6th Five Year Plan
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28 || Appendix

Chapter 9:


9.104 An appropriate price policy is a crucial factor in the strategy of agricultural development. This is so on acount of several considerations. Firstly, modem agriculture increasingly involves the use of costly inputs as part of improved technology and hence an assured minimum price becomes a necessary underpinning for sustained agricultrual production. Secondly, price policy is also an important tool for factorting crop planning—an aspect which so far has not received adequate attention in this country. Finally, price policy can be geared towards ensuring that the relevant income levels of the farming community are not eroded by continuing unfavourable terms of trade between agricultural sector and non-agricultural sector. For this purpose, the terms of reference of the Agriculture Prices Commission have been amended, and the Commission has been asked to take into account, alongwith other factors, movements in the terms of trade.

9.105 To provide cost of production data to the Agriculture Prices Commission, a scheme for estimation of cost of production was introduced in 1971. This scheme now stands extended to several important crops. Under the Sixth Plan the scheme is proposed to be further enlarged. Firstly, the sample in the scheme covers 6,000 farm holdings. Under the Plan, the sample holdings will be increased. Secondly, the same full sample will be repeated in subsequent years unlike the present practice when only a sub-sample used to be adopted. Finally, more prompt arrangements for analysis of the findings of the studies are proposed to be made.

9.106 While recognising the importance of price policy in the context of agricultural development, it is important to note its limitations also. While remunerative price is a necessary condition for sustained agricultural production, it is not a sufficient condition. The prices of certain crops such as pulses have been ruling consistently high, but this has not led to increased production. Price policy can be effective only when it operates in conjunction with a significant varietal improvement and other complimentary inputs and services. Finally, it is necessary that the agricultural price policy must be so framed that it ensures a careful balance between the need for providing incentive to the farmers for production with a suitable measure of protection also to the consumers. One must recosnise that these consumers are not confined to urban areas only. In rural areas, there are a large number of agricultural labourers, artisans and others, who do not produce their own food requirements but have to buy from others. It is in this wide context that we must see price policy concerning agricultural development.


9.107 Recurrent natural calamities in the form of floods, drought, cyclones and the like have ravaged various parts of this country and have caused untold havoc to its human and animal population. They have debilitated the agricultural and industrial economy and posed grave problems of relief and rehabilitation. To take only three recent examples:

(a) The Andhra Pradesh cyclone of 1977 claimed nearly 10,000 lives;

(b) The floods in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal during 1978-79 damaged 18 million hectares of cropped area, destroyed nearly 40 lakhs hutments, and took a toil of 2800 human lives and about 2 lakh cattle; and

(c) The unprecedented 1979-80 drought in large areas of Northern and Eastern India affected more than 38 million hectares
of cropped area and endangered the lives of 130 million heads of cattle and over 200 million people.

9.108 The magnitude of the relief effort involved can be easily understood from the fact that during the five years 1974-79 Rs. 631 crores of Central assistance was provided to the affected States to supplement the expenditure incurred by them.

9.109 Though these calamities have generally been tackled with vigour and dynamism, the approach to disaster control has been sentimental rather than rational. It has also been ad hoc and in the nature of a fire fighting operation. The time has come for the formulation of a long term strategy for anticipating, preventing and mitigating disaster. Such a long term strategy would naturally have to form an integral part of the National Plan, the objectives of which should be:

(a) to bring about a scientific and rational approach in the assessment of disasters, their impact and costs of relief; and

(b) to improve the quality of relief to the affected people in such a manner as to substantially alleviate the effect of the disaster.

9.110 The most important aspects of the long term strategy of Disaster Preparedness would be firstly, the development of contingency plans in disaster prone areas to meet different probabilities supported by ap-proriate seed, fertilizer and fodder reserves and monitored bv the State Governments; secondly, the establishment of a Centre for training in Disaster Preparedness; and, thirdly, the forging of adequate linkages between the relief and other schemes for providine work and employment like Food-for-work. National Rural Employment Scheme, Special Area Programmes for Drought Prone, Backward and Hill areas, Food for Nutrition, etc., etc.

9.111 The insensible assault of man on nature and the indiscriminate exploitation of natural resources as well as the human life support systems have converted a symbiotic relationship between man and nature into one of confrontation and disharmony. The siting of human habitats on plains frequently inundated by very heavy floods and the encroachment and clogging of natural drains have had a cataclysmic effect on the normal behaviour of riverine and natural drainage systems. The depredations into forests and vegetative cover and the destruction of the natural ecological balance have not only denuded the benign deposits of silt and too soil, but have also deprived the land surface of its cnoacity to absorb rainwater and brought untold misery in its wake.

9.112 Experience here and elsewhere, has, however, shown that though natural calamities cannot be averted. their destmctive impact in terms of loss of human and animal life ind the upset of ecological balance can be considerably mitigated by taking (a) anticipatory measures disaster preparedness); (b) concurrent measures (disaster rescue and relief); and (c) post-disaster measures (rehabilitation and prevention). These measures are based on the socio-economic, administrative and technological appreciation of the situation and are the basic elements of the disaster management strategy for agricultural and industrial growth and the preservation of social security.

9.113 In brief, these measures relate to:

(a) Anticipatory action including the conduct of vulnerability analysis and risk mapping, provision of anti-disaster shelters, food, medical aid, drinking water, etc., plans for evacuation and surveillance of protective works like dams. reservoirs, embankments, etc., crop stabilisation programmes involving crop life saving techniques, introduction of alternative cropping strategies to suit different weather models and measures for improving production in irrigated areas and non-traditional seasons through compensatory programmes;

(b) Early warning and timely action against cyclones, floods and drought with the aid of hydrological, meteorological and agro-cli-matological data assisted by radar and setellite services;

(c) Rescue and Relief operations through the co-ordinated efforts of Governmental and voluntary agencies; and

(d) Post disaster recuperation and rehabilitation including reconstruction/repair of buildings, restoration of communications, salvaging of damaged crops, contingency crop plans and compensatory production programmes, provision of agricultural inputs like seeds, fertilizers, etc. and the opening of the employment generation works both of a productive nature as well as a prevention against future calamities.

