Interventions: Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security:
Capacity Building...

Workshop on RKVY and Decentralized Planning in Agriculture; Strengthening Spaces for Small Farmers Engagement

8-9 November 2012
Two day workshop was organized to look at implementation of RKVY in Bihar, and explore what changes need to be made to bring alive the spirit of RKVY, which lies in decentralized planning. The workshop was organized for the capacity building of NGOs and farmers of the four states (Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand) by Oxfam India, CECOEDECON and PAIRVI. More than 100 participants including with experts, PRI members, state representatives, policy planners and media personnel were present in the workshop.
 

The Chief Guest of the workshop was Mr. Vijoy Prakash, Principal Secretary, department of Planning, govt of Bihar. He said that Bihar is at the cusp of introducing a new vision of planning and a novel experiment in participatory planning for inclusive development. While earlier planning models did not go below the village level, the govt is committed to take the planning to tola (habitation) level and make it a basic unit for planning, which will directly link all habitations of the state with planning and development. Mr. Prakash added that the govt has identified more than 3000 entitlements based on individual, family, institution and region, which will be implemented soon. The govt will link each habitation with all weather roads, on a priority basis. This will allow each habitationto be able to access markets, development schemes, and opportunities and will provide a new dimension to planning in the country.
 
Dr H S Sur, Adviser Agriculture, Planning Commission of India, Dr, MJ Bhende (ISEC, Bangalore), Prof Sivanna (Member of the Working Group on Decentralized Planning in Agriculture for the 12th Plan), Pravind Kumar Praveen, Vanita Suneja and Sabita Parida (Oxfam India) also participated in the deliberations.
 
Dr H S Sur said that it is highly unfortunate that none of the states have completely followed the guidelines of the Planning Commission while making State Plans, However, there is still an opportunity to do so. Te decentralized planning requires that needs and priorities should come from villages, blocks and districts in a bottom up approach and being aggregated to State Action Plan. He said, that while we have not been able to follow the spirit of decentralization in letter and words, more than 11 countries have adopted this planning model and the results speak for themselves, he added.
 
Mr. Pravind Kumar Praveen, Oxfam India said that decentralized planning in agriculture envisages an equally important role for planning and Panchayati raj departments, and the experiments in Bihar hold significant promise for not only agriculture but also inclusive development. Vanita Suneja (Oxfam) said that small farmers and CSOs need to have a very well defined role not only in the decentralized planning but also implementation and monitoring of agricultural schemes, and they must engage to have optimum results from the agriculture schemes and growth in agriculture. Dr. Sivanna, shared the experience of district level planning in agriculture in Karnataka. Dr. Bhende presented the concept and need for decentralized planning in RKVY.
 
On the second day, Mr. Anil Jha, Deputy Secretary, department of agriculture, made a detailed presentation on agricultural road map of Bihar. He said that the govt has increased the investment in agriculture from a meager 20 crore (2004-05) to more than 800 crore (2011-12). The second road map hopes to further increase it to 1300 crores. He emphasized many areas of advancement in state agriculture plan. He added that RKVY remains an important component of SAP, but the planning is based on SAP rather than RKVY. He also admitted that decentralized planning as laid down  by Planning Commission guidelines have not taken place in the state, however, all efforts are made to involve PRIs in the agricultural planning. The workshop concluded with a set of recommendations being made to the state government to improve decentralized planning and involve small farmers in planning in agriculture.
 
RKVY   Recommendations:
  1. RKVY incentivized states to increase investments in Agriculture. On an average in the country 6% increase has been increased. State is happy with RKVY because of autonomy. 
  2. RKVY also enhanced investments in the allied sectors effectively Number of projects and investment increased in horticulture and fisheries.
  3. Decentralized planning was initiated in the RKVY, yet we have to go a long way to fully implement. A strategic campaign mode is required for effective implementation of decentralization under RKVY.
  4. Issue of small and marginal farmers not yet well addressed because of weak implementation of decentralization, where gram sabha is the basic unit, but in states, need to encourage this kind of planning.
  5. Initiative  of putting information on status of RKVY on website is good but require improvement.
    • a) Information need to be simple  
    • b) Useful details for people information need to be included
    • c) C-DAP plans for each district need to be put.
    • d) Progress reports at regular intervals need to be updated
    • 6. Infrastructure in agriculture need more importance, and need to be taken in 12 Plan.
  6. Infrastructure in agriculture need more importance, and need to be taken in 12 Plan.
  7. Accountability at different level for effective implementation of RKVY and Democaratic decentralize planning (DDP) need to be fixed.
  8. Projects/works emerged from village/panachayat need reflection in the block level plan and those emanating from blocks in C-DAP and that of districts in the State plan (SAP).
  9. A timeline in C_DAP preparation and graded funding at different level (panchayat, block and district)   should be prepared and adhered.
  10. ATMA’s involvement and integration with RKVY required. 
  11. Social Auditing need to be encouraged.
  12. More association of NGOs and non state actors is required  for effective decentralized planning, implementation and social audits  and spaces need to created
  13. Capacity building of CSOs and PRIs is required on RKVY.

 

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