8th Five Year Plan (Vol-2)
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Agricultural and Allied Activities || Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation || Irrigation, Command Area Development and Flood Control || Environment and Forests || Industry and Minerals || Village and Small Industries and Food Processing Industries || Labour and Labour Welfare || Energy || Transport || Communication, Information and Broadcasting || Education, Culture and Sports || Health and Family Welfare || Urban Development || Housing, Water Supply and Sanitation || Social Welfare || Welfare and Development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes || Special Area Development Programmes || Science and Technology || Plan Implementation and Evaluation

AGRICULTURE AND ALLIED ACTIVITIES

1.1.1 Agriculture and allied activities constitute the single largest contributor to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), accounting for almost 33% of the total. They, are vital to the national well-being as, besides providing the basic needs of the society and the raw materials for some of the important segments of Indian industry, they provide livelihood for almost two thirds of the work force. The share of the agricultural products in the total export earnings, both in primary and processed forms, is very significant.

1.1.2 Over the last four decades, agriculture has made important strides in our country. It has been able to meet the growing demand of the increasing population for their essentialtion but also acceleration of agricultural production gains are critical for meeting the increasing demands due to the increase in population as well as due to Improvements in incomes, particularly of the poor sections of the society. At the same time, it is necessary to ensure that the process of development is sustainable.

Seventh Plan Performance Review

1.2.1 Agriculture and allied sector outlays in the Plan, including forestry and wildlife, increased from Rs. 238 crores in the First Plan to Rs. 10,524 crores in the Seventh Plan. The share of this sector in the total outlay has fluctuated between 5.7% in the Second Plan and 12.9% in the Fourth Plan. Table-1.1 below brings out the fluctuations clearly:

Table 1.1 Public Sector Outlay for Agriculture Sector - All India
(Rs. in crores)

Five Year Plans 1st 1951-56 2nd 1956-61 3rd 1961-66 4th 1969-74 5th 1974-79 6th 1980- 85 7th 1985-90 'Annual 1990-91
Agriculture   including cooperation 238 275 591 2059 3356 6440 10524 3803
All Sector 2377 4800 8099 15902 39322 97500 180000 64717

Source : Agricultural Statistics at a Glanace, March 1991 Directorate ofE and S , Ministry Of Agriculture.need, namely food. The production of food-grains increased from 51 million tonnes in 1950-51 to 176.22 million tonnes in 1990-91. This has enabled the country to be, by and large, self-sufficient and to increase the per capita availability of foodgrains albeit slowly, from about 395 gm per diem in 1951 to 475 gm in 1990.

1.1.3 The population which as per 1991 census was about 844 million, has been increasing, though with a slightly lower growth rate and is expected to cross the billion mark in the early years of the next decade. Not only consolida-

1.2.2 Foodgrains: The average level of annual production of foodgrains during the Seventh Plan was around 155 million tonnes compared to about 138 million tonnes in the Sixth Plan. The performance of crop production during the Seventh Plan is reflected in Annex -ure-1. In the first three years of the Plan, unfavourable weather conditions prevailed. In fact, in 1987-88 the country witnessed a very severe drought with the foodgrain production plum-meting to 140.35 million tonnes. With favourable weather conditions, the country reacned a level of 169.92 and 171.04 million tonnes during 1988-89 and 1989-90 respectively and, infact, achieved 176.22 million tonnes in 1990-91. The weather in 1991-92 turned out to be indifferent and the food production is unlikely to touch the targetted level of 182.5 million tonnes. The foodgrains production performance indicates that the bulk of the increases has been coming essentially from improvement in productivity. Another salient feature of the performance has been that a much greater resilience has been achieved on the foodgrains production front. This is evident from the fact that the fall in the production level in the severe drought year of 1987-88 has not been as sharp as compared to the drop in production in the earlier drought years. Production of rice and wheat has been much better than coarse cereals and pulses. In the case of rice, the productivity level has reached over 1750 kgs/ha. Another redeeming feature has been that the contribution of the States in the Eastern region has improved during the Seventh Plan, indicating that the special thrust on rice production in Eastern India has, to a degree, helped to improve the rice yields and consequently the production. Nevertheless, the yield levels in many of the Eastern States continue to be. below the national avera^. Wheat production has also been steadily going up and the trend has been maintained during the Seventh Plan. Wheat yield has increased to 2244 kg/ha, in 1988-89. The special Foodgrain Production Programme (SFPP) was launched in 1988-89, following the severe drought of 1987-88. The ^Special Rice Production Programme (SRPP) launched in Sixth Plan for Eastern India was merged with the Integrated Programme for Rice Development (IPRD). The thrust was essentially on not only improving the productivity in areas where the yield levels were low, but also on maximising production even in high potential areas. Later, the SFPP was extended to cover other principal cereal crops such as maize, jawar, bajra and ragi. These programmes, with emphasis on spread of improved technology, efficient delivery of inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and popularisation of improved agricultural equipments contributed in some measure to improved production during 1988-89 and thereafter. The production of coarse cereals peaked to a level of 34.76 million tonnes during 1989-90, despite the area remaining almost stagnant at a level of around 38 million hectares. Increases have been primarily due to improvement in productivity. Nevertheless, the current low levels of yield of coarse cereals is a matter of major concern.

1.2.3 Pulses: Pulses are essentially grown under rainfed conditions and hence the production is widely influenced by the rainfall pattern. The production of pulses reached a record level of 14.06 million tonnes in 1990-91. This has been partly due to the increase in area of tur (Arhar). However, the productivity of pulses especially tur of about 779 kg/ha and gram of 753 kg/ha can be substantially improved. Major efforts were made to intensify pulse production by taking up the National Pulses Development Programme and the Special Foodgrain Production Programme - Pulses. It was also decided to bring pulses under the Technology Mission during 1990-91.

