to be taken up for the study of problems which arise in the execution of minor irrigation works with a view to effecting economy in construction costs, efficient operation of irrigation works and economic use of water reaching the fields. A scheme for training agricultural graduates in irrigation water use has also been formulated. These schemes will be undertaken through the agency of both Central and State Institutions.
19. In some parts of the country, specially the Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, the problem of water-logging has become serious. With a view to reclaiming water-logged areas and checking deterioration, agricultural programme provide for schemes for improving surface drainage and installing shallow tubewells.
20. For several areas an extensive programme of exploratory tubewells has been in operation. Out of 379 drillings which have been attempted, as many as 195 have proved successful upto March, 1961. The successful tubewells are being taken over by the State Governments concerned. If the data are made available more widely, the construction of private and cooperative tubewells could be encouraged in the more favourable areas.
21. Soil conservation, dry farming and land reclamation.Considerable emphasis is being given in the Third Plan to soil conservation and dry farming. These programmes are dealt with in the Chapter on Soil Conservation. A word may, however, be said here on land reclamation. A technical committee is at present engaged, in cooperation with States, in surveying and locating large blocks of waste lands. The committee has already completed its surveys of land classified as "other uncultivated lands excluding fallow lands" and "fallow lands other than current fallows" in seven States. In these, a total area of nearly one million acres comprising blocks of land of 250 acres or more which may be available for reclamation and resettlement has been located. Schemes for reclaiming these blocks will have to be drawn up. The area of 3.6 million acres shown as the target for land reclamation includes about 2 million acres in Rajasthan and also some other lands recommended by the technical committee. The programme for mechanised land reclamation operations will require personnel trained in the operation, maintenance and repair of tractors. In addition to the existing Tractor Training Centre at Budni (Madhya Pradesh) the Third Plan provides for the establishment of a second centre. The centre at Budni is also being developed.
22. Fertilisers and manures.Supplies of fertilisers are proposed to be increased during the Third Plan in accordance with the following provisional schedule:
Programmes for indigenous production and for imports both of fertilisers and of the raw materials needed, are based on the above estimates.
23. Although there has been rapid growth in the demand for. fertilisers and in recent years it has not been possible to meet the full requirements of cultivators, it will be a considerable administrative task to ensure the efficient distribution and use of increased supplies contemplated for the Third Plan. In this connection, reference may be made to the recommendations made by the Fertiliser Distribution Enquiry Committee, in particular, to the emphasis on the use of fertilisers in the form of mixtures with a view to promoting balanced fertilisation and making the best use of supplies of nitrogenous fertilisers, improved arrangements for distribution and attention to quality, and reduction in costs of distribution. As suggested by the Committee, for dealing effectively with problems arising out of increased distribution of chemical fertilisers, their storage and sales promotion, etc., a Central Fertiliser Marketing Corporation is proposed to be set up during the Third Plan period. The U.N. Fertiliser Mission which has recently studied the fertiliser problem has stressed the need for educational work with the small farmer for extensive soil tests to determine the kinds and quantities of fertilisers needed under different conditions, and for continuous research into the use of fertilisers. The availability of credit for enabling small cultivators to use fertilisers is also of the greatest importance. These considerations should be kept in view in implementing the programmes formulated by the States.
24. Despite progress in some directions, on the whole, sufficient stress is still not being laid in extension work on the development of local manurial resources, specially organic manures. Among the targets adopted by States for the Third Plan are about 5 million tons of urban compost, about 150 million tons of rural compost, and green manuring of about 41 million acres of land comparing to about 12 million acres at the end of the Second Plan. Except for the urban compost programme, which is organised through municipal committees and the larger village panchayats, fulfilment of the other targets is difficult to measure. It is hoped that through intensive work at the block and village levels the targets for green manuring and rural compost will be further improved upon. Increasing emphasis is also proposed to be laid on utilisation of sewage. A direction in which there is need for intensive work is the production of nightsoil compost. This has been taken up on a pilot basis in several places, and it is suggested that the experience gained should now be studied with a view to formulating a larger and a more extended programme of development.
