In Maharashtra, nearly 85 percent of the tribal population is engaged in Agriculture. Out of this 40 Percent are farmers and 45 Percent are agricultural labourers Therefore, the mainstay of the tribal economy is still agriculture and allied occupations. Although, most of the tribal families depend on Agriculture for their main source of income and occupation. Tribal agriculture is characterised by low technology and low input resources and therefore, the nature of agricultural productivity of various crops in the tribal areas is not high. Moreover, irrigation facilities in the tribal area are also extremely limited.
According to the statistical information available from the 2000-01census, there are in all 121.04 lakh operational holdings with their total operated area being 199.15 lakh hectares. Out of this, the holdings belonging to Scheduled Tribes are 7.77 lakh, constituting about 7.00 percent of the total holdings. The area covered by these holdings is 15.00 lakh hectares, i.e., 7.00 percent of the total area of all holdings. Out of 7.77 lakh holdings belonging to Scheduled Tribes, 7.63 lakh holdings are individual and 0.14 lakh holdings are joint holdings, constituting 98.18 percent and 9.82 percent of the total Scheduled Tribe holdings respectively. The area covered by these holdings is 14.96 lakh hectares or 98.18 percent and 0.37 lakh hectares or 1.82 Percent respectively of the total area of 15.32 lakh hectares belonging to these holdings.
For Crop Husbandary an outlay of Rs.8133.84 lakhs has been provided. The schemewise details are as follows : -
Scheme to assist tribal farm families to bring them above the poverty line including assistance to cane plantation -
Nearly, 88 percent of the tribals residing in the State are below the poverty line. This scheme therefore, envisages financial assistance to tribal farmers, whose annual income is upto Rs 25,000 only. Under the scheme, subsidy is given on various items, which contribute to increase in the productivity of their farms. Under this scheme, the assistance now available for various items to each family is as under :-
||Limit of subsidy
||Percentage of subsidy
||Land Development Works
||Improved Agricultural implements and plant protection appliances.
||Repairing of old wells
||Supply of bullock pairs
||Supply of bullock carts
||70000 to 100000
||Spriknle/ drip Irrigation
Beneficiaries are entitled to take benefit according to their needs for one or more items. However, the financial assistance is limited to Rs 5,000 for except New Well & Construction of New Well assistance is limited to Rs.70,000/- to 1 Lakh only.
Horticulture is an important allied activity in the agriculture Sector and it is one of the important incomes earning activities for the tribal population. Among its other benefits, it has substantial employment potential and it also helps to avoid soil erosion and protect the environment. In the notified tribal areas, important schemes such as, Horticulture, Nurseries, Strenthing of the horticultural nurseries, etc., are being taken up. Similarly, tribal cultivators are also being encouraged to participate in Horticultural Development Programmes. The State Government has also launched a new programme of Horticulture under the Employment Guarantee Scheme. 100 percent subsidy is being given under this scheme to small and marginal tribal farmers the scheme envisages development of dry land horticulture linked through the Employment Guarantee Scheme.
The outlay provided for Horticulture in 2014-15 is Rs.128.00 lakh. The Horticulture development programmes, which are being implemented in the tribal areas are as follows :
Horticulture Plant protection
The objective of this scheme is to control important pests and diseases horticulture crops. 50% subsidy is given to cultivators for control of pests/diseases for adopting plant protection measures. An outlay of Rs.0.00 lakhs has been provided for this scheme in the year 2014-15.
Establishment/ Strengthening of the horticulture nurseries:-
An outlay of Rs.128.00 lakhs has been provided for this scheme in the year 2014-15.
Soil and water conservation
Soil Conservation is one of the basic programmes required to be undertaken for sustained agricultural production. It brings about permanent improvement in the land resources and helps in preserving moisture in the soil for a long period. About 80 to 85 Percent of the State's agricultural production comes from rainfed areas. Since the irrigation potential in the State is limited to only 30 Percent of the total cultivated area, the development of scientific rainfed agriculture is of paramount importance. Moreover, of the total irrigation potential, only 40 Percent to 50 Percent is on account of surface irrigation and the remaining is accounted for by exploitation of underground water resources. These, in turn can be enhanced by proper watershed management methods which reduce surface run-off and improves infiltration and recharge capacities. Under the watershed development programme, the following different soil and water conservation works are taken up:
- Contour/graded bundling with vegetative bunds;
- Contour vegetative key lines;
- Nala bunding (earthen/cement)/Nala training;
- Brushwood dams;
- Earthen structure with vegetative bunds;
- Loose boulder structures;
- Gabion structure;
- Diversion bandharas;
- Underground bandhara;
- Livecheck dams;
- Farm pond;
Since irrigation facilities in the tribal areas are very inadequate, the tribals are mainly dependent on rainfed agriculture. In order to improve the existing farming system, the most crucial programme is of watershed development. Rainfed agriculture will still continue to decide the overall agricultural production in tribal areas, in view of the fact that the scope for bringing land under the irrigation has limitations. It is, therefore, proposed to adopt an integrated approach toward Watershed Development Programmes with proper co-ordination among different activities, as a remedial measure to improve rainfed farming.
