New Delhi: The mid-term review of the 10th Plan (2002-07) has
stressed the revival of agricultural growth and the rejuvenation of the farm
support system. It has pointed out that achieving a GDP growth rate of eight
per cent was critically dependant on achieving higher growth rates in agriculture.
average rate of growth in the 10th Plan is likely to be below seven per cent,
well short of the 8.1-per cent target, admits the review. Stressing for improved
support systems in extension, credit and the delivery systems of inputs such
as seeds, fertilisers and veterinary services, the review will call for developing
private sector alternatives, apart from strengthening the existing public
report calls for prioritising schemes on rehabilitating existing irrigation
systems, ground water development through back-ended subsidy schemes, artificial
recharge of ground water and "inclusion of command area development works
as part of major/medium projects". The total cost of this effort is estimated
at around Rs1,10,000 crore and the central share up to the end of 11th Plan
period could be around Rs23,000 crore.
find additional resources for these schemes, the report has suggested linking
the existing FFW (food for work) and SGRY (Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana)
programmes and the new Backward Regions Grant Fund, to ensure that at least
in the 150 or so districts covered by these programmes, projects related to
irrigation and water management receive priority.
In other districts, the AIBP (Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme) and
the RIDF (Rural Infrastructure Development Fund) schemes should be used to
focus on irrigation and water management programmes, and the AIBP should be
further enhanced for this purpose.
to the mid-term review, completing nine ongoing mega irrigation
projects (in West Bengal, Rajasthan, Bihar, Punjab, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh,
Karnataka and Maharashtra) will cost about Rs27,700 crore.