New Delhi: The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved the increase in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for raw jute for 2018-19 and the centrally-sponsored scheme of National Bamboo Mission (NBM) under the National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) during the remaining period of Fourteenth Finance Commission (2018-19 and 2019-20).
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) met in New Delhi to discuss the two issues. The MSP for Fair Average Quality (FAQ) of raw jute has been increased to Rs 3700 per quintal for 2018-19 season from Rs 3500 per quintal in 2017-18 season. The MSP would yield returns of 63.2 percent over the weighted average A2+FL cost of production. The MSP of raw jute is expected to ensure appropriate minimum prices to the farmers and step up investment in jute cultivation and thereby production and productivity in the country.
The increased MSP is based on recommendations of Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) which while recommending MSP takes into account the cost of production, overall demand-supply, domestic and international prices, inter-crop price parity, terms of trade between agricultural and non-agricultural sectors and the likely impact of MSP on the rest of the economy.
The Jute Corporation of India would continue to act as Central Nodal Agency to undertake price support operations at the Minimum Support Prices in the Jute growing states.
The National Bamboo Mission (NBM) would ensure holistic development of the bamboo sector by addressing complete value chain and establishing effective linkage of producers (farmers) with industry. CCEA has also approved Empowerment of Executive Committee for formulation of guidelines of the NBM and to make the changes therein, including cost norms for various interventions from time-to-time as per the felt needs and specific recommendations of States, with the approval of Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare.
An outlay of Rs 1290 crore (with Rs 950 crore as Central share) is provisioned for implementation of the Mission during the remaining period of 14th Finance Commission (2018-19 and 2019-20).
The scheme will benefit directly and indirectly the farmers as well as local artisans and associated personnel engaged in bamboo sector including associated industries. Since it is proposed to bring about 1 lakh ha area under plantation, it is expected that about one lakh farmers would be directly benefitted in terms of plantation.
The Mission will focus on the development of bamboo in states where it has social, commercial and economical advantage, particularly in the Northeastern region and states including Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
The Mission is expected to establish about 4000 treatment/ product development units and bring more than 100000 ha area under plantation.
Bamboo plantation will contribute to optimizing farm productivity and income thereby enhancing livelihood opportunities of small & marginal farmers including landless and women as well as provide quality material to industry. Thus, the Mission will not only serve as a potential instrument for enhancing income of farmers but also contributing towards climate resilience and environmental benefits. The Mission will also help in creating employment generation directly or indirectly in both skilled and unskilled segments.
The restructured NBM strives to -
(i) To increase the area under bamboo plantation in non forest Government and private lands to supplement farm income and contribute towards resilience to climate change.
(ii) To improve post-harvest management through establishment of innovative primary processing units, treatment and seasoning plants, primary treatment and seasoning plants, preservation technologies and market infrastructure.
(iii) To promote product development at micro, small and medium levels and feed bigger industry.
(iv) To rejuvenate the under developed bamboo industry in India.
(v) To promote skill development, capacity building, awareness generation for development of bamboo sector.
Implementation strategy and targets:
The following steps would be adopted for the development of bamboo sector:
I. The Mission will focus on development of bamboo in limited States where it has social, commercial and economical advantage with focus on genetically superior planting material of bamboo species of commercial and industrial demand.
II. Adoption of end to end solution in bamboo sector i.e. complete value chain approach starting from bamboo growers to consumers would be emphasized.
III. Mission has been developed as a platform for integration of Ministries/ Departments/Agencies with implementation responsibilities given based on their mandate.
IV. Capacity building of the officials, field functionaries, entrepreneurs and farmers through skill development and trainings will be emphasised.
V. Focus will be given on Research & Development (R&D) to increase the production and productivity of bamboo.
NBM started as a centrally-sponsored scheme in 2006-07, was mainly emphasizing on propagation and cultivation of bamboo, with limited efforts on processing, product development and value addition. There, was weak linkage between the producers (farmers) and the industry. The restructured proposal gives simultaneous emphasis to propagation of quality plantations of bamboo, product development and value addition including primary processing and treatment; micro, small & medium enterprises as well as high value products; markets and skill development, thus addressing the complete value chain for growth of the bamboo sector.
It was subsumed under Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) during 2014-15 and continued till 2015-16. Funds were released thereafter only for maintenance of bamboo plantations raised earlier under NBM, and no new work or annual action plan was initiated. Since 2006-07, an area of 3.62 lakh ha covered under bamboo plantations and 39 bamboo wholesale markets, 40 bamboo bazaars and 29 retail outlets were set up.