Dealing with Heat Waves

by Mar 30, 2023Energy & Environment0 comments

India’s climate actions cut across various sectors and are being implemented through various programs and schemes of different Union Ministries, Departments and State/ Union Territory Governments.

The Government of India through concerned Ministries and Departments is organizing workshops, exhibitions, campaigns, competitions, etc. to raise public awareness on issues related to environment sustainability and climate change.

For instance, “Mission LiFE” (Lifestyle for Environment) has been launched to promote sustainable lifestyles and practices that conserve the environment and have climate co-benefits.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry is also implementing the Environment Education Programme (EEP) with an objective to sensitize children/youth on issues related to the environment and to motivate them to adopt sustainable lifestyles. An amount of Rupees 50.07 crores was spent by this Ministry under the Environmental Education, Awareness and Training scheme in FY 2021-22.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has taken steps to increase public awareness on the subject of health impacts of climate change including heat waves, under the ‘National Programme on Climate Change and Human Health’.

Heat wave is one of the severe weather phenomena for which India Meteorological Department (IMD) issues colour coded impact based heat wave warning for public benefit through mass media.

However, IMD in collaboration with local health departments have started heat action plans in many parts of the country to forewarn about heat waves and also advising action to be taken.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and IMD are working with 23 States prone to high temperatures leading to heat-wave conditions for supporting heat action plans.

Water Technology Initiative (WTI) has shaped and mounted several research-led solutions through National, International, and coordinated projects for water management and conservation which includes exploring the Agri-Water nexus. Varied projects in this area include groundwater recharge systems and integrated use of drip irrigation systems for enhancing crop productivity, sensors for monitoring of water balance components, solar greenhouse based hydroponic solutions, river bank filtration technologies, rainwater harvesting, etc. under the Indo-Dutch bilateral cooperation.

Further, WTI has also supported two Water Innovation Centres (WIC) in Jodhpur and Ludhiana for the Agri-Water interdisciplinary research and development for convergent solutions.

Technological approaches have been adopted by Department of Science and Technology for conservation of water through water efficient agricultural practices; augmentation of quality of water from available and accessible sources; and renovation for recycling.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare is implementing the Per Drop More Crop (PDMC) scheme, which focuses on enhancing water use efficiency at farm level through micro irrigation viz. drip and sprinkler irrigation systems. The Government provides financial assistance/subsidy to farmers for encouraging them to install drip and sprinkler irrigation systems under the PDMC scheme. Farmers are encouraged to take advantage of the PDMC scheme by wide publicity through press & print media, publication of leaflets/booklets, organization of workshops, exhibitions, farmer fairs, information on State/Government of India web portals etc.

Besides, with the objective of facilitating the States in mobilising resources for expanding coverage of micro irrigation, Micro Irrigation Fund (MIF) has been created with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). The objective of the fund is to facilitate States in mobilizing resources for expanding coverage of micro irrigation by taking up special and innovative projects and also for incentivising micro irrigation beyond the provisions available under PDMC scheme to encourage farmers to install micro irrigation systems.

In addition, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) imparts training and organizes field demonstrations through Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) to educate farmers for promotion of efficient irrigation techniques/ micro irrigation for various crops.

Above all, with an intent to build a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation and startups in the country, the Modi government has launched ‘Startup India initiative’. The action plan for ‘Startup India’ has laid the foundation of Government support, schemes and incentives envisaged to create a vibrant startup ecosystem in the country. The action plan comprises of 19 action items spanning across areas such as ‘Simplification and handholding’, ‘Funding support and incentives’ and ‘Industry- academia partnership and incubation’.

The Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS) under Startup India initiative provides financial assistance to startups across the country for proof of concept, prototype development, product trials, market entry and commercialization.

13. Setting up of National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) extension Platform

1260 mandis of 22 States and 03 UTs have been integrated to e-NAM platform.

As on 31.12.2022, more than 1.74 Crore Farmers & 2.39 Lakh traders have been registered on e-NAM portal.

Total volume of 7.07 Crore MT & 20.88 Crore numbers (bamboo, betel leaves, coconut, lemon & sweet corn) collectively worth approximately Rs. 2.42 lakh crore of trade has been recorded on e-NAM platform as on 31.12.2022.

14. Launch of the National Mission for Edible Oils

Oil Palm – NMEO has been approved with a total outlay of Rs 11,040 crore. This will bring an additional area of 6.5 lakh hectare under Oil Palm plantation with 3.28 lakh hectare in the north-eastern states and 3.22 lakh hectare in the rest of India in the next 5 years. The major focus of the Mission is to provide Viability Prices of fresh fruit bunches (FFBs) to the farmers linked with assured procurement by industry with a simpler price fixing formula.

15. Agri Infrastructure Fund (AIF)

Since inception of AIF in the year 2020, the scheme has sanctioned an amount of Rs.16,117 crore worth agriculture infrastructure in the country for 22,354 projects. With the support of the scheme, various agriculture infrastructures were created and some of the infrastructure are at the final stage of completion. These infrastructures include 8,752 warehouses, 4,188 primary processing units, 2,635 custom hiring centres, 1,217 sorting & grading units, 859 cold store projects, 163 assaying units and around 4,257 other kinds of post-harvest management projects and community farming assets.

16. Improvement in farm produce logistics, Introduction of Kisan Rail

Kisan Rail has been launched by Ministry of Railways to exclusively cater to movement of perishable agrihorti commodities. First Kisan Rail was started in July 2020. Till 31st December, 2022, 2359 services on 167 routes have been operated.

17. MIDH – Cluster Development Programme

The Cluster Development Programme (CDP) is designed to leverage geographical specialisation of horticulture clusters and promote integrated and market-led development of pre-production, production, post-harvest, logistics, branding, and marketing activities. DA&FW has identified 55 horticulture clusters, of which 12 have been selected for the pilot phase of the CDP.

18. Creation of a Start-up Eco system in agriculture and allied sector

So far, 1102 Startups during FY 2019-20 to 2022-23 have been finally selected by different knowledge partners and agribusiness incubators of DA&FW. A total of Rs. 66.83 crore grants-in-aid has been released for funding to these Startups to the respective Knowledge Partners (KPs) & RKVY RAFTAAR Agri Business Incubator (R-ABIs) as grants-in-aid support by DA&FW.

19. Achievement in Export of Agri and Allied Agri-Commodities

The country has witnessed emphatic growth in export of agri and allied commodities. As compared to previous year 2020-21, the Agri and allied export has increased from 41.86 billion USD in 2020-21 to 50.24 billion USD in 2021-22 i.e. an increase of 19.99%.

The efforts of Government at positive implementation of these schemes have yielded remarkable results towards augmenting the income of the farmers. As part of the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has released a book, which contains compilation of success stories of 75,000 farmers out of innumerable successful farmers who have increased their income more than two times.

A total amount of funds for Rs. 63,494.84 crore was surrendered by the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare during the last 3 financial years i.e. 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22 on account of following reasons:

(i) Due to unspent balance with States/Implementing Agencies from release made earlier mainly Goa, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh etc.

(ii) Due to delay in compliance of Department of Expenditure’s guidelines for new procedure of fund release, States could not furnish various compliance statements and also there were unspent balance in State treasury. Single nodal account (SNA) mapping on PFMS portal for many states were also incomplete and various checklist, undertaking etc were not furnished by States/UTs. Therefore, funds were not released to many States/UTs.

(iii) Utilization of mandatory 10% Gross Budgetary Support allocation for North Eastern States is constrained on account of low capacity, saturation in entitlement based scheme, less Gross Cropped Area as compared to the national average and community land holding in NE States.

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