24th April, 2015, Hyderabad
A “National Consultation meeting on Enhancing the Preparedness of Agricultural Contingencies in Kharif 2015” was organized by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA) on 24th April, 2015 at CRIDA campus, Hyderabad.
The meeting was inaugurated by Sri Siraj Hussain, Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture, Govt of India and Dr. S. Ayyappan. Secretary (DARE) and DG, ICAR.
Sri Siraj Hussain, in his address, sought the information from each state representative to focus on the measures taken to address the drought, plans for various input availability, status of crop/weather insurance schemes, coverage, settlement of claims, utility and modifications needed in district contingency plans for kharif 2015.
Dr. Ayyappan appreciated the effort taken by CRIDA for preparation of contingency plans for 580 districts and urged for implementation of these plans for different contingency scenarios by holding discussions with different state governments.
Dr. A.K. Sikka, DDG (NRM) suggested for states to come up with strategies based on the monsoon forecast. He observed that seed availability and timely delivery, availability and access to farm implements are crucial issues in drought scenarios and also stressed upon the need for area based agro advisories and informed the efforts made by ICAR and IMD in issuing a joint agro met advisories.
Sri Narendra Bhoosan, JS (Drought Management) informed that 10% of RKVY money is earmarked for implementing contingency measures and suggested for dissemination of weather forecast through SMS to farming community via Mkisan platform.
Dr Ch. Srinivasa Rao, Director, CRIDA outlined a five point strategy for enhancing the preparedness for contingencies during kharif 2015 including (a) updating current contingency plans (b) establishing a mechanism for contingency plans implementation at state level through a state nodal officer with sufficient budget provision and by incorporation of contingency plans in state kharif action plans (c) technological support and capacity building by state agricultural university and ICAR (d) arrangement of critical inputs and (e) preparation of action plans through interface meetings at states with a priority for those states which might be impacted as per IMD's forecast.
State representatives presented the status of measures initiated by their governments to address the contingency scenarios. Though majority of the states have some mechanisms put in place to supply the seeds for contingency scenarios, Sri Siraj Hussain observed that there should be a match between the seed availability and cropped areas and urged for taking necessary steps to stock sufficient seed quantity for each crop matching to the cropped area.
Action plan developed towards preparedness for kharif, 2015.
- All state governments to use television channels (including private and local ones) for dissemination of agro-advisories
- District contingency plans to be prepared at the earliest wherever they are not available
- Direct seeding of rice to be given top priority where ever possible in states like Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh etc.
- Documenting and communicating the success stories during last 2-3 drought seasons which were supported by Government and also identification of short falls which need policy interventions and CRIDA to coordinate the documentation efforts.
- Popularization of crop insurance scheme among farming community
- All loaned farmers to be covered with insurance and settlements are to be made with 45 days for weather insurance claims
- Insurance term sheets for different crops are to be collected from AIC and communication material to be made in local language for easy understanding by farming community and the same is to be provided on websites.
- Interface meeting will be organized in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, followed other states Rajasthan, Gujarat, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka (ICAR-CRIDA and State Agriculture Departments)
A technical bulletin on "District Agriculture Contingency Plans to Address Weather Aberrations and for Sustainable Food Security in India“was released during this occasion.
Senior officials from State Government, State Agricultural Universities and ICAR were also participated in the consultation.
(Source : ICAR-CRIDA, Hyderabad)