25. Some progress has been made in developing cowdung gas and manure plants suitable for use in villages. The Indian Agricultural Research Institute has designed a model of the gas plant which is being used in some villages near Delhi and elsewhere, the gas plant costs about Rs. 400 to Rs. 450, and this is a factor inhibiting its adoption on a wider scale. The more extended use of the gas plant will help increase soil fertility and crop yields besides contributing to the solution of the fuel problem.
26. Soil testing has an important contribution to make in determining the right use of fertilisers tor increasing crop yields and maintaining soil fertility. In recent years a number of laboratories have been established and their studies are coordinated by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute. With the object of compiling data on soils, providing training in soil science and soil mechanics and undertaking both fundamental and applied soil research, it is proposed to set up a Central Institute of Pedology and Soil Mechanics.
27. Seed multiplication and distribution. Establishment of seed farms in all development blocks to meet the requirements of foundation seed of improved varieties was one of the principal programmes undertaken in the Second Plan. In all, about 4000 seed farms are reported to have been set up and about 800 more are expected to be established in the early years of the Third Plan. At the end of the Second Plan, a large proportion of the farms established have begun to provide seed for multiplication by registered growers, and it may take two or three years more before the benefits of the programme begin to be realised on a significant scale. Although, on an average, an area of 25 acres for a seed farm was at first indicated, a fair proportion of seed farms are of larger size. At the larger farms it is easier to provide technical personnel of the requisite quality and to undertake production on a more economic basis. These considerations should be kept in view, specially in respect of seed farms which have still to be set up, and of those which, as a temporary measure, were started on leased lands. Each seed farm provides for a seed store. To ensure better distribution, in the Third Plan States have generally provided for the setting up of an additional seed store in every development block. At the end of the Second Plan, the area under food crops covered by improved seed is estimated at 55 million acres. This is expected to increase by 148 million acres in the course of the Third Plan. While registered growers have a valuable role to play in the multiplication of improved varieties of seed, in formulating block and village agricultural plans, the aim should be to ensure that every village produces its own requirements of improved seed. undertaking as large a share of this task on a cooperative basis, but also making use of the better farmers. A field study of the multiplication and distribution programme for improved seed undertaken by the Programme Evaluation Organisation has revealed a number of weaknesses in the axisting situation and in the working of seed farms. It is suggested that State Governments may review their proposals for the Third Plan in the light of these findings.
28. Considerable research has been undertaken in recent years for evolving high-yield hybrids of maize, and it has been found that with moderate amounts of nitrogenous fertilisers the yield of maize hybrids increases more than twice that of the local varieties. It is therefore proposed to take up the cultivation of hybrid maize on a countrywide scale, the first stage being to bring about 25 per cent of the maize area under hybrid varieties during the Third Plan. It is also intended to make a start with the production of hybrid jowar seed. The Ministry of Food and Agriculture propose shortly to establish a Seed Corporation with the object of ensuring production at selected farms under conditions of efficient management and maintaining purity and the maximum yield. An organisation is to be set up for the production of nucleus seed, and it is envisaged that cooperatives and other suitable organisations and, where necessary, individuals should function as certified seed agencies. Legislation for controlling the quality of seeds and regulating their production, marketing and movement is also under consideration.
29. Plant protection.Over the past decade, plant protection measures have lagged behind several other aspects of the agricultural programme. In the Second Plan, the programme covered about 16 million acres of land. For the Third Plan, States have indicated a target of 50 million acres. The precise damage to crops from insects, rodent and other animal pests and on account of diseases, weeds and parasitic flowering plants, is difficult to assess, but there can be no doubt of its serious dimensions. Similarly, considerable losses are caused by the deterioration of foodgrains and other agricultural commodities during storage through insects, rats, mice, etc. Much of the damage can be prevented if plant protection measures are adopted on an adequate scale as an integral part of the agricultural programme. Plant protection organisations in several States need to be strengthened at various levels. In addition to special units which might function over larger areas, it is necessary that with a view to securing the maximum exiension effect, manually operated dusters and sprayers should be supplied extensively to farmers and to village panchayats. With these it is essential to ensure the timely supply of pesticides.
