Govt to rev up farm growth plan with ‘Raftaar’

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NEW DELHI: Turning its focus on post-harvest infrastructure, the Centre has planned to completely revamp the existing 10-year-old Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana to take farming in India to a new level.

The revamped plan, which has already been vetted by the department of expenditure of the finance ministry and the government’s thinktank Niti Aayog, will be known as RKVY-Raftaar (Remunerative Approaches for the Agriculture and Allied Sector Development).

For the next two years, emphasis will be given to development of agriculture infrastructure, specifically post-harvest infrastructure and promotion of private investment in agriculture across the country in a big way.

“Idea is to fast-track agriculture development and take this to a new level of annual growth trajectory, beyond 4%. The agriculture ministry will soon take the revised version of the RKVY to the Cabinet for its approval,” said a senior ministry official. RKVY was launched during 2007-08 to achieve 4% annual growth in agri sector by ensuring a holistic development as per a resolution of the National Development Council (NDC). The Centre had allocated Rs 25,000 crore for this scheme during 11th plan period (2007-12) and Rs 63,246 crore during 12th plan period (2012-17).

It is being implemented as a ‘special additional central assistance’ scheme to incentivise states to draw up comprehensive plans taking into account agro-climatic conditions and natural resources for ensuring more inclusive and integrated development of agriculture and allied sectors.

It has, at present, six sub-schemes including spreading green revolution to eastern India, initiative on vegetable clusters, national mission for protein supplements, saffron mission (economic revival of J&K saffron), crop diversification and Vidarbha intensive irrigation development programme.
“Though it has largely succeeded in achieving 4% annual growth in agriculture sector, we now need to look beyond that. The revamped plan will have strategies on how to do that. It will also introduce couple of more subschemes with additional funding to incentivise states,” said the official.
Under the RKVY-Raftaar, the emphasis will also be on support to innovations and agri-entrepreneur development, promotion of value addition linked agri-business models and involvement of youth in agriculture through various incentives so that it will not only provide jobs to people in rural areas in this sector but also help in achieving the target of doubling farmers’ income by 2022. The revamped plan will have additional subschemes, including one on increasing production and improving productivity of coarse cereal.

 

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