1.2.4 Oilseeds: Production of oilseeds has shown substantial improvement during the Seventh Plan when it reached the level of 18.03 million tonnes in respect of principal oilseeds in 1988-89 and further increased to 18.46 million tonnes during 1990-91. The Technology Mission on Oilseeds was launched in 1986 with the objective of attaining self-sufficiency in edible oils. Apart from generation of appropriate technologies for maximising the oilseed production and their extension to farmers, the Mission also fo-cussed on ensuring reasonable price to the producers through improved marketing as well as improving the processing technologies. The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) was designated as the marketing agency for procurement, bufferstock operations and distribution of edible oil. An integrated oilseeds policy was adopted in 1989 to support the farmers with technology, inputs and remunerative price for their produce. This has resulted in significant increases in the area, production and yields of rapeseed, soyabean and sunflower. In many States, groundnut cultivation in the summer has been popularised. The area under coconut has shown steady increase and the production reached a level of 9283 million nuts. Red oilpalm, with its high oil content has been identified as a major potential source for the supply of edible oil in the country. The, oil palm development scheme, implemented Wider the horticulture programme has been brought under ambit of the Technology Mission on Oil seeds. The Department of Bio-technology and the ICAR have undertaken demonstration projects in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Ma-harashtra.

1.2.5 Sugarcane: The sugarcane production has exceeded the target in the last three years of the Seventh Plan. Increased prices, over and above the statutary minimum price Offered by the State Governments, have contributed to the expansion of the area under sugarcane production. A number of sugar factories has been established in both the traditional and non-traditional areas. Sugarcane development was undertaken by the sugar mills with the help of loans provided under the Sugarcane Development Fund, administered by the Ministry of Food. The production of cane reached a record level of over 240 million tonnes in 1990-91.

1.2.6 Cotton: In the Seventh Plan, the average production of cotton was 8.43 million bales with a peak production of 11.42 million bales, achieved during 1989-90 against a target of 10 million bales. The marketing prospects of cotton has significantly improved due .to sustained export. The Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Intensive Cotton Development Programme was implemented during the Seventh Plan to improve the productivity of cotton in the major cotton growing states.

1.2.7 Jute and Mesta: The average production of jute and mesta in the Seventh Plan was 8.8 million bales. Inadequate availability of i'm-proved seeds and retting facilities are the main constraints to increasing the production of quality jute and mesta. Development of jute and mesta during the Seventh Plan was undertaken through a Special Jute Development Programme, funded by the Ministry of Textiles. Use of natural fibre as the packing material is on the revival trail and diverse jute products are now exported. The minimum support price policy to the farmers and the role of Jute Corporation of India (JCI) need to be reviewed for their effective operation.

Horticulture crops

1.3.1 A wide diversity of climate and soils provide conducive environment for growing a range of horticultural crops with great scope for employment generation. Presently, horticulture crops are grown in 12 million ha. (i.e.7% of totalcropped area of the country), of which 2% is under vegetables. The production in horticulture sector is estimated at 100 million tonnes per annum, contributing to over 18% of the gross agricultural output in the country. India is the third largest producer of fruits after Brazil and U.S.A. In respect of vegetables, India is only next to China.

1.3.2 Mango, Banana, Citrus, Guavaand Apple account for about 75-80% of production. Against the target of 28 million tonnes, fruit production has reached a level of approximately 26.08 million tonnes, with estimated average yield of 8 tonnes per hectare. Production of vegetables is estimated at around 53.88 million tonnes in the Seventh Plan as against a target of 40 million tonnes. Production of Coconuts, cocoa, cashewnuts and spices has increased.

1.3.3 The National Horticulture Board, the Coconut Development Board, the Arecanut, Spices and the Cashewnut Boards along with the Indian Spices Development Council, Indian Arecanut and Coconut Development Council, and the Indian Cashewnui Development Council, have played a significant role in the promotion of these crops.

1.3.4 Credit institutions like NABARD and NCDC have supported Post-Harvest Management of horticulture crops. Import of seeds and planting material of all horticulture crops has been permitted to improve the seed supply. Mushroom has also been given importance along with floriculture and medicinal plants.

1.3.5 During the Seventh Plan, a sum of Rs. 21.94crores was utilized for horticulture promotion implemented under ten schemes of National Horticulture Board, Coconut Development Board, Integrated Development of Tropical and Arid Zone Fruits, Development of Cashewnut, Arecanut, Cocoa etc. In 1990-91, the expenditure was Rs. 10.48 crores in respect of horticulture development schemes and for 1991-92 the approved outlay was Rs. 33.51 crores. Drip and sprinkler irrigation systems are being popularised for boosting production and productivity in rainfed areas.

Agricultural Inputs

1.4.1 Seeds :Many of the programmes initiated in the earlier years for increasing the availability of quality seeds were continued in the Seventh Plan. A new Seed Policy was announced in 1988 permitting the import of high quality seed and planting material after verification of the performance in the Indian conditions. The third phase of the National Seed Project supported by the World Bank was also launched. Except for some oilseeds like groundnut and linseed and a few of the pulses, by and large the targetted level of seed distribution has bean achieved.

I.4.2 Fertiliser : The consumption of fertilisers (N+.P+K) which increased from 5.5 million tonnes of nutrients to 8.2 million tonnes during the Sixth Plan further rose to a level of II.3 million tonnes in the final year of the Seventh Plan. Programmes have been taken up to encourage the use of bio-fertilisers. Forty Blue Green Algae Sub-centres were established for production of algae culture through field multiplication programme under the National Project on Bio-fertiliser development. Five central sector schemes, including National Project on Development and Use of Bio-Fertiliser and National Project on Quality Control were implemented during the Seventh Plan. Schemes for Balanced and Integrated use of Fertiliser and a National Project on Development of Fertiliser Use in Rainfed Areas were introduced in 1990-91 and 1991-92 Annual Plans which are to be continued during the Eighth Plan.

1.4.3 Plant Protection : Though the use of pesticides in the country is relatively low, it was decided to launch an Integrated Pest Management Programme (IPM) based on the use of biotic agents for control of pests and taking up treatment based on need rather than as prophyl-atic action. Several biological surveillance stations were set up. The Integrated Pest Management has the objective of maximising the returns to farmers from their efforts to control diseases, and reducing the adverse effects of toxic chemicals. The IPM should become a major plank for effective pest management in the years to come.

