1st Five Year Plan
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Introduction || APPENDIX (CH-4) || APPENDIX (CH-9) || ANNEXURE (CH-12) || APPENDIX (CH-14) || APPENDIX (CH-24) || APPENDIX (CH-29) || Conclusion
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Chapter 18:

In this chapter we consider a number of problems of agricultural development most of which are linked to the question of agricultural research. Training and research are discussed in the concluding sections of the chapter; but most of the problems dealt with earlier, whether it be the supply of better seed and fertilisers, the protection of crops from pests, the improvement of agricultural implements, or the devising of better methods for conserving the moisture of the soil, depend for their solution on the successful application of scientific knowledge to the every day operations of the ordinary cultivator.

Minor irrigation and rainfall

2. A timely and adequate supply of water is absolutely essential for securing the maximum output from the land. In India nearly four-fifths of the cultivated area is dependent on rainfall which is seldom adequate and timely throughout the whole country. Annual failure of crops in different regions of India is, therefore, a common, feature of Indian Agriculture. The most effective way of increasing crop production in India is to provide through irrigation an additional source of water supply to cultivated land.

3. Irrigation is usually classified under two heads, major and minor. The area under major and minor irrigation works is 20'6 million and 26 "4 million acres respectively. Another classification is based on the agency providing irrigation i.e. whether private or Government. While most of the canals are government owned, wells and tank •, etc. are largely owned by private parties. The area under private and canal irrigation has varied as follows during the last 25 years in two of the principal States for which comparable figures are available:—

State average for Irrigation by canal (in million acres) Private
  U.P. Madras U.P. Madras
1920-25 2-15 3'80 5-18 5-07
1925-30 2-6l 3-95 4-98 4-69
1930-35 3-15 3-88 5'oo 4-77
1935-40 3 63 3-91 5-40 4-41
1940-45 3'95 4-24 5-25 4-76

It will be seen that there has been practically no increase,in private irrigation while the area under canal irrigation has increased by 83-71 and ir6 per cent in U. P. and Madras respectively.

4. The fact that during the last 25 years the area^under private irrigation has remained more or less unchanged, indicates that future scope for individual investment in irrigation works is small; and this is likely to be still further diminished by reduction in the present size of holdings consequent on land reform legislation. Such works will in future have to be increasingly undertaken on a community basis with or without State assistance. We endorse, however, the recommendation of the G. M. F. Enquiry Committee that separate funds should be allotted for sinking of wells by small landholders.

5. Small and medium irrigation works have an important part to play in developing irrigation in the country. They have many obvious advantages. They provide a large amount of dispersed employment. They involve smaller outlay and can be executed in a comparatively shorter period. Being spread over the country, they confer wide-spread benefit, and it is, therefore, easier to mobilise public co-operation in their construction. In view of these advantages and their contribution to increase production, a special provision of Rs. 30 crores has been made in the Plan for minor irrigation schemes. We recommend that every State should carry out a systematic survey of the possibilities of undertaking such schemes, and formulate a programme of execution in an order of priority, so that their construction can be effected in a planned manner. An administrative arrangement under which a trained corps is available to execute such projects on condition that certain contributions in labour and cash are provided by the local people would stimulate local competition for their execution. Such an arrangement is being adopted for the Community Projects and should be extended as and when the State can put in the field a suitable organisation for the purpose.

6. The question of maintaining these works in a proper state of repair has assumed importance, because the traditional systems in vogue have fallen into disuse. While legislation has been passed for the abolition of Zamindari, alternative arrangements have not been made for the repair of tanks which were under the zamindars' management. Frequently the beneficiaries of these works do not pay any water rate or other dues, and repairs are postponed, as responsibility for recovery of their cost cannot be fixed. In view of the large area irrigated by these works and the capital invested in them, we consider that the responsibility for their maintenance and repair should be unambiguously fixed and that the beneficiaries should be required to pay water rate in proportion to the advantage derived by them. The management of these works should vest in the irrigation department which should be made responsible for their annual maintenance and repair and should utilise village panchayats or cooperatives where they exist, as agencies for carrying out these repairs.

7. Since so much of the cultivated area depends entirely on rainfall, problems of dry farming should receive much more attention than they do at present. By preventing field run off and surface evaporation the moisture of the soil can be conserved and crops successfully raised under dry conditions. Research on this important matter has been conducted at Sholapur and Bijapur in Bombay, and at Rohtak in the Punjab. The experiments indicate that fair crop yields can be assured in a bad year and increased yield obtained in a normal year by following improved methods which include construction of bunds and embankments, production of soil mulch, proper weeding and hoeing and the use of drought resistant varieties of seed. There is scope for wider adoption of these p actices by the cultivators. The difficulties experienced therein have to be studied by the extension staff and their solution found with the help of research.

8. The Meteorological Department has five Regional Forecasting Centres in India which issue weather bulletins daily for farmers. The bulletin is ready by noon, but it is broadcast by the All-India Radio in the Villagers' Programmes in the evening, so that the villagers can listen to it. The Director of Agricultural Meteorology receives check reports from government farms comparing the forecasts with the weather actually experienced. A periodical assessment of these returns shows that the forecasts have a very high degree of accuracy.

9. No steps have yet been taken to ascertain how these forecasts can be used to secure better timing of agricultural operations. The Agricultural Experimental Stations which verify the forecasts could be utilised for this purpose. This will involve some of them being equipped with radio sets to enable them to take full advantage of the forecasts. It is necessary that this should be done as it has yet to be established that the knowledge provided by weather forecasts can be utilised for the better timing of agricultural operations and so for obtaining increased production. It is only after this is established that the forecasts can be passed on to the cultivators and they can be advised to use them to guide their agricultural operations.

Simultaneously with this, each State might select an area where communications can be so arranged that it is possible for the weather forecast to reach the cultivator the same day that it is issued. Observations could then be made how this knowledge helps the farmer in timing his agricultural operations. Many States have community radio sets in blocks of villages and we suggest that a 'beginning should be made in any such area where this can be organised.

Improved seed—production and supply

10. One of the most outstanding achievements of modern agriculture is the production of improved varieties of seed for different crops. The cultivator is generally well awar-: of the importance of using good seed. Good cultivators are known to preserve their own seed. Certain varieties of seed have spread by themselves without special departmental efforts, and if improved seed is not making such headway as it should, the cause must be sought in some defect in the seed or elsewhere than in the apathy of the cultivators.

11 The mechanism for the production and distribution of pure seed is generally the same in all the States. A variety is bred and nucleus seed is produced on government farms. It is then multiplied in two or three stages with two or three classes of cultivators, usually known as A, B and C. The seed from government farms is handed first for multiplication to 'A' class cultivators. The seed multiplied is then made over for further multiplication to 'B' class cultivators after which it is distributed. In some States, however, there is a third stage of multiplication. It is noticed that the larger the number of intermediate stages, the less the purity of the seed available for distribution. Failure to rogue properly, mixture with other grains and bad storage are some of the causes of the loss of purity and viability.

