Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana

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Ministry/Department : Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare

 

Objective: To provide comprehensive insurance coverage against crop loss.

 

Scheme:

  • It was formulated in line with One Nation–One Scheme theme by replacing earlier two schemes National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS) and Modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (MNAIS) by incorporating their best features and removing their inherent drawbacks (shortcomings).
  • The scheme covers kharif, rabi crops as well as annual commercial and horticultural crops
  • New scheme will cover post-harvest losses apart from yield loss.
  • It will also provide farm level assessment for localised calamities including hailstorms, unseasonal rains, landslides and inundation, pests and diseases.
  • The scheme proposes mandatory use of remote sensing, smart phones and drones for quick estimation of crop loss to speed up the claim process.
  • The settlement of claims will be fastened for the full sum assured. About 25% of the likely claim will be settled directly on farmers account. There will not be a cap on the premium and reduction of the sum insured.
  • It also provides insurance benefits to Landless labourers.

 

What is new in this scheme?

  • It is open to all farmers
  • It is mandatory for farmers availing crop loans for notified crops in notified areas
  • It is optional for non-loanee farmers.
  • There is no capping in premium and one premium rate on pan-India basis. It is 1.5%, 2% and 5% for all Rabi, Kharif and annual horticultural/ commercial crops, respectively.
  • The balance premium will be paid by the government to provide full insured amount to the farmers.
  • There is no upper cap on government subsidy, even if the balance premium is 90 percent, the government will bear it
  • This scheme provides full coverage of insurance. While NAIS had full coverage, it was capped in the modified-NAIS scheme.
  • It also covers the localized risks such as hailstorm, landslide, inundation etc. Earlier schemes did not cover inundation.
  • It provides post-harvest coverage. The NAIS did not cover while the modified NAIS covered only coastal regions.
  • A cluster approach will be adopted under which a group of districts with variable risk profie will be allotted to an insurance company.
  • Union Government has decided to cover damages to crops in wild animal attacks under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna in select districts on an experimental basis.

 

Factual Information:

  • Launched in 2016
  • It will replace the existing two crop insurance schemes National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS) and Modified NAIS

 

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Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO)

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  • IFFCO is large scale fertiliser cooperative federation in India which is registered as Multistate Cooperative Society.
  • It is one of India’s biggest cooperative society which is wholly owned by Indian Cooperatives.
  • It was founded in 1967 with just 57 cooperatives and at present it has amalgamation of over 36,000 Indian Cooperatives with diversified business interests ranging from General Insurance to Rural Telecom apart from its core business of manufacturing and selling fertilisers.
  • It is headquartered in New Delhi.

Ethanol production for Sugarcane

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Context:
  • Union Food Ministry has notified decision to allow sugar mills to manufacture ethanol directly from sugarcane juice or an intermediate product called B-molasses.
  • In this regard, Sugarcane Control Order, 1966 has been amended.
  • The move would help mills divert cane juice for ethanol manufacturing during surplus years.
 
Why this decision is important?
  • Sugar mills are incurring losses as prices of sugar have fallen below production cost on account of record output of 32 million tonnes (mt) in 2017-18 season as against annual domestic demand of 25 mt.
  • The production of ethanol directly from sugarcane juice or B-molasses will help to divert this overproduction.
  • Sugar mills are expecting revenue realisation of over Rs 5,000 crore from sale of ethanol to OMCs during the 2017-18 sugar season (October-September).
  • OMCs procure ethanol from sugar mills for blending with petrol.
  • Government has mandated blending of up to 10% ethanol in petrol but inadequate availability has restricted this to under 4%.
  • Higher price for ethanol will incentivise higher ethanol production.

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Jute Industry

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Basics about Jute:

  • Jute is one of the important natural fibres after cotton in terms of cultivation and usage.
  • Its cultivation is dependent on climate, season, and soil.
  • Almost 85% of world’s jute cultivation is concentrated in the Ganges Delta.
  • India is largest producer or cultivator of jute in the world (around 60%) followed by Bangladesh and China.
  • Top jute producing states are West Bengal, Bihar, Assam and Odisha.

Facts:

  • Jute industry is predominantly dependent on Government sector which purchases jute products more than Rs. 5,500 crore every year.
  • Government has been making concerted efforts for the development of jute sector considering that nearly 3.7 lakh workers and approximately 40 lakh farmers are dependent for their livelihood on jute sectors.
  • Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved to expand the scope of mandatory packaging norms under Jute Packaging Material (JPM) Act, 1987. It has approved that 100% of the food grains and 20% of sugar shall be mandatorily packed in diversified jute bags.

Impact of mandatory packaging norm:

  • It will give a fillip to development of jute sector and impetus to the diversification of the jute industry.
  • It will increase quality and productivity of raw jute and also boost and sustaining demand for jute product.
  • It will benefit farmers and workers located in Eastern and North Eastern regions of country particularly in the states of West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya and Tripura.

New Opportunity:

  • The outcry and ban against plastic bags and single-use plastic packaging holds potential for the jute sector.

Concerns

  • More than 100-year-old sector may not be in a position to benefit from this opportunity, right away.
  • The availability of quality raw jute and shrinking acreage on the one-hand and the failure of most jute mills to modernise has left the sector dependent on government-support like packaging reservations.
  • Only a section of the industry has diversified into non-packaging segments.
  • The industry’s ability to rise to these challenges hinges on the quality of the golden fibre.
  • West Bengal is India’s single largest raw jute cultivator producing almost 75 % of the crop in Nadia, Dinajpur, Murshidabad and North 24 Parganas districts.
  • But acreage had stagnated amid low productivity and falling prices of the cash crop.
  • With raw jute prices remaining below the support price in 2017-18, area-under-cultivation may stagnate in 2018-19.
  • Primitive, labour-intensive cultivation methods and retting (drenching raw jute in water to extract the fibre) — a crucial determinant in raw jute quality — creates problems.

