As per the third advance estimate for 2020-21, the country has achieved a record food grain production at 305.44 million tons during 2020-21.
In view of the global pandemic, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued notification for nationwide lockdown from 23rd March 2020. In order to ensure timely and smooth functioning of agriculture and allied sector activities during the lockdown period on 25th March 2020 onwards the government allowed the opening of shops for seeds, pesticides, manufacturing and packaging units of seeds, fertilizers & pesticides & procurement under Minimum Support Price Operations. On 27th March 2020 Government had allowed farmers and farmworkers to do farming operations in the field, mandis were allowed to start operating and procurement of agricultural produce. Besides, the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW) had issued the Standard Operations procedures(SOPs) dated 18.04.2020 for farmers for their safety and keeping social distancing while undertaking farm-related activities. These measures included sensitization of field functionaries, facilitate movement of agriculture labour, agriculture machinery, tools and implements for harvesting of Rabi/Summer and sowing of Kharif crops besides availability of Custom Hiring Centres (CHCs) machinery and services, Intra and interstate movement of farm machines besides opening of Shops of Agriculture Machinery. To make availability of fertilisers, authorisation to wholesalers and retailer was extended by 3 months (whose validity was expiring during COVID time). This information was given in a written reply by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar in Lok Sabha
Special parcel trains were initiated for smooth movement of seeds, fertilizers and horticulture produce. To facilitate farmers during lockdown, more than 2,067 agriculture markets were made functional. Kisan Rath was launched in April 2020 to facilitate farmers & traders for transport of Agriculture/Horticulture produce.
The government also ensured the early release of financial benefits to the farmers under the PM-Kisan Scheme. During the period of April-August 2020, Rs. 40,466 Crores were released benefitting 9.36 Crores farmer families under PM-Kisan Scheme. The Government also ensured adequate credit facility to the farmers, Kisan Credit Card drive started in February 2020 was taken forward which helped in issuing Rs. 1.96 Crore KCCs. Under PMFBY, to the tune of Rs. 8,741.3 Crore were paid to 69.7 lakh farmers during the Lockdown period (24.03.2020 to 07.06.2020). To build the confidence of the farmers, Government declared Minimum Support Price for Kharif & Rabi during 2020-21 before sowing seasons ensuring at least 1.5 times of remunerative price as per the government policy. The number of procurement centres for pulses and oilseeds has increased from 3,731 in 2019-20 to 4678 in 2020-21. During the period 2019-20 to 2020-21, the number of procurement centres for wheat and paddy has increased from 14,644 to 20,163 and 67,127 to 74,609 respectively. Additional 415 mandis have been integrated with e-NAM platform during Covid-19 period making a total of 1000 mandis for facilitating farmers for selling their agriculture produce.
The Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare is already providing incentives to all states & UTs for producing food grains under various scheme viz. National Food Security Mission (NFSM), Bringing Green Revaluation in Eastern India(BGREI), a sub-scheme of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVY) & RKVY-RAFTAAR. Further, the states can approve projects for providing incentives to the farmers under RKVY with the approval of State Level Sanctioning Committee under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary of the State.
Under Price Support Scheme (PSS) during 2019-20, 33.89 lakh tonnes of pulses and oilseeds were procured at MSP. During current year 2020-21, 32.92 lakh metric tonnes of pulses and oilseeds have been procured. Under National Food Security Act, 2013, the Government of India procured 43.33 million ton of wheat during Rabi Marketing Season (RMS) in 2021-22( till 20th july, 2021) against 38.99 million tons procured during 2020-21. The procurement of wheat from Punjab & Haryana during Rabi Marketing Season (RMS) 2021-22 was 13.21 million tons and 8.49 million tons, respectively. The Government also procured Rice during current kharif marketing season (KMS) 2021-22 at 58.4 million tons (till 20th july, 2021) as against 52 million tons procured during KMS 2019-20. In Punjab & Haryana, during Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) the procurement of rice was 13.59 million tons and 3.79 million tons, respectively.