In this article we will discuss about the National Food Security Mission (NFSM).
With a broad objective of increasing the production of food grains in the country, the Government of India introduced the National Food Security Mission (NFSM) in recent years.
The Department of Agriculture & Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture, has launched a Centrally-sponsored scheme on National Food Security Mission (NFSM) in pursuance of the resolution of the National Development Council (NDC) to increase the production of rice, wheat and pulses by 10, 8 and 2 million tonnes, respectively, over the benchmark levels of production, by the end of the Eleventh Five Year Plan period.
The Mission aims at increasing food grains production of the above crops through area expansion and productivity enhancement; restoring soil fertility and productivity creating employment opportunities and enhancing farm level economy to restore confidence of farmers of targeted districts.
Various activities of NFSM relate to demonstration of improved production technology, distribution of quality seeds of HYVs and hybrids, popularization of newly released varieties, support for micronutrients, and training and mass media campaign including awards for best performing districts.
The identified districts are given flexibility to adopt any local area specific interventions as are included in the Strategic Research and Extension Plan (SREP) prepared for the agriculture development of the district. Rs 2 crore each will be provided during the Eleventh Five Year Plan period to those districts which have a programme for two or more crops of the NFSM and Rs 1 crore to the districts having a programme for any one of the crops.
The NFSM is being implemented in 317 districts of 17 States of the country. An amount of Rs 149.4 crore has been released to various states to plan and implement various interventions during 2007-08. Total outlay of NFSM during the Eleventh Plan is finalised at Rs 4,882. 5 crore. Table 7.11 (a) shows the proposed allocation under NFSM.
It is observed from Table 7.11(a) that out of total allocation of Rs 4,882.5 crore for NFSM made by the Government, Rs 1,722.3 crore is allocated for rice production, Rs 1,920.3 crore is allocated for wheat production and Rs 1,239.9 crore is allocated for the production of pulses. Out of which, a sum of Rs 3,381 crore has been spent till 31st March, 2011.
In 2007-08, the NFSM was launched with three major components, viz., NFSM-Rice, NFSM-Wheat, and NFSM-Pulses. During the Eleventh Plan, NFSM-Rice was implemented in 144 districts of 16 states, NFSM- Wheat in 142 districts of 9 states and NFSM-Pulses in 468 districts of 16 states.
In 2012-13, six north-eastern states, viz. Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim were included in NFSM- Rice and the hill states Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand under NFSM-Rice and wheat and J & K under NFSM-wheat.
Specifically during 2012-13, a special plan to achieve 19+ million tonnes of pulses production during the Khariff 2012 was launched with a total allocation of Rs 153.5 crore comprising Rs 107.3 crore for NFSM activities and Rs 46.2 crore for micro irrigation scheme. During 2012-13, Rs 87.0 crore has been allocated for additional area coverage of pulses during rabi/summer 2012-13 seasons.
Thus the Mission (NFSM) interventions mostly consist of a judicious mix of proven technological components which covers seeds of improved variety, soil ameliorants, plant nutrients, farm machines and implements, and also plant protection measures.
In addition to that, a special initiative under the name of the Accelerated Pulses Production Programme was initiated in 2010 to boost the production of pulses by active promotion of technologies in 1,000 ha each.
Considerable achievements under the NFSM have been recorded during the course of implementation of the programme such as new farm practices, distribution of seeds of high yielding varieties of rice, wheat, pulses, and hybrid rice, and treating area with soil ameliorants to restore soil fertility for higher productivity.
Through targeted interventions, the mission has already achieved, a year in advance, 25 million tonnes of additional production of food grains exceeding the target of 20 million tonnes of production set for the terminal year 2011-12, of the Eleventh Year Plan.
Moreover, under NFSM, an amount of Rs 300 crore has been provided in the Union Budget 2010-11 in order to promote dry-land farming in 60,000 pulses and oilseeds villages in rainfed areas.
Besides, another programme, namely, Bringing ‘Green Revolution in the Eastern States’ is operational in seven states—Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, Orissa and Chhattisgarh. The Rice Development and Organizing Pulses and Oilseeds villages are another programme, beside the pulses promotion strategies and other initiatives undertaken to boost agricultural productivity in these states.
During the course of its implementation in the last five years, i.e., during 2007-08 to 2011-12, the progress reports received from the states indicates significant achievements under NFSM.
It is observed that focused and target oriented technological intervention under the NFSM has made significant impact since its inception, which is reflected in the increase in production of rice and wheat in 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11. However, much more sincere attempt needs to be taken in NFSM-pulses area.
NFSM under the Twelfth Plan:
The NFSM is now being implemented with the new target of additional production of 25 million tonnes of food grains comprising 10 million tonnes of rice, 8 million tonnes of wheat, 4 million tonnes of pulses and 3 million tonnes of coarse cereals by the end of the Twelfth Five Year Plan (2016-17).
The revamped NFSM is now being implemented from 2014-15 in 619 districts of 28 states. In addition to rice, wheat and pulses, crops like coarse cereals and commercial crops (sugarcane, cotton and jute) have already been included since 2014-15.
Promotion of farmer producer organizations (FPOs), value addition, dal mil, and assistance for custom hiring charges have also been undertaken under the Mission. The pulses component has been allocated fifty per cent of total funds under the NFSM in order to increase their production. To promote the use of bio- fertilizers, subsidy on bio-fertilizer has also been enhanced from Rs 100 per ha to Rs 300 per ha.