1.4.4 Agricultural Implements and Machinery : Three Central sector schemes for Farm Machinery Training and Testing Institutes at Budni, Hissar and Anantpur were continued in the Seventh Plan. Efforts were also made to popularise improved agricultural implements. A beginning was made in 1991-92 to promote use of modern irrigation devices such as drip irrigation and sprinklers etc. As many as 637 Farmers' Agro Service Centres have been assisted during the Seventh Plan to provide custom hiring of improved agricultural implements and machinery.

Agricultural Extension

1.5.1 The main link between the farmers and the research workers is the extension personnel on whom rests the task of transfer of technology. The extension personnel regularly interact with the research system to get their knowledge upgraded, under the Training and Visit pattern of extension. The impact of extension activities has been varied in the country. Simple and meaningful reporting system could be evolved for improvement in monitoring the effectiveness of agricultural extension machinery. The World Bank assisted Agricultural Extension Projects, NAEP-I in the States of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Orissa, NAEP-II in the States of Haryana, Karnataka, Jammu and Kashmir and Gujarat and NAEP-III in Uttar Pradesh, Assam-, Himachal Pradesh and Bihar have reinforced the training facilities for extension functionaries. A major agricultural extension effort has been to broadbase the extension activity i.e. moving away from narrow individual crop orientiation to farming system approach. This was initiated in the last year of the Seventh Plan.

Agriculture Credit

1.6.1 During the Seventh plan, disbursement of agriculture credit through cooperatives, commercial and regional rural banks increased from Rs. 5,810 crores in 1984-85 to Rs. 12,570 crores by 1989-90. The expansion in short-term, medium and long-term loans through cooperatives picked up only in the fourth year of the Seventh plan. The debt relief scheme, announced in 1990-91, affected the recovery climate resulting in a lower volume of credit flow. Several measures have been initiated by NABARD to increase the credit flow Separate lines of credit for oilseed growciwere opened.

1.6.2 The Comprehensive Crop Insurance Scheme has been in operation since Kharif 1985. The General Insurance Corporation, acting on behalf of Government of India, in collaboration with the State Governments, provide insurance cover to the farmers availing crop loans from cooperative credit institutions and banks for crops like paddy, wheat, millets, oilseeds and pulses. The premium rate to be paid by the farmers for rice, wheat and millets is 2% and in the case of oilseeds and pulses it is one percent. A subsidy is also provided by the State in respect of premium in the case of small and marginal farmers. Due to adverse climatic conditions and quantum jump in claims and heavy losses, the scheme was temporarily suspended in January, 1988, but was re-introduced in September, 1988 with limited insurance to a maximum of Rs.l0.000/-and 100% value of crop loan per farmer. The scheme is currently in operation in 18 States and three Union Territories.

Cooperation:

1.6.3 Cooperatives are expected to play a major role in the distribution of inputs and services to the farmers on the one hand and in assisting marketing and processing of agricultural produce on the other. There are 76,000 fertilizer retailer outlets and 40 lakh tonnes of fertilizer nutrients were distributed during 1989-90. The National Agriculture Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) has undertaken price support operations in respect of oilseeds, coarse grains, pulses, potatoes and onions. The National Agriculture Cooperative Marketing F'-deration-exported 3,60,220 tonnus of onions during 1989-90 which helped maintain the price line in domestic market. The NAFED also procured 6,022 tonnes of copra as price support operation.

1.6.4 Cooperative godown/warehousing capacity increased from 80 lakh tonnes in 1984-85 to 100 lakh tonnes by 1987-88. By 1990-91, 141 lakh tonnes of storage capacity had been created mainly in Punjab, U.P., Maharashtra, M.P., Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Hi-machal Pradesh. The NCDC was established in 1963 as an organisation to plan, operate and develop the agricultural sector through cooperatives. Sustained efforts were made in promoting cooperative storage and processing units and in strengthening the cooperatives for distribution of inputs. A storage capacity of 114.47 lakh tonnes had been completed under the-cooperative sector by 1989-90. In doing so, the Seventh Plan target for creation of additional capacity of 20 lakh tonnes had been exceeded by constructing storage capacity of 35.18 lakh tonnes. The NCDC promoted 239 cold storage units with capacity of 6.83 lakh tonnes of which 229 cold storages with 6.35 lakh tonnes capacity were installed. The capacity utilisation of the cold storages ranged between 80 and 100 per cent. The NCDC has so far promoted a total of 2442 number of processing units upto 1989-90.

1.6.5 The NCDC is presently implementing a World Bank assisted project called NCDC-III, under which a total assistance of Rs.575.67 crores has so far been sanctioned covering projects in the areas of storage, cotton spinning, oilseed processing, marketing of fruits and vegetables and training of project staff, etc.

Watershed Management

1.7.1 The National Watershed Development Project for Rainfed Areas (NWDPRA), initiated in the Sixth Plan, was continued during the Seventh Plan. Extensive changes were introduced in this major programme for the development of the rainfed agriculture during 1990-91. It was also decided that Central assistance for the implementation of the programme should be liberalised with 75 per cent of the amount to be given as grants to the States and 25 per cent as loans. The NWDPRA envisages that a micro watershed will be taken up for development in every block having assured irrigation of less than 30 percent. In developing the micro watersheds, a holistic approach is to be adopted including, inter alia, the diverse production systems, be that seasonal cropping, perennials like horticulture, forestry or animal husbandry activities. Use of vegetative barriers is the principal means to prevent soil erosion and to conserve moisture. Arable, non-arable lands as well as the drainage lines will be treated in an integrated manner. To the largest extent possible, the programmes contemplate enrolment of beneficiaries both in planning for development and execution of various activities. Extension support through local progressive farmers is another critical element. Training of all concerned has been emphasised.