30. Improved Agricultural Implements.A serious gap in the agricultural programmes undertaken during the First and Second Plans has been in the field of improved agricultural implements. There is general recognition of the importance for scientific agriculture of improved tillage and harvesting practices, but specific action has been slow and insufficient. As has been pointed out, progress in the introduction of improved agricultural implements calls for steps at the same time in a number of directions.
31. The broad features of the programme for the adoption of improved agricultural implements proposed for the Third Plan may be briefly set out as follows :
(1) Adequate supplies of iron and steel of the categories required for agricultural implements should be made available. Precise estimates of requirements should be prepared each year in advance based on the actual programme of production and distribution which it is proposed to carry out. Requirements for manufacture of implements should be estimated separately from those for repairs and maintenance. It will be an advantage to place the supplies of iron and steel for agricultural purposes at the disposal of the Agricultural Departments in the States.
(2) The principal implements which should be recommended in each State for popularisation have been selected provisionally by groups of experts. The suggestions should be considered by States and a final selection should be made with a view to arranging for production, distribution, etc.
(3) Four regional research, testing and training centres for improved agricultural implements have been set up by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research as part of its programme in the Second Plan, and are to be transferred to the States in which they are situated. It is proposed to establish one research, testing and training centre in improved agricultural implements in every State. Research, testing and training centres should be free to undertake manufacture on a commercial scale but, in the main, they should concentrate on the production of improved proto-types and of implements which are not in the market and of components of special quality which may be used by other fabricators. As part of the intensive agricultural district programme, workshops are also being established in a number of districts. For improved implements to spread out rapidly, their production should be taken up as development programme at the district and block level, and industrial co-operatives for the manufacture of agricultural implements should be actively supported.
(4) According to their conditions suitable extension arrangements should be made by State Governments at the district and block levels for demonstrating and popularising improved agricultural implements. It would not be possible to set up such units at the block level in all the development blocks in the country. It would, therefore, be an advantage to consider the possibility of setting up a small number of units, say four, at the district level and attach them to the district agricultural officer. These units could move between development blocks, working in eac] block under the direction and guidance o the Agricultural Extension Officer and thi Block Development Officer. The unit could provide the necessary orientation t( village level workers and village artisans and could demonstrate improved implements to the cultivators. At the block headquarters there should be a stock oi implements readily available for demonstration and hire. These implements could be purchased from within the block budget and additional implements could be provided by the State Agricultural Department.
(5) Steps should be taken to strengthen the agricultural engineering section of State Agricultural Departments. The financial assistance extended to States for implementing the recommendations of the Report of the Agricultural Administration Committee will also be available for strengthening agricultural engineering personnel of the State Agricultural Departments at the State level and at the district level.
(6) With due regard to the size of the programme to be undertaken each year, assured arrangements for credit for supplying improved implements should be made. Credit should be provided both through cooperative agencies and by way of taccavi loans. Plans for co-operative development drawn up so far do not provide sufficiently for credit for agricultural implements, and this aspect should receive special attention.
(7) Agricultural workshops have been established at 25 extension training centres. It is proposed that all extension training centres should now be equipped with agricultural workshops for providing training facilities for village level workers. mechanics and artisans.
(8) At the State level, there may be a Committee or a Board, including representatives from amongst farmers and manufacturers and others, for assisting in drawing up production programmes and devising suitable arrangements for distribution and ensuring supplies of raw materials.
