9th Five Year Plan (Vol-2)

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Agriculture, Irrigation, Food Security and Nutrition
Agriculture || Irrigation, Command Area Development and Flood Control || Food and Nutrition Security

Targets of Crop Production

4.1.79 The targets of production of foodgrains and other crops for the terminal year of the Ninth Plan are given in Table 4.1.4.

TABLE – 4.1.4

Targets of Production for Agriculture  Commodities for 2001-02
          Crops              	     Production        	Annual Compound
                         	   (Million Tonnes)     Growth Rate (%)
        1. Rice              		99.0           	4.02
        2. Wheat             	        83.0           	3.68
        3. Coarse Cereals    	        35.5           	0.70
        4. Pulses            	        16.5           	2.67
        5. Total Foodgrains 	       234.0           	3.26
        6. Oilseeds          	        30.0           	3.75
        7. Cotton*          	       157.0           	4.00
        8. Sugarcane        	       336.0            3.91
         * Lakh bales of 170 Kgs. each

Plantation Crops

4.1.80 In the plantation sector, the main emphasis during the Ninth Plan will be on increasing productivity, accelerating the replanting activities and rapid expansion of crops in the non-traditional areas, particularly the North East. The main strategy for product development will be on the adoption of improved agricultural practices, adherence to strict phyto-sanitary norms and upgradation of post-harvest technology. These measures are aimed to bring down the unit cost of production and improving the competitive edge for our exports. Strengthening of infrastructure for value addition and quality control have been identified as the core areas in market development and export promotion. In order to establish a competitive presence in the international market, quality maintenance deserves top-most attention and quality improvement will be achieved through Research and Development intervention. Dissemination of information will receive due importance; so also of modern technologies for cultivation, processing and packaging to internationally accepted standards. Efforts will be made to promote organically produced commodities.

4.1.81 The North-Eastern region will receive special focus with increased flow of resources and higher level of subsidies under various plantation development programmes for exploiting the natural resources which this region is endowed with to their advantage. This region has tremendous potential for spices besides, other plantation crops like tea, coffee and rubber. The constraints of the North-Eastern region such as lack of skilled manpower, infrastructure, resources /credit flow and high transportation cost etc. will be specifically addressed to. Extension service through demonstrations and trainings to the tribal growers assume considerable importance. A substantial portion of the resources of the various Commodity Boards will be for the North-Eastern region. During the Ninth Plan schemes for On-Farm Water Management for increasing production in North-East/Eastern India and schemes for increasing the consumption of fertilisers and increased flow of credit for the agriculture sector are being envisaged.


4.1.82 Efforts will be made to increase production, improve quality and to ensure availability of tea at a price remunerative to the producer and affordable to the consumer. The bulk of the incremental production during the Plan period is expected from increased productivity in the existing plantations, for which irrigation and drainage facilities will be augmented. The installed capacity of tea factories will also be increased, besides augmenting tea processing facilities by construction of new factories. Efforts will be made to raise the productivity levels of smaller estates where there is vast scope for improvement.


4.1.83 Consequent upon liberalisation of coffee marketing and the total withdrawal from marketing activities, the Coffee Board would shift its emphasis towards more critical areas such as research and development, extension, training, market intelligence, promotion of exports as well as domestic consumption and encourage coffee cultivation in the non-traditional areas. For the traditional areas, a comprehensive coffee development package will be devised to improve production, productivity and quality of coffee produced in the small scale sector. In the non-traditional areas rapid area expansion programme will be taken up with an appropriate package of assistance to the tribal growers. Post-harvest technology and quality upgradation, integrated pest management, free market development including creation of auction platforms, warehousing facilities, quality assurance and plant improvement activities like breeding, vegetative and clonal propagation and biotechnology are some of the key areas for which specific programmes will be launched during the Ninth Plan.


4.1.84 There is a lot of scope for expansion of rubber plantations in the non-traditional areas like Tripura, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Karnataka. In these areas, the tribal growers are financially weak and lack technical expertise. The block/group planting programme launched during the Eighth Plan will be intensified. Besides, the incentive package will also be made more attractive to induce investments in planting and maintenance activities. Infrastructure development for processing and marketing in the North-Eastern region will be given top priority during the Ninth Plan. Initiatives already taken for stimulating demand for rubber and rubber products would be intensified.


4.1.85 An integrated approach will be adopted for the development of black pepper, ginger, turmeric, chillies, tree spices like clove, cinnamon and seed spices. The identified thrust areas include increasing productivity to bring down the cost of production, developing cultivation of export-oriented varieties such as low fibre content ginger, chillies with bright red colour, developing cultivation of vanilla, saffron, herbal spices etc. and encouraging women in cultivation of spices and community processing of the produce. A technology mission on black pepper will be launched in Kerala, which account for 94 % of the total production. The Ninth Plan programmes will focus their attention on post-harvest management, quality improvement through supply of planting material, developing organic farming, modernisation of processing/ manufacture, development of warehousing and mechanisation of spices farming.


4.1.86 There is a good scope for expansion of the area under cashew in the vast tracts of wasteland including sandy coastlines in both the traditional as well as non-traditional areas. High density planting with 625 plants/ha is required in these areas to control the growth of weeds. Appropriate programmes will be devised to bring such areas under cashew plantations. Cashew development and export promotion programmes will pay special attention to improving the quality of kernels, post-harvest management, packaging (consumer-packed cashew kernels) and infrastructure development. Efforts will also be made to ensure that the processing of cashew is environment-friendly. Studies will be commissioned to assess the side-effects on the workers engaged in cashew processing industries and to suggest remedial measures. Cashew apple has a considerable dietary importance and various edible products prepared out of these apples will be popularised.


4.1.87 Efforts will be made to improve the productivity and quality of tobacco, grading at farmers' level and monitoring and control of pesticides residues. Strengthening of auction facilities, promotion of exports besides exploring alternate use of tobacco will receive special attention during the Ninth Plan.

Targets for the Plantation Sector

4.1.88 The targets for production, envisaged growth rate and exports of plantation crops for the Ninth Plan are given in Table 4.1.5.