9.114 For formulatimg the above measures, for co-ordinatine the efforts of various implementine agencies, appraising from time to time the success of these measures and for arranging the training of officials and non-officials enaaged in disaster relief, it is necessary to strengthen the existing High Level Committee in the Plannincr Cornmission. Suitable arrangements will have to be 'introduced in monitorina the expenditure of funds allocated for disaster relief.

9.115 The resoonsibility for undertaking various relief measures is mainly that of the State Governments. Nevertheless, it would be desirable to formulate a general policy and pattern for disaster relief as part of the national plan so that it may serve as a euid°line to the Sta*e Governments. A national policy in this reeard will also induce mutual confidence between the States and the Central Government and provide an earnest of their respective responsibilities in this matter Nature calamities sometimes have the same disastrous effects as wars and,therefore, where necessary, legislative measures may have to be taken for ensuring safety, enforcing evacuations from danger zones and adoption of practices for the preservation of human and animal life. Governmental installations and property and the like.

9.116 Natural calamities may have to be differentiated according to their typology, i.e., simple, complex or cumulative depending on their impact and also the magnitude of the damaee created by them. Drought again should be differentiated from other natural calamities like floods, cyclones, land-slides or the like. The former is slow in developing, but can have very deletarious consequences on the industrial and agricultural economy. The Infer may be sudden and spurt unexpectedly diving no time for advance preparedness. Its effects also may be wide-spread. But whatever .the type of the disaster, people who suffer have a natural expectation that relief in adequate measure should be provided »n them. It would also be correspondingly the duty of Government to ensure that such relief is in fact provided. The question whether legislative provision enshrininf* the right to relief is essential or not may be debatable. But under no circumstances should 'he confidence of the sufferers in the capacity and willingness of Government to provide relief be shaken.

9.117 There is at present considerable variation and even arbitrariness with regard to the quantum, scope and character of relief. National minima in terms of food supply, medical attention, shelter and drinking water, below which assistance will not be permitted to fall, should be prescribed. For example, in the matter of food supply, the nutrition value in terms of calories for different groups of people seeking relief, i.e., labourers on earth work, women, children and people at gruel centres can be fixed. Similarly, national minimum standards can be fixed in respect of med'cal facilities as well as shelter and drinking water. Such a prescription would inspire confidence in the suffering population and also result in the rapid restoration of normalcy.

9.118 There is a tendency on the part of the State Governments to withdraw relief prema'urely at the very. first appearance of the rains in case of drought or when there is a temporary lull/improvement in the flood situation. This is not only a short sighted view but mav also have a long term debilita'ing effect. It would, therefore, be necessary to fix a minimum duration for which assistance in the case of different types of calamities would be available with the objective of restoration of physical health and psychological confidence.

9.119 The management of disaster in its several aspects calls for sound administrative knowledge, a dedication to hard work, an understanding of the different factors responsible for the onset of disasters and a compassion towards people who are the victims of such calamities. There is, therefore, an imperative need for the establishment of a corps of personnel who will be well-versed in the art of disaster management and capable of accepting the responsibility for such management, when the time comes. There are at pfwnt no facilities available for training potential relief administrators involved in disaster management, whether non-officials or officials, in the techniques of disaster anticipation, disaster mitigation or disaster prevention. The establishment of a National Institute for this purpose with faculty drawn from different disciplines for looking into the totality of disaster management from the socio-economic, agro-climatic, meteorological, administrative and engineering angles is of the utmost importance.

9.120 This Institute should, under no circumstances duplicate the ac^vities of the existing training and research institutions but should act as a seed-bed of new developments, new concepts and new programmes which can be taken up by institutions at the Centra! or State level or by the various departments of Government. It could act as a focal point for the dis-semination of all knowledge relating to disaster management and be the catalyst of development and relief activity. As the establishment of the Institute is part of the integrated national plan for disaster preparedness, it should function under the umbrella of the Planning Commission.

9.121 Both at the Centre and in various States, it is necessary to strengthen the relief organisation so as to introduce an element of anticipation of disaster preparedness, to meet disasters when they occur and formulate measures for prevention of such disasters. The two main angles from which disaster preparedness can be looked at are the restoration and/or strengthening of the agricultural and the industrial economy and the preservation of social security. For this purpose, various schemes, particularly at the Central level will be undertaken such as strengthening of the nodal organisation for disaster relief, establishment of National Institute for training and research studies, formulation of contingency plans, preparation of material for judsine community response and for undertaking field publicity and efficient functioning of Agro-Meteorological Advisory Services at various levels from the Centre upto the village and for the formulation of a Crop Insurance Corporation with a view to undertaking insurance of crops likely to be affected by disasters.

9.122 An outlay of Rs. 15 crores has been provided in the Central Plan for implementation of the above mentioned schemes.

9.123 There are three aspects of disaster management which need to be emphasised very strongly. The first is the involvement of voluntary institutions which have a tradition of sustained and dedicated work in the relief of na^ral calamities. If the State and Central Governments adopt towards these agencies an attitude of sympathy, understanding and encouraee-ment. their closeness to the people as well as their experience and compassion could be harnessed very effective'y for formulating and implementin" various schemes of disaster management. A consortium of voluntary agencies mav be set up at the national level for the purpose. Similarly at the State and disaster-prone district levels consortia of voluntary agencies may be set up.