Thus the total outlay of Rs.6881.30 lakh has been provided for this sector in the year 2014-15.
Animal Husbandry schemes are particularly important from the point of view of tribal population. This programme not only provides a subsidiary source of income to the tribal population, but it also takes care of the requirement of nutritious food for them. Livestock resources are abundant in tribal areas, which will be evident from the fact that about 27 percent and 19 percent respectively of the total cattle and buffalo stock in the State are in the tribal areas. The number of sheep and goat in the tribal areas is also sizable, being 11 percent and 22 percent of the total sheep and goat population respectively. Nearly, 25 percent of the poultry stock is also in the tribal areas. However, the livestock and poultry in tribal areas are stunted in growth and less productive in terms of milk, eggs and meat. The objective of the Animal Husbandry Programme in the Tribal areas is therefore, to achieve accelerated growth in the production of all livestock products by providing them breeding and health cover facilities also basic infrastructure facilities.
With the growth in production of livestock products, it would be possible to expand employment opportunities in the tribal areas so as to enable the tribal people to improve their economic and nutritional status and this object is proposed to be achieved through various Schemes in this Programme. An outlay of Rs.3105.41 lakh has been provided for 2014-15 for District Plan.
Establishment of Veterinary Dispensary Grade I :-
Veterinary Dispensaries and Veterinary Aid Centres are the grass root level institution, which cater to the veterinary health requirement of the livestock. In addition to this, artificial insemination facilities are also provided in these institutions for implementation of the cross breeding programmes. A Livestock Development Officer with an Attendant mans each Veterinary Dispensary. There are 230 Veterinary Aid Centres, through which Veterinary Health facilities are provided in tribal areas. A Veterinary Dispensary covers about 5 to 10 adjoining villages and provides health facilities to the Livestock in the local area, through treatment of ailing animals, vaccination against contagious diseases, and also undertakes the activities of castration of scrub bulls, artificial insemination, major and minor operations etc. Till today 113 New Veterinary Dispensaries were established. For the year 2014-15, an outlay of Rs.18.50 lakh has been provided for this scheme.
Control of Foot and Mouth diseases :-
Foot and mouth disease is a contagious viral disease, which drastically lowers down the milk production of milch animals and lowers the working capacity of the bullocks, that are used for draft purposes. Preventive measures are, therefore, taken up by supplying foot and mouth disease vaccine doses on hundred percent subsidy to the tribal beneficiaries. The scheme is implemented through all Veterinary Dispensaries and Veterinary Aid Centres, where the productive animals of the tribals are immunized by inoculation with two doses of the vaccine, free of cost in a year. For the year 2014-15, Rs.0.00 lakh outlay has been provided for this scheme.
Construction of Veterinary Dispensaries/ Veterinary Aid Centres/ Establishment and construction of building for Veterinary Poly Clinic :-
Some of the Veterinary dispensaries/Aid Centres, functioning in tribal areas are located either in rented buildings or in accommodation provided by the village panchayats. With a view to carrying out the routine services smoothly and to avail of veterinary services even after normal working hours, a scheme for the construction of separate buildings for veterinary institutes and residential quarters at the institutes, is being implemented. Up till now, 36 construction works are in progress. A total outlay of Rs.589.42 lakh has been made available for this programme in the TSP of 2014-15.
Cattle and Buffalo Development :-
An outlay of Rs.280.00 lakh has been provided for this programme for the year, 2014-15. The schemewise details and the outlays proposed for 2014-2015 are as follows :-
Strengthening of Artificial Insemination Delivery System :-
An outlay of Rs.216.65 lakh has been provided for this programme for the year, 2014-15.
Also an outlay of Rs.1250.00 lakh has been provided for 2014-15 for State Plan.
