The Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana : Glaring Loopholes Need Urgent Plugging

glaring-loopholes-need-urgeThe Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana is an Additional Central Assistance (ACA) scheme for agriculture and allied sectors, and was approved on 16 August 2007, with an envisaged outlay of Rs. 25,000 crores during the Eleventh Five Year Plan. By ensuring holistic development of agriculture and allied sectors, the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana aimed at contributing an achievement of 4 per cent annual growth in the agriculture sector during the Eleventh Plan period. The Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana is the biggest scheme in the agriculture sector which aims at incentivising States to increase outlays for agriculture and allied sectors. The Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana provides considerable flexibility to State Governments, and incentivises them to spend more on agriculture on the basis of district and State agriculture plans prepared with the participation of the local people. State and district plans under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana are prepared based on the resources available under all State and Central schemes. The Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana funds provide substantial scaling up for specific programmes in the agricultural sector. The scheme is also being used to fill gaps under other schemes and programmes to synergise investments to raise the growth rate of agriculture. Implementation of the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana suggests that States have been taking up a wide range of projects across the agricultural and allied sectors, and that there are a couple of flagship projects with significant visibility in the States. However, the focus on integrating available resources from other schemes and selecting projects based on their growth potential is still to become fully evident. While 17 States have prepared State Agriculture Plans(SAPs), most others are in the process of completing their SAPs.

Objectives

  1.  To incentivise the States to increase their investment in agriculture and allied sectors.
  2.  To provide flexibility and autonomy to the States in planning and executing programmes for agriculture.
  3.  To ensure the preparation of agriculture plans for the districts and States.
  4.  To achieve the goal of reducing the yield gaps in important crops.
  5.  To maximise returns to the farmers.
  6.  To address the agriculture and allied sectors in an integrated manner.

Basic Features

  1.  It is a State plan scheme.
  2.  The eligibility of a State for the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana is contingent upon the State to maintain or increase the State plan expenditure for agricultural and allied sectors.
  3.  The preparation of the district and State agriculture plans is mandatory.
  4.  The pattern of funding is 100 per cent Central Government grant.
  5.  It integrates agriculture and allied sectors comprehensively.
  6.  It gives high levels of flexibility to the States.
  7.  Projects with definite time lines are highly encouraged.

Focus Areas

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  1.  Integrated development of food crops, including coarse cereals, minor millets and pulses.
  2.  Agriculture mechanisation.
  3.  Soil health and productivity.
  4.  Development of rain fed farming systems.
  5.  Integrated pest management.
  6.  Market infrastructure.
  7.  Horticulture.
  8.  Organic and bio fertilisers.

Budget
The budget for the year 2011-2012 was Rs. 7860 crores which has been increased to Rs. 9217 crores for the period of 2012-2013 to provide the States with more flexibility and bigger financial support.

Problems and Challenges
The scheme was introduced to help the agricultural sector in increasing its pace of production and help in building the nation. But the scheme has come under a lot of criticism on various aspects. The amount allotted for the scheme has not reached the allotted areas and has gone into the dumps of corruption in many of the States including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. New technologies were to be implemented for agricultural purposes but the technologies have not been implemented in most of the States with full effect. Farmers were supposed to be provided with adequate amounts for the yields, but till date complete adequacy in providing good amounts to the farmers has not been attained. Officials were vested with the responsibility of distributing pamphlets related to usage of fertilisers and other chemicals in fields but no pamphlets were distributed in the villages. The officials were also supposed to undertake 18 programmes in a month to teach the farmers different aspects of agriculture but no such arrangements have been made in many of the States. There is a sort of ‘organised loot’ which is carried out in the name of this project. Strict action is of utmost importance to stop this loot and allow proper implementation of the scheme for the benefit of the farmers and the country.

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