The Agriculture Resolution was moved by the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan at the BJP National Executive meeting held at Dr. Ambedkar International Centre, 15 Janpath in New Delhi on 09 September, 2018. This resolution was seconded by Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Nitin Gadkari and the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Dr. Raman Singh.
The Agriculture Resolution wholeheartedly appreciated the work done by the present government during the last four years in reviving and rejuvenating the agriculture sector and ushering a new era of reforms. It said, “Farming sector has been neglected and had not been mainstreamed for a long time. The work done by the government, both at policy level as-well-as at the ground level, will bring the farmer and the farming sector to the center stage of Indian economy and position agriculture as a policy priority”.
We are publishing the full text of the Agriculture Resolution for our esteemed readers:
At the onset, the National Executive wholeheartedly appreciates the work done by the present government during the last four years in reviving and rejuvenating the agriculture sector and ushering a new era of reforms. Farming sector has been neglected and had not been mainstreamed for a long time. The National Executive also takes note of massive work done, both at policy level as-well-as at the ground level, to bring the farmer and the farming sector to the center stage of Indian economy and position agriculture as a policy priority. The work being done by the present government in restoring the pride and honour of being a farmer, as true children of the soil – of this motherland, is also highly laudable.
Agriculture has a decisive role in the Indian Economy. According to the 2011 census, 54.6% of the population is engaged in agriculture and allied activities and 17.4% of Country’s GDP comes from this sector. Given this important role of agriculture, Shri Narendra Modi ji led central government has tirelessly worked hard and comprehensively in the last four years to lay the foundation for the revival of this crisis ridden critical sector, so as to secure the objectives of self-reliance of the Country by creating right framework policy and program with BJP led state governments like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and other BJP ruled states have recorded significant achievements in the last few years in terms of agricultural development. All these efforts have created trust among the farming community throughout the Country about the unwavering commitment of BJP towards the agriculture growth.
After assuming office under the leadership of Shri Narendra Modi, BJP led NDA government has adopted the policy of agriculture development with farmers’ welfare with determination. The previous governments have done more to deceive and confuse the farmers, while demonstrating utmost neglect towards their problems and worries. We inherited an agricultural economy, which lacked sufficient infrastructure including irrigation, marketing, storage, fertilizer production, finance and crop insurance. Due to total neglect of government farmers under the shattered agriculture were forced to commit suicide. But with the formation of Bharatiya Janata Party led NDA government in the centre, the government started working with full vigour and concentration on various subjects including remunerative prices, irrigation, agricultural finance, marketing, crop insurance and agri subsidiary activities.
When NDA took over in the centre, the prices of food items were skyrocketing due to shortage of food products and import dependence, especially pulses and edible oils in the country. On the one hand, country was importing huge quantities of pulses and edible oils and imports were rising at very fast rate. Country was also forced to import wheat, in which we had achieved self-reliance decades ago. Despite hard work of our farmer, he was forced to live in poverty, helplessness and debt. Ever rising prices of agricultural products instead of benefiting farmers were bringing riches to speculators and black marketers. Under these circumstances, the government resolved to double the income of the farmers by 2022 and started fast track working towards the same.
Minimum Support Price (MSP: Cost + 50 per cent)
Getting remunerative and the best price to the farmers for their produce is the first priority of this government. So far only 22 agricultural commodities were being given minimum support price. But in the budget of 2018-19, the government announced to provide MSP for all produce, by adding at least 50 percent to the cost of production and accordingly the government on July 4, 2018 announced MSP for 14 kharif crops. As per this announcement, the minimum support price has been declared by adding 50 to 97 percent to the cost. For instance, 50.09 percent has been added to the cost for normal paddy, 65.36 percent is added to cost for tur, 62.89 percent in case of urad, 96.97 percent for millet and 58.75 percent for cotton, to decide MSP on these crops. MSP given under the new provisions is higher by 11.3 percent to 52.5 percent. A special initiative was taken by the government to solve the problems of sugarcane farmers and financial assistance from the Central Government is being given to support sugarcane farmers at the rate of Rs 5.5 per quintal; and a comprehensive package has been provided for Rs. 8000 crores, including enhancing capacity of sugar industry to increase ethanol production.