Soil and Water Conservation

1.7.2 During the Seventh Plan, schemes oh soil conservation in the catchments of inter-State river valley projects, and the flood prone rivers, reclamation of alkaline (usar) soil, control of shifting cultivation and development of ravine areas were taken up. Soil and water conservation activity in 27 catchments taken up in 17 States covered 2.4 million hectares by the end of the Seventh Plan with a reported expenditure ofRs. 307crores.

1.7.3 Watershed management schemes in the catchments of flood prone rivers are being implemented in eight catchments in seven States and one Union Territory. Upto the end of the Seventh Plan, 3.78 million ha. (10% of the priority area) have been treated at a cost of Rs. 91 crores. In view of the limited success of these programmes, these should be evaluated for cost effectiveness and replicability. People's participation should be encouraged and whereever possible, voluntary organisations should be engaged in such activities.

1.7.4 For the Central scheme of Control of Shifting Cultivation, Planning Commission extended assistance amounting to Rs. 52 crores to Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa and Tripura during last five years. It benefited 26532 tribal families.

1.7.5 Under Central scheme on Ravine Reclamation Planning Commission assisted Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gu-jarat on year to year basis w.e.f.. 1987-88.

Animal Husbandry:

1.8.1 Animal husbandry is one of the important sub sector of agricultural economy and plays a significant role in the rural economy by providing gainful employment particularly to the small/marginal farmers, women and agricultural landless labourers. This sector also provides milk, eggs, meat, wool, hides and skin, dung, bones, hooves and draught power. Manures and slaughter house by-products are also sources of energy.

1.8.2 The contribution of the livestock sector has increased to about Rs. 27,700 crores in 1987-88 as compared to Rs. 10,600 crores in 1980-81 which constitutes 25.5% of the total agricultural output. The animal husbandry sector has made good progress in the livestock production and health. Several schemes of the Seventh Plan period were restructured for more effective implementation.

1.8.3 Achievements during the Seventh Plan (year wise) and annual Plans (1990-91 and 91-92) are as under :

Table-1.2

Year Milk (mill.tonnus) Eggs (mill.nos.) Wool (m.kgs.)
1984-85 41.5 14252 38.0
1985-86 44.0 16128 39.1
1986-87 46.1 17310 40.0
1987-88 46.7 17795 40.1
1988-89 48.4 18890 40.8
1989-90 51.5 20204 41.7
1990-91 54.9 21342 42.0
1991-92(a mt. ach.) 57.5 22751 43.6

1.8.4 An important aspect of the livestock development programme is the enhancement of the productivity of milch cattle through upgra-dation by cross breeding. Frozen semen technology based on progeny bulls is a major plank of the programme and has resulted in improved productivity.

1.8.5 Drought intensity during the Seventh Plan period has pointed to the need for integrating animal husbandry programme with the development of fodder. Programmes for improving availability of fodder and seeds, development of pasture lands, feed analytical laboratories for analysis of various nutrients and toxins were taken up.

1.8.6 Operation Flood Project was started in 1970 by the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and the number of dairy cooperative societies increased from 34,523 in 1984-85 to 64,000 in 1991-92. The peak milk procurement increased from 7.9 to 13.5 million kgs./day, fluid milk from 5 to 11 million litres/day and rural milk processing capacity from 8.8 to 17.8 -million litres/day. The Technology Mission on Dairy Development was established to dovetail the activities of the Central and State Governments, NDDB and 1CAR research institutes for better implementation of programmes.

1.8.7 The ICAR and the Central and State poultry breeding farm units supported and augmented productivity of quality layer and broiler birds and NAFED provided marketing support for poultry products, 1.8.8 Sheep and Wool Development Boards or federations'in potential States assisted in ensuring remunerative, returns to shepherds. Indigenous wool production is largely of carpet quality, apparul wool accounting for only about 10% of overall annual wool production. This has necessitated import of 20-25 million kgs.of fine wool ev.;iy year.

1.8.9 Animal health care services were provided through poiyclinics, hospitals, dispensaries and veterinary aid centres, besides mobile dispensaries under the Operation Flood Project. Disease diagnostic facilities at State laboratories were strengthened. Biological units for production of vaccines to prevent various animal diseases were setup. Bio-tech-nology centres on animal health and production were established.

Fisheries

1.9.1 The average annual growth rate of fish production during the Sixth Plan was only 3.94 percent. The major constraints were over-concentration on shrimp fishing, non-exploitation of unconventional fishery resources in the marine sector and slow progress in the expansion of extensive and semi-intensive aquacul-ture systems in the inland and brackish-water fisheries. Processing and marketing facilities for sea food and inland fish were inadequate. To overcome these difficulties, adequate attention was paid during the Seventh Plan through incentives and regulatory measures and fish production rose to 36.77 lakh tonnes. By the end of the Seventh Plan, 22.75 lakh tonnes of marine and 14.02 lakh tonnes of inland fish were produced, indicating an average annual growth rate 6.25 percent. Banning of bull trawlers, motorisation of traditional craft -and creation of National Welfare Fund for Development of Fishermen Villages to provide housing, sanitation and drinking water, Group Accident Insurance Scheme etc. have helped in some measure to improve the quality of life of fishermen. Introduction of Beach Landing Craft with assistance through cooperative societies was .a success in Orissa and Andhra Pradesh.

1.9.2 In the inland water fisheries sector, the establishment of about 300 Fish Farmers Development Agencies (FFDA) and fish seed production hy circular Chinese type of hatcheries etc. contributed to an increase in the average yield in FFDA districts to 1560 Kgs. per ha. per annum from the Sixth Plan level of 900 kg/ha. Fish seed production also rose to 12,000 millions from 5639 millions.

1.9.3 Other important programmes include brackish water fishery development by transfer of technology through Brackishwater Fish Farmers Development Agencies. The semi-intensive shrimp farming technology was upgraded under a UNDP assisted coastal aquaculture project (1986). In the deep sea fishing sector, considering the need for foreign technology to exploit non-shrimp resources, introduction of large number of resource specific vessels was considered. Schemes for leasing, test fishing and joint ventures were formulated. The Fishery Survey of India carried out studies on assessment of suitable craft and gears for marine fisheries and disseminated information about fishery resources availability. Deep sea fishing fleet increased to 171. Suitable credit facilities, technology for harvesting non-shrimp resources, skilled manpower and infrastructure facilities including storage and processing facilities were augmented.

