9th Five Year Plan (Vol-1)
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Objectives, Strategy and Perspective of Development
Introduction || Objectives of Ninth Plan || Population Growth and Demographic Profile : Perspective || Growth Target for Full employment : Perspective || Growth Performance and Poverty : Perspective || Food Requirement and Agricultural growth : Perspective || Energy and Natural Resources : Perspective || Annexures

Food Requirement and Agricultural Growth

1.101 Given the objectives of removal of the incidence of poverty and unemployment and of ensuring food and nutritional security, attaining a high growth rate in agriculture in the Ninth Plan and beyond is necessary. In order to achieve these objectives, the value of agricultural output is targetted to increase at annual rate of 4.5 percent in the Ninth Plan. The targetted annual growth rates in the value of agricultural output for the Tenth and Eleventh Plans are 5.3 percent and 5.1 percent respectively. The commodity-wise break-up of the target growth rates is given in Table 1-15. These targets have been determined keeping in mind the commodity-wise level of expected demand- both domestic and external -and the domestic supply possibilities.

Table  1-15  :  Target Growth Rate in  Value  of  Output  of  
Agriculture During the Ninth Plan and over  the Perspective
Period (in percentage)
Commodity                         IX Plan   X Plan    XI Plan
1) Agricultultural Crop            3.82       4.54      4.27
a) Foodgrain                       3.05       3.57      2.73
i) Rice                            2.75       3.08      2.73
ii) Wheat                          3.75       4.31      3.64
iii)Coarse Cereal                  2.20       2.40      2.43
iv) Pulses                         3.50       4.93      5.66 
b) Oilseeds                        5.25       8.85      5.16
c) Sugar Cane                      4.00       6.16      6.07
d) Fruits  and  Vegetables             7.00       8.01      7.89
e) Other Agricultural  Products    2.64       3.08      3.04
   of which
i) Tea                             5.00       6.16      6.07
ii) Coffee                         5.00       6.16      6.07
2) Livestock                       6.59       7.68      7.36
a) Milk Group                      7.04       8.32      7.89
b) Meat  and  Poultry Group            7.50       8.63      8.50
c) Other Livestock Products        2.00       1.85      1.82
3) Fishery                         6.50       7.00      7.00
4) Total Agriculture               4.50       5.30      5.10
Note : The growth rates given in this table differ from the growth rates of the quantum of output on account of expected changes in relative prices .

1.102 The expected per-capita consumption levels of various commodities by the end of perspective period, which are presented in Table 1-16, have been worked out on the basis of expected population growth rate, growth rate in per-capita consumption expenditure and the elasticity of demand with respect to per-capita consumption expenditure. Foodgrain consumption is likely to increase from 194.70 million tonnes in 1996-97 to 298.38 million tonnes in 2011-12. In order to meet this demand, the production of foodgrain is projected to increase from 199.32 million tonnes in 1996-97 to 337.3 million tonnes in 2011-12. Within foodgrains, though India is comfortably placed as far as cereal production is concerned, the deficit in pulses is expected to continue. This is despite the fact that the production growth rate is projected to be stepped up from 3.5 percent in the Ninth Plan to 4.9 percent in the Tenth Plan and further to 5.7 percent in the Eleventh Plan. These target growth rates for pulses are much higher than the production growth rate of pulses achieved in the past. This, and more, will have to be achieved through bringing more area under pulses, enhancing of irrigation coverage and introduction of new HYVs for pulses.

Table  1-16  :  Projected  Production  and  Per Capita 
Consumption of Selected Agricultural Commodities
 Commodity         Production Consumption Production Consumption
                    1996-97    1996-97      2011-12    2011-12
                    (mil. ton)  (kg.)        (mil. ton)  (kg.)
1) Agricultural Crop
a) Foodgrain         199.32     188.50       337.3     223.35
i) Rice               81.31      84.00       128.16     93.80
ii) Wheat             69.27      63.00       130.45     81.25
iii) Coarse Cereal    34.27      27.50        48.93     27.50
iv) Pulses            14.46      14.00        29.76     20.80
b) Oilseeds           24.96       7.00*       58.56     11.05*
c) Sugar Cane        277.25      27.00**     679.64     45.48**
2) Livestock
a) Milk               68.6       70.25       227.5     152.15
3)  Fishery           5.35        5.05        14.76      9.30
* Consumption of oilseeds is in terms of edible oil.
** Consumption of sugarcane is in terms of sugar and jaggery.