TABLE – 4.1.5

 Ninth Plan Production and Export Targets for Plantation Crops (2001-02).
   Crops      	 Unit      	     Production    Growth rate%     Exports
  1. Tea       	M.Kg.            1000.0 	   5.0     	     265.0
  2. Coffee  	(000 tonnes)      	 300.0 	       5.0           200.0
  3. Spices  	(Lakh tonnes)      	  33.6 	       4.2           2.58
  4. Rubber  	(000 tonnes)      	 717.3         5.5           4.0
  5. Cashew  	(Lakh tonnes     	   7.0         9.24          ---

Horticulture Crops

4.1.89 The horticulture sector has established its credibility for improving productivity of land, generating employment, improving economic conditions of the farmers who are mostly small and marginal and entrepreneurs, enhancing exports and above all providing nutritional security to the people. Horticultural diversification has made some visible impact particularly in the wake of economic liberalisation. In fact, high levels of land productivity in coastal areas can be largely attributed to the growing of high value plantation and horticultural crops. However, due to various technological and infrastructural constraints, the growth remains far from satisfactory. The low productivity of perennial fruits and plantation crops is attributed to small size of holdings, preponderance of old senile trees and poor management available to them. There is also an acute shortage of planting seed/material of improved varieties. Crop specific disorders e.g. various diseases of vegetables, rootwilt of coconut etc. affect production and productivity. Another area of concern is the post-harvest handling which account for 37% of the losses at different stages of storage, grading, packaging etc. Processing infrastructure is weak and the research and development support, inadequate. The marketing is also not well organised. There is a need for proper blending of technology, credit and scientific management for accelerated growth of horticulture sector. Horticulture sector has been brought to the forefront in the overall food production strategy of the country and will continue to be treated as an extreme focus area for provision of strong support for its overall development.

4.1.90 The development strategy would be on the basis of the assessment of factor endowments and comparative advantage in propagating various horticultural crops. Regions which have tremendous potential of horticulture crops including North-East would get top priority. Special package of assistance will be devised for the NE states and the existing schemes will be modified to meet also the requirements of these states. The specific objectives of horticulture development during the Ninth Plan would be:

  1. to improve productivity and quality of horticulture crops through upgradation of production/farming technologies;
  2. to reduce post-harvest losses, and improve marketability of the produce and its availability to consumers;
  3. to promote better utilisation and increased consumption of the produce to ensure higher returns to farmers/producers and better nutritional health to the people;
  4. to promote export;
  5. to develop a strong base for supply of inputs, transfer of technology and human resource development to support the development activities.

4.1.91 The aim of horticulture development in the Ninth Plan will be to consolidate the gains made in the Eighth Plan by continuing the existing schemes and implementing new schemes to bridge the identified gaps and remove the deficiencies. The projection of output of fruits and vegetables for the terminal year of the Ninth Plan is 179 million tonnes The Ninth Plan production target of spices is 3.36 million tonnes. There is likely to be a gap between demand and supply in respect of horticulture crops which will be met through imports. Consistent efforts, however, would be made to raise productivity and reduce post-harvest losses necessary to make the country self-sufficient in horticulture crops.

4.1.92 The targets envisaged can be achieved by promoting development of different crops and related activities around specific thrust areas namely (i) improving productivity and quality of produce from the existing plantations; (ii) developing infrastructure for post-harvest handling and marketing; (iii) product diversification and improving consumption; (iv)increasing the availability of quality seed/planting material; (v) area expansion; (vi) transfer of technology; (vii) export enhancement; (viii) human resource development; and (ix) improving infrastructure and database for horticulture crops. Productivity improvements can be achieved through the use of high-yielding varieties, developing irrigation facilities, use of plastics, beekeeping, rejuvenation/ rehabilitation of old orchards or plantations, uprooting of senile/diseased plantations and adoption of inter-cropping and bio-control measures.

4.1.93 Intervention of horticulture-related activities for improving the nutritional status of people in general and for preventing the disorders associated with deficiencies of vitamins and minerals in particular will be taken up as a new initiative with greater participation of women during the Ninth Plan.

4.1.94 Intensive training programmes will be devised not only for educating the farmers but also for those engaged in processing and exports activities on sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures for meeting the standards of the international market. Cooperative Sector will be encouraged to take up commercial horticulture with the assistance for production and post-harvest management including setting up of grading, packing houses, pre-cooling units, cold storages, green houses, processing units, tissue culture and quality production units.

4.1.95 Transfer of technology from lab to land through demonstration and expansion services and human resource development with regard to scientific management of estates, gardens and green houses will be given specific attention with increased interaction between State Agricultural Universities, the State Departments of Horticulture and National Horticulture Board and other Commodity Boards.

4.1.96 Scientific cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants on commercial basis, will receive specific attention. Quality production and marketing would be encouraged with appropriate package of assistance. Dissemination of information has remained a neglected area in the past. Creating horticulture awareness through various activities including T and V, seminar, work shops, study tours of farmers and demonstration will be essential components of horticulture development strategy.

4.1.97 Facilities for quarantine and cold storage at major air ports and sea ports, a process which already commenced will be expedited for export promotion of horticultural crops. APEDA has taken the lead in sanctioning cold storage facilities in major airports like Chennai, Thiruvanthapuram, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Such facilities in Delhi have already commenced operation.

Agricultural Inputs

4.1.98 The emphasis will be placed on adequate and timely delivery of core inputs such as fertilisers, seeds, pesticides, credit and extension in different regions. Augmentation of irrigation facilities is necessary to increase the cropping intensity. The implementation of the National Watershed Development Programme will be intensified for the development of rainfed farming areas. Fertiliser consumption in low-use areas and crops will be stepped up besides reducing imbalances in the use of plant nutrients and adopting integrated pest management approach and using biotic agents. For this process to be effective, it will be necessary to initiate a widespread programme of soil testing across the various agroclimatic regions.

4.1.99 In order to accelerate higher intake of fertilisers and the use of other inputs in crop production, especially in the remote areas, fertiliser and other input retailers network has to be considerably expanded. Efforts are required of stocking of fertilizer in order to create a supply push to complement the demand pull for fertilisers as a result of extension efforts. There is a need to ensure adequate movement of fertilisers particularly, in the High Potential -Low Productivity Zone with the help of institutional agencies. The State Cooperative Marketing Federation and State Agro-industries Corporation will have to play an effective role in input delivery system. The procedure for provision of margin money and working capital to the Federation will be streamlined by NCDC/NABARD. There is also need for evolving mechanism whereby the institutional agencies are insulated from losses in the event of the off-take of fertilizers falling below their expected level and consequent monetary burden due to surplus stocks.

4.1.100 Though the supply of agricultural inputs like fertiliser, irrigation, power and credit at prices which do not fully cover the cost had substantially increased the intensity of input use but it had also encouraged misuse of the scarce resources in certain areas and has also become fiscally unsustainable. Highly subsidised/free supply of inputs like power and irrigation had also led to inappropriate cropping pattern. For example, in water scarce areas, water-intensive sugarcane crop is being promoted. In order to promote sustainable agricultural development and to make available resources for creation of yield raising infrastructure there is no alternative other than rationalising the input price structure.


4.1.101 The consumption of fertilizers (NPK) during 1996-97 was 14.31 million tonnes. The total nutrient requirement in the terminal year of the Ninth Plan is projected at 20.0 million tonnes. During the Ninth Plan greater use of biofertilisers and bio-technological research in this direction will be encouraged. To support the programme for achievement of a target of 234 million tonnes of foodgrains, in the terminal year of the Ninth Plan, a very strong network of all associated activities would be required to be created in the country. This would include, inter-alia, the Integrated Plant Nutrient Management system, use of organic sources and bio-fertilisers, use of legumes by farmers for generating and sustaining the inherent nutrient potentiality of soils, followed by application of chemical fertilisers. Programmes of campaigning for making the farming community aware of micro-nutrient deficiencies and their use would be launched. Programmes for disseminating the research results of the ICAR for soil test crop response, trials, etc. would be promoted.