1.9.4 The Central Institute of Fisheries Nautical and Engineering Training (CIFNET) catered to the development of trained manpower for the fishing industry and the Institute's vessels provided in-vessel training to the trainees. The Integrated Fisheries Project was engaged in experimental fishing activities for propagation of diversified fishing methods, besides introduction of processed fish products on semi- commercial scale. The Central Institute of Coastal Engineering for Fishery (CICEF) conducted pre- investment investigation, examination and designing of the -facilities required at fishing harbours etc. Besides, the Institute conducted investigation for brack-ishwater fish farm to obtain the desired culture results. Four major fisheries harbours, 18 minor harbours and 86 landing centres were commissioned by the end of Seventh Plan.

1.9.5 In July, 1988, the Government of India decided to create a separate Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MFPI) and some of the functions relating to fisheries were transferred to it. Primarily, the MFPI is to deal with the following areas, so far as fisheries are concerned:

  1. Fishingand fisheries beyond the territorial waters including deep sea fishing station now called Fishery Survey of India,(Bombay).
  2. Processing of fish
  3. Technical assistance and advice to fish processing industry; and
  4. Establishment and servicing of Development Council for Fish Processing Industry.

1.9.6 For suitabi coordination, a National Fisheries Advisory Board was set up in January 1989 with the objective of rendering advice in respect of development of fisheries and orderly development of fishing industry, export of marine products, etc.

1.9.7 The processing industry and internal marketing of fish require substantial infrastruc-tural development. There are 216 freezing plants with capacity to handle 2200 tonnes per day, but these have limited use as these mainly have plate freezers which do not give sufficient value addition as compared to Individual Quick Freezing Plants (IQF). The cold storage facilities (5000 tonnes) are highly inadequate. Ice plants with cold storage facilities, establishment of retail fish marketing centres, fish handling sheds, insulated fish marketing centres, insulated fish transportation vehicles etc. are to be developed in a substantial way for sustained growth of the fishing industry.

1.9.8 Fish production during 1990-91 stood at 38.36 lakh tonnes, which was marginally above the target. The target for 1991-92 was 39.90 lakh tonnes consisting of 24.40 lakh tonnes of marine fish and 15.50 lakh tonnes of inland fish. No substantial increase from the coastal waters is possible as it is mostly over exploited. A new unit of Integrated Fisheries Project was installed in Visakhapatnam during 1990-91 to help the fishing industry to optimise utilisation of low value fish. Technical consultancy services and introduction of diversified fish products, reimbursement of central excise duty on HSD oil used by fishing vessels less than 20 m. in length was undertaken during the two Annual Plans. For brackish water culture, more areas have been supported through BFDAs. Under the National Welfare Fund Scheme, 72 fishermen villages and about 8.5 lakh fishermen have been insured under the Group Accident Insurance Scheme so far. The number of fishermen Primary Co-operative Societies stood at 8,170 having a membership of 6.6 lakhs. However, except in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Orissa, the fishermen co-operatives in other States do not play any significant role in the development of fisheries.

1.9.9 The export of marine products during 1990-91 was 1,38,400 tonnes valued at Rs. 890 crores. The target of fish exports for 1991-92 is 1,65,700 tonnes valued at Rs. 1000 crores. Physical targets and achievements of Fisheries during the Seventh Plan as well as the annual plans of 1990-91 and 1991-92 are given in Table-1.3 .

Agricultural Research and Education

1.10.1 The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is the apex organisation for sponsoring, co- ordinating and promoting research, education and extension education in agriculture and allied fields in the country. Under the Council there are 43 Central Institutes, four National Bureaux, 20 National Research Centres, nine Project Directorates, 70 All India Co-ordinated Research/Improvement Projects (AlCRPs) and 109 Krishi Vigyan Ken-dras in the country. The Council also assists 26 State Agricultural Universities (SAUs) and other leading institutions involved in agricultural education and research. A review committee was set up under the chairmanship

Table-1.3 Physical Targets and Achievements Fisheries

Sl.No Item Unit Target Achievement Target Achievem -ent 1990-91 Target 1991-92
        (Seventh Plan) 1990-91         
I. Fish Production
a)Marine Lakh tons 17.90 22.75 23.52 23.00 24.40
b)Inland " 14.60 14.02 14.70 15.36 15.50
Total " 32.50 36.77 38.22 38.36 39.90
II. Fish Seed Production Million 12000 12000 12500 12500 13000
III. Water Area To Recovered Under Intensive Fish Culture Lakh
ha. (cum)
2.70 2.46 3.00 2.82 3.40
IV. Fish/prawn Seed Hatcheries Nos 45 (public sector) 39 (pubic sector) 5 3 2
V. Traditional Craft To Be Motorised 000'Nos. 5000 4667 2000 2661 2000

of Shri G.V.K.Rao which has been, by and large accepted by the Government.

1.10.2 A number of new centres to conduct research on several specific problems and All India Coordinated Projects were established during the Seventh Plan. These cover many major areas such as Brackishwater Aquacul-ture, Post-Harvest Technology, besides issues connected with annimal husbandry, horticulture etc.

1.10.3 Three new Agricultural Universities, namely Dr. Y.S.Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Solan, the University of Agricultural Science in Dharwad and Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya, Raipur, were established during the Seventh Plan.

1.10.4 As many as 109 Krishi Vigyan Ken-dras have been set up in the country till March, 1992. Of them, 65 are under State Agricultural Universites, 25 being operated through Voluntary agencies, State Governments, and other institutions and the remaining 19 are under the ICAR.

1.10.5 For strengthening the regional research capability of State Agriculture Universites (SAUs), the National Agriculture Research Project (NARP) was launched by the ICAR in January, 1979 with the support of soft loan from the World Bank. It is now in the middle of its second phase. The NARP-II shall continue the process initiated under NARP-I, for strengthening the zonal and the regional research stations of SAUs and also include need-based strengthening of ICAR Institutes. Under NARP-I, extended to ^NARP-II phase, 117 sub-projects and about 250 zonal/regional stations have been strengthened.