12. The scope for securing increased production from the use of improved seed is very considerable. We are not satisfied with the progress achieved so far, and feel convinced that there is much room for improvement in the system of multiplication and distribution. Some States have adopted legislation making the use of improved seed obligatory. In the case of crops liable to cross-fertilization, such a course is essential, but where soils differ considerably and require to be planted with different varieties of the same crop, compulsion would be possible only if pure seed of each variety is available. A strong public opinion has necessarily to be built up before legislation can be made effective.

13. In some States the collection and distribution of pure seed was handed over to co-operatives, but the results have not been altogether satisfactory. In the Punjab, where pure seed is collected along with other grains in the course of monopoly procurement, there have been complaints of seed deterioration. We consider that u.s multiplication and distribution of pure seed should be decentralised as far as possible, so that nucleus seed can be made to reach every single village or a group of villages. This will need a large number of seed farms operated by or under the close supervision of the Agricultural Department. Such farms, if large enough, can also be used for other experimental work. We recommend the location of one such farm in each block of a Community Project i.e. one for every group of about 100 villages. These farms can supply pure seed to the surrounding villages, and the duty of multiplying that seed and making it available for local distribution should be cast on holders of large farms.

14. Pedigree seed, issued for cultivation in a particular area, has to be renewed every four or five years to keep up its quality. This is the present experience of the Agricultural Departments, but scientific explanation for it is lacking. There is need to obtain accurate information as to what exactly happens under the cultivator's field conditions which leads to the deterioration of sound seed. Gradually the responsibility of the Agricultural Department for the supply of pure seed will devolve on registered seed supply agencies, and this information would be useful in arranging this transfer.

15. Experience has shown that pure seed of commercial crops, like sugarcane, groundnut, cotton, etc., spreads much faster than the seed of food crops. This may be partly due to the greater attention paid to these crops in the past, and to the work of specialised agencies created for their development. The supply of pure seed for food crops improved somewhat in the past few years, when considerable stress was laid on their propagation as part of the G. M. F. campaign. In spite of this, the progress has not been very great. It may be that there is special difficulty in maintaining the purity of the seed of crops which are widely consumed as food. The question requires further examination.

16. The Agricultural Departments should guard against the tendency to issue new varieties of seed for adoption by cultivators without full and complete trials conclusively establishing their superiority over those in use. In such cases, carefully docketed information on the experience of various growers of the new variety should be available. Frequent changes of seed—particularly if it is not fully tried—may shake the confidence of the cultivators and add to the difficulties of extension workers.

17. Attention has often been drawn to the saving which can be effected by a reduction in seed-rate but no systematic attempt has been made in any compact area to introduce sowing with a low seed-rate. The practice of treating the seed with a suitable fungicide before sowing requires to be introduced. The advantages of this practice are not widely known and deserve to be demonstrated.

18. We recommend the appointment by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research of a Standing Committee of Plant Breeders and Extension Workers to review every year the technical and administrative aspects of the multiplication and spread of improved v rieties of seed and to make recommendations in the light of the review.

Manures And fertilisers

19. Manures and fertilisers play the same part in relation to the soil as food in relation to the body. Just as a well-nourished body is capable of the maximum effort, a well nourished soil will have the best fertility.

20. The quality of the soil varies greatly in a country of the size of India. A systematic survey of the soils of India has not yet been carried out, though it is generally known that Indian soils are deficient in organic matter, nitrogen and phosphates. Soil samples have been analysed in different areas, but their correlation into a soil-survey for the whole country has not been undertaken. Field experiments have been conducted in various regions to determine the response of crops to various combinations of organic and inorganic manures, but in most cases crops responses and soil analysis have not been linked up. A very little work in connection with the effects of trace-elements in the soil has beerf done hitherto. It is now proposed to undertake a programme, designed to correlate soils, manu-ial trials and crop responses over the whole country. A beginning will be made with the Community Project areas and other selected areas in each State. A systematic study of the effect of trace elements in soils is also being made. Assistance under the T. C. A. has greatly facilitated this work.

21. Organic matter, nitrogen, phosphorus and potash are the chief constituents which must be supplied to the soil. Nitrogen is of the first importance in crop production. The soil has a mechanism by which it absorbs nitrogen from the atmosphere and makes it available to living beings in the form of grain and fodder ; men and cattle derive energy from the consumption of these and the nitrogen taken from the soil is returned to it in the form of organic manures like farmyard manure, green manure, oilcakes, composts of various kinds, bone-meal and various types of chemical fertilizers, thus completing the nitrogen cycle.

Next in importance is phosphate. Plants absorb phosphates from the soil which are returned to it through animal and human excreta and through decayed plants and their ashes and the bones of dead animals.

Indian soils, while deficient in nitrogen and phosphates, are generally nch in potash. Lack of potash does not, therefore, present a serious problem at present but it is one that should be watched.

22. Manures may be classified into two categories—(a) organic manures and (b) inorganic manures. Organic manures may further be sub-divided into (z) bulky organic manures; (t't) concentrated organic manures. Bulky organic manures include farmyard manure, compost manure, nightsoil and green manure, while concentrated manures are oil cakes, bonemeal, dried blood, horns and hoofs, etc. Tropical soils often lack humus. The addition of bulky organic manures like farmyard manure, which is a by-product in farming by bullocks, helps the soil by increasing its water holding capacity, improving soil aeration, and by changing the plant nutrients through slow decomposition into forms readily available to plants. There are other advantages in the use of organic manures namely (a) steadiness in yield over a period of time ( and ) benefit to the succeeding crops by their residual effects, and (c) ability to withstand unfavourable weather conditions.

23. On the basis of the 1951 livestock census the total production of fresh dung is estimated at 800 million tons ; however, all this valuable manure does not go back to the land. A large part of it—which may amount to nearly 50 per cent—is used as fuel by cultivators. The dung which is now burnt can be saved for agriculture if suitable supplies of fuel are made available. We have recommended in the chapter on Forests the creation of village plantations and popularising the use of coke.

The above estimates do not relate to cattle urine which is rich in nitrogen but mostly goes to waste. Conservation of cattle urine should be an item of extension work in all States and increasing attention should be paid to the conservation of this useful source of manure.

24. Human excreta and urine are very important sources of nitrogen, phosphorous and organic matter. Their maximum utilisation occurs in China and Japan but in those countries they are applied in a raw uncomposted form, and harmful bacteria find their way to the crop and affect the health of those who consume it. This is avoided in India; where such manure is almost invariably applied after proper composting.

25. In urban areas, where the night soil is removed by sweepers, it is usually composted with refuse, and the manure is sold to the cultivators. Most State Governments have passed legislation making it obligatory on Municipalities and Notified Area Committees to dispose of night soil in this way, and a steady improvement in the amount of urban compost is noticeable.

Lakh tons
1945-47 2-89
1947-48 3-80
1948-49 5-17
1949-50 9-23
1950-51 10-63
1951-52 13-50

Out of about 3,000 towns where Municipalities and Notified Area Committees are functioning, composting is in progress in 1684 towns only, yielding annually about 17 lakh tons of compost. Provision has been made in the Plan for extension of composting to the remaining towns. At the end of the period of the Plan about 30 lakh tons of compost would be available.