4.1.102 Promotion of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for all the crops and throughout the country would continue to remain the main thrust of plant protection activities during Ninth Plan. Further strengthening of eco-friendly I PM strategy to preserve and protect the environment and for maximising crop production would continue to be pursued. Computer networking of all the IPM centres in the country, which is already in progress, would be further strengthened during the Ninth Plan for making available such reliable data on disease pest intelligence to meet the challenges in a more scientific manner. Also, work on strengthening of existing State Bio-control Laboratories and setting up of new ones, wherever required, would be undertaken. Promotion of bio-pesticides like Bt, NVP, GV, Trichoderma etc., neem-based pesticides would be undertaken. Besides, programmes like involvement/ training of women farmers as well as farmers belonging to weaker sections in respect of IPM technology would be emphasised.


4.1.103 The target for Ninth Plan for certified seeds distribution is 109 lakh quintals for all types of crops. This would mean a quantum jump over the actual achievement during the Eighth Plan. Focus during the Ninth Plan will be more on development of air-conditioned storage for breeder and foundation seeds, aerated storage for certified seeds, mobile facilities or common facilities for processing, drying etc. for all seed producing clusters in the country. Comprehensive amendments to prevailing Seed Acts, will be required to be enacted during the Ninth Plan. Another provision during the Ninth Plan would be to create a National Seed Grid. Special monitoring arrangements for production and lifting of breeder seeds by users, storage of these seeds, scientific assessment of seed requirements of various varieties of different crops for different areas and States, etc. would be undertaken. Distribution of minikits under various programmes, would be enlarged and more areas will be brought under this programmes. Also, frontline demonstrations would be carried out covering larger areas. Emphasis will be laid on promoting higher seed replacement rate. The most important of all would be the coverage of drought-prone, difficult, hilly and other non-accessible areas under various programmes of distribution of seeds. Care will also be taken so that an effective system of import/export of certified seeds is developed.

4.1.104 The public sector is primarily concentrating on seed production and supply of predominantly self pollinated varieties, while the private sector is supplying hybrids and high value and low volume seeds of inbred varieties and hybrids. Efforts will be made to have effective linkages between the public and the private sectors where both are mutually supporting and complementary in their activities. The seed policy will encourage the private sector to bring its production under the purview of certification or other accepted systems of quality control..

Agricultural Machinery and Implements

4.1.105 The Ninth Plan policy in respect of farm mechanisation will be to encourage the use of efficient tools, implements and machines which raise farm productivity and reduce cost, without large-scale replacement of human labour. Thus, farm mechanisation would largely be in the nature of augmenting resources rather than replacing labour. Within the framework of this policy, the Government has laid emphasis on the promotion and popularisation of improved agricultural implements, both power-operated and animal drawn. The programmes of farm mechanisation have led to the use of farm machinery such as tractors, power tillers, combine harvesters, irrigation equipment, plant protection equipment, threshers, improved implements and hand tools. The demand for agricultural equipments in respect of farm mechanisation is estimated at one percent per annum. Introduction and adoption of agricultural machinery is largely confined to the North and North-West regions of the country. However, with the increase in irrigation and modernisation of cropping practices, the demand for agricultural machinery has also shown an increasing trend in southern and western parts of the country.

4.1.106 During the Ninth Five Year Plan, establishment of prototype production centres for agriculture machinery in different regions of the country is expected to be at least one each in North, South, East and West. These Centres will develop power/draught/hand-driven selective mechanisation of equipment/machinery and tools, which would be need based. These centres will also be undertaking the similar activities for developing prototypes of equipments and tools, etc. even for related activities like animal husbandry, piggery development, poultry farming, fisheries, etc. so that these activities would become more beneficial to the farmers. Special attention should be paid for developing such equipments which may be more suitable to the badly felt needs to cotton growers, sugarcane growers and vegetable farmers. Special focus will be made on small farm mechanisation. Specific efforts will be devised for developing and popularising hand held tillers, small tractors etc. with appropriate tie-up arrangements with institutional finance.

4.1.107 Though the country is self-sufficient in meeting the indigenous demand for conventional agricultural implements, the quality is not up to the desired standards due to limited know-how and resource constraints faced by the small scale manufacturing units. The State Agro-industries Corporation (17) are engaged in manufacture and distribution of agricultural machinery improved implements and tools etc.

Plant Protection

4.1.108 The ongoing schemes of Plant Protection in the Eighth Plan will be continued during the Ninth Plan. The IPM strategy has become popular with the farmers during the Eighth Plan, especially in rice and cotton growing areas since it has helped to reduce the load of chemical pesticides as well as increase their net profits. Hence, greater support in this direction will be given during the Ninth Plan period. In addition, quarantine facilities would be strengthened to more effectively prevent the entry of exotic insects, pests, diseases and weeds. The existing network for warning about locust attack would be geared up. State Pesticide/Insecticide Laboratories would be upgraded with infrastructure facilities for testing and quality control of pesticides. Besides, setting up of Pesticide Residues Testing Laboratories particularly in the private sector will be encouraged in the Ninth Plan.

National Agricultural Technology Project

4.1.109 National Agriculture Technology Project (NATP), with World Bank Assistance has already started functioning in the field of development of agriculture in 24 districts of 6 States. The basic objective of NATP is to defuse the agricultural technology to the farmers and develop models of cropping system research in association with ICAR

Crop Insurance

4.1.110 The existing Comprehensive Crop Insurance Scheme (CCIS) and Experimental Crop Insurance Scheme (ECIS), will be replaced by Modified Comprehensive Crop Insurance Scheme (MCCIS). This Scheme will progressively cover all the farmers (both loanee and non-loanee) and some additional cash crops such as sugarcane, potatoes, cotton etc. depending upon the availability of yield-data to progressively increase the extended coverage.

Agricultural Credit and Co-operation

4.1.111 Cooperatives are an integral part of a country's agricultural system. The cooperatives aim at strengthening of people who have limited resources, particularly rural poor, agricultural labourers, marginal and small farmers, etc. The cooperatives have played a major role in disbursement of credit. Nearly 60% of the disbursement of short term loans and 35% of investment credit were provided by the cooperatives. Measures have already been initiated for ensuring autonomy, democratisation and professionalisation of the cooperative credit structure in the country.

