Comprehensive District Agriculture Plans (C-DAP) Under RKVY

Concerned by the slow growth in the Agriculture and allied sectors, the National Development Council (NDC), launched a special Additional Central Assistance Scheme (RKVY) so that the future agriculture development must be reoriented to meet the needs of the farmers by evolving a strategy to rejuvenate agriculture, and to achieve 4 percent annual growth in the agricultural sector during the 11th plan. Accordingly, the Department of Agriculture, in consultation with the Planning Commission, prepared the guidelines for the RKVY scheme, to be known as NADP/RKVY. For the planning process of RKVY, each District was directed to formulate a District Agriculture Plan (DAP). It introduced incentives to States to draw up plans for their agriculture sector more comprehensively, taking agro- climatic conditions, natural resource issues and technology into account, and integrating livestock, poultry and fisheries more fully. A manual of guidelines on Comprehensive District Agricultural Plan (C-DAP) was prepared by the Planning Commission


Livelihoods Scenario of Tribal Dominated Central India: Madhya Pradesh has abundance of natural resources but its majority SC/STs is generally poor. The traditional access of tribals to the forests is restricted and it has had an adverse effect on the tribal life style. Tribal lands are marginal, hilly and undulating with abundance of water around but no irrigation. Agriculture still is primitive and crops (generally minor millets) have poor yields. CARD has been allotted the region of Satpura hills spread over ten districts of Jabalpur and Narmadapuram divisions for preparation of Comprehensive District Agriculture Plan under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana. The districts are; Hoshangabad and Betul under the Narmadapuram division and Jabalpur, Katni, Mandla, Balaghat, Seoni, Narsinghpur and Chhindwara districts under the Jabalpur division. One neighboring district of Umaria was also proposed to CARD in place of Harda district.


CARD Approach: Although the distribution of districts among the short listed agencies for C-DAP preparation was done looking into administrative units, but CARD has been fortunate to be allotted a well defined agro-climatic and ancient region – the Mahakaushal. The Mahakaushal region consists of Satpura hills, Mahadeo hills, the Maikal Hill ranges and the Narmada valley region. We have approached preparation of the C-Dap plan from this regional perspective i.e. first a regional vision planning for diversified farming system based livelihoods promotion planning. Since a vision with a plan can only bring about significant changes, the vision statement is an essential pre-requisite for preparation of a Comprehensive District Agricultural Plan (C-DAP). This exercise was important as the vision once finalized will set the pace and direction of all the future activities of district agriculture development under the RKVY. The vision of each district was built in a participatory manner integrating the views of main stakeholders of district development. Looking at the veracity of this exercise CARD put up a team of senior officers (experts) who have in-depth knowledge of both the region and the complexities of diversified farming processes, who in consultation with other local stakeholders prepared the district vision document. Simultaneously, SWOT analysis was also carried out and regional diversities were brought out clearly. Both secondary data (demographic details from Census) and primary information was used to determine the growth potentials.


The participatory Panchayat plans were prepared on the basis of data collected from Gram Panchayats and Janpad panchayats and the concerned local department representatives. The information gathered at the village/ panchayat level was regarding development needs and priorities and was used in planning exercise. All the plans are aggregated at the Zila Panchayat level and planned activities are integrated with the related department schemes and finally time and budget plans are finalized. For the purpose two sets of schedules were prepared by the C-DAP working committee of the Planning Commission were revised to gather information from the panchayat/ village level as well as the Janpad/ Zila level. All this information gathered as such (both qualitative and quantitative) was used to prepare the District Agriculture Development Plan and the Allied Farming Development Plan. The quantitative data came from structured schedules for Panchayat, block and district and the qualitative information was obtained through vision and SWOT exercises. These plans were integrated with ATMA, SREP and PCP, as well as other plans like NABARD/BRGF/NREGA, etc. and budgeting was finalized in consultation with the concerned Departments.


Methodology

Step-I: Visioning of the district is attempted to address three important aspects of development, human, infrastructural and production leading to better productivity, growth and employment. SWOT analysis is to be done for each district. The regions are to be categories as high growth, medium and low growth. This vision is shared with each stakeholder and is approved by the DPC.


Step-II: Participatory Panchayat Plan is prepared on the basis of data collection from village, Panchayat, and block on the set Performa’s.


Step-III: On the basis of the information gathered so far, Agriculture development plans and allied farming development plans were prepared. These plans were integrated with ATMA, SREP and PCP.


