Agricultural Development Policies during Five Year Plans in India


The agriculture in India during five-year plans has registered a phenomenal growth.

At the time of Independence partition of Indian sub-continent on communal lines, resulted among others in acute shortage of food and raw material for her industries.

Therefore, during first five-year plan (1951-56) the highest priority was accorded to increase of agricultural production.

Nearly one third or 31 per cent of total plan funds were allocated to agriculture sector.

River valley projects were taken up.

Irrigational facilities and fertilizer plants were established.

Consequently, production of food-grains increased by 36 per cent in a short span of five years.

 

The second five-year plan (1956-61) was focused on industrial growth and only 20 per cent of plan allocation was devoted to agriculture.

Still food-grains production exceeded the target due to extension of irrigation facilities and use of chemical fertilizers.

 

During the third Five Years Plan (1961-66), the priorities were on self-sufficiency in food grains, meeting the raw material needs of industries and increase in exports.

During this period, Green Revolution programme was started on a small scale.

But this plan failed to meet the target due to Chinese aggression (1962), Indo-Pak war (1965) and severe and prolonged drought during 1965-66.

There were great crisis of food that forced the Prime Minister L. B. Shatri to appeal to people to observe fast once a week.

 

During next three annual plans (1966-69) agriculture recorded 6-9 per cent annual growth under the impact of Green Revolution.

The production of food grain touched 94 million tonnes.

 

The Fourth Plan (1969-74) aimed at 5 per cent annual growth in food grains.

High Yielding Variety (HYV) of seeds, fertilizer use, new agriculture techniques and irrigation facilities provided to expand area of Green Revolution.

The production of wheat increased sharply but growth in rice, oilseeds and coarse grains were nominal resulting in only 3 per cent annual growth against the target of 5 per cent.

 

During Fifth Plan Period (1974-79) emphasis were given to self-sufficiency in food production and poverty eradication.

Stress was laid on the extension of irrigation, expansion in cultivated area under HYV seeds and grant of loans and subsidies to farmers.

Dry farming was propagated.

This plan achieved its target successfully with 4.6 per cent growth.

Almost all food grains except pulses witnessed increase in production.

 

The Sixth Plan (1980-85) emphasized on land reforms, use of HYV seeds, chemical fertilisers and groundwater resources and improving post harvest technology as well as marketing and storage facilities.

The annual growth rate was 6 per cent, highest ever during plan periods.

The food-grain production reached 152 million tonnes.

 

The highest growth in food-grain, pulses and coarse cereals was recorded during Seventh Plan (1985-90) showing over all annual growth rate of 4 per cent.

The areas of Green Revolution were expanded during the period.

 

The Eighth Plan (1992-97) witnessed a tendency of stagnation in food grain production while oilseed registered a rapid growth.

 

The Ninth Plan (1997-02) witnessed a mixed success.

There were fluctuations in the food grain production.

During this plan period National Agricultural Policy, 2000, was framed and several measures were announced including, watershed management, development of horticulture, agricultural credits and insurance scheme for crops.

 

In the Tenth Plan (2002-2007) focus is placed on (1) sustainable management of water and land resources, (2) development of rural infrastructure to support agriculture, (3) dissemination of agriculture technology, (4) credit flow to agriculture sector, and (v) agricultural marketing reforms.