Apart from MSP, many initiatives have been made to provide remunerative prices for the produce of the farmer, free from exploitation. In April 2016, E-National Agriculture Market (E- NAM) Scheme was launched, in which 585 mandies have been added so far. Online trading has also started in many markets. By 2019-20, additional 425 mandis will be added under e-NAM. Through this, the farmer can sell his products anywhere in whole of India and get the best price.
Farmers have been immensely benefited by the efforts of the present government by buying more and more under the Minimum Support Price Scheme. While only 5 lakh metric tonnes of oilseeds were procured between 2010-11 and 2013-14, 23 lakh metric tonnes of oilseeds have been purchased between 2014-15 and 24 July 2018, which is 360% higher. Similarly, the purchase of pulses has increased 5 times more. Apart from this, the purchase of 16.71 lakh metric tonnes of pulses was done by NAFED and SFAC, which never happened during UPA regime. Textile Ministry has purchased 325 percent more cotton in the last 4 years, compared to previous government. Similarly purchase of jute increased by 172 percent by the Textile Ministry. In the last four years through procurement, the government has done unprecedented work to get the right price for farmers’ produce.
Budgetary allocation : Rise in Production
In the last 5 years of the UPA government (2009-14), there was a budgetary provision of Rs. 1,21,000 crores for agriculture. Whereas, in 5 budgets of the Modi government, this allocation went up to Rs. 2,11,700 crores. That is, 74.5 percent more. This increase is reflected in every scheme like Soil Health Card, Agricultural Interest subsidy, Irrigation, Pulses Development, Disaster Management, FPO, Crop insurance etc.
With the determined efforts towards agricultural development, our food production has reached 279.51 million tonnes by 2017-18, which is 9.35 percent more than the average production between the years 2010-11 and 2014-15. During the UPA government, the production of pulses was stagnant for many years and the condition was that in 1960, the per capita availability of pulses in the country was 70 gram per day, declined to merely 40 grams only by 2013-14.Due to the almost stagnated production of oilseeds and pulses, huge amount of valuable foreign exchange was bleeding out to somehow meet the needs of the country by imports. Inflation in pulses and edible oils continued to increase, due to shortage of these food items.
Prices of pulses reached 150 to 200 rupees and the pulses, which are important source of protein, were going out of the reach of the common man.
With the concerted efforts of the government, the production of pulses has increased to 24.51 million tonnes by 2017-18, which was only 18.5 million tonnes in 2013-14. As a result, import of pulses is continuously decreasing and the same has come down from 66.5 million tonnes in 2016-17 to only 56.5 lakh tonnes in 2017-18, resulting in saving of rupees 9775 crores of valuable foreign exchange. In the two months of April-May 2018, the import of pulses was only Rs 545 crores. That is, in the case of pulses, country is almost approaching towards self-sufficiency. The production of oilseeds has increased considerably and now the production of edible oils has increased from the average of 265 million tonnes between 2010-11 and 2014-15 to 307.15 million tonnes in 2017-18, that is, 15.9 percent increase. The farmers are encouraged to produce more pulses, oilseeds and other crops, because of remunerative prices announced by the government and procurement of the same by government agencies. Consumers are getting benefitted due to more supplies at cheaper prices, ending the scope for speculation and stocks withholding by traders and companies.
Trade policy for agricultural development
To protect the farmers from the losses due to the import of agricultural commodities, the import duties have been increased on agricultural commodities and quantitative restrictions on import of especially pulses have also been imposed. In addition to this restriction on exports of all varieties of pulses have been lifted from November 2017 and for the export of gram, encouragement is being given by incentive at the rate of 7 percent. Due to the incentives for production and control on imports, the import of pulses has come down. Because of the resulting higher seed production, the growth in edible oil imports has also been curbed; and exports of many agricultural items have been encouraged.
In addition, in 2018-19 budget; allocation has been made for Farmers Producer Organization (FPO), so that the farmers can be organized. Only 223 FPOs were registered in 10 years of the UPA government, while 521 FPOs have been registered in 4 years of Modi government. Meanwhile, 2154 FPOs were also registered by NABARD. In addition, efforts are being made to promote contract farming without exploitation of the farmer in any way.