With expansion in the agricultural implements programme, there will be need for considerably larger numbers of agricultural engineers than the existing training facilities are likely to make available. This aspect has been taken into account in formulating the programme of technical education. The total provision in the Third Plan for the programme of agricultural implements is about Rs. 8 crores.
32. Intensive agricultural district programme. In recommending the selection of certain areas for more intensive efforts, the Agricultural Production Team sponsored by the Ford Foundation observed that there were no inherent soil, climatic or other physical reasons for the present low yields. The Team, therefore, suggested that those selected crops and those selected areas in each State should be chosen which have the greatest increase potentialities. In pursuance of this proposal, the intensive agricultural district programme has been taken up, to begin with, in one district in each State. The programme is intended to contribute both to rapid increase in agricultural production in the selected areas and to suggest new innovations and combinations of practices which may be of special value elsewhere. In the selected districts an attempt will be made to provide all the essential elements for increasing production to the extent needed, such as, supplies of fertilisers, pesticides and improved seeds and improved implements, and composite scientific demonstrations will be laid out on a large scale. An effort will be made to provide credit on a scale sufficient to reach all farmers, including those previously considered uncredit-worthy and credit and marketing will be linked. Extension personnel, specially in agriculture and cooperation, are being made available on a somewhat larger scale than in other areas so that they can work intensively with Panchayat Samitis and Village Panchayats and with co-operative organisations. Through benchmark surveys and systematic evaluation, high standards of performance will be insisted upon in these districts. The districts chosen for intensive development should give to the agricultural and other services in each State special opportunities for developing improved methods for extension and for planning of agricultural production at the block and village levels as well as in relation to the individual farmer.
ESTIMATES OF PRODUCTION IN THE THIRD PLAN
33. The development programmes which have been described above constitute the essential targets of the Third Plan. However, for various purposes, it is useful to estimate additions to production likely to be achieved on the assumption that the various development programmes are carried out and, along with these, improved agricultural practices are adopted on the scale contemplated. Although efforts have been made in recent years to base 'yardsticks' of additional production on precise experimental data, the measures adopted must be regarded at best as rough guides rather than as a satisfactory basis for firm targets. Moreover, in agriculture weather conditions are always dominant element. These limitations should be kept in view in comparing the following estimates of production which may be realised by the end of the Third Plan.
Table 5 Estimates of production in the Third Plan
Excludes mesta which may provide an additional 1.3 million bales in the
Estimates of increase in production of major crops in different States are set out in a series of statements in Annexure II to this chapter.
34. According to the estimates of increased production the index of agricultural production (base1949-50) should rise from 135 in 1960-61 to 176 in 1965-66, the total increase being about 30 per cent over the five year period. Increased production of the order envisaged above can take place only on the assumption that the various development programmes will be carried out effectively and with widespread public participation and use of local manpower and other resources and that intensive efforts will be made in every block to adopt improved agricultural practices. The following Table compares the average yield in Ib. per acre during the period of the Second Plan and that anticipated for the Third Plan :
Table 6 Average production and yield per acre in the Second and Third Plans
The greater part of increase in yields will necessarily have to be secured in areas under irrigation and assured rainfall, but even in other areas through soil conservation and dry farming there should be some improvement in yields.
35. The estimates of production for the Third Plan given in Table 5 represent an appreciable increase in per capita availability. In foodgrains, the availability per capita is expected to increase from 16 oz in 1960-61 to 17.5 oz per day in 1965-66 and consumption of cloth from about 15.5 yards to 17.2 yards per year. Consumption of edible oil is expected to go up from 0.4 oz to 0.5 oz per day over the Third Plan period.
36. A preliminary assessment of the likely changes in the Third Plan in the pattern of land utilisation suggests that the net area sown may increase from about 327 to 335 million acres and area sown more than once from about 52 to 67 million acres. The area of culturable waste is expected to diminish from about 47 to 41 million acres.