9.124 Secondly, the success of disaster prcnared-ness programmes depends on the awareness of the 'community and its preparedness to participate in the implementation of such programmes. Building up of community response and preparedness should be an integral part of the policy of disaster management. Anticipatory measures, relief action and preventive efforts can be carried on very smoothly if the community is prepared. Of even greater importance is the creation of an environment of cooperative and purposive endeavour in the field of disaster perception and relief and the outlaw of fear and panic which can be positive hurdles in the path of giving relief or taking preventive action.

9.125 Finally, and most importantly, there is need to decentralise administration and delegate authority to the lower levels of the administrative hierarchy with a view to promoting and encouraging the active involvement of the personnel engaged in disaster operations, building in them a confidence for handling similar situations in tuture and arousing in them an awareness of their importance as partners in a meaningful and patriotic activity.


9.126 The package of technology, inputs and services and public policies are the base on which the production programmes for different field crops and tree crops are formulated. In what follows the specific targets and the measures contemplated for reaching these targets are described.


9.127 Trends in crop production and yield rates since 1950-51 are presented in Aimexure 9.2. These data show the substantial progress that has been made in raising both the level of agricultural production and the productivity per hectare of land. The main contributory factors to the more stable agriculture of today are (1) increased irrigation potential, (2) increased use of fertilisers and pesticides; (3) better crop varieties and quality seeds; and (4) higher level of production technolofy for major cereals, cotton, sugar-cane, etc. While we may feel justifiably satisfied over our past performance in agriculture, we should attempt to improve our efforts through the lessons of the past. The main strategy for crop production during the Sixtli Plan period would be on the following lines:

(a) a steady growth of foodgrains production to meet the growing needs and a substantial increase in pulse production to improve the nutritional quality of the diet of the people;

(b) to aim at self-sufficiency in oikeed production so as 10 eliminate import of edible oil;and

(c) to increase production of export-oriented crops like tea, coffee, tobacco, cashewnut, spices, jute, cotton, sugarcane, fruits and vegetables.

9.128 Agricultural production during 1967-68 to 1978-79 has grown at an annual compound rate of 2.8 per cent, whereas in order to achieve an overall annual growth rate of the economy around 5.2 per cent during the Sixth Five Year Plan, it is crucial that annual rate of growth of production, which will vary for different crops, should be in the range of 4-5 per cent on the trend base in 1979-80. Considering that there exists a big gap between production potential and actual production of various crops, it should not be difficult to achieve such growth rate in crop production during the plan period.

9.129 Table 9.6 indicates the targets of crop production for the Sixth Five Year Plan alongwith the base levels:

Table 9.6
Targets of Crop Production—Sixth Five Year Plan 1980—85

Sl.No. Crop Assumed base* level 1979-80 (Trend Estimates) Plan Target 1984-85 Compound growth rate of Col. 3 over Col. 2 (percentage per annum)
(0) (1) (2) (3) (4)
1 Foodgrains @ (million tomes)
1 Rice 51-24 63-00 4-2
2 Jowar 10-88 12-00
3 Bajra 5-28 5-80
4 Maize 6-23 6-80
5 Ragi 2-85 2-70
6 Small rrillets 1-83 1-90
7 Wheat 35-64 44-00 4-3
8 Barley 2-30 2-90
Total Cereals 116-25 139-10
Pulses 11-61 14-50
Total Foodgrains 127-86 or (128-00) 153-60 or (154-00) 3-9
2 Oilseeds@ (million tonnes)
1 Groundnut 6-12 7-30
2 Castor Seed 0-24 0-30
3 Rapeseed and Mustard 1-91 2-40
4 Sesamum 0-49 0-55
5 Linseed 0-56 0-55
Total 5 major oilseeds 9-32 11-10
6 Niger seed 0-10 0-20
7 Safflower 0-23 0-35

*The base level figures for 1979-80 have been worked out on the basis
of trend line compound growth rate of production for the period 1967-68 to 1978-79.
@ State-wise break-up of these crop targets are geven in Annexure 9-5.

(0) (1) (2) (3) (4)
8 Soybean 0-40 1-00
9 Sun Flower 0-15 0-35
All oilseeds 10-20 13-00 5-00
3 Sugarcane@ (Cane) (million tonnes) 175-80 215-00 4-1
4 Cotton@ (million bales of 170 kg. each) 7-34 9-20 4-6
5 Jute (million bales of 180 Kg. each) 5-66 6-96
6 Mesta (Do) 1-88 2-12
Total Jute and Mestaź . 7-54 9-08
7 Tobacco (million kg) . 465* 525 2-5
8 Cashewnut (000 tonnes) 180 300
9 Coconut (million nuts) 6000 6750
10 Arecanut (000 tonnes) 166 175
11 Tea (million kg.) 564* 705
12 Coffee (000 tonnes) 118* 159
13 Rubber (000 tonnes) 144* 200
14 Cardamom (tonnes) 4500* 5500

@State-wise break-up of these crop targets are given in Annexure 9.5.
Relates to average of 1977—80.

9.130 The following paragraphs give an account of review of performance of agricultural production along with strategy and programmes for the Sixth Plan period in respect of individual crops.

Food grains

9.131 For foodgrains as a whole, the growth rate of their production area and yield during the period 1949-50 to 1978-79 has been 2.66, 0.84 and 1.52 per cent per annum respectively. For the more recent period 1967—79 these percentages are of the order of 2.77, 0.44 and 1.84. A major advance was achieved towards the end of the Fifth Plan period, with a production of 126.4 million tonnes in 1977-78 against 121 million tonnes in 1975-76, 108.4 million tonnes in 1970-71 and 99.5 million tonnes in 1969-70. The year 1978-79 witnessed further improvement and recorded a production of 131.9 million tonnes.

