Presentation For National Conference on Agriculture Kharif Campaign - 2006 New Delhi, 21st & 22nd Feb. 2006 Department of Agriculture Government of West Bengal
1. Adoption of regionally differentiated strategy for enhancement of crop production and productivity and 4%agriculture growth
AGRICULTURE • Scope for increasing production by bringing additional land under cultivation in West Bengal, is almost nil, • Annual rate of growth in production of food grains has been 2.24% and annual increase in productivity 2.09% in the past, • Target for 2006-7 is overall increase in production by 5% as compared to 2005-6 (Rice-3%, Wheat-7.2%, Oilseed-2.4%, Pulses-43%, Potato-9.5%) by adopting improved agro-management practices, viz.: • Research Infrastructure in the State for developing new varieties, • Production of Certified/Hybrid Seed – Strengthening seed productions farms (public & private) and seed certification machineries.
c) Better Soil Health Management through Mobile Soil Testing Units, application of micro-nutrients, Bio-fertilizer, Organic manures, Vermi compost and Bio-pesticides, d) Introduction of New Varieties & Crop Diversification, including Horticultural Crops and increase cultivation of Pulses, Oilseeds & Tobacco, e) Transfer of Technology – Strengthening of extension machinery, demonstration through culture-agriculture, women farmers training, f) Micro Irrigation System in arid areas – Sprinkler & Drip Irrigation System, g) Farm Mechanization – Introduction of Zero Tillage Machine, Drum Seeder & Power Tiller, Tractor & other manually operated farm machineries.
HORTICULTURE Current rate of growth in horticultural production is around 11% (vegetables-11.52% and fruit crops-12.14%. It is proposed to maintain the same momentum for 2006-7 and the strategy is to: • Increase land under horticultural cultivation, • Adopt improved and hybrid varieties and management practices, • Private partnership in food processing, value addition and in accessing market( State Govt. through its initiative has set up 5 agro-export zones for pineapples, litchi, mango, potato and vegetables), • Draw up Block-wise horticultural production plan, • Development of post harvest technology and also invite private partnership, • Setting incentive plan for handling and storage units to minimise losses.
FISHERIES • Annual average growth rate - 6%, contributes about 57% of the total seed production in the country, • There is scope for further increasing production and productivity by: a) bringing more area under pisciculture, b) introduction of combination/ multipurpose vessels, c) utilization of deep sea fishing, d) enhancing area under intensive cultivation.
POULTRY & LIVE STOCK • annual growth rate : milk-2.63%, egg-2.52%, and meat-2.73% • Special drive taken to increase production in the State are: • a) distribute poultry chicks to one lakh women members of Self Help Groups, • b) extensive AI program to improve quality of milch cattle, • c) expand activity of milk co-operatives- WBMFL proposes to set up dairy plant/chilling plant in Purulia and Howrah, • d) manufacture and distribution of quality feed for cattle, poultry and fish by the West Bengal Dairy and Poultry Development Corporation.
2. Timely availability of quality inputs and adoption of modern farming facilities – seed plan, nutrients, past management and agriculture mechanization • Seed :- Seed plan for Kharif submitted, acute dearth of quality seeds of hybrid rice, pulses and maize crops, • Nutrients :- Fertilizer plan for kharif submitted, emphasis is on timely availability of fertilizer and in adequate quantity.
Farm Mechanization:- promoting farm mechanization in small holdings, however, the State Govt. is laying stress on mechanization of farming practices in small holdings by distribution of power tiller, tractors, manually operated thrashers, plant protection equipments, etc. Pest management :- the following measures are being taken for pest management : • 1. I.P.M field demonstration, • 2. use of bio and botanical pesticide, • 3. imparting plant protection training, • Stress is more on use of Bio/organic manure and chemicals ( av. Consumption of Tech. gr. Pesticide in the State has come down to 0.439 a.i.)
3. State’s own initiative for increasing investment in agriculture, completion of on going irrigation project and availability of power • Investment in Agriculture: agri-loan is not easily forthcoming from the Nationalized Bank, GOI may use its influence to increase coverage by the Nationalized Banks, agri-loan target for 2006-07 is Rs. 1600 crs. • Irrigation :- 30% of the total Kharif crops(54 lakh ha) is rain fed, emphasis is to cover more area through minor irrigation projects as well as through dry land cultivation
4. Crop diversification from cereal to non cereal and high value crops – horticulture crops, fruit, vegetables – horticulture mission and ISOPOM • Diversification from cereal to non cereal, viz., from boro paddy to pulses and oil seeds, • target for diversification : a. 1.5 lakh ha for oil seed b. 0.5 lakh ha for pulses. • High value crops :- a) increase land under horticulture crops on mission mode b) Increase productivity and production of pulses, oil seeds and maize under ISOPOM
5. Strength of Agriculture extension network making latest technology available to the farmers in the field, progress in ATMA • ATMA introduced in six districts, • SAMETI has been identified and fund flow is being rooted from SAMETI to the identified district, • Line department officials are actively involved in the program, • The revised state extension work plan will be submitted by the end of February 2006.
6. Marketing reforms to enhance competitiveness and farm income The West Bengal Agriculture Produce Marketing (Regulation) Act does not preclude a. direct marketing by the producers, b. setting up of private agricultural markets.
7. Risk management - To provide insurance coverage to protect farmers from inclement weather condition and fluctuating prices. • Ongoing NAIS may be made more accurate and effective by making gram panchayet as the defined unit, • Amount of crop loan issued under NAIS by different commercial banks and rural banks is meager as compared to the co-operative banks, • At present premium subsidy level for small and marginal farmers is only 10% under NAIS, which may be increased to make the scheme more viable.