1.103 Within non-foodgrains, consumption demand for sugar and jaggery is expected to increase from 25.25 million tonnes in 1996-97 to 54.03 million tonnes in 2011-12. In order to meet this demand, sugarcane production has to be targetted to increase at an annual rate of 4 percent in the Ninth Plan and 6.2 and 6.1 percent in the Tenth and Eleventh Plans respectively. However, sustaining such high growth rates over the perspective period is likely to be quite difficult. The alternative is to increase the recovery rate of sugar from sugarcane. At present the recovery rate in India is about 10 per cent, which is much lower than the international standards. Concerted efforts have to be made to increase the recovery rate, which would reduce the sugarcane production requirement to meet domestic demand for sugar. Even a one percentage point increase in the recovery rate from the present 10 percent to 11 percent will reduce sugarcane production requirement from 679.64 million tonnes to 610 million tonnes in 2011-12, which would make it that much easier to meet the other agricultural output targets.

1.104 Given the very high demand elasticity with respect to per-capita consumption expenditure, the demand for livestock products and fishery is expected to grow at a very rapid rate. The consumption requirement of milk is likely to increase from 66 million tonnes in 1996-97 to 180.76 million tonnes in 2011-12. The consumption of fish is expected to increase from 4.74 million tonnes in 1996-97 to 11.05 million tonnes in 2011-12. Apart from this, there is a good export market for livestock and marine products. In order to cater to both domestic and external markets, the production of livestock and fishery sectors should be targetted for rapid growth. Milk production is targetted to increase from 68.6 million tonnes in 1996-97 to 227.5 million tonnes in 2011-12. The enhanced production of milk is likely to come entirely from enhanced yield levels. To achieve this, the network of veterinary hospitals and facilities for cross-breeding will need to be strenghthened and upgraded. Availabilty of quality fodder and feed will also have to receive special attention. Fish production is targetted to increase from 5.35 million tonnes in 1996-97 to 14.76 million tonnes in 2011-12. To meet this target, the focus will be on integrated development of marine and inland fishery, conservation and upgradation of aquatic resources and adequate availabilty of quality fish seeds and feeds.

1.105 High growth rate in agriculture in the long run can be sustained only by broadening the regional base of agriculture. This will be have to achieved through devoting greater amount of resources to rain-fed areas, ensuring more intensive and efficient utilisation of irrigation facilities and continuous flow of improved technology and farm practices.

1.106 Sustaining such a rate of agricultural growth would require much larger use of inputs particularly land, irrigation, fertilisers and pesticides, HYVs etc. However, the availabilty of land is expected to emerge as a major constraint on agricultural growth. Due to increasing demand of land for housing, rising level of urbanisastion and industrialisation, increasingly larger quantity of agricultural land is being shifted to non-agricultural uses. In the past such loss of agricultural land was being compensated by converting forest land into agricultural land. However, there is no scope for further conversion of the forest land. The only possibilty for fresh land is through reclamation of waste land and land affected by salinity, alkalinity and water-logging. It is expected that such reclaimed land will compensate for the loss of agricultural land for non-agricultural uses. The Net Sown Area is therefore expected to remain more or less constant at the level of 142 million hectares throughout the perspective period. Vigorous effort will need be made to reclaim degraded land. However, this alone will not be sufficient. Reclaimed land is likely to be inherently deficient in fertility compared to normal agricultural land. Focus will thus have to be on developing appropriate technology packages which will restore the fertility of reclaimed land.

1.107 Land degradation is one of major problems in India. Soil erosion is the most important cause of land degradation. It is estimated that nearly 45 percent of geographical area of India is affected by serious soil erosion through ravine and gully, waterlogging, shifting cultivation, etc. Major efforts will need to be made to reduce the incidence of soil erosion through water conservation measures, improvement of drainage facility, tree plantation, discouragement of shifting cultivation, etc. Neglect of such measures is likely to make the prospect of maintaining and increasing the forest cover of the country that much more difficult, as survival strategies of the poor will compel them to encroach on forest lands.

