2016 Agriculture Schemes, Terms and Updates

Here is the overview of recently launched schemes, projects, terms etc. in the agriculture sector for UPSC Prelims Fact based questions.

Indian Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology (IIAB)

The Indian Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology (IIAB) at Ranchi (Jharkhand) will be established as a deemed University. Its foundation stone was laid in August 2014. The mandate of the Institute would be to undertake multi-disciplinary basic research to develop crops for traits such as increased yield, or increased tolerance to biotic and abiotic stress; to develop the highly trained manpower required for fundamental research in agricultural biotechnology; to provide its research output to breeders and developers in agricultural universities to develop the germ plasm, vaccines etc.

National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD)

NIHSAD, Bhopal is a premier institute of Indian Council of Agricultural Research for research on exotic and emerging pathogens of animals. It came into existence in August 2014 as an independent institute under ICAR from its original status as High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL), a regional station of Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Izatnagar. The institute has contributed significantly by detecting many animal diseases of exotic origin and preventing them from entering our country.

National Institute of Veterinary Epidemiology and Disease Informatics (NIVEDI)

NIVEDI, a unit of ICAR has been established at Bengaluru to study the changing pattern of emerging and re-emerging animal diseases.

National Research Centre on Integrated Farming System

National Research Centre on Integrated Farming (ICAR-NRCIF) will come up in Bihar. The mandate of the institute will be to conduct research on the development of location specific integrated farming system models for diverse agro-ecological conditions specially flood and wetland situation with emphasis on rice, sugarcane and banana which require more water.

National Agricultural Research & Education System (NARES)

NARES is a huge repository of knowledge and information on crop sciences, horticulture, animal sciences, agricultural engineering, fisheries, agricultural extension, agricultural education and resource management.

Mrida Parikshak

ICAR-Indian Institute of Soil Science, Bhopal has developed a mini lab named Mridaparikshak’. It is a digital mobile quantitative mini lab to provide soil testing service at farmers’ doorsteps. It determines all the important soil parameters i.e. soil pH, EC, organic carbon, available nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur and micronutrients like zinc, boron and iron. It also provides crop and soil specific fertilizer recommendations directly to farmers on his mobile through SMS.

Farmer FIRST

It is an ICAR initiative to enhance farmers-scientists contact with multi stake holders-participation. FIRST refers to Farm, Innovations, Resources, Science and Technology. The project focuses on enabling interaction of scientists with farm conditions and problems; exchange of knowledge between farmers and other stakeholders; integration of technology with different agro-systems; development of rural based institutions; and using the platform of the project having commodity institutions as partners to develop commodity specific contents for e-enabled knowledge sharing.

Mera Gaon – Mera Gaurav

It is launched by ICAR to provide farmers with required information, knowledge and advisories on regular basis. Under this scheme, groups of scientists will select villages and will remain in touch with that village and provide information to farmers on technical and other related aspects through personal visits or through telecommunication. The scheme enables 20,000 scientists of National Agricultural Research and Education System (NARES) to work directly in villages.

Attracting and Retaining Youth in Agriculture (ARYA) Scheme

ICAR has initiated a programme on “Attracting and Retaining Youth in Agriculture” to empower youth in rural areas to take up agriculture, allied and service sector enterprises for sustainable income and gainful employment in selected districts. It enables youth to establish network groups to take up resource and capital intensive activities like processing, value addition and marketing. ARYA project is implemented in 25 States through KVKs, one district from each State.

STUDENT READY

READY refers to “Rural and Entrepreneurship Awareness Development Yojana”. Student READY is a skill development initiative to strengthen students with skills to take up global challenges and also to improve both their employability as well as ability to set up a venture.

Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana

It is a central scheme that aims at providing irrigation facilities to every village in the country by converging ongoing irrigation schemes implemented by various ministries. It will focus on ‘end-to-end solution’ in irrigation supply chain by implementing new programme in a “project mode” with decentralised state-level planning and execution. This scheme has amalgamated three ongoing programmes of three different ministries viz. Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme of the Ministry of Water Resources; Integrated Watershed Management Programme of the Ministry of Rural Development; and Farm water management component of the National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture. For 2015-16, Rs.1,000 crore are allotted for the scheme. The funding pattern between centre and states is 75:25 percent. In case of north-eastern region and hilly states it will be 90:10.

Soil Health Card

The scheme is launched to provide every farmer a Soil Health Card in a mission mode. The card will carry crop wise recommendations of nutrients/fertilizers required for farms, making it possible for farmers to improve productivity by using appropriate inputs. Since the scheme is being implemented by the State Governments; it indicates that states need to increase their manpower requirement and funding.

Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana

Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (Traditional Farming Improvement Programme) has been launched by Government of India to support and promote organic farming and thereby improving soil health. This will encourage farmers to adopt eco-friendly concept of cultivation and reduce their dependence on fertilizers and agricultural chemicals to improve yields. Government has made budgetary allocation of Rs. 300 Crores for the same in the Union Budget 2015-16.

Agri-Tech Infrastructure Fund (ATIF)

ATIF is aimed at implementation of an appropriate common e-market platform to regulate 585 regulated wholesale markets in the states across the country.

National Agriculture Market (NAM)

NAM is envisaged as a pan-India electronic trading portal which seeks to network the existing Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs) and other market yards to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities.NAM will be implemented as a Central Sector Scheme through Agri-Tech Infrastructure Fund (ATIF).

Price Stabilization Fund Scheme

To control the rising prices of agricultural commodities a Price Stabilization Fund of Rs. 500 Crore for agricultural commodities was announced in the Union Budget 2014-15 with a view to mitigate volatility in the prices of agricultural produce.

Rashtriya Gokul Mission

The Rashtriya Gokul Mission has been launched for conservation and development of indigenous breeds in a focused and scientific manner. The mission also envisages establishment of integrated cattle development centres “Gokul Grams” to develop indigenous breeds including upto 40% nondescript breeds. The mission is a focused project under National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development, with an outlay of Rs. 500 crore during the last three years of Twelfth Five Year Plan.

Krishi Dak

Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) has initiated a novel scheme – Krishi Dak in 20 districts in which postmen supplies seeds of improved varieties of crops to the farmers in remote areas. Due to its success and popularity, this scheme is being extended in 100 districts of 14 states with the association of Krishi Vigyan Kendras. This will provide improved seed to farmers at their doorsteps.

Apurva

Apurva is a new cloned buffalo calf from the somatic cell of urine, an excretory material of elite female Murrah buffalo. It was produced by scientists at the National Dairy Research Institute in Karnal, Haryana in February 2015. It was the first time any animal has been cloned from cells isolated from its urine. If the technique succeeds and the clone survives, it may set a benchmark in cloning research and will help increase milk production in the country, as Murrah buffaloes produce more milk than any other variety of buffalo – around 32 kg daily.

Deepasha

Scientists at the National Dairy Research Institute in Karnal, Haryana have produced a female clone (named Deepasha) of endangered wild buffalo (named Asha) of Chhattisgarh in December 2014. It was cloned through hand-guided cloning technique. Asha is a schedule-1 animal under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and is in the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It is an endangered animal as there is only one wild buffalo in the country.

Last Updated: February 16, 2016

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