Agro-climatic Regional Planning Approach

1.10.6 The Agro-climatic Regional Planning Approach (ACRP) was initiated by the Planning Commission in 1988 to formulate integrated development plans for agriculture and allied sectors differentiated by homogeneous agro-climatic regions. During the Eighth Plan, emphasis is on development of resources and their optimum utilisation in an integrated and sustainable manner for constituent subsectors. A macro-level strategy for the 15 broad agro-climatic zones, is proposed to be incorporated in operational integration in state plans covering activities in crop and non-crop sectors. ARPU teams are preparing Operational Plans for about 30 districts. These will be implemented in pilot block/watersheds during the Eighth Plan with the help of the State Agricultural University, ICAR, and State extension officials working at the district level.

Eighth Plan Strategy and Thrust

1.11.1 The Eighth Plan will aim at consolidating the gains from the base built over the years in agricultural production; sustaining the improvements in productivity and production to meet the increasing demands of the growing population; enlarging the incomes of farmers, and realising the country's potential by stepping up agricultural exports. While the production of several commodities has shown significant increases, a cause for major continuing concern is that the growth rates in agricultural production is highly skewed in terms of geographic areas as amongst crops. Rapid improvement in productivity and production of a few of the agricultural crops, since the introduction of high yielding varieties technology from the mid-sixties, has been conspicuous only in small pockets of well endowed irrigated areas. Eastern India in the heavy rainfall zone the vast rainfed tracts in the country and the hill regions have not been able to adopt the technologies for achieving high growth rates. It will be of crucial significance, not only on account of the need to reduce regional disparities, but also essentially to raise production levels, that far greater attention is devoted to bring about an accelerated growth in. areas which have relatively lower growth. Efforts to concentrate on productivity of principal crops in these regions through programmes initiated in the Sixth and the Seventh Plans will have to tie further intensified. Appropriate tecnnologies designed to meet the specific location problems, need to be generated.

1.11.2 In the rainfed areas, farming system approach should be the basis for enabling farmers to make scientific and optimum use of their land and water resources to increase their incomes. Diversification of the agricultural production systems may be called for, together with scientific management of land, to prevent soil erosion and achieve better in situ moisture conservation. A holistic approach towards the development of rainfed areas, which forms the raison d'etre for the restructured National Watershed Development Programme for the Rainfed Areas, cannot be over emphasised. This programme will be adequately funded and implemented vigorously.

1.11.3 A preponderant proportion of land holdings is small or marginal. Even with the best of productivity of traditional crops cultivated by the small holders, the resultant incomes may not be sufficient to support a minimal standards of living. Agricultural production systems followed by this segment of farming community may have to be diversified into other allied activities, capable of generating higher returns and incomes such as animal husbandry, horticulture, both irrigated and unimgated, sericulture, fisheries, agro-forestry etc.

1.11.4 Rural unemployment and under-employment are issues of serious concern in areas with relatively poor growth in agriculture. The treatment of rainfed areas on watershed basis may provide employment opportunities for unskilled labour by way of developing the potential of drylands, construction of water harvesting structures, plantation of horticulture, agro-forestry etc. Many of the alternative agricultural production systems can generate employment opportunities on a self-sustaining basis.

1.11.5 Even in the irrigated areas, there is potential for increasing productivity through dissemination of improved technologies amongst the entire farming community, when viewed in the context of the yield potential of varieties presently under cultivation and further improvements which agricultural research cn engender. Effective water management, through timely application of the minimal required volumes of water in the light of the prevailing agro-climatic factors, can enhance the yields further. Continued emphasis in this area is a prerequisite for achieving higher level of agricultural production to ensure food security and meet the agricultural raw materials requirements of the processing units. Conjunctive use of surface and ground water will need to be promoted, especially in Bihar, West Bengal, Assam and Orissa.

1.11.6 Watershed management principles also address themselves to the environmental concerns in the ecologically fragile areas like the undulating rainfed lands, the hilly terrains etc. Efficient use of chemical fertilizers, recycling of organic wastes and use ofbio-fertilizers have an important place in the sustainable agricultural development process. A major plank in recent years has been the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for achieving control over pests and diseases affecting crops. Though the use of toxic pesticides is still relatively low, it is necessary from several angles to ensure that the use of pesticides is restricted only to those circumstances where it is inescapable. The use of minimal quantities of chemical pesticides in an effective manner will improve the returns to the farmers. Secondly, this will substantially reduce the environmental pollution. Use of cultural means, selection of pest resistant varieties and use of biotic agents for control of pests such as parasites and predators will have to be recommended and widely adopted. Effective surveillance of pest build-up is a critical aspect 'I i's'M. The Eighth Plan will greatly increase the use of IPM in several major crops.

1.11.7 The marketing infrastructure has to be further augmented and streamlined, especially in respect of perishable commodities, if diversification is to succeed and primary producers are. enabled to realise a fair share of the price paid by the consumers. As the country increases production beyond its own requirements, or where the country has comparative eco nomic advantage in the light of technological gains, or to promote diversification, the marketing of agricultural produce within and outside the country assumes greater importance. Strengthening of the existing marketing infrastructure, besides improving the logistics in the movement and storage of goods is necessary to cut down losses at various stages of handling of the produce. This is vital from the view points of both the producers as well as the consumers. Efficient marketing by co-operatives of producers themselves and their Apex organisations will need to be intensively promoted.

1.11.8 Recent changes in the Industrial policy with de-regulation and lesser direction by the State, have thrown open opportunities for a rapid phase of expansion of the agro-based industries, particularly the processing units. Induction of the latest technologies in processing and better packaging can help Indian processed food products compete in the international markets, besides catering to the growing market within the country. Special efforts would have to be mounted to give a fillip to the production of fruits, vegetables, milk and meat for being processed in units established, including those in the rural areas. This can create jobs for the educated, the semi-skilled and the unskilled in the country-side. Increased value additions can also help larger realisations for the primary products produced by the farmers.