1.108 Given that the Net Sown Area cannot, and indeed should not, be increased further, the availability of land can be augmented only through increasing cropping intensity. Enhancing cropping intensity will not only require expansion of irrigation facilities, but also higher efficiency of the irrigation system. At present the ultimate irrigation potential is estimated to be 113 million hectares. With this irrigation potential and the current cropping intensity coefficient with respect to irrigation, the cropping intensity can go up to 149 as against the current level of 134.20. However, this will not be sufficient. Concerted efforts have to be made to increase the cropping intensity coefficient with respect to irrigation through water conservation measures and more efficient and judicious use of existing irrigation facilities. For working out irrigation requirement to achieve the target growth rate of production in agriculture, it has been assumed that the cropping intensity coefficient with respect to irrigation will increase by 6.4 percent in the Tenth Plan over the Ninth Plan and a further 6.3 percent in the Eleventh Plan over the Tenth Plan. Under these assumptions, the cropping intensity is projected to rise from 134.20 in 1996-97 to 154.33 in 2011-12. With appropriate investment, gross irrigated area can increase from 76.25 million hectares in 1996-97 to 105.50 million hectares in 2011-12.

1.109 Increase in yield is expected to be the primary contributor to the enhanced agricultural production. The growth rate of yield is expected to be 2.91, 3.54 and 3.37 percent per annum in the Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Plans respectively. In the past, the yield growth rate has largely been based on increasingly more intensive use of inputs, particularly chemical fertilisers and pesticides. However, very high level of the use of these inputs can lead to land degradation and other ecological and environmental problems. Under the present yield coefficient with respect to chemical fertiliser use, maintaining the above mentioned rates of growth in yield, would result in an unsustainably high level of fertiliser-intensity by the end of perspective period. Concerted efforts will need to be made to increase the yield coefficient with respect to both fertiliser use and irrigation. This alone will not be sufficient, and increased attention will have to be paid on replacing chemical fertilisers with bio-fertilisers. Under the assumption of 10 per cent increase in the yield coefficients with respect to chemical fertiliser use and 6.4 per cent increase in the yield coefficient with respect to irrigation in the Tenth Plan over the Ninth Plan and further improvements of similar magnitudes in the Eleventh Plan over the Tenth Plan, the chemical fertiliser consumption requirement will be 45.48 million tonnes in 2011-12. The per-hectare chemical fertiliser consumption would then stand at 207.53 kgs. in 2011-12 as against the current level of 75.12 kgs. per hectare. Such a level of chemical fertilizer intensity would not be supportable for both environmental and productivity reasons. Replacement of chemical fertilizers with bio-fertilizers is therefore essential, and efforts towards development of the appropriate technologies and towards encouraging the production of bio-fertilizers will have to be taken up in right earnest immediately. The consolidated strategy for agricultural growth in terms of the various major input requirements is presented in Table 1-17.

Table 1-17 : Area Yield and Input Use in Agriculture
Item                                    1996-97      2011-12
1) Net Sown Area (million hec.)          142.00       142.00
2) Gross Sown Area (million hec.)        190.50       219.15
3) Cropping Intensity (in %)             134.20       154.33
4) Annual Growth in Agricultural
   Crop Production (in %)
a) Ninth Plan                       	 3.82
b) Tenth Plan                       	 4.54
c) Eleventh Plan                         4.27
5) Annual Growth in Gross Sown
   Area (in %)
a) Ninth Plan                            0.91
b) Tenth Plan                            1.00
c) Eleventh Plan                         0.90
6) Annual Growth Rate in Yield
   (in %)
a) Ninth Plan                            2.91
b) Tenth Plan                            3.54
c) Eleventh Plan                         3.37
7) Fertiliser Consumption (mill ton)      14.31        45.48
8) Fertiliser Intensity (kg/hec)          75.12       207.53
9) Gross Irrigated Area (mill hec)        76.25       105.50
10) Percentage of Gross Area Under        40.00

1.110 To further harness the growth and distributive potential of agriculture, development of agro-based industries will need to receive special attention. Agro-based industries are not only labour-intensive and contribute to increased value-addition, they expand the market for agricultural commodities both domestically and externally. This can have very positive effects on the terms of trade for agriculture and thereby on the incentive for more rapid agricultural growth. The agro-processing industry in India is still at a nascent stage. Growth of agro-processing industries should be actively encouraged through the provision of adequate credit, quality transport, communication, storage and marketing facilities.

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