Government Schemes & Policies
- Use of Satellite Imagery for Assessing Farmers Crops
- Improving Milking Capacity of Cows
Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management
- Ministry of mines organises a workshop on Effective utilization of Red Mud
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Government Schemes & Policies
Use of Satellite Imagery for Assessing Farmers Crops
Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) envisages use of improved technology to reduce time gap for settlement of claims of farmers.
USE OF TECHNOLOGY IN PMFBY:
- The Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, through Mahalanobis National Crop Forecast Centre (MNCFC) carry out pilot studies for Optimization of Crop Cutting Experiments (CCEs) in various States under PMFBY.
- The studies used various technologies, including Satellite data, Artificial Intelligence, Modeling tools etc. for reducing the number of CCEs required for insurance unit level for yield estimation.
- The studies were carried out to address a major issue of the need to carry out large number of CCEs for calculation of yield data vis-à-vis claims at Gram Panchayat level.
USE OF SATELLITE DATA IN OTHER AGRICULTURAL AREAS:
- The Government is also using satellite imagery to assess the crop area, crop condition and crop yield, at district level, under various programmes such as Forecasting Agricultural Output Using Space, Agrometeorology & Land based observations (FASAL) and Coordinated Horticulture Assessment and Management using Geo-informatics (CHAMAN).
- Further, satellite data is also being used for drought assessment, to assess the potential area for growing pulses and horticultural crops.
WHAT IS CROP CUTTING EXPERIMENTS (CCES)?
- It is a method used to analyse overall yield of crops.
The main objective of the Crop Cutting Experiment is to obtain the following estimates at the Block level, District level and the State level:
- Average yield per hectare of the different crops.
- Production of the crops at the Block, District and the State level.
- Productivity of certain variety of crop.
- To study the productivity of different crops grown under different cultural practices. Various ancillary information like irrigational facilities, type of seeds sown, use of pesticides/insecticides, use of improved methods of cultivation, etc. are collected through this survey.
ABOUT MAHALANOBIS NATIONAL CROP FORECAST CENTRE (MNCFC):
- Inaugurated in 2012, it has been established to operationalize the use of space and related technology for better agricultural forecasting and drought assessment.
- It is named after great Indian Statistician C. Mahalanobis.
Major projects of MNCFC:
- Forecasting Agricultural Output Using Space, Agrometeorology & Land based observations (FASAL)
- Coordinated Horticulture Assessment and Management using Geo-informatics (CHAMAN)
- National Agricultural Drought Assessment and Monitoring System (NADMAS)
ABOUT PRADHAN MANTRI FASAL BIMA YOJANA (PMFBY):
- The PMFBY, launched in April 2016, compensates farmers for any losses in crop yield. In the event of a crop loss, the farmer will be paid based on the difference between the threshold yield and actual yield.
- The scheme is compulsory for farmers who have availed of institutional loans.
- The threshold yield is calculated based on average yield for the last seven years and the extent of compensation is set according to the degree of risk for the notified crop.
- The scheme insures farmers against a wide range of external risks — droughts, dry spells, floods, inundation, pests and diseases, landslides, natural fire and lightning, hailstorms, cyclones, typhoons, tempests, hurricanes and tornadoes. The scheme also covers post-harvest losses up to a period of 14 days.
- The Scheme covers all Food & Oilseeds crops and Annual Commercial/Horticultural Crops for which past yield data is available and for which requisite number of Crop Cutting Experiments (CCEs) are conducted being under General Crop Estimation Survey (GCES).
- The scheme is implemented by empanelled general insurance companies. Selection of Implementing Agency (IA) is done by the concerned State Government through bidding.
- The scheme is compulsory for loanee farmers availing Crop Loan /KCC account for notified crops and voluntary for other others.
- The scheme is being administered by Ministry of Agriculture.
EFFECTIVENESS OF THE SCHEME:
- Only 45% of the claims made by farmers over the 2017-18 crop seasons by the insurance companies under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).
- In 2018, just 5% of the claims made for crop losses under PMFBY have been paid.
- The objective is that 50% of the country’s gross cropped area is to be insured by 2018-19, however, it was only 30% in 2018.
- Coverage of agricultural insurance has significantly increased in kharif 2016 compared to kharif 2015 across India. The number of farmers insured crossed 4 crores during kharif 2016, a jump from 3.09 crores in kharif 2015.
