LUCID MAINS CURRENT AFFAIRS 2018
- OPERATION GREEN
WHY TO FOCUS?
- Agriculture and allied sector account for about 18% of the total GDP.
- 57% of Indian work force directly or indirectly engaged in agriculture related profession.
- India is top in the production of many agricultural products like pulses, cereals, spices etc.
- Though high in production economic condition of farmers is still poor and farmer suicide is increasing day by day.
- CPI Inflation at all India level of 2016-17 was mainly driven due to prices of vegetables and fruits.
- Finance minister proposed to launch operation green, while presenting union Budget of 2018–19.
WHAT’S OPERATION GREEN??
- Prize fixation scheme – ensure that farmers are given right price for their produce.
- The idea is to double the farmer income by 2022.
- Focus is on basic ingredients and not on additional commodities in agriculture.
# promote FPO (Farmer Producers Organization), agri logistics, processing facilities, and professional management.
- First step is to help control and limit the price fluctuations of tomatoes, onions and potatoes (TOP).
- Allocated seed capital of 500 crore for this in the line of operation flood.
- Set up MSP (minimum support price) of all kharif crop at 1.5 times the cost of production.
# will increase farmers income.
- Tax incentives for consumers will be given.
- 470 APMC (Agricultural Produce market Committee) promoted market will be connected to e-NAM
- Government develop 22000 agricultural market.
WHY ITS TOP (TOMATO, ONIONS, POTATO)??
- These 3 are consumed through out the year but are seasonal and regional in production.
Making it difficult to connect farmer and consumers.
- When their production rises sharply, their prices collapse.
# does not have enough modern storage capacity for these perishable items.
# the link to processing and organized retailing are very weak and small.
# farmers suffer from a loss as the price they get in return for their product will be less due to less demand.
# But when there is a price rise, this will be taken by middle man.
- Hence farmers often end up getting less than one fourth of what consumers are paying in major cities.
- So it affects both consumer and producer and is a part of daily menu of every Indian – 1st focus is on TOP.
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES BEFORE US??
- Illiteracy among farmers.
# not aware of the schemes and initiatives.
# as will not understand the technicalities in details has to depend on middle man but often get cheated by getting wrong information.
# As per Economic Survey more than 30 % of the farmers are illiterate.
- Scarcity of capital
# though farmers are given subsidy ,need to first pay the entire amount .later the subsidy amount will be credited to the bank account .
# But farmers who don’t have the initial amount will fail to avail the scheme.
- Small and fragmented land holdings
# most of the Indian farmers are marginal farmers with less land holding.
# prevent them from implementing modern technology.
- High cost of agri – inputs
# high quality seeds used are costly and cannot be used to produce the seed for next year.
# so will not be economically viable for farmers.
# As per Economic Survey, farmers having large land holdings are not using agri inputs.
- Lack of proper irrigation
# largely depends on monsoon.
# lack of monsoon lead to crop failure.
# As per Economic Survey 2017-18, only 34% of net irrigated area to total cropped area is under irrigation.
# UP and Punjab are the only states having net irrigated area above 50%.
- Lack of technology
# cause waste of human labor and reduce agriculture productivity.
- Lack of information
# not able to decide the best crop for the land and the agro chemicals needed for the crop.
- Poor marketing services
# middle man reap the benefit by taking advantage of farmers as most of them depends on middle man .
- Inadequate post harvest storage and transportation facilities
# this compels the farmers to sell their product at throw away prices .
MEASURES TO BE TAKEN
- Ensure majority of profit goes to farmers
# at least 60-70 % of profit must be given to farmers as 75-80% of the price given by milk consumers went to farmers in case of operation flood.
- Link major consuming centers with producing centers
# will reduce intermediate people.
# map mega consuming centers first and then link their retail network with producing centers of each commodity identified.
- Organize farmers in farmer producing organization.
# there was milk cooperative society in case of operation flood.
- APMC act has to be changed to allow direct buying from FPO.
# APMC must be connected with e NAM.
# like national milk grid connected milk producers, e NAM must connect farmers to eliminate middle man.
- Give incentive to FPO, private companies and NGOs
# to build back end infrastructure as was done for operation flood.
# Income tax concession has been given to FPO for five years, if it encourages building critical infrastructure -similar steps are needed.
- Investment in logistics
# minimize wastage like ware houses, cold storage etc.
# must be cost effective – solar roof tops can be used in case ware house as it reduce electricity cost.
- Link production centers with processing industry and organized retailing
# part of the produce must be processed to make things like potato chips ,dehydrated onions etc.
# will add value and absorb surplus as similar steps were taken during operation flood processing surplus milk into milk powder etc.
# will reduce price fall during surplus production.
- Identify states that lead in the production of TOP.
- Modernization of agriculture
- # increased production in milk during operation flood was achieved by modern technologies like better feed and health care to cattle.
#similarly use modern technologies like high yielding varieties of crops, control of crop diseases.
STEPS TAKEN BY GOVERNMENT SO FAR
- Ministry of food processing has started discussion with various stake holders to take operation green forwarded.
- The cabinet is likely to consider the proposal to launch the scheme soon.