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PIB: June 05, 2024

1. Second Advance Estimates of 2023-24 of Area and Production of Horticultural Crops

Topic: GS3 – Agriculture
Context
The Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare released the Second Advance Estimates of 2023-24 for horticultural crops, indicating a slight decrease in total production but varied trends in fruit and vegetable production.

Analysis of the news:

  • The Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare released the Second Advance Estimates of 2023-24 for horticultural crops.
  • Total horticulture production is estimated at 352.23 Million Tonnes, a slight decrease from the previous year.
  • Fruit production is expected to reach 112.63 Million Tonnes, driven by increases in Banana, Lime/Lemon, Mango, Guava, and Grapes.
  • Vegetable production is projected at 204.96 Million Tonnes, with increases in Bottlegourd, Bittergourd, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Pumpkin, Tapioca, Carrot, and Tomato.
  • However, Onion production is anticipated to decrease significantly to 242.12 Lakh Tonnes, and Potato production to 567.62 Lakh Tonnes.
  • Tomato production is forecasted to increase to 212.38 Lakh Tonnes.
  • The decrease in Potato production is mainly attributed to declines in Bihar and West Bengal.
  • These estimates reflect changes in production patterns and contribute to understanding the dynamics of India’s horticulture sector.
 Significance of horticulture for Indian agriculture:
  • Significance: Diverse Crop Range: Horticulture encompasses a wide range of crops, including fruits, vegetables, flowers, spices, and medicinal plants, contributing to dietary diversity and nutrition.
  • Economic Contribution: Horticulture plays a significant role in India’s agricultural economy, generating income and employment opportunities for millions of farmers and workers.
  • Export Potential: High-value horticulture crops have significant export potential, contributing to foreign exchange earnings and boosting rural livelihoods.
  • Climate Resilience: Many horticulture crops are more resilient to climate change and water scarcity compared to traditional crops, enhancing agricultural sustainability.
  • Nutritional Security: Fruits and vegetables produced through horticulture contribute to improving nutritional security and addressing malnutrition in India.
  • Challenges: Lack of Infrastructure: Inadequate infrastructure for storage, transportation, and marketing hampers the growth of the horticulture sector.
  • Pest and Disease Management: Controlling pests and diseases in horticulture crops requires effective management strategies to minimise crop losses.
  • Market Access: Limited market access and price volatility pose challenges for horticulture farmers, affecting their income and livelihoods.
  • Technology Adoption: Low adoption of modern technologies and practices in horticulture production limits productivity and quality improvements.
  • Post-Harvest Losses: High post-harvest losses due to inadequate storage and processing facilities impact farmer incomes and food security.
  • Way Forward: Investment in Infrastructure: Improve infrastructure for cold storage, transportation, and market linkages to reduce post-harvest losses and enhance market access.
  • Research and Development: Invest in research and development to develop high-yielding and climate-resilient horticulture varieties.
  • Capacity Building: Provide training and extension services to farmers on modern horticulture practices, pest management, and market linkages.
  • Promote Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs): Facilitate the formation of FPOs to empower horticulture farmers and strengthen their bargaining power in the market.
  • Value Addition: Encourage value addition through food processing, packaging, and branding to increase the marketability of horticulture products and enhance farmer incomes.
PYQ: Examine the role of supermarkets in supply chain management of fruits, vegetables and food items. How do they eliminate the number of intermediaries? (150 words/10m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-3 2018)
Practice Question:  Discuss the significance of horticulture in Indian agriculture, considering its contribution to food security, income generation, employment opportunities, and environmental sustainability. Evaluate the challenges and measures needed to further promote horticulture. (250 Words /10 marks)

(Source – https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=2022761 )

2. Total foodgrain production is estimated at 3288.52 LMT, higher by 211.00 LMT from average foodgrain production of last 5 years

Topic: GS3 – Agriculture
Context
The Ministry of Agriculture released the Third Advance Estimates of Major Agricultural Crops for 2023-24, indicating slight fluctuations in crop production.

Analysis of the news:

  • The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare released the Third Advance Estimates of Major Agricultural Crops for 2023-24, including Kharif, Rabi, and Summer seasons.
  • Total foodgrain production estimated at 3288.52 LMT, slightly lower than the previous year but higher than the 5-year average.
  • Rice production at 1367.00 LMT, Wheat at 1129.25 LMT, and Shree Anna at 174.08 LMT, showing marginal increases.
  • Nutri/Coarse Cereals production estimated at 547.34 LMT, significantly higher than the average.
  • Soybean production at 130.54 LMT and Rapeseed & Mustard at 131.61 LMT, both higher than the previous year.
  • Cotton production estimated at 325.22 Lakh Bales and Sugarcane at 4425.22 LMT.
  • Crop production estimates based on data from State Agricultural Statistics Authorities, Remote Sensing, and Digital General Crop Estimation Survey.
  • Improved yield estimation methods, including Crop Cutting Experiments and Digital General Crop Estimation Survey, contributed to more accurate production estimates.
Practice Question:  Discuss the role of government policies and technological advancements in increasing food and grain production to enhance Indian food security. Evaluate the challenges and strategies necessary to ensure sustainable food production in the face of evolving climatic and socioeconomic factors. (250 Words /15 marks)

(Source – https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=2022740 )

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