4.1.112 One of the major problems faced by the cooperative credit institutions is the imbalances in agricultural loans. The imbalances occur when the agricultural loans of the District Cooperative Credit Banks (DCCBs) to Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) are not fully covered by corresponding loans, for the same purpose, outstanding against the ultimate borrower at PACS level. This arises on account of poor recoveries at PACS level, diversion of recoveries to meet establishment cost of PACS, repayment of loans of PACS for godowns etc. and also due to malpractices. Accounting practices of DCCBs, which appropriate all recoveries first towards interest and then towards principal, also tend to compound the problem. The DCCBs have no prospects of recovering the outstanding amount from PACS which are not covered by the loans outstanding against the ultimate borrowers. Consequently, the recovery of DCCBs deteriorated and the irrecoverable outstanding amount increased. Over a period of time, the DCCBs have become ineligible for NABARD refinancing as they could not meet the stipulated recovery percentage. This in turn, had affected the credit flow to the PACS. Rectification of the balance sheet of the cooperative sector will be attempted with one time assistance to the cooperative banks. The provision of this assistance has to be a pooled exercise by the Central, State Governments and Cooperatives.

4.1.113 The cooperatives system and re-financing institutions are the two major channels for providing agricultural credit. The rural credit system is being restructured and it is proposed to double the flow of credit to agriculture and allied sectors. The availability of credit to the farmers particularly to the small and marginal category needs to be substantially improved. The quantum of refinance to cooperatives and RRBs will be progressively increased. The state level agricultural financial corporations established by NABARD would increase the flow of ground level credit, the new local area banks being established are also expected to increase the flow of credit to agriculture and allied sectors. In the North Eastern Region, NABARD’s refinancing facilities to the commercial banks and other financing agencies will be at 90% of their ground level credit as against 50-70% applicable to rest of the country. NABARD has estimated that up to 2001-02 an amount of Rs. 1,49,400 crore. would be required for production purposes besides an amount of Rs. 80,350 crore towards investment credit. Thus, the total credit flow projected by NABARD is Rs. 2,29,750 crore up to 2001-02.

Watershed Management

4.1.114 As about 63 % of the cultivated land fall under rainfed areas, watershed management is one of the crucial areas for improving agricultural production. A holistic approach for development of integrated farming systems on watershed basis is the main objective under the National Watershed Development Project for Rainfed Areas (NWDPRA) and other externally aided watershed development projects. During the Ninth Plan, the implementation of the National Watershed Development Programme will be intensified for the development of rainfed farming areas.

4.1.115 Apart from the National Watershed Development Project, another component of watershed management relates to externally aided project. The World Bank aided project namely Integrated Watershed Development Projects (Plains) cover Gujarat, Rajasthan and Orissa. The Integrated Watershed Development Project (Hills) was conceived to ensure integrated development of hilly areas specially of ecologically degraded Shivalik ranges in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana. Similarly, there are projects assisted by Germany, Switzerland and DANIDA. These projects have helped partly in increasing the area under watershed management.

Soil and Water Conservation

4.1.116 Various soil and water conservation programmes aim at enhancing and sustaining the productivity of the available land stock, controlling land degradation , soil erosion, sedimentation, and hydrologic deterioration etc. The soil conservation programmes like All India Soil and Land Use Survey, State Soil Survey Organisation, National Land Use Boards, State Land Use Boards and the Soil Conservation Training Centres will be continued during the Ninth Plan. The on-going schemes of Soil Conservation in the catchments of River Valley Projects (RVP), Integrated Watershed Management in the catchments of Flood Prone Rivers (FPR) and the Programme of Reclamation of Alkali Soils, watershed development in shifting cultivation areas in North Eastern states will also be continued in the Ninth Plan.

4.1.117 The problem of water logging, saline and alkaline land is required to be tackled through two pronged strategy, namely one which is preventive type for new irrigation projects and the other of remedial nature of existing irrigation projects where water logging has already occurred. Soil Testing facilities are grossly inadequate. It is also a fact that the existing facilities are also not fully utilised to suggest remedial action to the farmers. This is very crucial for both high productivity as well as low productivity zones. Mobile Soil Testing facilities should be established in a large scale so that such facilities are available at farmer’s door-step.

4.1.118 Involvement of people, women’s groups, NGOs and PRIs have to be ensured on a wider scale in various land and water management programmes like tree planting, contour terracing, contour bunding, construction of innumerable small storages, leveling and reshaping of land under canal irrigation, construction of field channels and drains and the control of grazing.

Irrigation and Drainage facilities

4.1.119 There are about 119 major irrigation works, 176 medium irrigation works and about 67 schemes in Extension, Renovation and Modernisation (ERM). These are spill-over schemes from the previous Plan periods. These schemes have the potential of providing irrigation to an additional 12.5 million ha. The SAP has drawn up a time bound programme for completion of the spill over works with the assistance under RIDF and AIBP

4.1.120 A new Centrally Sponsored Scheme (minor irrigation) with 100% Central assistance to the states of Assam, Bihar, Orissa and Eastern parts of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh which are predominantly tribal and Northern part of West Bengal is envisaged in the Ninth Plan. Given the preponderance of small and marginal farmers in this area, very poor investment climate problems of fragmentation holdings a massive programme for establishment of Group Irrigation system is required. It is proposed that the community works/group tube wells would irrigate about 4 ha. and the group would consists of four or more farmers having contiguous lands. The unit cost of community tubewell may be about Rs.40,000/-. About one million ha. under community tubewell will be taken up under the programme. In states like Assam, providing of the lift irrigation points are required.

Rainfed Farming

4.1.121 Nearly 63 % of the cultivated area in the country comes under the category of Rainfed' and contributes about 40 % of total output. It may be noted that if the irrigation potential could be fully utilised, still half of the cultivated land may depend only on rain. Therefore, agricultural growth in future would have to be depend on exploitation and harnessing the growth potential in rainfed areas. Past experience shows that HYV technology have been adopted by the farmers in rainfed areas, particularly where there is adequate rainfall but occurrence of flood and drought are minimal. Due to low and uncertain response to new technology adoption, as well as low capital absorption capacity in rainfed areas, production remains much less compared to those of the irrigated areas.

4.1.122 The Ninth Plan strategy would largely based on the recommendations of the Report of the Committee on Twenty Five Years Perspective Plan for the Development of Rainfed Areas. The Committee was set up by the Planning Commission under the Chairmanship of Member (Agriculture). It has been estimated that development of the vast rain-fed areas comprising of 75 million ha. would require over Rs.37,500 crore. Further the estimated cost for scientific treatment for soil and water conservation would be about Rs.7500 crore for 12 million ha. of arable and 3 million ha. of non-arable land (at an average unit cost of Rs.5,000 per ha). It is not possible to fund on this pattern to develop the entire area of 75 million ha. However, in the next ten years it may be possible to develop about 30 million ha. which would need a substantial public investment. Two-thirds of this area will be arable and the remaining one-third non-arable.

4.1.123 The strategy for rainfed areas would be regionally-differentiated and broadly classified into four agro-economic zones for adoption of different technologies. There will be a hierarchy of regions in the scheme of agro-climatic regionalisation. :-

  1. Agro Economic Zone I: High productive areas, high level of irrigation or high assured rainfall and low incidence of poverty;
  2. Agro Economic Zone II: Relatively low productivity, high rainfall, low level of irrigation and high incidence of poverty;
  3. Agro Economic zone III: Areas having low productivity, low rainfall and high incidence of poverty; and
  4. Ecologically Fragile Zone IV: Agro-ecologically fragile zone, having mostly low levels of productivity and serious problem of high run-off and soil erosion in the North Western Himalayan belt, shifting cultivation in north-east and shifting sand dunes, higher degree of land degradation and inadequate water availability in desert and drought prone areas of Rajasthan and Gujarat.

