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The Eleventh Agricultural Census (2021-22)

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    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    30th Jul, 2022


Recently, the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers' Welfare launched “The Eleventh Agricultural Census (2021-22).”

What is Agriculture Census?

  • The agricultural census is the main source of information on a variety of parameters, such as the number and area, operational holdings, their size, class-wise distribution, land use, tenancy and cropping pattern.
  • Agriculture Census is conducted every 5 years, which is being undertaken now after delay due to covid-19 pandemic. 
  • Entire Census operation is conducted in three phases and operational holding is taken as a statistical unit at micro level for data collection.
    • Based on the agriculture census data collected in three phases, the Department brings out three detailed reports analyzing trends on various parameters at All India and States/UTs level.
      • District/Tehsil level reports are prepared by the respective States/UTs.

Who conducts it?

  • The Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, conducts Agriculture Censuses in India in collaboration with States/UTs as part of a programme of World Census of Agriculture.

History of Agricultural census

  • The launch of the first Agriculture Census was in 1970-71. 
  • The National Commission on Agriculture, in their report submitted in 1976, recommended that the Agricultural census be conducted on a quinquennial basis. Accordingly, the second Agricultural census was conducted with 1976-77 as the reference year.
  • So far, ten Agriculture Censuses with reference years 1970-71, 1976-77, 1980-81, 1985-86, 1990-91, 1995-96, 2000-01, 2005-06, 2010-11 and 2015-16 have been conducted.
  • The reference period in the Agriculture Census is the agriculture year starting from July to June.
  • From Input Survey 1991-92, the sample size has been raised to 7% villages in each stratum.
  • The present census with reference year 2020-21 will be 11th in the series.

About Eleventh Census

  • The field work of the agricultural census will start in August 2022.
  • This is the first time that data collection for agricultural census will be conducted on smartphones and tablets, so that data is available in time.
  • It includes:
    • Use of digital land record like land title records and survey reports
    • Collection of data through app/software using smartphone/tablet.
    • Complete enumeration of all villages in states with non-land records during Phase-I as done in states having land records.
    • Real time monitoring of progress and processing.
  • Most of the States have digitized their land records and surveys, which will further accelerate the collection of agricultural census data.
  • The use of digitized land records and the use of mobile apps for data collection will enable the creation of a database of operational holdings in the country.

Differences in data between previous census and PM Kisan 

  • As per the last Census, the number of farmers was estimated at 14.65 crore based on operational land holdings. 
  • The previous Census has put the operational holdings at 10.93 lakh whereas PM Kisan data show there was 23.76 lakh, which excluded ineligible farmers.

New steps in the latest census procedure

  • The government has maintained that the basis of data collection will continue to be on operational holdings and not on ownership holding.
  • The government has decided to use it in Census operation, using drones and validation with the digitised land records will help reduce manual discrepancies in data as well as fool proof the statistical methodology.
  • The use of digitised land records and the use of mobile apps for data collection will enable the creation of a database of operational holdings in the country
  • The Minister of Agriculture said the agriculture census should be thought of in a broader perspective as it can also contribute to the mapping of crops and released the “Handbook on Operational Guidelines for Census” for the use of States and Union Territories while launching the ‘Data Collection Portal/App’.

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