National Food Security Mission has also helped in increasing the income of the farmer and food security in the country. Before 2014-15, there was no self-reliance in pulses. Till the year 2013-14, 482 districts of 16 states were included in the National Food Security Mission, which has been extended to 638 districts of all 29 states by 2016-17. Budgetary allocation has also been increased. Special efforts are being made to increase pulses production through Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Agriculture Universities etc.
Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana
To ensure the sustainable income of the farmer, it is important to save him from losses due to natural calamities such as drought, flood, hail or other calamities. The present government has taken serious steps for crop insurance scheme, under Pradhan Mantri Fasal BimaYojna (PMFBY) in this regard. Risk of the farmers is being mitigated at very low rates under PMFBY. BJP led central government has allocated the highest amount of money for crop insurance, than any government in the past. So far 4 crore farmers have been included in PMFBY and the total sum insured is Rs.1,31,000 crores. Whereas budgetary provision for agricultural insurance was merely rupees 2151 crores during the UPA government in 2013-14, it has been increased to Rs. 13,000 crores in 2018-19 budget, that is, 6 times increase.
Soil Health Card
The scheme of Soil Health Card was never taken seriously by the earlier governments, due to which the farmer could not take informed decisions according to his soil’s health. The provision for the Soil Health Card has been increased by more than 13 times under BJP led NDA government. So far, nearly 15 crore farmers have been issued soil health cards in the country. Availability of quality seeds and nutrients is being made as per the soil health.
During the UPA regime, the farmers had been suffering due to shortage of fertilizers. Now fertilizer scarcity has become a history. Idea of neem coated urea was not conceived before 2014-15; and now neem coated urea is being provided to all farmers in the country. This has resulted in improvement in plant protection and soil health. The use of chemicals is also reduced drastically and crop yield has increased. Simultaneously, the use of urea is also reduced for non-farm and illegal purposes. An investment of rupees 50,000 crore has been made for the restoration of closed fertilizer factories and the government is going to set up its own new urea plant.
Irrigation; More Crop Per Drop
Under the Prime Minister’s Agriculture Irrigation Scheme that is Pradhan Mantri Krishi SinchaiYojna (PMKSY), the scheme for irrigating every farm, with aim of ‘more crop per drop’ has been implemented. This scheme will go a long way to get rid of the problem of droughts. Between 2010-11 and 2013-14, 23 lakh hectare area was brought under micro irrigation whereas between 2014-15 and 2017-18, 28.9 lakh hectares have been brought under micro irrigation. Under PMKSY an additional budgetary provision for completion of 99 major and medium irrigation projects of pending 76.03 lakh hectare capacityby December 2019. Under NABARD special irrigation fund of rupees 40000 crore has also been created. As a result, the work on 18 schemes has been completed by March 2018 and for 47 schemes work has completed by more than 80 percent.
Agriculture credit provision of rupees 7 lakh crore in 2013-14 has been increased to 11 lakh crore in 2018-19. The central government gives 5 percent interest subsidy on agricultural loans, which in turn makes farmers to pay only 4 percent interest on their agriculture loans. Many state governments also give 4 percent interest subsidy and therefore farmers get fully interest free loans. In 2013-14, this interest subsidy was only rupees 6000 crore, which has increased to rupees 15000 crore in 2018-19.
Employment Generation in Rural Areas
The Government understands that farming is not the name of growing food grains, pulses, oilseeds, sugarcane and other cash crops only. To increase income and employment in rural areas, animal husbandry, poultry, fishing, mushroom production, bamboo and related industries, horticulture, food processing industry, dairy, bee keeping, organic manure etc. can be major contributors. For this, efforts are being made to increase the income of the farmers and increase employment by various schemes. In the Budget of 2018-19, by extending the facility of Kisan Credit Card to people engaged in dairy and fishing was announced. This was the first time that Kisan Credit Card facility was provided for landless people also.
Large investments are being made in the warehouses and cold storages for storage of agricultural commodities to save them from loss. Promoting value addition through food processing is being encouraged. Under the traditional agricultural development plan, the emphasis is on the cultivation of organic farming and the farmers are also being encouraged to adopt solar energy.