Supply of milk animals:-
To increase in milk production under this scheme 6 milch animals either cross breed or buffaloes will be provided to the tribal beneficiary farmer under this scheme 75% subsidy will be given to tribal beneficiary and 5% of amount is from the beneficiary and remaining 20% is from bank as loan. In year 2014-15 under this scheme total allocation of Rs. 500.00 lakhs has been proposed.
Supply of goat Units:-
Under this scheme To increase the income source & to create employment in tribal areas to farmers/ beneficiaries. The goat units are provided to them. In year 2014-15 under this scheme total allocation of Rs. 250.00 lakhs has been proposed.
Starting Broiler Poultry Farming Business on Contract Basis:-
Under this scheme To increase the income source & to create employment in tribal areas to farmers/ beneficiaries. The Broiler units are provided to them. In year 2014-15 under this scheme total allocation of Rs. 500.00 lakhs has been proposed
The inland fishery sources in the tribal areas are mainly rivers, rivulets and hill streams. On account of implementation of major and medium irrigation projects in the tribal areas, a large number of reservoirs have come up. Nearly, 97000 ha. of water sheets in the form of tanks and reservoirs are available in the tribal areas for the development of fisheries. Particularly in the inland Districts, fishing is a part time vocation of the tribals. Since, they conduct fishing by traditional methods in the small streams, rivulets and seasonal rivers, the fishes caught by the tribals are primarily utilised for their own consumption and very small portion of it sometimes sold in the market. The methods adopted for catching fish by the tribals are of very primitive type, such as catching fish by cloth, use of herbicides for stunning the fish in the pools, etc. However, during the past decade, efforts have been made to introduce the practice of fish culture in ponds and tanks, so that the tribals could utilise the man made water resource for fish production and earn their livelihood. An outlay of Rs.119.35 lakh has been provided in the Annual Tribal Sub Plan, 2014-15 for this sector.
The main beneficiaries under the fisheries programme are traditional fisherman in the state, who though they are backward, are not included in the category of Scheduled Tribes. Therefore, the participation of Scheduled Tribe beneficiaries in the programme of fisheries development gets a little restricted. This programme has to be implemented in such a way, so as to avoid conflict between the traditional fisherman and the non-fisherman tribals for the same water resources.
The salient features of some of the important schemes included in the Tribal Sub Plan of 2014-15 are described below :-
Fish Seed Production
Fish seed of culturable varieties of fish is of prime importance to augment production of fish from the impounded water. The requirement of fish seed for optimum stocking in the water resources of the State estimated to be 3 lakh ha. area, is to the tune of 60 crore which includes 10 crore for tribal areas. However, the present stocking level of the State is only 30 crore. There is, therefore, considerable shortage in fish seed production. With a view to achieving self-sufficiency in seed production, it is proposed to extend the existing farms, wherever possible and also to establish new fish seed farms in tribal areas. An outlay of Rs.63.50 lakh is proposed under the scheme in the Tribal Sub Plan of 2014-15.
Fish Farming in impounded water
The main objective of this scheme is to bring more and more culturable water areas under fish culture. Under the scheme, seed is supplied for 5 years at subsidised rate to the fisheries co-operative and local bodies for stocking. The Scheme envisages increase in fish production and thereby to provide employment opportunities to the rural tribals. An outlay of Rs.31.97 lakh has been proposed for 2014-15.
Development Fisheries Co-operative Societies
It is necessary to improve the working of this fisheries co-operative societies and to strengthen them economically. For this purpose, under the scheme, financial assistance is provided to the fisheries co-operative societies in tribal areas in the form of managerial subsidy and share capital contribution. This assistance is given to the societies for the first five years after they are formed. The recovery of 50 percent capital contribution is done after 10 years and the balance 50 percent amount is recovered after 15 years. An outlay of Rs.0.64 lakh is proposed for this scheme for 2014-15 and this amount is budgetted.
Assistance for purchase of fishery requisites
Under the scheme, financial assistance is given to the tribal fishermen in the form of subsidy for various items for fishery requisites like, nylon twine, readymade nets, construction of small boats, etc. An outlay of Rs.22.24 lakh is proposed for this scheme for the year 2014-15.
Fish Farmer’s Development Agency
For this Scheme Rs.1.0 Outlay has been Sanctioned for the year 2014-15. The Scheme is centrally Sponsored with 75% central share, 25% state share. The scheme aims to promote intensive aquaculture practises in rural areas.
Thus, a total outlay of Rs.119.35 lakh has been provided in the tribal sub-plan of 2014-15 under this sector.