26. The utilisation of urine, whether human or animal, for manure is of even greater importance than the utilisation of nightsoil or dung, as the former provides a much larger proportion of nitrogen. We have not yet developed any efficient and popular system or appliances for utilising urine as manure. Its collection is easier in towns with underground sewerage which have a scheme of sewage-utilisation. In other towns only the nightsoil is collected by municipal authorities. Urine collection is not practicable, unless community urinals have proper appliances for soaking and utilising the urine, and a suitable urinal is devised for family use where the urine can be collected and absorbed.

27. Preliminary work has been done on this subject at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute and the ' Agri-San' urinal is being evolved. In the Punjab, the ' utility' urina is being recommended for collection and utilisation of urine. The installation of these urinals would help to conserve urine in areas without underground drainage. In order to introduce these urinals into the daily life of the people a beginning should be made with institutions like jails, hospitals, schools, boarding houses, cinema houses and other public places.

28. In the rural areas the nightsoil and urine are not generally being utilised as manure. Here it is necessary to distinguish between a mere return of urine or nightsoil to the soil and its utilisation as manure. When a field is utilised for defecation, as frequently happens in a village, there is a return to the soil but the manurial value of it is small as most of the valuable constituents are lost by exposure to the air and sun. It is necessary to devise a suitable latrine, which villagers can use and which will be sanitary, convenient, and fly-proof and can be shifted. The trench-type holds the field at present, tt may be mentioned that the cost of construction and maintenance of these latrines with local materials, can be covered by the sale of the manure that will be made available. Public urinals should also be located at suitable places in the village area.

29. It has been recently found that cattle and human wastes yield fuel gas by appropriate fermentation without much loss of organic matter and of nitrogen compared to the ordinary composting process. If this process, which has successfully passed through laboratory and pilot plant stages, is developed, it will check the burning of dung as fuel and thus augment materially the supplies of organic manures.

30. The growing of leguminous crops and burying them under the soil is a well known method of soil building. The nodule bacteria fix the atomospheric nitrogen in the soil in a form readily available to plants and the turning under of the crop adds organic matter which is essential for keeping the soil in good heart. The value of green manuring has been recognised, but it has not become a common practice even in the area where adequate rainfall or ample irrigation facilities are available. The pressure of population in such areas is generally so great that the cultivator cannot afford to bury a crop which does not directly bring him any return On the other hand, larger land holders have been observed to practice green manuring on a reasonable scale. In the case of small cultivators, the introduction of leguminous catch crops, expecially pulses, in the ordinary rotations preferably with phosphate manuring would do much to help increase the nitrogen contents of the soil. They will not only add to the food reserve of the country but would also be valuable as a rich source of proteins. They are important also from the point of view of animal nutrition to which they contribute indirectly in the form of hulls and straw. Where conditions are favourable the State should take steps to encourage growing of such crops by providing necessary facilities and inducements such as supply of seed and irrigation at the time of sowing, and by offering concessions such as remission of water rate or land revenue.

31. The principal oilcakes available in the country are ground-nut, sesamum, rape, linseed, cotton seed, castor, mahua and neem. They contain about 3 to 6 per cent nitrogen and i to 2 per cent phosphoric acid. Used as manure, they serve as carriers of available nitrogen and have shown consistently good results on a variety of crops. Most of the edible oilcakes are valued as cattle-feed, but lately some of them particularly ground-nut, are also being extensively used as manure. We consider this practice undesirable especially as there is a shortage of cattle-feed in the country. Non-edible oilcakes alone should be used directly as manure. Better results are obtained if chemical fertilizers are used in combination with these oilcakes.

32. Blood meals, horns, hoofs, and meat meal are the by-products of the slaughter houses which can be used for fertilizing the soil. Fresh blood in its natural state contains 2-5 to 5 per cent of nitrogen while in the dried form it contains from 8 to 14 per cent of nitrogen depending largely upon the method of manufacture. Dried blood in the form of cakes grinds easily and can be used alone or mixed with other manures. It is estimated that about 10,000 tons of dried blood could be produced from the slaughter houses in the country.

Other material available from the slaughter houses consists of pieces of skin and rejected meat etc., which, mixed together, are generally known under the trade name of 'tankage'. Tankage varies greatly in its chemical composition depending upon the various constituents forming it. It may contain from 3 to 10 per cent of nitrogen and from 7 to 20 per cent of phosphoric acid. These products can be a source of income to the Municipalities, if proper methods of conserving blood and tankage are adopted. The material prepared will soon find a market as a good fertilizer for fruits and vegetables.

The hoofs and horns of dead animals are collected in this country along with the bones. At the assembling centres they fetch higher prices than the raw bones and are, therefore, crushed separately. A considerable quantity is at present exported. The horn meal contains about ts oer cent nitrogen and can be utilised as a fertilizer with advantage.

33. Bonemeal is a good form of phosphatic manure which contains organic matter and some nitrogen also. It is suitable as a manure for all types of soils, more particularly acidic soils, where superphosphates cannot be used. Apart from its phosphatic value, bonemeal helps to increase the phosphorous content of grain and thus enhances its nutritive value. Sterilised bonemeal is also a valuable cattle feed, and its use in this form has great scope.

34. The average annual collection of bones amounts to about 1,50,000 tons. This is only one-fourth of the estimated quantity available judging from the number of cattle that die in a year. It is possible to crush bones completely as bonemeal, but crushing factories, interested in the more lucrative export trade of grist, do not produce the maximum amount of bonemeal. The demand for bonemeal has also to be built up. At present 25 per cent of the bones is converted into bonemeal and the remaining 75 per cent is exported as grist for which there is a considerable demand in foreign countries as it is a source of glue and gelatine. The export of bonemeal is prohibited and the whole of it is used internally as manure. The high price fetched by the export of grist enables the crushers to make bonemeal available at comparatively low prices.

35. The export of bones from India has been going on for a long time. The earliest record is for the year 1884-85, when 18,000 tons were exported. Since then exports have steadily increased and between 1884 and 1951, a total of about 4 million tons of bones have been exported. This export has been criticised on the ground that it deprives the Indian soil of a valuable manurial constituent which should return to it. Indian soils are known to be deficient in phosphates. While grist, which could be converted into bonemeal, is exported, the phosphatic deficiency is sought to be met by importing rock phosphate and converting it into superphosphates. Grist certainly does fetch high prices and there is some saving to the country in the export of grist and its substitution by superphosphates as a source of phosphatic fertilisers. On the other hand, the supply of organic matter and nitrogen is a feature of bonemeal which is not present in superphosphates.

