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PIB Summary for UPSC

7-February -2024

1. MICRO IRRIGATION

Topic: GS3 – Agriculture – Irrigation and irrigation systems
The transition of Per Drop More Crop scheme to RKVY in India signifies agricultural water efficiency, impacting UPSC perspectives on sustainable farming.
Context
  • The Indian Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare shifts the Per Drop More Crop (PDMC) scheme to Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) from 2022-23, promoting Micro Irrigation adoption with financial incentives.
 Additional information on this news:
  • The Per Drop More Crop (PDMC) scheme was implemented by the Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare in India as part of the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) from 2015-16 to 2021-22.
  • From 2022-23 onwards, the PDMC scheme is being implemented under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY).
  • The primary focus of the PDMC scheme is to enhance water use efficiency at the farm level through the adoption of Micro Irrigation technologies, such as Drip and Sprinkler Irrigation systems.
  • Financial assistance is provided by the Government at a rate of 55% for Small & Marginal farmers and 45% for other farmers for the installation of Micro Irrigation systems.
  • Some states offer additional incentives or top-up subsidies to encourage farmers to adopt Micro Irrigation.
  • For the North Eastern and Himalayan states, a 25% higher unit cost is considered for calculating subsidies, and for states with low Micro Irrigation penetration, a 15% higher unit cost is applied.
  • Farmers are encouraged to participate in the PDMC scheme through wide publicity using various channels such as press & print media, leaflets/booklets, workshops, exhibitions, farmer fairs, and government web portals.
  • To support states in expanding Micro Irrigation coverage, the Government of India has established the Micro Irrigation Fund (MIF) with an initial corpus of Rs. 5000 Crore, administered by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).
  • States can avail loans from the MIF for special and innovative projects related to Micro Irrigation expansion, with the government providing interest subvention at a rate of 3% on the loans, funded through the PDMC Scheme.
Micro Irrigation
Benefits:
  • Water Savings: Saves up to 70% water compared to flood irrigation, crucial in water-scarce regions.
  • Increased Yields: Delivers water directly to roots, boosting yields by 20-50%.
  • Reduced Costs: Saves on fertilizer, labor, and energy due to targeted water application.
  • Environmental Benefits: Minimizes waterlogging, salinity, and soil erosion.
Challenges:
  • High Initial Investment: Costs of equipment and installation can be prohibitive for small farmers.
  • Maintenance Requirements: Clogged emitters and leaks require regular monitoring and repairs.
  • Knowledge Gap: Farmers need training on system operation and best practices.
  • Energy Dependence: Pump-based systems rely on reliable electricity supply.
Way Forward:
  •  Subsidies & Microfinance: Facilitate access to affordable technology and financing.
  • Capacity Building: Training programs for farmers on operation, maintenance, and water management.
  • Research & Development: Develop low-cost, energy-efficient, and climate-resilient systems.
  • Public-Private Partnerships: Promote collaboration for wider adoption and scaling up.
PYQ: What is water-use efficiency? Describe the role of micro-irrigation in increasing the water-use efficiency. (200 words/12.5m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-3 2016)
Practice Question:  How can the implementation of Micro Irrigation contribute to sustainable agriculture in India? Discuss the benefits, challenges, and potential solutions. (250 words/15 m)

2. Growth of Food Processing sector.

Topic: GS3 – Agriculture – Food processing and related industries in India – scope and significance, location
Crucial for UPSC: Food Processing sector’s economic impact, government schemes, and policies
Context
  • The news highlights the significance of India’s Food Processing sector, its growth, government initiatives like PMKSY and PMFME, and measures to enhance investment and support micro-enterprises in the sector.
 Additional information on this news:
  • Food Processing (FP) sector is vital for India’s economy, contributing to GDP, employment, and exports.
  • Average Annual Growth Rate (AAGR) in FP sector is 7.26% over the last seven years.
  • Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) implements schemes like Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY) for infrastructure development, reducing wastage, and boosting exports.
  • PM Formalisation of Micro Food Processing Enterprises Scheme (PMFME) provides support for setting up/upgrading 2 lakh micro food processing enterprises.
  • Production Linked Incentive scheme (PLIS) from 2021-22 to 2026-27 aims to create global food champions and enhance Indian food brands’ visibility abroad.
  • Measures to boost investment include exempting processed food from licensing, 100% FDI through automatic route, and lower GST for raw and processed products.
  • Unorganized FP sector comprises nearly 25 lakh enterprises facing challenges in credit access, technology, branding, marketing, and food safety.
  • Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan includes PMFME scheme for financial, technical, and business support to micro food processing enterprises, operational till 2024-25.
Food processing industry in India
Significance of the Food Processing Industry in India:
  • Economic Contribution: Contributes significantly to India’s economy by generating employment and attracting investments.
  • Value Addition: Adds value to raw agricultural produce, increasing its shelf life and marketability.
  • Exports: Facilitates export growth by processing and packaging food products for global markets.
  • Supply Chain Efficiency: Improves supply chain efficiency by reducing post-harvest losses and ensuring a steady food supply.
Challenges faced by the Food Processing Industry in India:
  • Infrastructure: Inadequate infrastructure, including storage and transportation facilities, hampers efficiency.
  • Regulatory Hurdles: Complex and often ambiguous regulations pose challenges for businesses in obtaining necessary approvals.
  • Technology Adoption: Limited adoption of modern technology and outdated processing methods hinder productivity.
  • Quality Standards: Ensuring consistent quality standards is a challenge, affecting both domestic and international market acceptance.
  • Market Access: Limited market access due to trade barriers and competition from global players.
PYQ: Discuss the factors for localisation of agro-based food processing industries of North-West India. (150 words/10m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-1 2019)

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