Initiatives

  • The I-CARE programme unveiled by the National Jute Board and the Jute Corporation of India seeks to address the retting issue by introducing a pilot project on retting technologies aimed at increasing farmers’ returns.
  • A recent initiative called ‘The Jute Foundation’ (TJF) is trying to address many issues pertaining to the environment-friendly product.
  • It is trying to engage all stakeholders –farmers, workers, mills, research organisations and consumers.
  • An initiative is being introduced for the industry to work jointly with research and development agencies like IJIRA (Indian Jute Industries’ Research Association) and others to develop thin and slim jute shopping bags that can be rolled into a ladies’ handbag.

 

Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana

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Ministry/Department : Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare. State Agriculture Departments to be nodal agencies (Why? Since Agriculture is a State subject Schedule VII of Constitution)

ias4sure.com - Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana

 

Objective:

  • PMKSY is launched to provide convergence to existing schemes of water management and thus brining efficiency to the use of water in irrigation.
  • PMKSY is launched to become “end-to-end” solution in irrigation.

 

Scheme:

  • PMKSY was launched in July 2015 with overarching vision to ensure access to some means of protective irrigation for all agricultural farms in the country and to produce ‘per drop more crop’, thus bringing much desired rural prosperity.
  • It was formulated by amalgamating earlier schemes viz.
    • Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) of Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation;
    • Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP) of Department of Land Resources; and
    • On Farm Water Management (OFWM) component of National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) of Department of Agriculture and Cooperation.
  • It is implemented by Ministries of Agriculture, Water Resources and Rural Development.
  • It has outlay of Rs 50000 crore with implementation period of over five-year till April 2020.

 

Framework:

  • Decentralised state-level planning and execution, in order to allow States to draw up a District Irrigation Plan (DIP) and a State Irrigation Plan (SIP)
  • Plans will integrate three components namely,
    • water sources,
    • distribution network and
    • water use application of the district.
  • All structures created under the schemes will be geotagged
  • The state agriculture department would be the nodal agency for implementation of PMKSY projects
  • PMKSY projects would be scrutinised by the State Level Project Screening Committee (SLPSC) and sanctioned by the State Level Sanctioning Committee, which is already set under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana.
  • A state will become eligible to access PMKSY funds only if it has prepared the district irrigation plans and state irrigation plans and sustained an increasing expenditure trend in irrigation sector in state plan

 

Funding Pattern:

PMKSY funds would be given to states as 75% grant by the central government and the remaining 25% share is to be borne by the state government. For north-eastern region and hilly states, the funding pattern would be 90:10

NABARD

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  • NABARD is an apex development bank in India.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) holds the majority stake in it.
  • Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • Established: 1982 on the recommendations of Shivaraman Committee to implement the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development Act, 1981.
  • It has been entrusted with matters concerning policy, planning and operations in the field of credit for agriculture and other economic activities in rural areas in India.
  • It is active in developing financial inclusion policy and is a member of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion.
  • Mandate:
    • Facilitate credit flow for promotion and development of agriculture, small-scale industries, cottage and village industries, handicrafts and other rural crafts.
    • Support all other allied economic activities in rural areas, promote integrated and sustainable rural development and secure prosperity of rural areas.
Recent Amendments:
  • Amendments in Act to increase authorized capital of NABARD from Rs. 5,000 crore to Rs. 30,000 crore and further increase it beyond Rs. 30,000 crore in consultation with RBI, as deemed necessary from time to time.
  • It also includes certain other amendments including changes in long title and certain sections to bring Handlooms and Medium Enterprises in NABARD’s mandate.
  • Transfer of 0.4% equity of RBI in NABARD amounting to Rs. 20 crores, to the Union Government.
 
Why these amendments?
  • Increase in authorized capital will enable NABARD to respond to the its commitments undertaken, in respect of Long Term Irrigation Fund (LIF) and Government’s decision regarding on-lending to cooperative banks.
  • It will enable NABARD to augment its business and enhance its activities, thus facilitating promotion of integrated rural development and securing prosperity of rural areas by generating of more employment.
  • The transfer of entire shareholding of RBI held in NABARD to the Union Government will remove the conflict in RBI’s role as banking regulator and shareholder in NABARD

Issues of pulses in India

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Facts:

  • Pulses production was all time high during the last 2 years in the country.
  • Due to bumper production, Central Government also has made record procurement of pulses (45.43 lakh MT) during Kharif 2017 and Rabi 2018.
  • MH is the largest Kharif pulse producer followed by Karnataka, Raj., MP & UP

Challenges:

  • The efficient distribution of available pulses across regions is a challenge.
  • Bumper production coupled with increase in Minimum Support Price (MSP) will require additional procurement under Price Support Scheme.

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Steps taken to ensure efficient distribution:

  • Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved release of pulses to States/UTs at discounted rate to be utilized for various Welfare Scheme from stock of pulses procured under Price Support Schemes (PSS).
  • Under this approved Scheme, States/UT Governments will be offered to lift 34.88 lakh MT of pulses at discounted rate over prevailing wholesale  market price of sourcing state on First come first serve basis.
  • The decision will enable the States/UTs to use pulses in various Welfare Schemes like Public Distribution Scheme (PDS), Mid-Day Meal Scheme, Integrated Child Development Programmes (ICDP).