36. In order that the export of bones should cease, steps must be taken to manufacture by-products, like glue and gelatine, in India. Increased crushing capacity should also be provided, particularly in areas far away from railheads, so as to stimulate better collection of bones. Our attention has been drawn to a bone digester which has been lately imported from Japan. Bones are steamed under pressure, and fats and glue are extracted ; thereafter the bones become so brittle that they can be crushed in any pounding machine. The bonemeal thus obtained can be used as manure, as well as cattle-feed. The collection of bones will increase only if crushing units or plants like the bones digester are located in areas where collection is not paying because of the long distances from railheads. If any State considers it necessary to impose a provincial ban to enable it to increase the crushing capacity in the rural areas, such a request from it should be favourably considered by the Centre.

37. Coming now to inorganic or synthetic fertilisers, the most important nitrogenous ones are ammonium sulphate, ammonium nitrate, calcium nitrate, ammonium phosphate and urea. The important phosphatic fertilizers are superphosphate, rock phosphate, and ammonium phosphate. In the past 50 years several types of nitrogenous and phosphatic fertilisers were introduced into this country and experimented with at the different experimental stations. Of these, ammonium sulphate and superphosphate are most in use today, and these are at present being manufactured in the country. Ammonium sulphate requires for its manufacture gypsum which has to be transported over long distances. Superphosphate is manufactured mostly from imported rock phosphate and sulphur or sulphuric acid. In the Indian Union there are no rich deposits of sulphur and the supply position of sulphur in the world is difficult. It is, therefore, desirable that the possibilities of manufacturing ammonium phosphate, which supplies both nitrogen and phosphorous to the soil should be investigated. Deposits of rock phosphate are reported to exist in India and the fertilising value of ammonium phosphate has already been established by field experiments in different parts of the country.

38. There has been some criticism of the introduction of chemical fertilisers without full steps being taken to mobilise all the manurial resources of the organic type. This criticism, in so far as it stresses the necessity of mobilising these resources, is just, but the process is bound to take some time as it necessitates the disturbance of age-old habits. We do not consider that it is necessary to wait for such full mobilisation before introducing chemical fertilisers. The two processes should and can go on simultaneously. Both these types of manure are necessary for maintaining and increasing soil fertility. It is well known that a continuous application of chemical fertilisers only, without the support of any bulky organic manure, leads in course of years to soil deterioration and progressively lower yields. It has, therefore, been a practice to recommend the use of chemical fertilisers more particularly ammonium sulphate in conjunction with bulky organic manures.

Phosphate is best applied to leguminous crops for this not only helps the growth of that crop but also thereby augments the quantity of nitrogen added to the soil which increases with the yield of the leguminous crop. This is, therefore, a useful method of supplying the soil with the nitrogen and Jphosphorous so much needed for cereal crops.

39. The fact that fertilisers are in demand today shows that their use is profitable to the cultivators. But their high prices in recent years have resulted in larger quantities being utilised for commercial crops in preference to food crops. Unless, therefore, the prices of fertilisers are substantially reduced so as to be within the reach of the grower of foodgrains, any expansion of the use of fertilisers for food crops will be difficult.

40. The problems relating to the conservation, production, distribution and utilisation of manures and fertilisers are sufficiently large and important to warrant their being kept under review by a competent body of experts. We recommend the appointment of a Committee of the ICAR charged with the following functions :—

  1. to review annually and to obtain accurate information on the potential supply of manurial resources and the quantities actually developed and utilised ;
  2. to estimate the country's manurial and fertiliser requirements, the potentialities for production in different parts of the country and the optimum conditions for their utilisation ;
  3. to estimate the response obtained by the use of fertilisers and their economic cost to the cultivators ; and
  4. to report on the development of the utilisation of manures, human and cattle wastes, green manures and fuel gas.

Agricultural Implements And Machinery

41. Though State and Central Governments have paid considerable attention during the last 20 years to agricultural research, comparatively little has been done to improve indigenous implements. The Governments of Madras, U. P., and the Punjab have achieved something in this direction and so have educational institutions and manufacturers, but no definite schemes were drawn up nor was the work systematically followed up until the Agricultural Engineering Section was added to the Indian Agricultural Research Institute in 1945.

42. Agricultural implements may be classified broadly into the following categories : implements (a) for preparing the seed bed ; (6) for cultivation operations ; (c) for harvesting and threshing work ; {d} for processing and utilisation of agricultural produce ; and (e) for lifting water. Attention has been hitherto devoted mostly to improvement of the implements used for processing the produce and lifting water. Improved sugarcane crushers, the Persian Wheel, and the Revolving Drum illustrate this tendency. There exists considerable scope for improving the efficiency of implements used for seed bed preparation, planting cultivation and harvesting operations.

43. While Dr. Stewart considered that as long as the land is kept free from weeds it makes little difference to crop yields whether ' desi' implements or improved implements are used, it is generally accepted that by using improved implements a larger area can be covered in the same time, and the timely performance of agricultural operations results in reduction of costs as well as better yields. For certain agricultural operations, e.g. turning under of green manure improved implements are essential. The need for encouraging research in this field is thus obvious. For this purpose we recommend that every State should have in its agricultural engineering section a whole-time officer for conducting research on indigenous tools and implements. Many of the existing agricultural engineering sections deal mainly with power drawn machinery, and a special officer is required to devote exclusive attention to the important subject of indigeonus implements. The engineering section at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute will have to be similarly strengthened with a special officer. The section so established in the States and Centre should have adequate facilities for research and trials. Besides conducting research on indigenous implements the special officer at the Centre will try out imported implements. He will also co-ordinate the work done in various parts of the country and pass on the information regarding improved implements to executive agencies. It will be his responsibility to furnish the results of research to manufacture for commercial development.

44. As implements have to be adjusted to crop, soil and climatic conditions, the research problems have to be examined on a regional basis, i. e. for a group of States. Regional Committees consisting of technical experts, enlightened farmers, representatives of the State Governments, manufacturers and dealers should therefore be set up by the I.C.A.R. The Committees should indicate the lines on which research and development work should proceed. They would also approve the schemes drawn up by the States and review their progress regularly. The special implement officers at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute should act as a convener of the regional committees. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research might also convene an annual conference on implements and machinery to which nominees of the regional committees, prominent research workers, and manufacturers should be invited. The programmes of research drawn up by the State and accepted by the regional committees should be accorded a high priority by the Council which should provide necessary financial assistance. It should also offer technical advice and follow a policy of sponsoring research on implements in all the important States.

45. Along with research, the difficult task of popularising improved implements and arranging their supply has to be tackled. This would also be the responsibility of the special officer to be appointed in every State. He will have to do this work with the assistance of the extension staff. As research gets organised in the States and at the Centre, new designs will be evolved. These designs and models will bs supplied to the fabricators for manufacturing the implements on a commercial scale. It may be desirable to encourage the establishment of small fabricating units which will provide employment to rural artisans. These could be further developed into workshop where the manufacture of steel trunks, buckets and other utilities could also be undertaken. It would be advantageous to organise local fabricators and blacksmiths into co-operatives for undertaking production of implements. The implements manufactured should be recommended to cultivators only after careful trial and test by the implements officer of the State, who should be provided with the necessary equipment for carrying out tests.