- The sum insured has gone up per hectare of land from kharif 2015 to 2016. This means in case of losses, farmers should theoretically get significantly higher compensation than before. However, in some states like Rajasthan, the sum insured remains very low—about one-third of the cost of production.
- Gaps in assessment of crop loss: The sample size in each village was not large enough to capture the scale and diversity of crop losses. In many cases, district agricultural department officials do not conduct such sampling on ground and complete the formalities only on paper. There is also lack of trained outsourced agencies, scope of corruption during implementation and the non-utilisation of technologies.
- Inadequate and delayed claim payment: Insurance companies, in many cases, did not investigate losses due to a localised calamity and, therefore, did not pay claims
- High actuarial premium rates: Insurance companies charged high actuarial premium rates during kharif 2016 – the all-India rate was approximately 12.6 per cent, which was highest ever. Much higher rates were charged in some states and regions.
- Massive profits for insurance companies: During kharif 2016, companies made close to Rs 10,000 crore as ‘gross profits’.
- Coverage only for loanee farmers: PMFBY remains a scheme for loanee farmers, farmers who take loans from banks are mandatorily required to take insurance. The percentage of non-loanee farmers availing insurance remained less than 5 per cent during kharif 2016 and 2015. Like previous crop insurance schemes, PMFBY fails to cover sharecropper and tenant farmers.
- Poor capacity to deliver: There has been no concerted effort by the state government and insurance companies to build awareness of farmers on PMFBY. Insurance companies have failed to set-up infrastructure for proper implementation of PMFBY. There is still no direct linkage between insurance companies and farmers. Insured farmers receive no insurance policy document or receipt.
- Coverage of tenant and sharecropper farmers should increase.
- All-important crops should be covered under crop insurance. Diversification of crops and mixed farming should be promoted.
- Instead of threshold yield, ‘Potential yield’ should be used for crops for which historical average yield data is not available.
- Damage caused by wild animals, fire, cold waves and frost to crops should also be considered at the individual level. Damage caused by unforeseen weather events like hailstorms should also be included in the category of post-harvest losses.
- Farmers must be informed before deducting crop insurance They must be given a proper insurance policy document, with all relevant details.
- Panchayati Raj Institutions and farmers need to be involved at different stages of implementation.
- The insurance unit (IU) must be reduced over a period of time. In any case, it should not be more than village level. If the IU cannot be at the individual level and is kept at village panchayat level, premium should also be collected at the village panchayat level.
- Incentivise groups of small farmers or women farmers and promote group insurance.
- Sum insured should not be less than scale of finance and/or cost of production.
- PMFBY timelines from insurance coverage to claim payment should be strictly adhered
- Robust assessment of crop loss should be done through capacity building of state governments, involvement of farmers in loss assessment, auditing and multi-level checking to ensure credibility of data and testing incorporating technology such as remote sensing, drones and online transmission of data.
- All PMFBY related data related to farmers must be available in the public domain and shared openly with farmers.
- The clause addressing prevented sowing and post-harvest losses must be implemented appropriately by issuing state notifications prior to sowing.
- Robust scheme monitoring and grievance redressal mechanism should be in place.
COMPARISON OF CROP INSURANCE SCHEMES
(NAIS – National Agricultural Insurance Scheme, MNAIS – Modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme)
[Ref: PIB, Down To Earth]
Improving Milking Capacity of Cows
In order to complement the efforts made by the States/UTs for enhancing milk production and productivity of bovines Government has been implementing following schemes:
- Rashtriya Gokul Mission: for development and conservation of bovine population thereby enhancing their production and productivity.
- National Dairy Plan-I: implemented in 18 major dairy states for enhancing milk production and productivity of dairy animals in order to meet demand of the milk in the country.
- Breed Improvement Institutes: It comprises of Central Cattle Breeding Farms, Central Registration Units and Central Frozen Semen Production and Training Institutes. These institutes are playing crucial role in supply of breeding inputs in the form of High Genetic merit bulls for Artificial Insemination and semen doses of bulls with high genetic potential in all the States.
RASHTRIYA GOKUL MISSION
- The RGM was launched in December 2014 on an outlay of ₹500 crore (2014-15 to 2016-2017) for developing and conserving indigenous breeds through selective breeding and genetically upgrading ‘nondescript’ bovine population.