Step-V: The final plans are submitted to Districts for approval by the DPC.


C-DAPs were developed by a team of technical experts of CARD in association with local district level experts from all relevant sectors. C-DAP is a plan which necessitate that the Line Department only prepares this plan with the help of other local concerned stake holders so that they can in future execute and monitor the project. There is therefore need that the capacities and skills of local stakeholders are built regarding the planning process so that they can effectively monitor the implementation of the plan. This aspect has been covered under capacity building component of the Plan. The abstracts of development vision statement of each district are:


HOSHANGABAD: A champion district of agriculture production in the Mahakaushal region should make a mark in the national agriculture scenario; through selective crop development along with intensive promotion to micro & minor irrigation, developing the horticulture (fruits and vegetables), poultry, fishery and sericulture based farming systems with market- led approach.


NARSINGHPUR: Narsinghpur district situated north of Narbada, known for the holly kachhars of Narbada River, offers a salutary environment to its people to experiment and innovate. In the past it inspired the internationally renowned sages (Acharya Rajnish, Maharishi Mahesh and the Shankracharya Savrupanand ji) and recently the National Innovation Foundation recognized four innovators from this district. The district also offers traditional wisdom of its progressive farmers to innovate in agriculture. It can be a model of micro irrigation, and seed production and certification in the Central India Region.


BALAGHAT: Balaghat with exceptionally rich biodiversity with forest cover spread over half of the district are and large untapped irrigation potential, did not progress well because of limitation of cultivable lands and undulated topography. Still it has made a name in producing famous varieties of rice cultivated both by the traditional as well as modern ‘madagaskar’ systems. But the promises high returns under diversified farming practices. The district must break its traditional development approach from subsistence farming to diversified approach integrating with fishery, poultry, sericulture, horticulture and by promoting brands of traditional organic minor millets, pulses, oil seeds besides producing scented rice.


JABALPUR: Jabalpur, the gateway to and the epi-centre of Mahakaushal region’s backward districts is well connected by rail, road and air to the larger Indian Urban market. It has great potential to develop as the centre of niche ‘eco agro produce’ (ecologically sustainable farming produce) and a hub of fruits and vegetables with its strong backward linkages to the hinterlands of Kymore, Maikal and Mahadeo Hills region.


KATNI: Katni district a conglomeration of three cultural zones of the state; Mahakaushal, Bundelkhand and Baghelkhand, is rich in mineral resources. Due to its strategic location it has emerged as a main rail junction of Central India serving the backward rural hinterland of the vast region. The district can emerge as a champion of processing, packaging and trading farm fresh produce of the whole region of Bundelkhand and Baghelkhand.


SEONI: A district drained by Wainganga and Pench watersheds and famous for the MOGLI of past and Pench National Park of today has the advantage of location on the National Corridor (Golden Quadrangle). Now is the time that the district develops into a market hub of farm fresh products (fish, egg, vegetables, fruits) and organic farm produce by establishing inter state linkages.


UMARIYA: Umaria a resource rich district of poor majority tribal inhabitants has exceptionally rich biodiversity with large areas under reserve forests and National parks, has vast scope of eco-agri-farming. The district must break its traditional development approach from subsistence farming to diversified approach integrating with farm fishery, back yard poultry, sericulture, horticulture and by promoting brands of traditional organic minor millets, pulses, oil seeds.


MANDLA: Mandla a resource rich district of poor inhabitants has the glory of its past Gond Kingdom, exceptionally rich biodiversity and primitive tribes has vast scope of eco-tourism. The district must break its traditional development approach from subsistence farming to diversified approach integrating with fishery, poultry, sericulture, horticulture and by promoting brands of traditional organic minor millets, pulses, oil seeds on Public Private Community Partnership Model.


BETUL: Betul district, despite of its advantageous location on National Highway/Main N-5 Rail line and resultant connectivity to Metropolis of Bhopal and Nagpur and large untapped irrigation potential, did not progress well because of limitation of cultivable lands due to undulated topography. But the district known for its dense forests promises high returns under diversified farming practices. It can develop into ‘business hub’ of fruit processing, particularly oranges and grafted mangoes, aromatics, scented rice and fish.


CHHINDWARA: Chhindwara district with its predominant agro ecological diversity and eco tourism potential has proximity to large metropolis of Nagpur. With its strong political patronage the district can certainly lead towards a multi-sectoral road map with intensive cultivation and processing of cash crops, fruits, vegetables and NTFPs.


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