46. As regards arrangements for distribution the implements can be supplied direct by the dealer or from the government depots or through the cooperative societies. Taccavi loans or loan from cooperative societies may be provided to popularise new implements if their cost. is high.

47. The facilities for the servicing and repair of implements and tools are not very satisfactory. The technique of the local blacksmiths and carpenters needs to be improved by organising a short training course at important centres. Cooperatives of fabricators besides undertaking production should also provide servicing and repair facilities at reasonable rates. In addition the machine tractor stations and workshops which are being established by the Central and the State Governments should also have a section for undertaking repairs of indigenous implements. Spare parts needed for implements should also be stocked by the machine tractor stations and the cooperatives.

48. During and since the second world war cultivators have begun to use power driven machinery to a greater extent than before. Increased financial assistance under the G.M.F. campaign for the purchase of tractors, diesel engines, eletric motors, has accelerated the process. The rising cost of labour as well as its scarcity in certain areas are other factors which have tended in the same direction. The rapid increase in the use of tractors in this country may be judged from the following table :—

No. of tractors imported
1949-50 3,3i8
1950-51 4,930
I95I-52 7,400

49. The use of tractors has distinct-advantages in certain operations such as : (a) reclamation of waste or weed infested lands ; ( and ) cultivation of lands in sparsely populated areas wher there is a shortage of labour ; (c) drainage and soil conservation operations such as contour bunding, terracing, ridging, etc. The utility of tractors for reclamation operations has been demonstrated by the Central Tractor Organisation which has been working in the Terai areas ofU. P. and the kans infested tract ofMadhya Pradesh, Madhya Bharat, and Bhopal. The States have also acquired some experience of this work during the last five years. The percise extent to which waste and fallow lands can be brought under the plough can be ascertained only after a detailed survey, but it is believed that out of 98 million acres classified as cultivable, yet lying waste about 11 million acres can be reclaimed in the near future. The Plan provides for reclamation of 2-62 million acres. While the presssure of population is generally heavy in the country as a whole there are thinly settled areas, particularly in Vindhya Pradesh, Madhya Bharat, Rajasthan, etc. where labour shortage is an important limiting factor in the expansion of cultivation. Reclamation by tractors and mechanised cultivation in such tracts has obvious advantages. Large areas can thus be developed either as State farms or for settlement of landless labourers on a co-operative basis.

50. While tractors can safely be utilised for the above purposes, care will have to be taken to see that their use for general cultivation work in other areas does not cause unemployment. The small size of holdings, the absence of avenues of employment other than agriculture, the shortage of fuel-oils and iron and steel are factors which militate against the use of tractors in this country for cultivation on any substantial scale and, by and large, Indian agriculture will continue to depend upon animal power for a long time to come. Even though tractors reduce labour costs and facilitate agricultural operations there is no conclusive evidence that they increase production, though they are a valuable aid when speed of operations is a relevant factor. It is reported that some of the bigger cultivators have acquired tractors recently because of a feeling that those who adopt the mechanical means of cultivation will be accorded special treatment and allowed to retain larger holdings for personal cultivation in case a ceiling is imposed on existing holdings. This has led to displacement of tenants. This trend is likely to be maintained and may even increase unless protected tenancy rights are conferred on those who occupy the land as tenants-at-will and as sub-tenants. Some of the States have initiated action on these lines.

51. During the year 1951-52 tractors worth about Rs. 6 crores were imported into the country. Imports are likely to continue in future at this level and the total value of imported tractors during the Plan period may be around Rs. 30 crores. The imports include machines of numerous makes and designs from various countries. It is understood that about ten to fifteen per cent of the tractors remain out of use as many of them are not suitable for Indian conditions. Import and sale of machines whose utility has not been fully established, not only causes loss to the cultivators but also retards the pace of technological progress as the unfavourable experience of a few farmers discourages many others from making purchases. To avoid the wastage and losses that thus take place it is essential that imports of undesirable types of machines should be reduced to the minimum. For this purpose it is necessary that every make* of tractor received should be tested in regard to its utility under Indian conditions. The test may be carried out at a testing station to be established by the Government of India and imports regulated on the basis of the findings of the test. It should be possible to set up such a station at a cost ofRs. 2 to 2 1/2 lakhs in addition to the recurring expenditure which may be in the neighbourhood of about Rs. 75,000. In this connection it would be an advantage to study the organisation of similar institutions which are operating in U.S.A. and U.K.

52. The cultivators also experience difficulty in obtaining spare parts and the arrangements for servicing and repairs are not always satisfactory. The Government have been trying to remove these difficulties but there is considerable scope for improvement. The Government should see that adequate facilities for supply of spares and repairs are provided either by the dealers or at the State workshop as this would reduce breakdowns, avoid dislocation and lead to better utilisation of the equipment.

53. Though some data are available regarding the cost of reclamation by tractors, comparative and thorough study of the economics of mechanised and bullock-power cultivation has yet to be made. The I.C.A.R. might undertake such a study for various regions and crops.

54. Besides tractors, other power driven machines, electric motors, diesel engines, etc. are becoming increasingly popular in rural areas as water lifting appliances. The power available from these engines can also be used for other agricultural operations such as cane and oilseed crushing, grinding, etc. It is estimated that about 60 thousand diesel engines are required annually for agricultural purposes. To encourage their use many of the State Govem-mets are providing assistance in the form of loans which the farmers can repay over a period of years. The testing station suggested in paragraph 51 above should also carry out tests on diesel engines and pumping sets, etc. so that the cultivators may be able to ascertain the makes which are inefficient or undesirable.

Plant Protection, Quarantine And Storage

55. No systematic quantitative studies have been conducted so far to determine the losses caused by insect pests and plant diseases in India. The International Conference, organised by the Food and Agriculture Organization in London in 1947, considered that in tropical and sub-tropical countries, where climatic conditions are conducive to a rapid multiplication of pests, the losses in storage alone might be estimated at about 10 per cent. The losses in the field, particularly in the case of epidemics, can be very severe.

56. The Plant Protection Organisation at the Centre consists of a Directorate, with the Plant Protection Adviser as its head, and three main divisions, (t) Entomology, (n) Plant Diseases, and (m) Quarantine. There is a Storage Entomologist and a Quarantine Entomologist and other staff to help the Adviser. The directorate advises the states on the control of various diseases and pests and helps them in setting up Plant Protection Organisations in their areas. The locust control work is also its responsibility.

57. The primary function of the Plant Protection Organisations at the Centre and in the States is to fight outbreaks in epidemic form, and they should be sufficiently equipped for this purpose. At the time of an epidemic, the extension and the plant protection staff together with tlie equipment and insecticides have to be moved to the affected place at short notice.

58. A secondary function of the organisations in the States is the investigation of plant diseases and pests and the prescription of measures for their • destruction. Research and investigation must be directed towards evolving remedies and methods which can be adapted to the local practices of the cultivators and which will utilise local materials. Imported insecticides and pesticides should be recommended only after trials when local materials and methods have failed to achieve results.