OTHER ASPECTS OF THE AGRICULTURAL PROGRAMME
37. Commercial Crops.Except for sugarcane, the targets set for commercial crops in the Second Plan have fallen short to a considerable extent. Therefore, in the Third Plan it is essential to intensify efforts for increasing the production of these crops, specially, cotton, jute and oilseeds. Over and above the provision for programmes like minor irrigation, seed farms and plant protection which will benefit all crops, outlays to the extent of about Rs. 26 crores have been provided for special development schemes relating to different commercial crops. As the Plan proceeds, it might be necessary to make larger resources available for special development schemes of commercial crops. Special care will be taken to ensure adequate supplies of fertilisers for these crops. Tt might also be necessary to facilitate diversion of areas from millets to commercial crops. THe aim is not only to attain higher levels of nroduction, but also to secure larger supplies of varieties which have considerable export damand or which will save on imports.
38. Detailed programmes relating to different commercial crops have been worked out by various commodity committees. In the main, these involve expansion and intensification of programmes already adopted during the Second Plan. Some features of these programmes, on which special stress is being laid in the Third Plan, may be briefly mentioned.
It is proposed to provide necessary support for increasing the production of cotton and specially of long-staple varieties of cotton, such as, sea-island cotton in Mysore and Kerala and hybrid cotton in Gujarat and Maharashtra. The cultivation of sea-island cotton is to be extended from about 20.000 acres at present to about 300,000 acres at the end of the Third Plan.
Programmes for jute development are directed, in particular, towards improvement in quality through the provision of retting tanks and of high quality seeds. Greater attention will be given to the development of supplementary fibres, such as, mcsta, sisal, ramie, etc.
Increase in the production of oilsceds is one of the critical targets in the Third Plan both to meet higher domestic demands and to provide surpluses for export. To increase the availability of vegetable oils for exports, it is proposed that in the course of the Third Plan at least about one-half of the cotton seed available should be utilised for extracting oil. and solvent extraction of expeller oilcakes should be substantially increased. Greater attention will also be given to problems connected with the development of non-edible oilseeds like mahiiva and neem as also rice bran, etc.
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture propose to set up a Spices and Cashewnut Committee for undertaking research and guiding development in these crops. The programme for cashewnut development involves bringing under cultivation an additional area of about 300,000 acres.
In tobacco the main problem is to produce varieties for which there is demand abroad. Greater attention will, therefore, be given to the improvement of Virginia and other types of tobacco by ensuring supply of pure seed, provision of the types of fertiliser required, careful handling of leaves and better arrangements for curing. The increase in production during the Third Plan from 300,000 to 325,000 tons is intended almost entirely for the production of Virginia tobacco.
39. Tea, Coffee and Rubber.Plantation crops, specially, tea, coffee and rubber, have been assigned high priority in the Third Plan. The Plan envisages increase in the export of tea from 465 to 550 million Ibs. and more than twofold increase in exports of coffee from the present level of 340,000 cwt. The consumption of rubber has increased rapidly in recent years and is now estimated at 53,000 tons. Requirements by the end of the Third Plan are estimated at about 100,000 tons. In the course of the Third Plan it is proposed to increase the production of natural rubber from about 26,000 to 45,000 tons and also to produce about 15,000 tons of reclaimed rubber and 50,000 tons of synthetic rubber. Supplies of fertilisers on an adequate scale will be provided for all plantation crops. To facilitate replanting programmes arrangements are also being made to provide the necessary finance.
40. Horticulture.A number of new schemes were introduced during the Second Plan for the development of fruit production. These include provision of financial assistance for planting new orchards and rejuvenating old ones, as well as facilities for training gardeners. During the Second Plan about 166,000 acres of new orchards were planted and about 132,000 acres of old orchards were rejuvenated, and over 4,000 gardeners were trained. The total area at present under fruits and vegetables is estimated to be about 6 million acres, of which nearly one-half is under fruit cultivation. In the Third Plan, the total area under fruits and vegetables is expected to increase to about 7 million acres. It is proposed to bring 235,000 acres under new orchards and to rejuvenate 250,000 acres under old orchards. Besides continuing schemes already in operation, the plans of States provide for the establishment of progeny orchards with nurseries and garden colonies. The nurseries will help in the supply of planting material of reliable parentage and guaranteed performance.