4.1.124 To improve the crop productivity and production on a sustainable basis watershed development programme is being implemented with improved research technology. During the Ninth Plan, 10 million hectares of additional area has been proposed for coverage under watershed development programme funded by national or international agencies.

4.1.125 The problem of waterlogging, saline and alkaline land is likely to be tackled through the proposed strategy of preventive type of new irrigation projects and other of remedial nature of existing irrigation projects where water has already occupied the land. Various land and water management programmes like tree planting, contour bunding and terracing, construction of innumerable small storages, levelling and reshaping of land, cleaning of water canals, construction of field channels and drains and control of grazing would be undertaken to prevent further deterioration of land. Measures will be taken for treatment of alkaline and saline lands through various programmes.

4.1.126 The importance of watershed development as a strategy of agricultural and overall rural development in rainfed areas has been recognised in India for the past several years. A number of Government Departments as well as NGOs and external agencies are involved in promoting watershed development projects in various rainfed areas. In future, watershed development programme should be truly a people's programme and the role of Government should be limited to providing only infrastructural and technological support, wherever necessary.

Animal Husbandry and Dairying

4.1.127 The gross value of output from the livestock accounts for about 26% of the total agricultural output. Animal Husbandry and Dairying development activities will receive greater attention during the Ninth Plan as this sector plays an important role in generating employment opportunities and supplementing the incomes of small and marginal farmers and landless labourers, especially in the rainfed and drought-prone areas. Effective control of animal diseases, declaration of disease-free zones, scientific management of genetic stock resources and upgradation, breeding, quality feed and fodder, extension services, enhancement of production, productivity and profitability of livestock enterprises are the specific areas identified for immediate intervention and support. The Ninth Plan target for milk production is set at 96.49 million tonnes envisaging an annual growth rate of 7.06 percent. Egg and wool production targets are set at 35 billion nos. and 5400 lakh kg. respectively. As a part of Special Action Plan for doubling food production new schemes envisaged in respect of dairy sector during the Ninth Plan are; (I) New Primary Dairy Cooperatives; and (ii) Vidya Dairies.

4.1.128 Some of the critical areas requiring priority attention are improvement and expansion of breeding services including AI services, upgradation of health care services, trengthening of training and research facilities.


  • Strengthening of Health Care services.
  • Upgradation of Genetic Stock of Cattle and Buffalo.
  • Quality Feed and Fodder.
  • Revival of Sick Dairy Cooperatives.
  • Human Resource Development

A Centrally Sponsored Scheme for upgradation of genetic stock of cattle and buffalo in a time bound manner will be taken up during the Plan period. Systematic dissemination of appropriate technologies in the field of animal production/management/health care will be undertaken through extension and training programmes. Development of human resource for animal husbandry and dairy sector will also receive special attention.

4.1.129 Fodder and feed development is also one of the crucial areas that call for greater attention. The demand for animal feed is likely to increase at a faster rate in the next ten years and therefore promotion of cultivation of fodder crops, ensuring availability of fodder seeds and also of quality nutritious feed assume considerable importance. For poultry alone, about two million tonnes of maize will be required and this demand would be met through the accelerated development programme for Maize.

4.1.130 Adequate credit and marketing support, modernisation and upgradation of processing facilities including abattoir for livestock products and measures for harnessing the energies of private entrepreneurs, cooperative institutions, self-help groups and other voluntary agencies are some of the major thrust areas in this sector. Efforts will also be made to revive and rehabilitate the sick cooperatives. Such a well coordinated and comprehensive approach will induce the farmers to take up improved breeding, feeding and scientific management of livestock and all these will bridge the gap between potentialities and the actual performance in this crucial sector.


4.1.131 India is the seventh largest producer of fish in the world and, second in inland fish production The fishery sector provides gainful employment to about 3.84 million full-time or part-time fishermen with an equally impressive segment of the population engaged in ancillary activities associated with fisheries and aquaculture.


Enhancing Productivity
Augmenting Export
Conservation of Aquatic Resources and Genetic Diversity.
Integrated Approach for Sustainable Development of Fisheries and Aquaculture

The main objectives of the fisheries and aquaculture development programmes during the Ninth Plan are as follows: (a) enhancing the production of fish and the productivity of fishermen, fisherwomen, fish farmers and the fishing industry; (b) generating employment and higher income in fisheries sector; (c) improving the socio-economic conditions of traditional fisherfolk and fish farmers; (d) augmenting the export of marine, brackish and freshwater fin and shell-fishes and other aquatic species; (e) increasing the per capita availability and consumption of fish to about 11 kg per annum; (f) adopting an integrated approach to fisheries and aquaculture, taking into account the need for responsible and sustainable fisheries and aquaculture and; (g) conservation of aquatic resources and genetic diversity.

4.1.132 The total fish production in the country is 5.35 million tonnes (1996-97). This is about 64 % of the existing total production potential of 8.4 million tonnes. While in the case of marine fisheries nearly three fourth of the production potential has been exploited, that of inland fisheries it is only around 50 %. There is an enormous scope for augmentation of both production potential as well as enhancement of productivity for inland fisheries. In the next ten years, fish production is projected to reach the level of 9.6 million tonnes with special thrust on inland fisheries resources. The Ninth Plan fish production target is set at 7.04 million tonnes envisaging a growth rate of 5.64 % per annum. An integrated approach for fisheries and aquaculture will be adopted for fisheries development on a sustainable basis.

4.1.133 Increase in productivity and production of fish/shrimps from freshwater and brackishwater under ongoing schemes would continue during the Ninth Plan. Present production level of over two tonnes per ha. achieved under ongoing programme of freshwater aquaculture through Fish Farmers Development Agencies (FFDAs) will be raised by adopting advanced technologies. Programmes will also be devised for augmenting fish production from freshwater through integrated fish farming, running water or flow -through systems etc.

4.1.134 The reservoirs constitute a major segment of the inland fishery resources of the country. Emphasis will be given to adopt scientific practices in reservoirs to harness the potential in an optimal manner. Special attention will be given for infrastructure development (rearing space etc.) to have the required size of fish seed for stocking the reservoirs.

4.1.135 There is an ample scope for development of fisheries in fallow derelict water bodies, water logged areas, lakes, beels etc. Programmes will be devised to develop these resources for enhancing fish production. Programmes will also be devised for the development of riverine fisheries through stocking, conservation and pollution abatement measures. Similarly programmes will also be taken up for cold water riverine and stream fisheries in the hill areas of the ecologically fragile zone.