9.132 In the year 1979-80, however, there was a steep decline to about 109 million tonnes due to severe drought experienced in kharif season in many parts of the country. Despite this setback there is considerable evidence of growing strength and resilience in Indian agriculture. The agricultural sector has become increasingly capable of taking better advantage of favourable weather conditions through the application of improved technology. Simulianeously, the experience of 1979-80 showed that technology and the spread of irrigation has enabled the farmer to withstand the raverages of weather in a much better manner than would have been possible a decade or so ago. We have achieved the goal of self-sufficiency in respect of foodgrains, with a buffer stock of about 15 million tonnes to meet the needs of public distribution system as also 'the unforeseen situations and potential for marginal exports. The Sixth Plan aims at a target of 153.6 million tonnes in 1984-85. Towards this. target we have to intensify our efforts, both in research and development.

9.133 The production of rice has shown a significant increase in the past few years, touching an all-time record of 53.8 million tonnes in 1978-79. However, it suffered a set back due to wide spread drought in 1979-80 and declined to 42.2 million tonnes. 'the increase in rice production has been possible through expansion of area under High Yielding Varieties (HYV) of rice with the help of minikit programme, timely transplanting of the crop through the community nursery programme, increased use of balanced fertilizers and adoption of better crop management practices through various extension and training programmes. In addition, the cultivation of rice has been taken up on a large scale in non-rice consuming States of Punjab and Haryana.

9.134 For 1984-85, the terminal year of the Sixth Plan, a target of 63 million tonnes of rice is contemplated against the assumed trend base level of 51.24 million tonnes. The additional production of 12 million tonnes will be achieved through (i) increase in area under HYV from 13.6 million hectares to 25 million hectares; (ii) increase in irrigated area by about 2.5 million hectares with the adoption of package of practices; (iii) intensification of existing schemes of community nurseries of rice, minikit demonstrations and training; and (iv) intensive steps to increase the yield of upland rice through adoption of latest technology.

9.135 The production of wheat achieved in 1978-79 was 35.5 million tonnes. In 1979-80 wheat output declined to 31.6 million tonnes. The irrigated area under wheat is about 62 per cent, of which two-thirds is under the command of tube wells and pump sets and the balance under canal irrigation. Short duration varieties have been quite popular in the eastern States. Production in Punjab and Haryana has increased considerably under assured tubewell irrigation. The per hectare yield has been almost twice the notional average in several districts of these states than that of the national average of about 1500 kg.

9.136 The Sixth Plan aims at a target of 44 million tonnes against the base of 35.64 million tonnes. The strategy to increase production of wheat would comprise (a) increase in area under HYV from 13.5 million hectares to 19 mill'on hectares along with stepping up irrigated area; (b) greater use of chemical fertilizers; (c) application of zinc and other micro-nutrients to correct deficienices; (d) demonstrating on large areas the line sowing of wheat with drills by using proper seed rate for better germination and good stand of the crop; and (e) better transfer of technology with adequate extension service.

9.137 Coarse grains (jowar, bajra, maize, ragi, small millets and barley) contribute about 30 million tonnes to foodgrains produtcion. Their production is subject to wide fluctuations depending on weather conditions, the area under coarse grains has shown a slight decrease particularly during the last three years, 1976—79. There has been some increase in production, which is mainly due to rise in productivity, resulting from greater coverage under HYV hybrids/varieties and improved agronomic practices.

9.138 The Sixth Plan aims at a target of 32 million tonnes of coarse grains. The strategy involves an increase of area of 1.4 million hectares (1 million hectares of kharif jowar and 0.4 million hectares of maize), and increase in productivity by enhancing the area under HYV, ensuring adequate availability of hybrid seeds, encouraging adoption of recommended package of practices and plant protection measures.

9.139 Pulses deserve special attention on the food front since the growth rate of their produtcion, area and yield during the period 1949-50 to 1978-79 has been much below 1 per cent per annum. The area under pulses has varied between 22 and 24 mihion hectares and production between 10 and 13 million tonnes in the past. However, in 1979-80 it declined to 8.4 million tonnes. They are generally grown in rainfed conditions, with the result that the farmers hesitate to invest their limited resources in pulse cultivation.

9.140 Recognising the importance of pulses in the diet of the people and with a view to filling up the gap between its demand and supply and the scope for import being limited, a special thrust on raising pulse production will be given during th Sixth Plan period. The production target for the Sixth Plan is kept at 14.5 million tonnes against the base of 11.6 million tonnes. The strategy for achieving this increase in production will consist of:

(a) introduction of pulse crops in irrigated farming systems;

(b) bringing additional area under (i) short duration varieties of urd, moong, etc. in rice fallows by utilising the residual moisture in rabi season; and (ii) in summer season with irrigation after oilseeds, sugar-cane, potato and wheat.

(c) Inter-cropping of arhar in soybean, bajra, cotton, sugarcane and groundnut both under irrigated and unirrigated conditions;

(d) Multiplication and use of unproved pulse seeds;

(e) adoption of plant protection measures;

(f) use of phosphatic fertilizers and rhizobial culture;

(g) improved post-harvest technology;

(h) public policies including pricing and marketing of pulses; and

(i) organisation of "pulse crop villages'' in various blocks both in irrigated and rainted areas in order to promote an integrated approach to production, procurement and marketing of pulse crops based on t,ie best available know-how.