For the development of vegetable production, the plans of States provide for supply of improved varieties of seeds, plant protection measures and technical advice. Arrangements are also being made for certification of vegetable seeds.
Development of fruit and vegetable preservation has been assisted for some years past through subsidy on tinplate for fruit and vegetable products, rebate of excise duty on sugar used for exported products, and provision of training facilities, technical advice and development loans. The output of fruit and vegetable products increased from about 20,000 tons at the end of the First Plan to about 40,000 tons in 1960-61 and is expected to rise to about 100,000 tons by the end of the Third Plan.
41. Subsidiary Foods.Subsidiary foods include primarily potatoes, sweet potatoes and tapioca and other vegetables and fruits and certain processed and derived fruits. The Third Plan includes programmes for the increased production of these articles. Their greater use is intended to help diversify the pattern of food consumption and promote balanced nutrition. The Plan also includes development schemes for the conservation and effective utilisation of perishable foodstuffs through refrigerated transport, establishment of dehyderation units, cold storage and development of protein rich foods.
42. Agricultural Marketing.The total number of markets in the country is about 2500. The number of regulated markets increased from about 470 at the end of the First Plan to 725 at the end of the Second Plan. In the course of the Third Plan it is proposed to bring the remaining martets within the scheme of regulation. The programme for grading commodities under the Agricultural Produce (Grading and Marketing) Act is also being expanded.
The market intelligence service now covers about 500 markets. In the Third Plan it is proposed to extend further the number of reporting centres so as to provide adequate coverage for all areas in the country and strengthen the disse-mination of market news.
An increasingly important aspect of agricultural marketing is the development of co-operative marketing organisations at various levels. Programmes for the expansion of co-operative marketing have been described in an earlier chapter.
43. Storage.Programmes for the expansion of storage capacity with the Government, warehousing corporations and various co-operative organisations were initiated during the Second Plan. The Central Government has at present a total storage capacity of about 2.5 million tons, of which about a third is owned by Government. It is proposed to increase this to about 5 million tons, of which about 3.5 million tons will be owned by Government. The warehouses of the Central and State warehousing corporations have a storage capacity of about 350,000 tons; this is to be increased to over 1.6 million tons. In addition, the capacity of the godowns of cooperative marketing societies and primary societies is expected to go up from about 800,000 tons to about 2 million tons. The Plan has allotted Rs. 25 crores for the construction of additional godowns by the Government for the storage of foodgrains and Rs. 8 crores for warehousing programmes. The provision of storage capacity is a vital step in the implementation of price policies under the Plan and such further resources as may be needed will be made available.
44. Agricultural Education.Proposals in the Third Plan relating to the expansion of agricultural education and research are discu»scd in the Chapters on Technical Education and Scientific and Technological Research. In the course of the Third Plan, the number of agricultural colleges will increase from 53 to 57 and the annual intake will go up from 5600 to 6200. The total requirements of agricultural graduates for the Plan period are estimated at about 20,000 and these are expected to be met.
45. During the Second Plan, an agricultural university was established at Pantnagar (Rudra-pur) in Uttar Pradesh. Further proposals for setting up agricultural universities are under examination. The view that agricultural universities have a special contribution to make towards the development of agriculture has been urged in a series of expert reports on a.ericultural education. It is pointed out that if India's agriculture is to be raised to levels comparable with those of advanced countries, agricultural education of the traditional type,, which is not sufficiently linked with research and extension will not be adequate in relation to the complex and changing problems of the vast body of cultivators, most of them operating very small holdings. The agricultural university seeks to bring together a number of related fields of study, such as, agriculture, animal husbandry, veterinary science, dairying, basic sciences and humanities. The underlying concept is that the responsibility of the agricultural university extends beyond teaching to applied as well as fundamental research in agriculture and involves special obligations towards cultivators in the area served by the university, in particular, to discuss their problems by working with them, transmit the results of research, and bring teaching, research and extension into an integrated view of agriculture and agricultural education.
