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National Agriculture Policy

The first ever National Agriculture Policy was announced in 2000. The policy seeks to actualise the vast untapped growth potential of Indian agriculture, strengthen rural infrastructure to support faster agricultural development, promote value addition, accelerate the growth of agro business, create employment in rural areas, secure a fair standard of living for the farmers and agricultural workers and their families, discourage migration to urban areas and face the challenges arising out of economic liberalisation and globalisation. Over the next two decades, the policy aims to attain:

  1. A growth rate in excess of four per cent per annum in the agriculture sector.
  2. The policy seeks to promote technically sound, economically viable, environmentally nondegrading, and socially acceptable use of country’s natural resources – land, water and genetic endowment to promote sustainable development of agriculture.
  3. The use of bio-technologies will be promoted for evolving plants which consume less water, are drought resistant, pest resistant, contain more nutrition, give higher yields and are environmentally safe.
  4. Conservation of bio-resources through their ex situ preservation in Gene Banks, as also in situ conservation in their natural habitats through bio-diversity parks, etc., will receive a high priority to prevent depletion of bio-diversity.
  5. Balanced and conjunctive use of bio-mass, organic and inorganic fertilizers and controlled use of agro chemicals through integrated nutrients and pest management (INM & IPM) will be promoted. A regionally differentiated strategy will be pursued, taking into account the agronomic, climatic and environmental conditions to realise the full growth potential of every region.
  6. Special attention will be given to development of new crop varieties, particularly of food crops, with higher nutritional value.
  7. A major thrust will be given to development of rainfed and irrigated horticulture, floriculture, roots and tubers, plantation crops, aromatic and medicinal plants, bee-keeping and sericulture for augmenting food supply, promoting exports and generating employment in the rural areas.
  8. Development of animal husbandry, poultry, dairying and aqua-culture will receive a high priority in the efforts for diversifying agriculture, increasing animal protein availability in the food basket and for generating exportable surpluses.
  9. An integrated approach to marine and inland fisheries, designed to promote sustainable aquaculture practices, will be adopted.
  10. The regionalisation of agricultural research based on identified agro-climatic zones will be accorded high priority. Application of frontier sciences like bio-technology, remote sensing technologies, pre-and post-harvest technologies, energy saving technologies, technology for environmental protection through national research system as well as proprietary research will be encouraged.
  11. The research and extension linkages will be strengthened to improve quality and effectiveness of research and extension system.
  12. Adequate and timely supply of quality inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, plant protection chemicals, bio-pesticides, agricultural machinery and credit at reasonable rates to farmers will be the endeavour of the Government.
  13. The Government will endeavour to create a favourable economic environment for increasing capital formation and farmer’s own investments by removing distortions in the incentive regime for  agriculture, improving the terms of trade with manufacturing sectors and bringing about external and domestic market reforms.
  14. Rural electrification will be given a high priority as a prime mover for agricultural development. The quality and availability of electricity supply will be improved and the demand of the agriculture sector will be met adequately in a reliable and cost effective manner.
  15. Bridging the gap between irrigation potential created and utilised, completion of all on-going projects, restoration and modernisation of irrigation infrastructure including drainage, evolving and implementing an integrated plan of augmentation and management of national water resources will receive special attention for augmenting the availability and use of irrigation water.
  16. Emphasis will be laid on development of marketing infrastructure and techniques of preservation, storage and transportation with a view to reducing post-harvest losses and ensuring a better return to the grower.

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