4.1.136 Seed and feed are critical inputs required for development of fisheries and freshwater/brackishwater aquaculture and for enhancing productivity. Research and Development (R and D) programmes will be taken up for production of quality fish/shrimp seed and feed. Present level of fish seed production of 16,000 million fry will be raised at the rate of 7-8 % during the Ninth Plan. R and D programmes will be taken for development of freshwater prawn seed hatcheries at selected places, regulation of brackishwater farming and also overcoming of the diseases in cultured shrimps. Steps will also be taken to overcome other constraints including the legal intervention in brackishwater farming.

4.1.137 Major emphasis will be placed on judicious exploitation of the coastal fisheries resources by the traditional and small scale sector by protection of the fishing rights from over exploitation of the resources by the mechanised and deep sea fishing fleet. Measures will also be taken to conserve fisheries resources of the coastal waters. Programmes will be taken up for strengthening the deep sea fishing fleet, diversification of catch by the existing deep sea fishing fleet and introduction of resource specific vessels to exploit the deep sea fisheries resources in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the country.

4.1.138 Programmes for Human Resource Development (HRD) with emphasis on training and skill development in post-harvest/processing and marketing activities particularly for fisherwomen besides, other income generating avenues during lean season will be taken up on an expanded scale. Adequate attention will be given for creation of infrastructure facilities for training of fishermen, fish processing and marketing, development of fishery harbours, landing centers etc. with cold storages, iceplants etc.

Agricultural Research Education and Extension

4.1.139 Agricultural Research, education and extension forms one of the critical inputs for accelerating the growth of agricultural production. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is the apex body in the country in respect of agricultural research and education. The ICAR undertakes to promote programmes for tackling problems relating to conservation and management of natural resources, productivity, improvement of crops, livestock, fisheries etc.

4.1.140 The major constraints that come in the way of improving the production and productivity as identified by Indian Council of Agriculture Research ( ICAR) like inadequate and unbalanced use of fertilizers, delayed sowing and also transplantation, sub-optimal plant, disease-insect pest stress, poor weed control, inadequate production of HYV seeds of long duration suited to land with zinc deficiency, salinity and drainage in coastal and canal irrigated areas and soil acidity will be specifically addressed in the Ninth Plan.

4.1.141 The major objectives of the Ninth Plan are:

  • Conservation, planned enhancement and utilisation of agro-biodiversity, enhancing productivity through evolution of high-yielding hybrids and varieties;
  • Research on diversification, quality improvement, post- harvest technology, value addition and export oriented commodities;
  • Sustaining enhanced productivity of irrigated agriculture and judicious development and use of energy, especially renewable source of energy; Characterisation and sustainable land-use models for rainfed agriculture including high-rainfall areas; Development of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Integrated Nutrient Management Systems (INMS) for sustainable agriculture; Fostering excellence in relevant basic and strategic research; Generating research and technologies geared to promote equity among regions, sectors of society and gender;
  • Strengthening social science, policy planning, agri-business, research monitoring mechanisms, administration and personnel reforms, publication and information dissemination system; Promoting Agricultural Human Resource Development (AHRD); Linking scientists with the farmers through Institute Village Linkage Programme (IVLP) as an innovative technology transfer model; institutionalisation and strengthening linkages/partnerships with the Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research (CGIAR) and other national and international agencies and research and development establishments, non-governmental organisations and private sectors.

4.1.142 Improved high yielding cultivars and large number of other input technologies in the National Agricultural Research System (NARS) will be expanded with the missionary zeal. Special focus will be on hybrid research and development and accelerated programmes for breeder seed production particularly of hybrids and of improved varieties. Advent of bio-technology as a powerful tool has opened new vistas in breaking genetic barriers and hence gene transfer across the board is now possible. This would be capitalised through development of transgenics with special reference to biotic and abiotic pressures.

4.1.143 Seed procurement of superior varieties has been recommended by ICAR for each district and farming situation. Advance action for providing the required quantities of breeder and foundation seeds of appropriate varieties will be taken up. Promotion of varietal replacement and propagation of high yielding varieties of wheat, rice, barley, other coarse cereals and hybrid seeds, promotion of production of certified seed of HYV of crops specific to problem areas will be speeded up. Integrated Cereals Development Programmes in Rice/Wheat/Coarse cereals based cropping systems areas (ICDP – Rice/Wheats/Coarse Cereals) will be intensified and all efforts will be made to remove the dysfunctionalities in implementation process and to streamline delivery mechanisms with better extension services.

4.1.144 Arrangements will be made for monitoring the quality of inputs, particularly agro-chemicals, and also for increasing infrastructure facilities for soil testing. On technology aspects, organisation of breeder seed production programmes, training programmes, minikit demonstrations and technology transfer mechanism will be intensified.

4.1.145 The priorities in respect of research in Soil,Agronomy and Agro-forestry in the Ninth Plan are: (i) Inventory, characterisation, evaluation and conservation of biophysical resources (soil, water, climate, flora and fauna) in different agro-ecological segments; (ii) Evolving technologies for resource conservation and harnessing area-specific advantages of high rainfall, rainfed areas, problem areas (flood-prone areas, acid soils and degraded lands) and fragile ecosystems (mountainous, coastal and islands ecosystems); (iii) Development of sustainable land utilisation systems in farming system frame using modern tools and techniques for different agro-ecological regions/sub- regions/zones, considering not only biophysical aspects but also socio-economic aspects; (iv) Eco-regional water management planning for efficient use of water from various sources and of varying quality; (v) Integrated nutrient management with a focus on the use of organics; (vi) Human resource development in frontier areas of modern technologies such as GIS, remote sensing, simulation modeling for nutrient and water management, crop-weather model and decision support systems.

4.1.146 ICAR with its network of Institutes, Bureaux, National Research Centres, Project Directorate and through State Agricultural Universities will also concentrate on improvement of health of soil through utilisation of organic wastes, policy planning on monitoring of agricultural research, working out detail design of network for National Agriculture Information Systems. Besides, it would also concentrate on conservation of genetic resources, creation of world's largest germplasm banks in areas of plants, animals and fishery, conservation of threatened breeds, physiology and bio-technological improvement in quality of feed and fodders, preparation of complete feeds, etc, would be the other areas of research on which the ICAR will concentrate during the Ninth Plan.

4.1.147 Design and development of dairy products, processing, packaging and preservation of meat, eggs, etc. measures to control microbial contaminants on these products, development of diagnostic techniques/methodologies for important livestock and poultry diseases, are needed and development of design for monitoring and surveillance system on animal diseases of national and international importance would be taken up on priority by the ICAR.

Animal Sciences

4.1.148 The key research areas identified in respect of animal sciences are :(I)Genetic resource enhancement of cattle, buffalo, sheep, goat, pig, camel through selection/cross breeding/ embryo biotechnology for milk, meat, draught power, fibre, egg and broiler (ii) Improving quality of feeds and fodder, search for newer feeds and preparation of complete feeds; (iii) Design and development of mechanised equipments for dairy products. Processing, packaging and preservation of meat and egg for value addition; (iv) Development of newer generation of diagnostics and diagnostic techniques/methodologies, immuno-biologicals against important livestock and poultry diseases.


