The government today approved two new schemes in agriculture sector. The Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana” (PMKSY) will have an outlay of Rs. 50,000 crore over a period of five years (2015-16 to 2019-20). The allocation for the current financial year is Rs. 5300 crore. The CCEA also approved a Central Sector Scheme for Promotion of National Agricultural Market through Agri-Tech Infrastructure Fund (ATIF). The scheme gets Rs 200 crore from 2015-16 to 2017-18.
Talking to newsmen after the Cabinet meeting, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said that the major objective of the PMKSY is to achieve convergence of investments in irrigation at the field level, expand cultivable area under assured irrigation (Har Khet ko Pani), improve on-farm water use efficiency to reduce wastage of water.
The PMKSY aims to enhance the adoption of precision-irrigation and other water saving technologies (More crop per drop), enhance recharge of aquifers and introduce sustainable water conservation practices by exploring the feasibility of reusing treated municipal based water for peri-urban agriculture and attract greater private investment in precision irrigation system.
The scheme also aims at bringing concerned Ministries/Departments/Agencies/Research and Financial Institutions engaged in creation/use/recycling/potential recycling of water, brought under a common platform, so that a comprehensive and holistic view of the entire “water cycle” is taken into account and proper water budgeting is done for all sectors namely, household, agriculture and industries.
The programme architecture of PMKSY aims at a ‘decentralized State level planning and execution’ structure, in order to allow States to draw up a District Irrigation Plan (DIP) and a State Irrigation Plan (SIP). DIP will have holistic developmental perspective of the district outlining medium to long term developmental plans integrating three components namely, water sources, distribution network and water use application of the district to be prepared at two levels – the block and the district. All structures created under the schemes will be geotagged.
The programme will be supervised and monitored at the national level by an Inter-Ministerial National Steering Committee (NSC) under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister with Union Ministers of all concerned Ministries.
“The PMKSY will provide convergence to existing schemes of water management, thus bringing efficiency to the use of water,” Singh emphasised.
The CCEA has also given its approval to a Central Sector Scheme for Promotion of National Agricultural Market through Agri-Tech Infrastructure Fund (ATIF). The Department of Agriculture & Cooperation (DAC) will set it up through the Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) by creation of a common electronic platform deployable in selected regulated markets across the country.
The allocation to the scheme includes provision for supplying software free of cost by DAC to the States and Union Territories (UTs) and for cost of related hardware/infrastructure to be subsidized by the Government of India up to Rs. 30 lakh per Mandi (other than for private mandis). Nearly 585 regulated markets across the country will be integrated with the common e-platform to provide farmers and traders with access to opportunities for purchase/ sale of agri-commodities at optimal prices in a transparent manner across the country. Besides, private markets will also be allowed access to the e-platform thereby enhancing its outreach.
The Scheme is applicable on All-India basis. There is no State wise allocation under the Scheme. However, desirous States would be required to meet the pre-requisites in terms of carrying out necessary agri-marketing reforms.
The SFAC will be the lead agency for the development of the National e-Market by the Ministry of Agriculture, and they will select a service provider through open bidding. An appropriate common e-market platform will be set up that would be deployable in the selected 585 regulated wholesale markets in States/UTs desirous of joining the e-platform. The SFAC will implement the national e-platform in three phases during 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18. The DAC will meet expenses on software and its customisation for the States and provide it free of cost to the States and UTs.
The e-marketing platform should promote reform of the agricultural marketing sector and apart from promoting free flow of agri commodities across the country and should result in greater farmer satisfaction as prospects for marketing of his produce would be significantly enhanced. He will have improved access to market related information and better price discovery through a more efficient, transparent and competitive marketing platform, which gives him access to a greater number of buyers within the State and from outside, through transparent auction processes.