Tamil Nadu got the highest allocation of Rs.185.31 crores. The projects relating to Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Dairy, Fisheries and also minor irrigation are focused under this programme. During 2007-08, nine districts namely Coimbatore, Dharmapuri, Dindigul, Krishnagiri, Namakkal, Perambalur, Ramanathapuram, Salem and Villupuram have been identified as focused districts for implementing agricultural programmes. The programme on precision farming, establishment of 224 agri clinics with mini soil testing laboratories, distribution of machineries, establishment of automatic weather station in 224 blocks, land resources inventory and GIS data base for farm level planning in 10 blocks in 10 focussed districts,dryland development and popularization of minor millets in 40 blocks, promotion of organic manure production and organic farming by establishing municipal compost and bio inputs production units, strengthening quality seed production and distribution, development of 50 acre clusters of horticultural crops and bio mass tree plantation on dry lands will be taken up for agricultural development. The State Level Sanctioning Committee has approved the project and will be implemented shortly.
NADP - TAMIL NADU PRECISION FARMING PROJECT
Precision Farming Project was implemented in Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts between 2004-05 and 2006-07 in 400 ha in which forty five crops have been cultivated with 80-100% yield increase, substantial quality upgradation of produce and better preference in the market. The key elements of success are precision technologies, cluster approach and linkage to market.
The Precision Farming project is called up under NADP during 2008-09 (sanction 2007-08) and is to be implemented in 12800 ha as has been given in the annexure-I. There are nine focus districts (1000 ha each) and 19 non-focus districts (200 ha each). The programme is being implemented by Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Commissionerate of Agriculture and Commissionerate of Horticulture. The overall monitoring, evaluation, training and technical support are offered by TNAU. The components of the budget is given in annexure-II.
The plan of action includes identification of beneficiary farmers in each cluster, registration under societies Act, installation of drip and fertigation system through TANHOPE approved companies and drip design developed by TNAU, establishment of community nursery @ one / 20 ha, supply of inputs like seeds / water soluble fertilizers and plant protection chemicals and exposure visit to markets.
The measurables include yield increase over the bench mark yield experience at Tamil Nadu Precision Farming Project at Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts. Linking the production with market so as to ensure economic prosperity of farmers.
Economic reforms initiated since 1991 have put the Indian economy on a higher growth trajectory. Annual growth rate in the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has accelerated from below 6 per cent during the initial years of reforms to more than 8 per cent in recent years. The Planning Commission in its approach paper to the Eleventh Five-Year-plan has stated that 9 per cent growth rate in GDP would be feasible during the Eleventh Plan period. However, Agriculture, that accounted for more than 30 per cent of total GDP at the beginning of reforms, failed to maintain its pre-reform growth. On the contrary, it witnessed a sharp deceleration in growth after the mid-1990s. This happened despite the fact that agricultural productivity in most of the states was quite low as it were, and the potential for the growth of agriculture was high.
The GDP of agriculture increased annually at more than 3 per cent during the 1980s. Since the Ninth Five-Year Plan (1996 to 2001-02), India has been targeting a growth rate of more than 4 per cent in agriculture, but the actual achievement has been much below the target. More than 50 per cent of the workforce of the country still depends upon agriculture for it’s livelihood. Slow growth in Agriculture and allied sectors can lead to acute stress in the economy because the population dependent upon this sector is still very large. A major cause behind the slow growth in agriculture is the consistent decrease in investments in the sector by the state governments. While public and private investments are increasing manifold in sectors such as infrastructure, similar investments are not forthcoming in Agriculture and allied sectors, leading to distress in the community of farmers, especially that of the small and marginal segment. Hence the need for incentivising states that increase their investments in the Agriculture and allied sectors has been felt.
Concerned by the slow growth in the Agriculture and allied sectors, the National Development Council (NDC), in its meeting held on 29th May, 2007 resolved that a special Additional Central Assistance Scheme (RKVY) be launched. The NDC resolved that agricultural development strategies must be reoriented to meet the needs of farmers and called upon the Central and State governments to evolve a strategy to rejuvenate agriculture. The NDC reaffirmed its commitment to achieve 4 per cent annual growth in the agricultural sector during the 11th plan. The Resolution with respect to the Additional Central Assistance scheme reads as below:
Introduce a new Additional Central Assistance scheme to incentivise States to draw up plans for their agriculture sector more comprehensively, taking agro-climatic conditions, natural resource issues and technology into account, and integrating livestock, poultry and fisheries more fully. This will involve a new scheme for Additional Central Assistance to State Plans, administered by the Union Ministry of Agriculture over and above its existing Centrally Sponsored schemes, to supplement the State-specific strategies including special schemes for beneficiaries of land reforms. The newly created National Rainfed Area Authority will on request assist States in planning for rainfed area.
The Department of Agriculture, in compliance of the above resolution and in consultation with the Planning Commission, has prepared the guidelines for the RKVY scheme, to be known as NADP (RKVY), that are contained in this document.