59. The pests and diseases which occur during the various stages of growth of a plant are well known, and so are the methods of fighting them. In the case of diseases, preventive measures have to be taken, generally at the sowing stage. Both these measures assume a routine character and can be taken by the ordinary field staff with some previous training. No separate organisation for this work at the village level is necessary. Technical staff is, however, required to locate the focus of an onset, to devise special measures in the case of epidemics and to train the field stair. It is necessary to state these considerations as we notice considerable variation in the strength of the plant protection staff in different States.

60. It may be an advantage for each State to study over a period of years all outbreaks which have assumed an epidemic form and to trace the factors favourable for their growth and subsidence. If the results are shown on maps it would facilitate the location of centres of attack, the siting of plant-protection equipment and the determination of the strength of staff required. It may also help in forecasting epidemics.

61. The methods of .control adopted for preventing damage to crops by insects and pests may be classified under four categories

  1. Quarantine,
  2. Biological Control,
  3. Cultural methods, and
  4. Chemical treatment.

62. Quarantine is the prevention of entry of plant and animal pests and diseases from countries outside India. In the past, owing to lack of efficient quarantine arrangements, injurious insects entered the country and established themselves as pests. The requirements for efficient quarantine operations are that the plant material coming into this country should be fumigated. A fumigatorium with modern equipment was established at the port of Bombay a few months ago. The plan provides for setting up quarantine and fumigating stations at Madras and Calcutta. Land frontiers and air ports have also to be guarded against both plant and animal pests and diseases.

63. Biological control involves employment of an insect to check the development of another insect pest or wood. A well known example of such control is the use of the cochineal insect for the eradication of prickly pear. A considerable amount of work has been done in the country during the past twenty years on the science and practice of biological control and methods have been in operation against sugarcane borers and nephanthes of cocoanut vy. the South. There are facilities for biological control work at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute.

64. Variation in cultural practice is another useful method of control. Introduction of resistant varieties of crops, changes in rotation, time of sowing or planting, deep and shallow cultivation, giving, or withholding of irrigation, are the usual methods tried. The system of control has the advantage that the results are obtained without any additional cost and do not depend on equipment which may not always be locally available. Change in the time of sowing wheat was a major factor in Hessian fiy control, and a similar method has dealt effectively with the Tirak disease in cotton. The limitations of this method are, that a variation of cultural practice which prevents the onset of the disease or pest has also an adverse effect on crop yields, and the cultivator prefers the former risk. Sufficient stress has not been laid on these methods and there is a tendency to try out insecticides without fully investigating the possibilities of variation in cultural practices or other methods based on resources available to the cultivator.

65. During recent years the use of insecticides particularly D. D. T., B. H. C., and other similar chemicals has increased considerably and manufacture ofD. D. T. and B. H. C., which are at present imported, has been visualised in the Plan. These chemicals are superior to those previously used because they act both as contact and stomach poisons. An ideal insecticide, however, is one which kills the harmful insect pests without creating any hazards to the consumer—human beings and cattle of the plants to which it is applied. It should also not upset in the long run the biological balance in nature by destroying other beneficient forms of plant and insect life. More experience" regarding the use of these insecticides and experimental evidence of their effect on human beings and cattle, who consume the straw and grain of the treated plant is required before their extended use can be recommended. There is a difference of opinion regarding their after-effects even in the most advanced countries.

Organised guidance regarding the use of pesticides is also necessary in this country as at present different firms market a variety of brands without authorised tests of the claims made for their products. It should be the function of the Plant Protection Organisations to conduct experiments with the different brands on sale in the market and advise the extension agencies, etc, on the best material available.

66. As regards the manufacture of insecticides and fungicides, the possibilities of utilising indigenous material for this purpose should be more thoroughly explored. For example, pyrethrum has active ingredients of high toxity to many common insects. Black mustard oil also has been claimed to have fungicidal value. The scope in this regard has to bs examined as systematic cultivation of such crops would raise the income of the farmers.

67. It is difficult to calculate the loss due to pernicious weeds in terms of money, but in the case of severe infestation, the yield is considerably reduced. Weeds, such as pohli and kandiari in wheat, cause harvesting difficulties. Some tenacious weeds such as baru and kans get such a firm hold on the soil that the land goes out of cultivation. In the case of annual and biennial eradication of weeds, the treatment usually is their removal before seed formation, while perennial weeds are eradicated by deep ploughing and exposure of their stems and roots to the severity of the climate. In the United States weeds are being controlled on a large scale by the-use of flame throwers and selective herbicides. A research scheme has been sanctioned by the ICAR for the investigation of the control of weeds by means of selective herbicides. While research is in progress for securing definite information on weedicides, control of weeds by mechanical and cultural methods should be encouraged,

68. During the present century there have been five locust cycles during which Rajasthan, Punjab, Pepsu, Saurashtra, Kutch, and parts of Bombay State have witnessed large scale invasions which often resulted in considerable-damage. The permanent homes of locusts lie in extensive belts of Africa and countries of the Middle East. Locus.ts not only attack agricultural crops, but also forests and in fact any green vegetation available. The Government of India have maintained a Central Locust Organisation to fight this menace. This organisation is responsible for control operations in desert areas, while the States are incharge of the work in their cultivated areas. A fresh locust cycle which started in the year 1949-50 is still in progress and the Government have adopted necessary control measure which include spraying and dusting of chemicals on a large scale in the breeding areas. The attacks on crops in cultivated areas are met by mechanical and chemical methods such as the destruction of eggs by exposure after ploughing, burying them in trenches, etc. To intensify the campaign aid in form of aeroplanes, helicopters and other equipment is being obtained under the Technical Assistance Programme.

69. The crops have also to be protected from stray cattle let loose either through carelessness or wilfully by unsocial elements. Such cattle when caught are impounded in cattle pounds. The charges levied for their release are often so small that they do not act as a deterrent. To reduce this nuisance it is necessary that heavier penalties be imposed and exemplary punishment awarded to habitual offenders. The Cattle Tress Pass Act should be amended to secure this. Damage by wild animals to crops and cattle is another menace in certain areas. Organised action against them is necessary as individual action only shifts the burden on to other cultivators. Destruction through gun-clubs, trench pits and similar methods is the only solution.

70. Losses! n storage are also quite high. At the village level most of the surplus produce is marketed by the farmer soon after the harvest. Village storage is not, therefore, a major problem and the traditional system of storage is fairly satisfactory. It requires, however, to be further studied. Losses are greater in the godowns and storage space in the assembling markets as they are continuously occupied and are generally maintained in a poor condition. In their case preventive measure against stored grain pests such as fumigation, super-heating and use of insecticides should be adopted on a wider scale. With the introduction of controls and government imports, steps were taken by the States to construct and lease storage accommodation. It is understood that the Central and State Governments have at present a storage capacity of about 51 lakh tons of which nearly i5lakh tons are Government owned. The Directorate of Storage and Inspection are responsible for the disinfection and fumigation of the Central Government stocks, and also supervise the work in the case of the State civil supplies departments. The Civil Supply godowns are generally located at important railheads and mandis where the trade also has its facilities. It would be an advantage if the Civil Supplies staff also actively assist in the periodical inspection and disinfecting of the godowns.

