Sustaining Agricultural Production and Development of Alkaline and Arid Land
03 August 2021, New Delhi: Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare is implementing Reclamation of Problem Soils (RPS) as a sub-scheme of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) since 2016-17 for development of problem soils (Alkalinity, Salinity and Acidity) on pilot basis in 15 States to bring such land under cultivation. For various pilot project under RPS in last 3 years, an amount of Rs. 24.60 crore was released to the States.
In addition, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) through Central Soil Salinity Research Institute (CSSRI), Karnal and All India Coordinated Research Project has developed technologies for reclamation of alkali which suggests for growing salt tolerant varieties of different crops and application of amendments (Gypsum, organic manure and green manuring) and surface and sub surface drainage. The technology suggested by ICAR have been found effective strategies in managing sodic as well as saline soil of arid regions Besides, approaches such as application of balanced fertilizers, adoption of legume based crop rotations, integrated farming system and agro-forestry improve the production capacity of arid lands.
With a view to sustain the agricultural production across the country including agricultural area in arid zone of Rajasthan, Government of India is implementing various Schemes/ Missions, namely; Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), National Food Security Mission (NFSM), Parmparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY), Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY), Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH), Soil Health Management (SHM) etc. Due to the technological interventions of these schemes, the food grain production of the country has increased from 275.11 million tonnes (2016-17) to 297.50 million tonnes (2019-20), which has further increased during 2020-21 to 305.44 million tonnes (Third Advance Estimates). The states including Rajasthan may avail the benefits of above schemes/Mission for sustaining the agricultural production and development of alkaline and arid soils.
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This information was given in a written reply by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Mr. Narendra Singh Tomar in Lok Sabha today.