- RGM is managed by the Department of Animal Health and Husbandry (DAHD).
- The RGM doesn’t address the issue of cattle past their reproductive or useful age.
- Scheme is implemented on 100% grant-in-aid basis.
- RGM is being implemented through “State Implementing Agencies (SIA) viz Livestock Development Boards.
- All Agencies having a role in indigenous cattle development are “Participating Agencies” like CFSPTI (Central Frozen Semen Production and Training Institute), CCBFs (Conservation and Promotion of Indigenous Cow Breeds), Universities, NGO’s and Cooperative Societies.
- Development and conservation of indigenous breeds.
- Breed improvement programme for indigenous cattle breeds to improve their genetic makeup and Increase the stock.
- Enhancement of milk production and productivity.
- Upgradation of nondescript cattle using elite indigenous breeds like Gir, Sahiwal, Rathi, Deoni, Tharparkar, Red Sindhi.
- Distribution of disease free high genetic merit bulls for natural service.
- To create e-market portal for bovine germplasm for connecting breeders and farmers.
- To increase trade of livestock and livestock products by meeting out sanitary and phyto sanitary (SPS) issues.
- To arrange quality Artificial Insemination (AI) services at farmers’ doorstep.
SIGNIFICANT INITIATIVES UNDER RGM:
- Gopal Ratna awards: For farmers maintaining the best herd of Indigenous Breed(s) and practicing best management practices.
- Kamdhenu awards: For Best managed Indigenous Herd by Institutions/Trusts/ NGOs/ Gaushalas or best managed Breeders’ Societies.
COMPONENTS OF THE SCHEME:
- Establishment of Village level Integrated Indigenous Cattle Centres viz “Gokul Gram”.
- Establishment of Field Performance Recording (FPR) in the breeding tract.
- Assistance to Institutions which are repositories of best germplasm.
- Implementation of Pedigree Selection Programme for the Indigenous Breeds with large population.
- Establishment of Breeder’s Societies: Gopalan Sangh.
- Incentive to farmers maintaining elite animals of indigenous breeds.
- Heifer rearing
ALL ABOUT GOKUL GRAM PROJECT:
- Under this scheme, it is proposed to establish Integrated Indigenous Cattle Centres or Gokul Grams in the breeding tracts of indigenous breeds.
- Gokul Grams are established in: i) the native breeding tracts and ii) near metropolitan cities for housing the urban cattle.
- Gokul Gram will act as Centres for development of Indigenous Breeds and a dependable source for supply of high genetic breeding stock to the farmers in the breeding tract.
- It is established by the State Implementing Agency/End Implementing Agency or under a Public Private Partnership.
- It generates economic resources from sale of A2 milk (A2 milkis cow’s milk that mostly lacks a form of β-casein proteins called A1 and instead has mostly the A2 form), organic manure, vermi-composting, urine distillates, and production of electricity from bio gas for in house consumption.
- It also functions as state of the art in situ training centre for Farmers, Breeders and MAITRI’s.
- It maintains milch and unproductive animals in the ratio of 60:40.
- The Gokul Gram will maintain milch and unproductive animals in the ratio of 60:40and will have the capacity to maintain about 1000 animals. Nutritional requirements of the animals will be provided in the Gokul Gram through in house fodder production.
- Gokul Gram will also be set up near to metropolitan cities for managing urban cattle. Metropolitan Gokul Gram will focus on genetic upgradation of urban cattle.
Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management
Ministry of mines organises a workshop on Effective utilization of Red Mud
In a step towards productive utilisation of bauxite residue, commonly known as the ‘Red Mud’, an interactive workshop called ‘Waste To Wealth’ was organized by Ministry of Mines.
ABOUT RED MUD:
- Red Mud, also known as Bauxite tailings, is a solid waste generated during the aluminium production process.
- It is called “Red” because usually has a red colour (due to iron oxides) and “Mud” because it is a slurry.
- This is an environmental concern due to presence of impurities such as caustic soda and others minerals.
- Red Mud derives from bauxite and has typically twice the concentration of natural radionuclides found in parent mineral. Therefore, Red Mud, can be regarded as a Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (TENORM).
- Global generation of red mud is more than 150 million tons and there exists a global inventory of more than 3 billion tons.
- Red mud generation in India is around 9 million tons per year.