9.141 Growth rate of production, area and yield of cotton during the period 1949-50 to 1978-79 has been 2.64, 0.63 and 1.57 per cent per annum. Cotton occupies an area of about 8 million hectares, 25 per cent of which is irrigated. The average annual produtcion during the last there years has been about 76 lakh bales. Production of short and medium staple cotton exceeds the present level of consumption while the production of long staple cotton including superior quality cotton is adequate to meet ithe current demand. There is, however, need to step up production further as the demand from the industry is expected to go up substantially. The industry now consumes as much as 10 to 11 lakh bales of man-made fibres, of which 6 to 7 lakh bales are imported. It is necessary to reduce the import of man-made fibres by providing adequate quantity of cotton at competitive rates. In fact, the aim should be not only to meet in full, the domestic requirements but also to export raw cotton by exploiting the potential available for raising cotton production in the country.

9.142 The cotton development effort during the Sixth Plan period will essentially aim at transfer of available unproved technology to as large an area as possible with a view not only to stepping up the level of productivity per hectare but also to imparting better stability to production, particularly in the ram-fed areas. For this purpose, a three-pronged drive will be undertaken to (i) bring in maximum area under intensive cultivation both in irrigated and rain-fed tracts; (ii) step up the area under irrigated cotton; and (iii) maximise the area under high yielding hybrid cottons. The existing Centrally Sponsored Intensive Cotton District Programme which incorporates this strategy will be continued during the Sixth Plan period.

9.143 The Sixth Plan aims at a target of 92 lakh bales against the base of 73.4 lakh bales, showing a growth rate of 4.6 per cent. The staple-wise break-up of cotton production for the Plan period is given in the following table:—

Table 9.7
Staple-wise production of colton
(in thousand bales)

Category 1978-79 1984-85
(1) (2) (3)
Short (19 nun and below) 950 1150
Medium (20 nun to 21-5 mm) 750 950
Superior Medium (22 mm to 24 mm) 3300 3700
Long (24- 5 mm to 26 mm) 647 850
Superior Long (27 mm and above) 2280 2550
Total 7927 9200

9.144 The internal consumption of cotton for yarn production is expected to increase to 8.30 million bales during 1984-85. Taking ex-Iactory consumption, the requirements of khadi production and exports aggregating to 9 lakh bales, the Sixth Plan target has been set at 92 lakh bales.

9.145 Marketing of cotton is also of crucial importance. Before the start of the cotton sowing season in each State, farmers should be given proper advice about the marketing opportunities for different staple length categories based on a careful analysis of home needs and export possibilities. This would help to avoid stagnation and distress sale of the produce. Cotton cultivation planning should, therefore, aim at more detailed analysis of the staple length mix required each year and bring about a proper match between 'the varieties grown and the needs of the textile and handloom industry. Also, cotton cultivation in respect of varieties and staple length should be planned in such a manner as to meet the regional needs of the spinning and textile mills and thus to avoid the movement to and fro of cotton, yarn and textile.

Jute and Mesta

9 146 Jute and Mesta cover an area of about 8 and 3.5 lakh hectares respectively. The average production of raw jute during the last three years 1977-78 to 1979-80 has been of the order of 78.3 lakh bales. Besides stabilising annual fluctuations in jute production, efforts are required to be taken to increase the production for meeting the growing requirements of the industry. Equally important is the quality improvement of jute fibre for meeting domestic and export needs.

9.147 The Sixth Plan aims at a target of 90 lakh bales (Jute 70 and Mesta 20 lakh bales) against the base of 75 lakh bales. The strategy for raising production would be (i) to bring an area of 13 lakh hectares under intensive cultivation in the rainfed areas; (ii) stepping up jute area under irrigation in multiple cropping programmes (about 1.5 lakh hectares); and (iii) improvement of quality by providing better retting facilities through construction of community and individual tanks. The existing Centrally Sponsored Intensive Jute District programme will be continued during the Plan period. For educating the farmers about the unproved technology, a net work of problem solving demonstrations will be laid out on jute, mesta and sunnhemp in the programme areas.


9.148 Growth rate of production, area and yield of sugarcane during the period 1949-50 to 1978-79 has been 3.41, 2.28 and 1.10 per cent per annum. Production of sugarcane has been rising gradually during the last three decades, though there nave been year to year fluctuations. In 1950-51 it was 57 million tonnes from an area of 1.7 million hectares. In 1977-7. a record production of 177 million tonnes of sugarcane was achieved as against the Fifth Plan target of 165 million tonnes. This created a problem of glut and consequent reduction in the area under the crop. During 1978-79 production fell to 152 million tonnes as a result of inadequate application of inputs and neglect by the growers due to low realisation of price and delayed disposal of cane. In 1979-80 production of sugarcane came down further to a low level of 128 million tonnes. There are thus wide fluctuations in the production of sugarcane which need to be avoided.

9.149 For 1984-85 a target of 215 million tonnes is contemplated against the base of 175.8 milliuu tonnes showing a growth rate of 4.1 per cent. The additional production of about 40 million lonnes will be achieved almost equally from an increase in area under the crop and stepping up of yield rates. The yield rate of cane is today about 52 tonnes per hectare and it is expected to go up to 62 tonnes per hectare by 1984-85 through implementation of intensive development programme. The yield of cane is to be stepped up by providing quality seed material, adequate supply of fertilizers specially in areas with assured irrigation, as also by taking suitable and timely plant protection measures. The programm;also covers demonstrations in the farmers' fields in respect of management of ratoons, improved techniques of cane cultivation, etc.


9.150 Oilseeds cover an areas of 16-17 million hectares. An analysis of the trend of oilseeds production during the past quarter of century (1952-53 to 1978-79) reveals that in the first half of this period (upto 1964-65) there was a high growth rate of 3.46 per cent per annum. In contrast, there was a substantial decline in the growth rate during the period 1967-68 to 1978-79, when it came down to as low as 1.62 per cent. Major cause for this decline was that there was practically no increase in area under oilseeds during ihe latter period. Further, the growth in productivity of oilseeds was as low as 0.37 per cent per annum during the first period, i.e., J952—65. In the latter period 1967—79 this improved to 1.26 per cent per annum though it is still lower than the growth rate recorded by other crops such as wheat, cotton, etc.