4.1.149 Important areas identified in fishery research are : (i)Technologies for semi-intensive and intensive aquaculture in fresh water and brackishwater ecosystems which are sustainable environmentally, socially and economically; (ii) Research support through studies on nutrition, reproduction, disease control and brood stock management with innovative biotechnology; (iii) Development of value-added products from low value fishes and improved packaging techniques with use of biotechnology, microbiology and engineering; (iv) Conservation, management and cataloguing of fish germplasm resources and establishment of gene bank; (v) Development of innovative techniques such as cage culture, penculture, running water aquaculture, integrated farming systems with recycling of organic wastes for sustainable fish farming.

Agricultural Engineering

4.1.150 Agricultural engineering will emphasise on strengthening the programmes on farm implements and machinery, energy management, post-harvest engineering and technology and, irrigation and drainage engineering.

Agricultural Education

4.1.151 Major emphasis on agricultural education will be on (i) creation of new training and laboratory infrastructure, (ii) fostering greater interaction between agricultural scientists (iii) development of lead centres for providing regional and national level training in selected disciplines; and (iv) redefining the mandate of ICAR Institutes to recognise degree and non-degree training programmes for the scientists of the SAUs.

Modernisation and Maintenance of Research Infrastructure

4.1.152 Presently, the ICAR has 80 institutes comprising 46 Central Institutes, 4 National Bureaux and 30 National Research Centres. It has a network of 10 Project Directorates and 80 All - India Coordinated Research Projects/ Programmes. There are a large number of externally aided projects including that of World Bank. The infrastructure facilities available at the various ICAR Institutes are very old and out-dated. For meeting the future challenges, it is very important that the basic research infrastructure are updated and strengthened. It has been estimated that ICAR would need one-time grant of Rs. 500 Cr. for renovation and modernisation of 43 institutions which are 20 - 50 years old. The one-time catch-up grant is essential to upgrade and maintain laboratories and other research facilities/logistics to provide a research environment of international standards. The catch-up grant will provide for replacement of some old equipments and also updating educational facilities at its premier institutes like Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI). However, it is absolutely essential that a system of modernisation and maintenance is in-built in the project itself particularly in respect of costly equipments and machines. The Council should make necessary provision within the plan funds for maintenance and up-keep of research infrastructure.

Agriculture Extension

4.1.153 Lack of adequate manpower and equipment, the declining importance of Training and Visit (T and V) system and lack of professionalism have affected extension services. Regular training of extension functionaries is an integral and essential part of agricultural extension system. This basic responsibility lies with the State Governments. There are over 186 Farmers Training Units in the country. The major task is to energise the extension machinery at the field level. They have to play a significant positive role in dissemination of information and upgrading of the skills.

4.1.154 Ninth Plan will aim at consolidation and quality improvement in the on-going projects; develop support and upgradation of skills of staff working in Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) so that they can meet the emerging challenges due to globalisation and commercialisation of agriculture; technology assessment, refinement and transfer on participatory mode and institutionalising the vocational training for developing entrepreneurship in various agricultural enterprises and removal of regional imbalances by establishing new (KVKs), re-mandating the existing appropriate institutions to meet the needs of frontline extension in backward, hilly, rainfed and tribal areas. In addition to the above priorities, the Ninth Plan has also programmes for the North Eastern Region, SCs/STs and women. There are two types of Plan schemes during the Ninth Plan. The first one relates to the schemes which would be merged/integrated/upgraded, whereas the second one relates to new schemes which would be introduced during the Ninth Plan.

4.1.155 KVKs will be established in all the districts in the country during the Ninth Five Year Plan period. Presently, there are 261 KVKs covering 253 districts. Some of the districts like Jaipur, Firozpur, Kurnool, Dharwar and Warangal have two KVKs. During the year 1998-99 it is proposed to convert 25 Zonal Research Stations into KVKs start 25 new KVKs It is planned to add 78 KVKs during 1999-2000, about 70 each during the subsequent two years so that by the end of IX Plan all the districts in the country have KVKs .

4.1.156 There are a number of development activities which do not involve much of monetary considerations. Motivation and encouragement play an effective role in development activities. Close interaction between field officials particularly, those dealing with extension and the farming community will increase the latter’s understanding and awareness. Increasing demonstration activities on the farmers fields, training camps in villages, dissemination of information through various means including mass media would bring tangible benefits in accelerating food production.

Human Resource Development in Agriculture

4.1.157 Human resource development for agriculture sector has remained a neglected area in the past. There is an increasing concern that if agricultural development has to proceed at a faster pace, it is essential that a significant qualitative upgradation of human resources in agricultural research, extension, production system and other related activities is achieved. The starting point of human resources is the agricultural education system. The need for constitution of an Agricultural Educational Council is felt more now than ever before to evolve guidelines for strengthening and achieving high standards of agricultural education system in the country. To begin with, ICAR should strengthen the in-house manpower expertise. In certain new areas such as commercial horticulture, floriculture, sericulture, establishment and maintenance of cool chains, modern post-harvest technology, establishment of gene bank in respect of fisheries sector, the scientific manpower available is grossly inadequate. There is a need to build up a reservoir of skilled manpower in modern scientific agricultural practices.

4.1.158 The vast majority of workforce engaged in agriculture and allied activities are women workers. Special emphasis will be placed to encourage women to acquire scientific skills through both formal and informal education in agriculture and allied disciplines. Besides financial assistance, other measures including marginally lowering the cut-of marks for entry in Agricultural Universities will be evolved for the benefit of female candidates.

4.1.159 Realising the need for qualitative upgradation of human resources with the improvement of agricultural education system in the country, constitution of an Agriculture Education Council would be taken up. This will enable to have the syllabi revised to include specific areas like commercial floriculture, sericulture, modern post harvest technology, and management, environment, cold storage technology. Education and training of women involved in agricultural and allied practices will get special attention in Ninth Plan through various programmes.

Women in Agriculture

4.1.160 Agriculture and its allied sectors would focus special attention on women who play a very major role in all the agricultural operations The programmes for training women in soil conservation, dairy development, social forestry and other occupations allied to agriculture like sericulture, horticulture and poultry would be expanded. Simultaneously, the extension services will be strengthened to cover a larger number of women. The number of women extension workers, especially the Farm Extension Workers, will be increased to assist rural women. The Ninth Plan will aim at strengthening the conditions of female farmers and female labourers as it would also help improve the food security at the household level. This is because generally women spend most of their income on household expenditure unlike men and this would help improve the nutrition of the children. Efforts will be made to grant property rights in land to women wherever possible and self-help groups of women may be encouraged to take up activities like regeneration of wastelands. Women will be given preference in the allotment of ceiling surplus land.