46. Agricultural Research.The Plan provides for an outlay of about Rs. 28 crores for agricultural researchabout Rs. 11 crores at the Centre and Rs. 17 crores in the States. In the past. agricultural research tended to be confined mainly to government farms and research stations and its results did not reach cultivators to any great extent. Extension activities have brought research workers into closer contact with farmers and presented them with new problems. Research organisations in the States are being strengthened for dealing with these problems. For crops like wheat, rice, millets, cotton and oilseeds, it is proposed to develop research facilities on a regional basis in addition to work undertaken in the States. The Plan provides for intensive study of irrigation practices in river valley projects and for working out of water requirements of crops, new crop rotations, and problems connected with the use of fertilisers in irrigated areas. Among the new centres of research to be established in the Third Plan arc in institute for soil science and pedology, a forage and grasslands research institute and virus research institute.
47. Agricultural Administration.In view of the large programmes of agricultural development, the need for strengthening Agricultural Departments in the States has been felt for several years. To this end a series of proposals were made three years ago by the Agricultural Administration Committee. These include strengthening of staff at various levels, revision of terms and conditions, and expansion of facilities for training, education and research. To a considerable extent, the plans of States incorporate schemes for strengthening Agricultural Departments which have been worked out in the light of the recommendations made by the Committee. However, there has been some delay in implementing proposals for strengthening State agricultural administration. It is, therefore, suggested that these should be given effect to as a matter of first priority.
48. State Farms.A Central mechanised farm with an area of about 30,000 acres was established in 1956 at Suratgarh in Rajasthan. The possibility of establishing more State farms on similar lines has been studied and it is proposed to set up one and possibly two more farms during the Third Plan.
49. Agricultural Price Policy.For achieving the high targets of agricultural production set for the Third Plan, it is important that growers should have full confidence that the additional effort and investment which are called for will yield adequate return. Changes in the prices and production of fibres during the last few years show that wide fluctuations in prices affect the growers' capacity to make sustained efforts for increasing production. The fall in prices of jute in 1958 affected production in subsequent years. The assurance of minimum remunerative prices for important cereals and cash crops like cotton, oilseeds and jute over the period of the Plan will provide the necessary incentives for increasing production, thus adding to the effectiveness of the various development programmes provided for in the Third Plan. With this object in view, decisions regarding the prices at which Government should buy and sell, should be taken sufficiently in advance of the sowing season. Where floor and ceiling prices are fixed, they should be related to the requirements of production, and the range between the minimum and maximum prices should not be too wide.
50. Cooperative marketing societies are an important means for imparting a certain degree of staying power to the growers, particularly in relation to adverse seasonal fluctuations in prices. Cooperative and State agencies for the purchase and sale of the principal agricultural commodities at appropriate stages are, therefore, a key element in the organisation needed to achieve the agricultural goals as well as the objectives of price policy set by the Third Plan.
I.I. Gross area benefited by major and minor irrigation during Third Plan
Area benefited by soil conservation and land development during Third
Consumption of chemical fertilisers during Third Plan
*In terms of K,0 the consumption target should be 144,000 tons. The lower figure as compared to that given in paragraphs 10 and 22 is due to the fact that it does not take into account the consumption figures of other States for which information is not available.
1.5. Estimates for organic manures and green manurinfe durme Third Plan
ANNEXURE II Estimates of increase in agricultural production during Third
Plan II.1 Foodgrains
of increase in agricultural production during Third Plan 11-2 Cotton
of increase in agricultural prediction during Third Plan II.4 Oilseeeds
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