9.151 Edible oilseeds consist of groundnut, rape-mustard, sesamum, samower, niger, soybean and sunflower whereas non-edible oilseeds are castor and linseed. An idea of production of edible and non-edible group of oilseeds over the past 10 years can be had from the following table:

Table 9.8
Oilseeds Production
(Thousand tonnes)

Year Edible oilseeds Non-Idible oilseeds Total
(1) (2) (3) (4)
1969-70 7382 592 7974
1970-71 8931 610 9541
1971-72 8310 683 8993
1972-73 646o 573 7033
1973-74 8448 733 9181
1974-75 8099 744 8843
1975-76 9558 741 10299
1976-77 7569 598 8167
1977-78 8593 744 9337
1978-79 9171 749 9920

9.152 Oilseeds production fluctuate widely from year to year due to seasonal conditions, as only 8 percent of the total area under oilseeds is irrigated Further, a substantial part of (he rainfed area under oilseeds consists of marginal lands. Plant population is mostly sub-optimal due to the use of seed of poor quality and wide spacinp. The triple alliance of weeds, pests and pathogen'; causes great deal of losses both in the early stage of plant growth as also at crop maturity. Absence of rains at critical stage before maturity also causes significant losses in yields particularly in groundnut. Poor post-harvest technology including deficiency in marketing support and storage and processing arrangement's also have adverse effect on returns to growers and incentives for production.

9.153 The Sixth Plan gives high priority to oilseeds i'or meeting consumer requirements of edible oils and reducing pressure on fore'gn exchange caused by imports. A target of 110 lakh tonnes of 5 major oil seeds is visualised for the year 1984-85 against the base of 93 lakh tonnes. Groundnut alone accounts for 73 lakh tonnes of the Plan target. Taking into account the minor oil seeds (niger, safflower, soybean and sunflower) a total target of 130 lakh tonnes is proposed to be achieved during the Sixth Plan period and this amounts to a growA rate of about 5.0 per cent per annum.

9.154 The approach to increasing availability of vegetable oils during the Sixth Plan period comprises of:

(a) strengthening of research;

(b) strengthening of extension and training;

(c) increasing production of annual oilseeds like groundnut, mustard, etc.

(d) development of perennial oilseeds like coconut, oil palm;

(e) Exploitation of oilseeds of tree origin like sal, neem, mahua, etc.;

(f) Increasing oil availability through technological processes such as extraction from cot-s ton seed, rice bran; and

(g) provision of appropriate public policy support.

9.155 The Indian Council of Agricultural Research has established 62 centres of research in different parts of the country dealing with different oilseed crops under the aegis of the All India Coordinated Oilseeds Research Project. In order to overcome the priority gaps it! terms of scientific manpower and additional working expenses, some of these centres are being strengthened. Some new centres are also proposed to be established under the Sixth Plain in are,as which have riot been covered so far. Further, with a view to intensifying research on breeding of groundnut varieties, a separate National Research Centre for groundnut has been established at Junagadh. This Centre will lay emphasis on basic research directed at increasing the yield potential of groundnut. In addition, for working out the oilseed cropping system suitable to irrigation command area programme, 16 research centres have been recently sanctioned. These centres have been linked up with the Krishi Vigyan Kendras so that the new technologies could be simultaneously disseminated through appropriate extension education programme. With a view to harnessing available new technology for increasing oilseeds production in dry land areas, 30 extension-cMm-education centres linked with the All Jnd'a Coordinated Research Project for Dry land farming have been sanctioned. The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has also included groundnut in its research mandate. All these efforts will go a long way in strengthening research on oilseeds under the sixth Plan.

9.I 56 Oilseeds production technology will be maior focus of training, farm communication and dissemina-tion of farm information at all levels. The Directorate 'of Extension in the Department of Agriculture will undertake specific training programmes in this major area. Farmers' exchange programme within the country will be undertaken in those areas which are important for oilseeds production. Krishi Pandit awards will be instituted to honour farmers who achieve maximum yields in oilseeds.

9.157 The production strategy for annual oilseeds like groundnut, mustard, etc. involves launching of an integrated oilseeds yield maximisation programma with emphasis on production and distribution of improved seeds, popularising application of fertilisers specially phosphatic fertilisers to groundnut and soybean crops, adoption of adequate and timely plant protection measures on an area basis, inclusion of oilseed crops in irrigated crop rotations, expansion of area under non-traditional crops like soybean and sunflower and demonstrations of improved practices. This strategy will be built into the on-going centrally sponsored scheme for oilseeds development which will be extended to 110 districts spread over major oilseed growing States during the Plan period. High Yielding and short-duration varieties of important oilseed crops are now available which would be introduced in the irrigated farming systems without disturbing the major crops of the area. Efforts would also be made to popularise intercrop patterns with leguminous oilseed crops like groundnut and soybean as these are both profitable ,and beneficial from the point of view of soil fertility improvement.

9.158 Soybean cultivation has made rapid strides in the country during the last few years because of the 'availability of the black seeded variety which can withstand both drought .and excessive moisture. MadMya Pradesh offers the largest scope for soybean followed by Uttar Pradesh particularly the tarai and hilly areas. During 1979-80 the total arc,a under the crop was estimated at about 4.3 lakh hectares as compared to 3 lakh hectares during 1978-79. It is proposed to raise this area to 10.5 1,akh hectares by 1984-85, and this would yield about 2 lakh tonnes of oil. Area under sunflower crop would be increased to 7.5 lakh hectares from the present level of about 2 !akh hectares.

