The Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (DA&FW) is implementing Crop Diversification Programme (CDP) under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana – Remunerative Approaches for Agriculture and Allied Sectors Rejuvenation (RKVY-RAFTAAR) to divert the area of water intensive paddy crop to alternative crops like pulses, oilseeds, coarse cereals, nutri cereals, cotton etc. Further, Government of India supplements the efforts of state governments to encourage diversified production of crops such as pulses, coarse cereals, nutri cereals & cotton under National Food Security Mission (NFSM) and high value horticultural crops under Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH). Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana-Per Drop More Crop (PMKSY-PDMC), also focuses on increasing on-farm water use efficiency by promoting efficient water application systems such as drip and sprinkler irrigation system. For sustainable development of agriculture and enhancement of fertility of soil, Government is promoting organic farming through the schemes of Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) and Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region (MOVCDNER). Natural farming through a sub-scheme namely Bharatiya Prakritik Krishi Paddhati (BPKP) under Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) promotes on-farm biomass recycling with major stress on biomass mulching, use of on-farm cow dung-urine formulations from local livestock.
Under these schemes, the assistance is provided for various inputs such as distribution of improved climate resilient seeds/hybrids, improved farm implements/machines, water saving devices, plant protection chemicals, soil ameliorants etc. Further, Government of India and states ensure promoting farmers’ awareness on judicious, timely and effective use of inputs, soil test based balanced and Integrated Nutrient Management through conjunctive use of both inorganic and organic sources of plant nutrients, adoption of better agronomic practices and improved production technologies for sustainable agriculture etc through crops demonstrations, trainings, extension, capacity building programmes and advisories on farm activities etc by ICAR and stakeholder institutes.
Government of India also provides flexibility to the states for state specific needs/priorities under RKVY. The states can promote these activities under RKVY with the approval of State Level Sanctioning Committee (SLSC) headed by Chief Secretary of the respective states.
Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) have developed and released 1888 varieties tolerant to one or more biotic and/ or abiotic stresses. Indian Council of Agricultural Research – Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (ICAR-CRIDA) also prepares the District Agriculture Contingency Plan (DACP) to mitigate the impact of weather related challenges, and circulates to all States Agriculture Departments. The plan contains suitable technology interventions including recommendations on use of crop varieties/ seeds tolerant to biotic and/ or abiotic stress. In order to overcome the natural calamities and unforeseen conditions, the DA&FW is implementing the component National Seed Reserve under Sub-Mission on Seeds & Planting Materials (SMSP). Under this, seeds of short and medium duration crops varieties are kept to meet requirement of quality seeds during natural calamities and unforeseen conditions i.e. drought and flood etc.
The Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare organizes pre-seasonal Interface meetings between DA&FW-ICAR, wherein discussions are held on the technical recommendations, measures provided by ICAR against the crop specific critical issues and latest technology. The outcomes of these interactions are shared with the states and other stakeholder institutes during the National Conferences organized before each season namely, Kharif, Rabi and Zaid Conferences.
This information was given by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.