For the first time in after independence Shri. Narendra Modi government has launched the Rashtriya Gokul Mission for conservation and promotion of indigenous breeds of livestock. Under this scheme, Rs. 546.15 Crore has been already released to the States. Apart from this, two new National Kamdhenu Breeding Centres (Itarsi, in Madhya Pradesh and Chintla Devi, in Andhra Pradesh), 20 Gokul Grams, a new State-of-the-art frozen semen centres with a capacity of 50 lakh dosage per year has been set up and Goku Ratan and Kamdhenu Award have also been started for exceptional work in the field of indigenous breeds. By providing subsidy on “Gobar,” both the livestock owners as-well-as the organic farmers have benefited.
Government has also rolled-out schemes for betterment of sheep rearing farmers in association with NABARD through which occupations related to wool production, carpet weaving, etc. are being supported.
The Government also initiated a new bio-ethanol policy that aims to spur investments of the tune of Rs 5,000 crore for setting up projects with a total production capacity of 1 billion litre of ethanol every year. While on the one hand the policy will provide sustainability to agriculture and support farmers income, the policy is also aimed at cutting down the country’s huge energy import dependence. The policy also focuses to promote production of bio-ethanol from lignocellulosic biomass as against the conventional approach of molasses-based ethanol production for Ethanol Blending Programme (EBP).
Government has charted a road map for arresting price volatility of TOP (Tomato, Onion and Potato) in the country. Allocation for the Ministry of Food Processing Industries has also been doubled in the 2018-19 Budget to Rs. 1400 crore. The poor and the middle class have been bearing the brunt of price volatility of Tomato, Onion and Potato for decades together. Under Operations Greens the Government shall be creating a sustainable road map to ensure that Tomato Onion Potato are available in every nook and corner of the country round the year without any price volatility. A sum of Rs. 500 crore has been earmarked for this purpose in the 2018 Budget. Besides creating and identifying 104 cold storages, the Government is also setting up state of art testing facilities in all the 42 Mega Food Parks to encourage export of agri-commodities to realiseit’s full potential.
India has become the largest milk producer nation in the world and contributes around 19 percent in the total global milk production. There is a significant increase in milk production in the last four years. Comparing to 2010-14, the milk production has grown by 23.69 percent during 2014-18. The income of dairy farmers have also increased by 30.45 percent during this time span.
While the White Revolution found a further impetus in the last four years, the fish production also saw massive growth. Fish Production in India, which is a rich source of protein, also ensures food and nutritional security, during 2010-14 was 355.16 lakh tonnes, increased to 447.55 lakh tonnes during four years of Shri Narendra Modi Ji government (2014-18), an increase of 26.01 percent. India now occupies second position in the production of fisheries. This sector, which provides employment to 1.5 crore people in the country, occupies an important place in the socio-economic development of the country. BJP led NDA government under Shri Narendra Modi Ji has taken several measures for welfare of fishermen and infrastructure development for fisheries sector in the country.
National Executive of Bhartiya Janata Party puts on record its appreciation of the Shri Narendra Modi Ji government for its outstanding achievements in the field of agriculture. Working on the ideology of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhaya, goal of Shri Narendra Modi Ji’s Bharatiya Janata Party led NDA government has been to bring prosperity to the villages. Unprecedented progress has been made towards doubling of farmers’ income by the year 2022. Former governments only made false promises about giving benefits to the farmers. However, under the leadership of Shri Narendra Modi Ji, the NDA government worked towards true accomplishment of this task. With the efforts of the hardworking farmers and workers of our country, rising agricultural production in the right direction and increasing rural non-agricultural activities, the earnings and employment in the rural areas are increasing steadily.
The focus of the present government is wide enough to ensure sustainable rural livelihood; social security system and support services for farmers; overall biosecurity and prevention of environmental degradation; food-security and enhancement of focused nutritional support through a dynamic combination.
To further improve this situation, with the continued endorsement and active support of the entire farming community all over the country, BJP led NDA government promises to move forward under the able leadership of Shri Narendra Modi Ji.