Agricultural Exports


  • Infrastructure Development
  • Quality and packaging
  • Value addition
  • Encouragement to export- oriented production

4.1.161 Agricultural exports form the major component of total exports. Ninth Plan research on this area will keep in view the changed scenario of liberalisation and emphasis on: (I) development and promotion of markets and products, brand name and dissemination of information among exporters; (ii) improvement in quality and packaging keeping in view the health, sanitation and international standards; (iii) encouragement to export oriented units/100% EOUs; (iv) development of cold chain system; (iv) creation of infrastructures at air ports/sea ports and; (v) integrated long term policy to improve the production, productivity, cropping pattern, as well as processing to augment at the value-added products etc, increasing use of bio-fertilizers and bio-pesticides to ensure quality of products; (vi) encouragement to private sector to invest in infrastructure which can promote agro-exports.

4.1.162 The major constraints affecting agro-exports include volume insufficiency, quality deficiencies, stringent legislation relating to health and safety standards of the importing countries, procedural bottlenecks, lack of adequate post-harvest infrastructure like refrigerated transport, storage and packaging, inadequate facilities at air ports, sea ports etc. Despite these constraints, agriculture as a whole has been an important contributor to the country’s exports. The exports of agriculture products contributed Rs. 25,040 Cr. during 1996-97 accounting for 21% of the total exports. In the post-liberalisation period, except for 1994-95, the share of agricultural exports has been increasing steadily.

4.1.163 A number of policy changes have been introduced to encourage agricultural exports. Lowering of import duty on capital goods particularly for processing industry and easier availability of credit for exports has been very helpful. The measures liberalising agro-exports include decanalisation, relaxation of stock limits, abolition of MEP and extension of benefits of export oriented units scheme to rice processing units exporting at least half of their output. While the export of rice has been allowed freely, export of wheat-durum as well as non-durum, coarse grains, pulses have been allowed with some ceilings. Exports of HPS groundnut and oilseeds like sesame, sunflower seeds, rapeseed and mustard have been allowed freely. The export of de-oiled cake (extraction), de-oiled rice bran, soybean extractions etc. have also been allowed freely.

4.1.164 Agro-processing and agro-exports offer substantial non-farm employment and raise the farm incomes. The rural educated youth will be encouraged in agri-business activities. Agricultural Universities and ICAR institutions will give a special focus in research, education and training in commercial agriculture and generate a reservoir of talents and experts in the new areas of diversification such as horticulture, floriculture etc. The fact that our exports of rice, vegetables, fruits and marine products are on the increase shows that we are already price competitive in the international market in respect of these commodities. The Ninth Plan will adopt selective research approach to increase export competitiveness of agro-products.

4.1.165 India is one of the founder members of World Trade Organisation. The country is under obligation to remove quantitative restrictions. Presently, a large number of agro-products are subject to such restrictions. Specific strategies have been devised for meeting the situation. Improving infrastructure support for post-harvest handling and processing, export promotion and market development, fast track facilities and special cargo terminals at major ports for perishables, establishing linkages with the industry, exporters and farmers for promoting exports of commodities which have high demand in international market, reviewing restrictions on storage, marketing and movement of agricultural products, are all part of the agro-export strategy. Larger investments are proposed for research and extension for yield augmentation of cereal crops with special reference to hybrid technology. Farm mechanisation particularly, suiting to the small farms in the country will be developed by improving farm implements/ machinery thereby reducing the cost of cultivation.


4.1.166 The Government of India is in the process of finalising a legislation on a sui-generis system for Protection of Plant Varieties. The Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) Agreement requires that the signatory countries should establish protection for plant varieties either by providing a patent protection or by instituting an effective sui-generis system or by combination thereof. This requirement is to be fulfilled within a period of five years.

4.1.167 Research in India on breeding plant varieties has taken place almost entirely in public institutions like Agricultural Universities and ICAR. Commendable successes have been achieved by this set-up in the past, without our country having been a signatory to a system of protection of breeders' rights. The focus of Indian research in agriculture has to be on the requirements and the problems of a vast number of resource-poor, marginal and subsistence farmers. Moreover, the research has to respond to the varying agro-climatic conditions and vast areas of rainfed/dryland agriculture. The direction of private sector research world over has been towards promoting cash crops benefiting resource-rich farmers for whom agriculture is more like an industry. The same is true for horticulture, animal husbandry, fisheries, etc. It is this market which assures good returns for investment by the private sector breeders and researchers. Largely, the requirements of Indian agriculture will have to be met by research conducted by public institutions, not looking for profits.

4.1.168 Equally, the low-cost diffusion of better varieties is crucial for development of Indian agriculture and for promoting food security. The emergence of a few hundred small seed companies who engage mainly in multiplication of seeds and diffusion of new varieties has played a crucial role in this regard. Their rights to multiply improved seeds and sell them need to be protected and not restricted by creating a system of protection of the so-called breeders' rights.

4.1.169 Above all, the rights of farmers as breeders need to be protected in any 'sui-generis' system suited to our needs. Equally, the cumulative and collective contribution of generations of farming communities in evolving a whole range of different varieties responding to the different agro-climatic conditions, needs and tastes also will have to be recognised in such a system. The system that is evolved should be such that it preserves and strengthens the gains made by the developing countries in the negotiations on the Convention on Biological Diversity and not in the opposite direction.

Agro-climatic Regional Planning Approach (ACRP)

4.1.170 The work of operationalisation of this new technique of planning initiated in five ACRP experimental projects will be completed during the Ninth Plan period. Further, based on the results of these experimental projects the ACRP planning from district level will be popularised for taking up on the basis of this technique of planning. The present phase of institutionalisation would thus have to continue, perhaps on a wider scale. In addition, research/studies on areas having direct bearing on development planning need to be assigned priority, particularly in regions (such as the North East) which have poor database. The ACRP would also have to play a major role in enhancing the farmers, competitiveness to face the opening up of the markets. The Zonal Planning Teams (ZPTs) need to suggest and identify the best resource use plan for all categories of farmers. Agro-Planning and Information Bank (APIB) will buildup necessary facilities by acquiring equipments for collecting information which will be useful for line use/ACRP planning during the Ninth Plan. The APIB will ake-up activities of resource mapping in some more selected States and districts during the Ninth Plan. The ACRP Documentation and Dissemination Centre (ADDC) will continue to function to achieve its goal of training a large number of officers from administrative development departments and grass root level workers for the adoption of ACRP planning.

4.1.171 Through the institution of the District Planning Committee, the decentralised planning process has been made mandatory and has ensured people's participation at every stage. The State Governments, however, would have to work out suitable procedures for integrating the hierarchical and decentralised planning processes. Since ACRP considers district to be the most operationally feasible unit for institutionalisation, there exists considerable scope for dovetailing the expertise available under ACRP project while formulating an integrated district plan. However, ACRP would have to integrate the ACRP plan with the infrastructure development plan and converging with social development programmes of the State and Centre. For this purpose, the ACRP and the State governments would have to institutionalise the linkages between them.

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