1.11.9 The changes in the trade policies have vastly improved the prospects for realising the full potential of the country with its varied agro-climatic conditions from tropical to temperate regions, in producing commodities for exports. Apart from maximising the production of the traditional export commodities, the new seed policy has created a climate for producing non-traditional commodities like flowers and different types of vegetables for exports. Systematic efforts to overcome, such constraints as may exist in the development of markets abroad will have to be launched and sustained in the coming years.

1.11.10 There can never be a stage where the effort to continuously monitor and ensure, through well conceived programmes, the availability of high quality inputs at reasonable prices can cease. Timely availability at as near the place of cultivation as possible vitally influences the farmers' ability to accept and adopt the recommended technologies. Further streamlining of delivery systems is necessary in many parts of the country where the current levels of consumption are very sub-optimal. Production and distribution of inputs have been undertaken by the public, the private and the cooperative sectors. Similarly, the requirements of short, medium and long-term credit need to be met in larger measure in several states to provide the required backing for intensive application of improved technologies.

1.11.11 Promotion of. initiatives outside the Government to further socio-economic development is of cardinal importance and is central to the strategy of the Eighth Plan. The non-governmental initiatives may be in the form of those undertaken by the industry, formally or informally organised groups of individuals etc. In addition, over the years, efforts have also been directed towards decentralisation of the development administration. The Panchayat Raj institutions and the cooperatives need to be strengthened to facilitate much greater involvement of the people in the identification of the felt needs, plan formulation, implementation and monitoring. Many of the agricultural development programmes lend themselves to better administration through the closest involvement of the beneficiaries. The non-governmental organisations have begun to play an important role. This process will be further strengthened. In several areas like integrated development of the rainfed areas on watershed management principle, agricultural extension and organisation of provision of services, the association of NGOs can lead to far greater cost-effectiveness in the implementation of the programme.

1.11.12 Many of the programmes and schemes will have to be continued from the previous plans, with necessary refinements/modifications to address themselves sharply to the problems they seek to overcome. The changing scenario of agricultural development in different areas would require a periodic review based on continuous evaluation of the implementation of the programmes. A beginning has to be made particularly to promote and accelerate the diversification process. The following paragraphs deal with some of these aspects.

1.11.13. The importance of land reforms with respect to increasing agricultural production and productivity can not be overemphasised. The land reform measures through provision of security to tenants and consolidation of land holdings, etc., apart from other things, can help bringing land under profitable agronomic practices. In West'Bengal, land reform measures comprising vesting of ceiling surplus land, distribution of vested land among the landless and the submarginal farmers, providing tenurial security to share croppers, updating of records of rights, etc. has significantly contributed to augment productivity of major crops.

1.11.14. The procurement and support prices for important agricultural crops will be fixed by taking into consideration factors like cost of production, change in market prices, input-output parity, inter-crop price parity, effects on industrial cost structure, etc. A suitable price policy could play a vital role in giving appropriate signals to farmers and also help in providing incentives for stepping up agricultural investments. A major aspect of this policy will be to ensure adequate return on investment made by the farmer. In this, the recommendations of various expert committees will be considered by government and necessary modifications effected. The price policy will be reviewed keeping in view the major objectives of moving towards commercialisation of agriculture, achievement of food security and generation of adequate surplus for export.

Crop Production Oriented Programmes:

1.12.1 Many of the important programmes to maximise production of several crops will be continued during the Eighth Plan. Those include: the Special Foodgrains Production Programme in respect of rice, wheat, coarse cereals, as well as programmes like the oilseeds, pulses, cotton development, etc. The focus of these programmes is to extend improved technologies amongst the farmers. Demonstrations of the latest technologies constitute a critical element of these programmes. These will have to be streamlined, systematised and closely monitored to get the optimum results. The farmers' acceptance of the technologies will be facilitated through successful demonstrations. A far greater planning in the organisation of demonstrations will be sought to be achieved. Special efforts will be made to reori-ent the programmes to address themselves to the basic constraints faced by the farmers in the States/areas where the current yield levels are low, as in the case of rice in Eastern India, wheat in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and' Eastern UP and coarse cereals in the Central and Western parts of India. A further intensification of measures to improve productivity and production of pulses and oilseeds will be achieved under the programmes through linkage with the technologies being generated by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research State Agriculture University (ICAR-SAU) research systeai-

1.12.2 In particular, the emphasis will be on production of Basmati rice which is one of the top foreign exchange earners. The prospects of exports of hard wheat (durum) are also bright and production will have to be improved. Coarse cereals not only constitute the staple diet in several regions but also have industrial use as well as in the manufacture of cattle/poultry feeds.

1.12.3 For accelerated production of oil-seeds, the production programmes will seek to expand the area under oilseeds through

  1. diversion of upland rice in many States like Madhya Pradesh and Orissa to groundnut cultivation, where the yield levels of rice are very low and the crops often suffer from moisture-stress condition;
  2. larger coverage of soya-bean in Orissa, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, partly through substitution of less remunerative crops or taking soyabean as an inter-crop in several cropping situations;
  3. further enlarging the area under rapeseed-mustard in place of rainfed wheat or in place where assured irrigation is not easily feasible with consequent impact on wheat yields and
  4. extension of groundnut, and. sunflower to be grown in summer season.

1.12.4 The production of cotton has to be increased in the coming five years at rates higher than the long-term trends keeping in view the much larger exports which the country can achieve in the form of raw cotton, yam and garments. Significant increases in yields through provision of life saving irrigation, better agronomic practices in the traditional rainfed cotton tracts of the country i.e. Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, can improve the economic lot of the fanners and enlarge, employment opportunities, as cotton generates large number of mandays per unit of land. The Intensive Cotton Development Programme will have to be stepped up.

Targets of Production of Principal Crops:

1.12.5 The targets of crops production as well as likely area of the principal crops or groups of crops are given in the Table 1.4.

