Agricultural Census in India
Agricultural Census is conducted by Ministry Of Agriculture every five years with the participation of states and UTs since 1970 as a part of World Agriculture Census Programme. This involves collection, compilation and tabulation of data in respect of 138 million operational holdings. It is a Central Sector Scheme under which 100% financial assistance is given to States/Union Territories. The reason for conducting Agriculture Census in India every five years because of fast changing of structure of holdings due to industrialization , fragmentation of holdings and urbanization.
The Agricultural Census is conducted in three phases:
- In phase I operated areas with their list of holdings and social characteristics is prepared in land record on census basis in every states/UTs ( covering around 86% of reported area) and on 20% sample villages in non-land record States/UTs. Data on area of operational holdings and number for different size classes( medium, small, semi medium, large, marginal), type of holding (individual, joint, institutional), gender (male, female) and social groups (scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, others) are collected.
- In phase II collection of detailed data is done on agricultural statistics from 20% selected villages on a sample basis both in non land record and land record states and a parameter has been set at Tehsil/District/State level. Data on terms of leasing, sources of irrigation, tenancy, land-use, number of wells and tube wells, irrigation-status, dispersal of land are collected from selected 20 percent villages in each Taluk/Block.
- In phase III collection of detailed data is done on input use pattern from selected holdings from selected 7 percent villages on sample basis and a parameter has been set at Tehsil/District/State level. Collection of data is done on use of inputs like fertilizers, agriculture implements & machinery, fertilizers, institutional credit, manures, educational qualification, household size of the holder and use of improved seeds besides age, from selected 7 percent villages in each Taluk/Block.
Certain measures of improvement should be taken like improving infrastructural facilities by providing adequate numbers of computers with e-mail facilities, fax machines, etc. in states/UTs and sensitization of field workers towards importance of this data so that they devote sufficient attention to census work can be more helpful.