9.159 Cultivation of summer groundnut in irrigated areas deserves special mention. As a result of the campaign launched in irrigation command areas during 1979-80, summer groundnut area increased to about 8 lakh hectares against 5.5 1,akh hectares in 1977-78. Efforts will be made to raise irrigated summer groundnut area to 14 lakh hectares by 1984-85. Similar efforts will be mounted in the case of mustard, sesamum and sunflower crops.

9.160 A project has been cleared for implementation by the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) whereunder the techniques of cooperative organisation and marketing would be applied to the vegetable oil sector to achieve vertical integration of production, marketing and processing and thus help the farmers to adopt production techniques which will decrease the vulnerability of oilseed crops to climatic variations while raising yield and offering year to year price stability at remunerative levels. This project envisages import of 160 thousand tonnes of gift edible oil from the Cooperative League of U.S.A. to generate funds required for the development of cooperative structure, increasing oilseeds production and improving returns to the farmers through better processing and marketing.

9.161 Among perennial oilseeds, mention may be made of coconut and oil palm. Production of coconut is currently about 6000 million nuts. The Sixth Plan aims at a target of 6,750 million nuts so as to achieve a balance between supply and demand. The strategy for increasing production of coconut will involve both long-term and short-term measures. The long-term approach will give priority to the rehabilitation of the existing gardens, especially the root wilt affected areas in Kerala and senile gardens in other States with hybrid planting material. The on-going centrally sponsored scheme for coconut development will be continued during the Sixth Plan period.

9.162 With a view to ensuring rapid development of coconut industry by integrating production, marketing and processing of coconuts at the farm level, an Act for setting up the Coconut Development Board was notified in March, 1979. The Copra Cess Act 1979, which is complementary to the Coconut Development Act has already been brought into force and the rate of cess at Rs. 5 per quintal of copra crushed is collected. It is expected that the enhanced copra cess will fetch a revenue of about Rs. 100 lakhs per annum which will be earmarked for the development of coconut industry in all its aspects.

9.163 Recognising the importance of oil palm in bridging the gap between the demand and supply of vegetable oils, the Department of Agriculture has taken up two projects for raising plantations of red oil palm over an area of 8400 hectare—6000 hectare in Kerala and 2400 hectare in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. These two sites have been selected keeping in view the rainfall requirement, namely, 220—280 cm. spread over a period of 8—9 months. In Kerala an area of about 1400 hectares out of 6000 hectares has so far been planted. A Public Sector Company called Oil Palm India Ltd., has been formed with equity participation by the Government of India to look after oil palm development. In Andaman and N'cobar Islands, about 160 hectares had been planted to red oil paim. The Forest and Plantation Development Corporation of the Islands has been entrusted with the development of the plantations. The 8400 hectares of oil palm plantations being developed are only in the nature of pilot projects and the objective is to bring much larger areas under oil palm. Maximum scope for development of oil palm plantations exists in replacing uneconomic forests which are not yielding much return or contributing to the gross national product. Suitable additional areas for ex-pandine oil palm plantations in the country are being identified. This programme will receive adequate attention under the Sixth Plan.

9.164 Attention will also be g'ven to proper exploitation of oil seeds of tree origin. Particular mention may be made of sal seed, the collection of which increased from a mere 2000 tormes during the year 1968 to about 178,000 tonnes during 1977. Mahua, neem, kusum and karanj have also great potential, especially in tribal areas. Other sources of vegetable oil which are not being exploited to the fullest possible extent are rice bran and cotton seed. These also call for greater attention under the Sixth Plan.


9.165 Though tobacco occupies hardly 0.3 per cent of the total cropped area, yet it is an important cash crop earning over Rs. 600 crores by way of Central excise and foreign exchange of over Rs. 100 crores annually through exports. Further, tobacco is a labour intensive crop and it provides employment opportunities to more than 4 million people in its farming, curing marketing, grading, packing, manufacturing and distribution of different tobacco-products.

9.166 The following table indicates domestic consumption and export demand for various types of tobacco.

Table 9-9
Consumption and Export of Tobacco
Million kg. (Dry weight)

Domestic consuniption Export demand
Type oftobocco (1979-80) Base level estimates (1984-85) Projected demand (1979-80) Base level estimates (1984-85) Target
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
Virginia Flue Cured (VFC) . 45 60 65 85
Other types of Cigarette tobacco 30 35 5 7
Bidi tobacco 130 138 2 3
All other types 80 80 8 10
Total 285 313 80 105

9.167 Particular mention may be made of the V.F.C. tobacco which accounts for nearly 85 per cent of the total export of tobacco from India. The present level of production of this variety of tobacco is about 125 million kg (1979-80). This would be raised to 165 million kg. by the end of Sixth Plan. The strategy for increased production would be to expand V.F.C. tobacco cultivation in new light red soil areas (about 55000 hectares) and improve the productivity by adopting new technology and package of practices. This programme would be undertaken in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat .and Uttar Pradesh.

9.168 Tobacco Board under the Ministry of Commerce has been entrusted v/ith the task of organising tobacco marketing oq systematic lines and also to undertake price support operations through the STC. There is need to streamline the production, marketing and export aspects of tobacco more effectively, and for this purpose a greater coordination between the Tobacco Board and the Department of Agriculture is considered essential. An outlay of Rs. 2 crores has been provided for the Tobacco Board under the central Plan of the Ministry of Commerce.


