Seed is complete technology and has potential to enhance productivity of crops by about 20-25%. Availability of good seeds for farming increases production and productivity, resulting in higher income for farmers besides overall benefitting the agriculture eco system and the nation’s economy. Due to the erratic and deficit rainfall in some states, this has necessitated the need for early sowing of rabi crops especially pulses and oilseeds.
For Rabi 2022-23, the focus of the Government is also to provide seed minikits of pulses & oilseeds targeting monsoon deficit regions in the states apart from the regular distribution. The minikits are being provided by the Central Agencies such as National Seeds Corporation (NSC), NAFED etc and these are wholly funded by the Government of India through the National Food Security Mission.
The Government has approved the massive Seed Minikit Programme for distribution seeds of newly released high yielding varieties to farmers with the following objectives:
- To popularize the latest crop varieties among the farmers to increase the production and productivity.
- To distribute seed minikits of pulses and oilseeds in the states where rainfall receiving low/deficit during Kharif, 2022 such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, part of the Madhya Pradesh & West Bengal.
- To cover non- traditional area for rapeseeds & mustard (R&M) in Vidharbha Region of Maharashtra.
- To distribute major rabi oilseeds as Groundnut for southern states such as Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka and minor oilseeds such as linseed in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, & Rajasthan and safflower in Maharashtra, Karnataka & Telangana.
For promotion of pulses, Government has allocated 4.54 lakh numbers of seed minikits of lentil & urd and 4.04 lakh seed minikits of lentil for 11 states during 2022-23 with an aim of early sowing especially in rain deficit regions of the states such as Uttar Pradesh (1,11,563 nos), Jharkhand (12,500 nos) & Bihar (12,500 nos). This is 33.8% of total allocation and 39.4 % higher than last year for these three rain deficit states.
The Government is also implementing a special programme (TMU 370) ‘TurMasoorUrad – 370’ from 2022-23 through which 120 districts under Masoor and 150 districts under Urad are being targeted to increase the production and productivity of these pulse crops by ensuring maximum convergence of components in these targeted districts.
Oilseeds are being promoted through distribution of around 8.3 lakh seed minikits with value of Rs. 39.22 crore of various crops namely mustard (575000 minikits with value of Rs. 10.93 crore), groundnut (70500 minikits with value of Rs. 16.07 crore), soybean (125000 minikits with value of Rs. 11.00 crore), safflower (32500 minikits with value of Rs. 0.65 crore) and linseed 26000 minikits with value of Rs. 0.57 crore) free of cost directly to the farmers. The Government implemented Special Mustard Mission of Rabi 2021-22 which resulted in increase in area by 20% area and production by 15% production. This year (2022-23), an allocation of 2653183 rapeseed & mustard seeds minikits with value of Rs. 50.41 crore has been approved for distribution in 301 districts of 18 States as a Special Programme.
From the year 2014-15, there has been a renewed focus on increasing the production of oilseeds and pulses. The efforts have yielded good results. Oilseeds production has increased from 27.51 million tonnes in 2014-15 to 37.70 million tonnes in 2021-22 (4th advance estimates). Pulses production has shown similar increasing trend. The Seed Minikits programme is a major tool for introducing new varieties of seeds in the farmers’ fields and is instrumental for increasing the seed replacement rate.
The productivity of pulses and oilseeds have increased substantially in last 3 years. In case of pulses productivity has been increased from 727 kg/ha (2018-19) to 980 kg/ha (4th Adv. Estimates, 2021-22) i.e. 34.8% increase. Similarly, in oilseed crops productivity has been increased from 1271 kg/ha (2018-19) to 1292 kg/ha (4th Adv. Estimates, 2021-22).
The Government’s priority is on increasing production of oilseeds and pulses and thus fulfilling the objective of Atmanirbhar Bharat. The formulated strategies are to increase production through area expansion, productivity through HYVs, MSP support and procurement.