Monitoring the progress of food production plans

Conscientious Food Production

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Planning for food production

The various schemes prepare d for the production, storage and distribution of food materials are collectively known as planning for food. The planning for food production involves the following steps:

1) fixing of annual production targets for major agricultural crops. 2) arrangements for supplying good quality seeds to achieve the targets. 3) provision of additional resources of irrigation to achieve the targets. 4) provision of adequate power supply for irrigation, harvesting and threshing operations. 5) provision of more fertilisers, weedicides and pesticides for achieving the target fixed for food production. 6) arrangements for procurement of food – grains from farmers. 7) provision of additional storage space. 8) provision of adequate transport for the food produced.

The first step in the planning for food is the fixing of annual production targets for major agricultural crops like wheat, rice and maize, in the country. These annual production targets are fixed by keeping in view the available cultivable area of land, irrigation facilities, and agricultural inputs as well as the additional facilities which can be generated. The procurements targets are fixed keeping in view the need to renew and build buffer stocks of food – grains in the godowns of major food - grain producing areas. These food – grain stocks are transported and distributed in all the areas of the country. These buffer stocks of food – grains are helpful in times of drought, flood and blight (crop diseases), when the food production is not much. The buffer stocks make it convenient to rush the food supplies to the affected areas without undue delay. Buffer stocks of food -grains also help in maintaining the price line at a reasonable level.

Food - grains stock point

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Weak monsoon

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The farmers to protect their harvested food -grains, cattle, their own lives and property.

While making various schemes or plans for producing food – grains, we fix the plan targets. These plan targets can be achieved only under ideal conditions. This is because many times, these plan targets are upset by unfavourable weather conditions (like less rain or excess rain), failure to obtain essential inputs like fertilisers, weedicides, and pesticides at the right time; on – set of crop diseases, etc. Monitoring means keeping a continuous track of the various factors affecting the food crops like weather elements (rain – fall temperature, pressure, humidity), irrigation, fertiliser application and crop diseases.

Monitoring the progress of various schemes is necessary schemes is necessary to get timely information about the impending (coming) unfavourable developments for crop growth, so that remedial measures can be taken well in time to prevent such development or reduce their impact on crop yield.

If we keep a continuous track of the health of crop plants, then the on-set of crop diseases can be detected at an early stage. Due to early detection of disease, the remedial measures (like the spraying of pesticides) can be taken immediately to prevent a major damage to the crops. Similarly, a knowledge of the rain fall distribution data in a region can be used in predicting a drought (sookha) well in advance so that some remedial steps can be taken minimise the damage to crops knowledge of rain – fall data can be used to estimate the amount of moisture that will be available at the root level of the plants in different seasons. And this, in turn, helps us choose the most appropriate crop which can thrive under such conditions.

Information systems like remote sensing, real- time data acquisition systems and computer aided analysis have become an important tool in monitoring the progress and decision – making at various stages in the production of crops. For example, by using the real – time data acquisition systems, an advance warning of the impending floods can be given. This is because by using the real -time data (minute by minute data) of the rain – fall over the upper reaches, the scientists can estimate the rise in water level downstream of a river. From this rise in water level, flood forecasting can made a few hours in advance. And this advance flood warning gives a chance to the farmers to protect their harvested food -grains, cattle, their own lives and property.

Food- grain output

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