Agricultural Education And Training

71. The ability of the extension service to appreciate the difficulties of the farmers and to render effective assistance in resolving them are factors which will largely contribute to the success of the agricultural programme. The extension staff, particularly at the village and tehsil level, has to be property trained and equipped for this work. Provision of adequate teaching and training facilities for this staff is an important aspect of agricultural education. Another equally important but broader aspect is the education of the cultivators, so that they may practice scientific agriculture.

72. The main defect of the extension work carried on hitherto has been its relatively greater reliance on propaganda rather than on actual demonstration to the cultivator under his field conditions. This is largely due to insufficient stress being laid in agricultural institutions on practical work and on the correlation of practice with theory. The complaint that students from agricultural institutions prefer jobs^to private agriculture largely arises from this drawback. A trainee must be moulded physically and mentally into the practice of the 'dirty hands' method, before he can be expected to demonstrate it successfully in the field, or practice it himself in his own cultivation. We commend the Manjri pattern of two year schools in the Bombay State as the best for ensuring that this background is sufficiently emphasised. These are boarding schools, and every item of work on the farm where the school is located has to be done by the students ; servants are allowed on the farm only during the vacation period. The schools have the additional advantage of being less costly and of enabling the student to supplement his income, during the school period. They supply village-level workers, and also offer agricultural training to sons of cultivators. Their'drawback'is that a student passing out from such a school is not able to prosecute his studies further in an agricultural college. This handicap should be removed, by extending the course by one year for those who want to prosecute their studies further. This may necessitate a special admission examination for them by the agricultural college,

73. All village-level workers are trained either -at agricultural schools, or in special training centres. The total number of schools in, the country is 38, and ten more will be started during the Plan period. The training period in the schools generally extends from two to three years. We recommend that all existing schools should be converted into the Bombay type of school as early as possible. As the full requirements of the village-level staff cannot be met by the existing schools, and a large number of village level workers are immediately required for manning the Community Projects 30 special centres have been organised through the help of the Ford Foundation. The training period at these centres is only six months, as ordinarily the trainees have a previous training in an agricultural school or a knowledge of practical agriculture.

74. There are 22 agricultural colleges turning out annually about 1000 graduates, a large proportion of whom are employed by the Agricultural Departments for extension, research and educational work. These colleges, even in a greater measure than the schools, suffer from the same complaint of insufficient stress on practical work. Recognising this drawback the Indian Council of Agricultural Education, recently set up by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, has suggested that the course should include supervised intensive practical training under rural conditions for a period of two months every year. Another drawback of college education is the absence of facilities for specialisation in extension and farm management. Post-graduate education in research only is available. The result is that the responsibility for extension work or management of farms falls on a person, who has only received a general education in agriculture. A person would be better qualified for service either in the extension or farm management branch, or in the research and teaching branch after he has intensively studied these subjects. If the agricultural college course after graduation is considered too long for these qualifications, facilities should be provided for a bias in the field of special interest in the final year.

75. Short practical courses for farmers of a general nature in different fields of agriculture, such as compost making, pre-sowing treatment of seed, crop protection, cattle feeding, etc., have proved to be of great value. They can be held on each Demonstration Farm at suitable intervals.

Agricultural Research

76. Prior to the constitution of the I. C. A. R. in 1930, agricultural research was carried out in the Indian Agricultural Research Institute at Pusa and in the Research Institute attached to the Departments of Agriculture in the various States. The Royal Commission on Agriculture found that 'there was lack of sufficiently close touch not only between Pusa and the Provincial Departments but also among the provincial departments themselves'. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research was, therefore, constituted in 1930, with the object of promoting, guiding and coordinating agricultural research in India.

77. In the course of research work a vast amount of valuable information has been obtained and striking results have been achieved particularly in the field of plant breeding, utilisation of manures and fertilizers and plant protection.. The use of improved varieties of seed, pre-sowing treatment of seed, preparation and utilisation of compost manures, utilisation of fertilisers, etc., are some of the results of research which have come to form a part of an enlightened cultivator's agricultural practice. But the lack of a properly trained extension service has retarded this process. The recommendation of the G.M.F. Enquiry Committee is that such a service should be available throughout the country within a peqod often years, and a beginning is being made in connection with the Community Projects. An extension service helps to connect the research centre with the farmer in the field—his problems being brought to the research centre and new discoveries being carried to him. The absence of such a service has had its effect on research work also, in that the demands on research workers were not sufficiently insistent or pressing and tended to be unrelated to the practical needs of the cultivator. Now that the foundation of an extension service for India is being laid, it is of the utmost importance that for each soil climate and region a compendium should be prepared, for the use of the extension service, of the various research practices which have been sufficiently proved for immediate adoption by the cultivators of the region, and of those which require furher proof by trials in the cultivators' fields. The I.C.A.R. should actively help the States in the preparation of these compendiums by a financial grant, if necessary. It may be necessary to appoint a special officer in each State for this purpose who will work under the guidance of the Agricultural Commissioner.

78. Agricultural research is of a continuing nature. New knowledge has to be gained, and fresh problems tackled. With this object Dr. Stewart had recommended the location of research and experimental stations in carefully selected centres for each crop soil-region. Unless these are established, or existing research centres converted to the attainment of these objectives, .extension work may soon come to a standstill. These stations have been of great significance in the agricultural development of Japan, and we consider that the establishment of such gtations should be an important concern of the I.C.A.R. and the State Governments.

79. The functions of the I.C.A.R. in respect of promoting, guiding and coordinating research work were masked to some extent by the growth of research by organisations over whose research programmes it had imperfect control i. e. the States, the Commodity Committees and the Central Research Institutes. Research work in the States may be divided into two categories ;—

  1. schemes sponsored by the I.C.A.R. by sharing a portion of the cost, and
  2. schemes, the cost of which is borne entirely by the States.

The latter category of schemes were never formally examined or considered by the I.C.A.R. Its annual review only related^to the schemes, the cost of which it shared. The same was the case with the programmes of the Commodity Committees which were only sent to the I.C.A.R. for information. The Central Research Institutes also drew up their own programmes and the I.C.A.R. had no voice either in their framing or their modification. The I.C.A.R. was thus till lately largely confined to the research programmes the cost of which it shared with the S--'" Governments. No overall review or coordination of research under such conditions was possible.

