Six more states selected for pulses and oilseeds promotion

The centre has extended a government supported scheme to increase production and cultivation of oilseeds and pulses to six more states, taking the number of states under the scheme to 12.

Part of the National Food Security Mission (NFSM), the central government has been implementing the National Oilseeds and Oil palm (OS&OP) scheme to promote production of oilseeds, including oil palm, to increase production and domestic availability of edible oils.
The scheme was originally implemented in rice fallow areas of six eastern states, including Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal since 2016-17 and from 2019-20, six more states - Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh - have been included to bring additional area and production of pulses and oilseeds.
The NFSM–(OS&OP) is under implementation in 28 states and has three subcomponents namely, Oilseeds, Oil palm and Tree Borne Oilseeds (TBOs). The main objective is to increase oilseeds production and productivity and area expansion under oil palm and TBOs cultivation. Oilseeds production in India, which was 27.72 million tonnes in 2008-09, increased to 32.26 million tonnes in 2018-19 with productivity increase from 1,006 kg to 1,265 kg per hectare during this period. Edible oil production in the country, which was 6.34 million tonnes in 2008-09, increased to 10.44 million tonnes in 2018-19. An area of 3.30 lakh ha has been covered under oil palm up to 2018-19.
More than 12 per cent of total cropped area in the country is used for cultivation of oilseeds. To reduce import dependency, besides NFSM (OS&OP), the central government has been promoting pulses and oilseeds cultivation in rice fallow areas of six eastern states (Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal) since 2016-17 and from 2019-20, six more states (Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh) have been included to bring additional area and production of pulses and oilseeds, minister of agriculture and farmers welfare Narendra Singh Tomar informed the Lok Sabha.
Government, Tomar said, has been promoting organic farming under the dedicated scheme of Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY), which encourages all kinds of chemical free farming systems, including zero budget natural farming. The budget allocation for PKVY for 2019-20 is Rs325 crore. Indian Council of Agriculture Research through ICAR-Indian Institute of Farming Systems Research has initiated a study on evaluation of zero budget natural farming practices in basmati/ coarse rice-wheat system from Rabi Season 2017 at four locations, namely, Modipuram, Pantnagar, Ludhiyana, Kurukshetra, have been identified for its implementation, he said.
The National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS) has also organised a brainstorming season on Zero Budget Natural Farming in August 2019. Government has been implementing several schemes aimed at meeting the target of doubling of farmer’s income by 2022. The major schemes include:
  • National Food Security Mission – for improved production and productivity of food grains and oilseeds; 
  • Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture(MIDH)- to enhance production and productivity of horticultural crops;  
  • Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana and Mission organic Value Chain Development for North East Region –to reduce cost of cultivation and ensure chemical free quality products that can fetch premium prices to farmers; 
  • Soil health Cards- aimed at promotion of judicious use of fertilisers through soil test based recommendations there by reducing excess use of fertilisers; and 
  • PMKSY-PDMC (Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana-Per Drop More Crop)- to promote water conservation and reduction in use of inputs through drip and sprinkler irrigation. 
Government of India has also been encouraging the use of bio-fertilizers instead of chemical fertilisers through state governments,  including in the district Gopalganj of Bihar, under various schemes/ programmes, viz, Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY), Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region (MOVCDNER), National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP), National Food Security Mission (NFSM). 
ICAR under “Network project on soil biodiversity- bio fertilizers” has developed improved and efficient strains of biofertilizers specific to different crops and soil types. ICAR study indicates that biofertilizers can improve crop yields by 10-25 per cent and supplement costly chemical fertilizer (N, P) by nearly 20-25 per cent in most of the cases when used along with the chemical fertilizers. Bihar Agriculture University, Bihar and KVKs, including KVK Gopalganj, are engaged in the study on the impact of usage of bio-fertilizers.