1.12.6 Targets of major agricultural crops for the Eighth Five Year Plan have been projected on the basis of agricultural sub-model which takes into account factors, such as gross irrigated area, gross cropped area, fertiliser consumption, area expansion, rainfall index and outputs in a regression frame work.

The targets proposed above would call for much higher efforts in the Eighth Plan than the earlier Plans.

Horticulture Crops

1.13.1 During the Eighth Plan, the emphasis in respect of horticultural crops will be on production of quality planting materials, area expansion, improvement in quality and increase in productivity. Popularisation of modem agro-techniques, especially of growing horticultural and floricultural crops in controlled conditions such as green/glass houses, will be vigorously promoted. Strengthening of infrastructure facilities for grading, sorting, storage, packing and marketing, together with the propogation of post-harvest technology will be the major thrust in the area of horticulture development. The Agricultural Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), The NAFED and the National Horticulture Board will continue to support marketing and establish facilities for vapour, heat and cold treatments etc. Joint ventures can be encouraged to obtain technology for processing purpose. A standing.export promotion committee should be set up to promote infrastructural development for facilitating export of horticulture products.

1.13.2 Fruits, vegetables and cut flowers will receive greater attention. For export of horticu-lutral products, suitable selection of varieties of fruits, vegetables and flowers including orchids in the potential areas will be identified and supported. Modem technologies like plas-ticulture, drip irrigation, and tissue culture will be encouraged for speedy development of horticulture.

Table-1.4 Areawise Break-up Of All India Targets Of Principal Crops
P- Production-million tonnes; A - Area - million hrctare; Y- Yield - kgha

Crop 1991-92$ 1996-97
A P Y A P Y
l.Rice 42.50 72.50 1706 43.50 88.00 2023
2-Wheat 23.50 56.00 2383 24.25 66.00 2722
3 . Coarse Grains 37.50 30.00 800 37.75 39.00 1033
4.Pulses 23.50 14.00 596 24.50 17.00 694
5 . A 1 1 Foodgrain 127.0 172.5 135 130.0 210.0 1615
6. Oilseeds 23.5 17.5 74 24.5 23.0 939
7.Sugarcane 3.70 235.00 63514 3.90 275.00 70513
S.Cotton * 7.40 10.50 241 7.50 14.00 317
9.J u te and Mesta ** 1.00 9.00 1620 1.00 9.50 1710
10. Other Crops 19.60       23.70      
11. All Crops 182.20       190.60      

$ Likely Achievement; * In million bales of 170 Kg each; --In million bales of 180 Kg each;

Plantation Crops

Tea

1.14.1 Tea production in the country has increased from 652 million Kgs in 1985-86 to 703 million Kgs in 1989-90. There is need for a further increase in the production and productivity of tea to meet the growing domestic consumption and also to increase our share in the global tea export. During the Eighth Plan, a high priority will be accorded to the scientific management of small tea gardens, replanting of old and uneconomic tea bushes by high yielding planting material, reduction in regional disparity in tea productivity, extension of tea cultivation in traditional and non-traditional areas through encouragement at family tea gardens, tea cooperatives and group farming system and popularisation of Indian tea in the global market.

Coffee

1.14.2 The average production of Coffee during the Seventh Plan is estimated at 1,55,000 tonnes against the target of 163,000 tonnes. Coffee production was of the order of about 1,73,000 tonnes in 1990-91. The Coffee Board has substantially increased the production base and built up infrastructure in the field of research, extension, marketing and promotion. Sustained export promotion efforts will be made to establish India as a major supplier of quality coffee.

Rubber

1.14.3 India is the fourth largest natural rubber producer in the world. Production of natural rubber was satisfactory during the Seventh Plan period. It has significantly increased from 201,000 tonnes in 1985-86 to 297,000 tbnnes in 1989-90. It is expected to be about 364,000 tonnes in 1991-92, showing an increase of 10.3% over the level of 330,000 tonnes recorded in 1990-91. The Eighth Plan strategy for development of rubber plantation will focus on (i) expansion of rubber cultivation in non-traditional areas; (ii) replanting of old and low yielding plants with high yielding planting materials; (iii) increasing productivity of existing plantation through promotion of irrigation and adoption of improved cultural and crop exploitation practices; (iv) adoption of improved processing techniques/methods and practices and (v) quality improvement. Though rubber is not included under "forest" under the Forest Conservation Amendment Act, 1988, in areas like North-East Region, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Orissa, Madhya pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Western Region covering Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra it could do well as major afforestation species.

Spices

1.14.4 At present, the country produces around 20.0 lakh tonnes of different spices valued at about Rs.3500 - Rs.4000 crores. India's share in the global trade of spices is 22% in volume and 10% in value. Among the major spices, Cardamom suffered a serious set back during the Seventh Plan period. The export of pepper declined to about 32,000 tonnes in 1990-91 from 37,000 tonnes in 1986-87. The export of spice oil and oleoresins exhibited a rising trend. The main thrust in the development and export programmes will be on identification of better export markets and cultivation of improved high yielding varieties, improved post-harvest technology and storage facilities. Some spices varieties are imported to meet the domestic demand in the country. These include clove,cinnamon, nutmeg, mace and cassia. Efforts will be made to achieve import substitution by encouraging cultivation of these spices in the country.

Tobacco

1.14.5 Tobacco as a commercial crop, is one of the major export items. During the Eighth plan, the focus will be on (i) intensification ofR and D activities for developing alternate use of tobacco for medicinal purposes, etc. and (ii) diversion of the tobacco area to some other crops, giving higher returns.

Targets of Plantation Crops :

1.14.6 The targets for production and export of plantation crops for the Eighth Plan are given in Table-1.5.

Table 1.5 Eighth Plan Production and Export Targets for Plantation Crops.

      

        VIII Plan(1996-97)

Crop Unit Production Exports
Tea (million kg) 950 300
Coffee (000 tonnes) 220 125
Spices (000 tonnes) 2076 163
Cardam om (tonnes) 6000 2250
Tobacco (mill kg) 175 80
Rubber (000 tonnes) 600     
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