9.169 Horticulture has an important role in improving the economic status of the growers, removal of malnutrition, protection against diseases, conservation (soil and environment), employment generation and exports. Fruits, vegetables and flowers did not receive the scientific and developmental attention they deserved till the end of Fourth Five Year Plan. It was only in the Fifth Plan when an outlay of Rs. 2 crores was allocated for development of horticulture in different States as against a small outlay of about Rs. 5 lakhs under the Fourth Plan.

9.170 Tea, coffee, rubber and cardamom are the important plantation crops, both from the point of view of earning foreign exchange through exports as well as for providing gainful employment to a large number of people. Development of these crops is handled by the respective Commodity Boards under the Ministry of Commerce.


9.171 Area and production of some important categories of fruits in 1978-79 was of the followins order:—

Table 9.10
Area and Prodnction of major fruit crops in 1978-79

Name of Fruit Area in 000 ha. %of total Production in 000 tonnes % of total Production per ha./ tonnes
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
Mango 942-56 42-33 8216-51 40-31 8-80
Banana 281-57 12-64 4924-61 24-15 17-49
Citms 195-81 8-79 1638-39 8-04 8-36
Apple 146-48 6-58 544-72 2-67 3-72
Guava 133-44 6-00 1177-61 5-78 8-82
Pine Apple 43-95 1-98 500-30 2-46 11-40
Grapes 9-56 0-43 192-16 0-94 20-12
Other Fruits 473-10 21-25 3188-15 15-65 6-74
Total 2226.47 100-00 20382-45 100-00 9-15

9.172 The productivity of fruits in Assam is 3.87 tonnes per hectare as against 16.33 tonnes in Tamil Nadu and 13.85 tonnes in Karnataka. The national average is 9.15 tonnes per hectare. The grapes have the maximum productivity of 20.12 tonnes per hectare followed by banana (17.49 tonnes). The low productivity in case of apple (3.72 tonnes/hectare) is partly on account of the fact that 'most of the apple plantations are new and young and have yet to reach full maturity. There is, however, immense potential for increasing the productivity of noi only apples but most of the fruits. In several countries, the productivity of some of the fruits is as much sus 50 tonnes per hectare in large blocks. The .I';,itional Commission on Agriculture also recommended that the production of horticultural commodities can be increased by 100 per cent. This should not be difficult if concerted efforts are made in view of the Lirge gap between potential and actual yields.

9.173' It is proposed to achieve during the Sixth Plan period an additional production of at least 2.5 million tonnes of fruits and 4 million tonnes of vegetables through—

(a) productivity improvement by supply of improved seeds and planting material and promotion of better management practices;

(b) expanding the area under fruits by about 5 lakh hectares and under vegetables by 3 lakh hectares;

(c) organisation of appropriate services both at the production and post-harvest phases; and

(d) promotion of a systems approach to production, storage, processing, transport, marketing and consumption,

9.174 The programme will be organised at the level of—

(a) home-kitchen gardening;

(b) social forestry programmes involving appropriate fruit trees;

(c) market-shed planning around major towns and cities; and

(d) introduction of better storage, processing and distribution arrangements including socially relevant marketing and delivery systems.

9.175 The potential for the export of fresh and processed fruirs and vegetables will be fully exploited. Also, production, packaging and marketing of horticultural produce will be treated as an integral system so as to take ca^c of the interests of both growers and consumers. Further, besides the direct use of fruits for human consumption, subsidiary industries could be built around certain plant parts such as mango kernels for oil extraction, citrus skin and other fruit Coats, etc. for a wide variety of uses. Also, several root vegetables like tapioca could become sources of ethanol production. Thus a dynamic horticultural research and development programme could play a significant role in economic and nutritional progress.


9.176 Cashewnut is another important foreign exchange earner having great potential for exports. During the earlier Plan periods major attention was given to the scheme of laying out demonstration plots for improved practices in cashew cultivation on growers' orchards. The schema on im-orovemeint of cashew by vegetative propagation was taken up for improvement in the quality of cashew plants; Another scheme for establishment of progeny orchards was started during the Fifth Plan period.

9.177 Special mention may be made of the multi-State cashew project covering i'our States, namely, Ker.ala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa which has recently 'been started. This project envisages a total target of 60,275 hectares, of which new plantings will be 52,775 hectares and improvement oi existing piantations over 7,500 hectares. It is further subdivided into two categories, accounting for 26,275 hectares to be covered by the State Corporations and 34,000 hectares under the small holder programme to be. executed by the State Departments of Agriculture, Horticulture and Soil Conservation. All these developmental programmes are expected to result in increasing the production of cashewnut from 1.80 lakh (.onnes at present to 3.0 lakh tonnes by 1984-85.

9.178 Arecanut is an important plantation crop giown largely in the States of Kerala, Kanataku, Tdmil JNuuu, Assam and Meghalaya. Its presses production is about 166,000 tonnes which is quite adequate to meet the current demand. The Sixth Plan aims at a target of 175,000 tonnes which will be achieved through intensive management of the existing iureas. Special attention will be given to seed production programme and provision of necessary extension service as also the basic infrastructure for effective implementation of arecanut development programme.


9.179 Cocoa is grown as an inter-crop in coconut and arecanut gardens. Present area under this crop is about 18000 hectares with a production potential of 9000 tonnes annually at the full bearing stage. The current annual requirement of cocoa beans is reported at about 1500 tonnes and this is likely to go upto 4000 tonnes in the near future. It has a great potential for export in the form of cocoa beans and cocoa products for which international demand is steadily rising. Since the production has exceeded the internal requirement, it has become necessary to export the surplus. It is essential to maintain high quality standards for the produce to match the international markets. Care should be taken to see that the existing areas under cocoa are maintained scientifically by providing the required technical knowledge to the fanners. The programme of demonstrations and training of farmers to impart technical skills should also be intensified.

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