80. The idea underlying the Commodity Committees, which between 1921 and 1949 were established for cotton, jute, tobacco, sugarcane, oilseeds and other commercial crops, was that quick results could be obtained if a Special. Committee representing all interests concerned with the commodity, e.g., growers, traders, processors, etc., was charged with the function of advancing research in that commodity. These expectations have been fulfilled, and some Committees have dune good work. But this exclusive attention to the problems of one crop led inevitably to the disregard of the problems of other crops grown in the same region. This type of crop-wise compartmentalisation of research was discouraged by the Royal Commission on Agriculture in 1929 and also later by Dr. Stewart in 1946. His view was that the functions of .Commodity Committees should be confined to problems which arise after a crop is grown, e.g., processing, marketing, etc. but so far as agricultural research is concerned, it must comprise all crops grown on a soil, in the interest of allround agricultural development. "We must start with the soil and consider it in relation to all the crops which it is asked to grow, rather than starting from the opposite direction involved in the widely accepted policy of sectionalising research into a series of crop compartments". Another drawback of the Commodity approach is that it involves earmarking of funds in respect of particular crops, and prevents a balanced allotment of finances, according to the needs of the different crops. And this has actually happened. Relatively much more work has been done on crops under Commodity Committees than on other crops like millets, wheat and rice, though their importance in the national life is equally great, if not greater.

81. A logical result of the acceptance of the commodity idea would be to have Commodity Committees for each important crop in India. But today they are confined only to the commercial crops, like cotton, jute, sugarcane, oilseeds, cocoanuts, arecanuts, tobacco and do not include important food crops, like wheat, rice, pulses, millets, potatoes, etc. At a later stage, it appeared that instead of Commodity Committees, All-India Institutes for research in respect of food crops should be started, and we have all-India Research Institutes for rice and potatoes. But, as already indicated, there is considerable doubt whether crop-wise organisation of agricultural research is the best form of organisation ; and in some cases it is impossible. This may be illustrated by the example of the crops grown in the south-west corner of India. This area grows valuable crops, like pepper, cashew nuts, cardamoms, cloves, lemon-grass, etc. A single organisation for research and development of these crops would lead to expeditious and coordinated action. Such a regional body could well have delegated to itself the functions of the I.C.A.R. A commodity approach here is an impossibility.

82. The Central Research Institutes are the I.A.R.I. at Delhi, the Potato Research Institute at Patna, and the Rice Research Institute at Cuttack. The I.A.R.I. carries out fundamental research but its research programme is not coordinated by the I.C.A.R. with the research programme of the rest of the country. Apart from this drawback, the I.A.R.I. provides the back ground against which applied research is carried out over the rest of the country.

83. The same cannot be said of the Potato and Rice Research Institutes. Ordinarily ihere are no fundamental problems with respect to individual crops which are unrelated to the ecological conditions in which they are grown, and which would, therefore, have an all-India application. Even special work like cross-breeding with foreign varieties can be done in Research Stations, all over the country, and Central Institutes for particular crops do not appear to have a special advantage. Their present usefulness lies in enabling research men of high standing to work in a well-equipped laboratory, a facility which' a State might not be able to afford on its own.

84. The role of universities in promoting agricultural research is a question which needs attention. Although universities are eminently suited for such research, especially of the more fundamental type, they have not taken it up to any significant extent in the past, owing perhaps to lack of funds and other causes. It is a striking fact, for example, that there is not a single chair of genetics in any Indian university, although breeding of plants and animals, which rests on the foundation of this science, has been in progress in the country for several decades. It is important that whatever limitations there may be in the way of the universities taking an appropriate part in agricultural research should be removed and the universities encouraged to make their contribution to research. This will benefit the universities also by bringing their scientific staffs into direct contact with real problems which are in urgent need of solution for the betterment of the vast majority of our people.

85. India is now embarking on a vast programme of agricultural development. It has before it the ambitious target of doubling agricultural production in the next fifteen years. An extension service, which will cover the whole country in a ten year period, has been proposed to be constituted. The pace of agricultural development largely depends on the speed with which solutions to the practical problems of the cultivators are found by research workers. The whole organisation of agricultural research in India will have to be geared to fulfil this task. The ICAR was constituted in 1929, and its work was subsequently reviewed in 1937 by Sir John Russell and some aspects of its in 1946 by Dr. Stewart. We feel that the stage has now been reached when a high level committee should examine the whole question of the organisation of research in India, and, in particular, the changes that should be brought about in the existing Commodity Committees and Central Research Institutes and research in universities so that they can answer the increased demands for research that will be made upon them. As things stand today, the ICAR organisation has to examine a large number of schemes, and it may have to be considered whether some regional decentralisation could not be usefully introduced.

86. In the meantime, we suggest that the following measures should be immediately adopted to remove some of the drawbacks which affect the Commodity Committees and the organisation of the I.C.A.R.

(a) All schemes of the Commodity Committees should be subject to examination and scrutiny by the same body which examines the research schemes pertaining to other crops grown in that area. This would ordinarily be the Standing Scientific Committees of the I.C.A.R. It would be the function of this body to suggest what other schemes should be undertaken on crops grown in the same region to ensure all-round agricultural development and a balanced growth of research in that area.

(b) Wherever any research station is working under any Commodity Committee, the same staff should also carry out the research in respect of other crops in the area,

(c) The I.C.A.R. should have authority to suggest to a. Commodity Committee what coordinated research in respect of other crops grown in the region or rotational crops grown with the main commodity should be undertaken by it.In order that the I.C.A.R. may be enabled to discharge its statutory duty of coordinating all agricultural research in the country, it should be in a position:

  1. to review all research work done in the country. All research programmes, whether of the Commodity Committees, State Governments, or Central Institutes, should be sent to this body for scrutiny and approval. Appropriate dates could be specified for the receipt of these programmes, so that all programmes are received at a time and considered together;
  2. to undertake a detailed examination of all research programmes received. The I.C.A.R. today tries to discharge this duty through Scientific Committees, which meet for a few days just before the annual meeting of the Advisory Board and the Governing Body. Such a procedure does not permit a detailed and proper examination. We suggest that these bodies should meet more frequently, and at least twice a year, once for examining the Schemes received by the I.C.A.R. and once for assessing their progress. These meetings should allow sufficient time for a proper examination of these schemes ;
  3. to take an overall view of research in the country as a whole, assess the result of the past years' working and indicate the direction of future research.
  4. The Research Board which has been recently constituted by the ICAR is expected to perform this function. It must consist cf top-ranking agricultural scientists in the country on whom would fall the ultimate responsibility of guiding and coordinating research in the country ;
  5. to initiate research into utilisation of agricultural products which today go to waste. Such utilisation has an important bearing on the agricultural economy and no work in this direction has so far been done.

87. A matter which we would like to emphasise, particularly in connection with the research programmes in the States, is the need to associate representatives of progressive cultivators, traders and processors with the drawing up of annual research programmes and their evaluation. Though many of the problems of cultivators will be brought up by the extension service, such association will provide a more direct opportunity for the inclusion in the research programmes of matters which directly interest them.

88. The conditions of employment of the research workers is an important factor in determining the quality and quantity of the work done. In this respect the research workers employed in the projects sponsored by all India organisations, such as the I.C.A.R. or Commodity Committees, suffer from the handicap that their tenure is temporary as the schemes on which they work are sanctioned for limited periods. Although it may be argued that a research worker is actually seldom thrown out of employment, the feeling of insecurity is always there. This needs to be removed and the research services brought more in line with other permanent services under the Government. As far as the human element in research is concerned, the important pre-requisites for the production of satisfactory results are stability of service and congenial conditions of work and proper guidance and direction.

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