National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture

National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture


Sustaining agricultural productivity depends on quality and availability of natural resources like soil and water. Therefore, agricultural growth can be sustained by promoting conservation and sustainable use of these scarce natural resources through appropriate location specific measures.

Indian agriculture is predominantly rainfed type covering about 51% of the country’s net sown area and accounts for 40% of the total food production. Thus, conservation of natural resources in conjunction with development of rainfed agriculture is key to meet growing demands for foodgrain in the country.

National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) 2014-15, aims for enhancing agricultural productivity especially in rainfed areas focusing on integrated farming, water use efficiency, soil health management and synergizing resource conservation. So, it aims to make agriculture more productive, sustainable, remunerative, and climate resilient by promoting:

  • location specific  integrated farming systems,
  • soil and moisture conservation measures
  • comprehensive soil health management
  • efficient water management practices

Mission Objectives

  • To make agriculture more productive, sustainable, remunerative and climate resilient by promoting location specific Integrated Farming Systems.
  • To conserve natural resources through appropriate soil and moisture conservation measures.
  • To adopt soil health management practices based on soil fertility maps, soil test based application of macro & micro nutrients and judicious use of fertilizers.
  • To optimize utilization of water resources through efficient water management to expand coverage for achieving ‘more crop per drop’.
  • To develop capacity of farmers & stakeholders, in conjunction with other ongoing Missions e.g. National Mission on Agriculture Extension & Technology, National Food Security Mission, National Initiative for Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) etc., in the domain of climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.
  • To improve productivity of rainfed farming by mainstreaming rainfed technologies refined through NICRA and by leveraging resources from other schemes like Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP), RKVY etc.

Strategy to Achieve the Objectives

  • Promoting integrated farming system covering crops, livestock & fishery, plantation and pasture based composite farming for enhancing livelihood opportunities, ensuring food security and minimizing risks from crop failure through supplementary/ residual production systems.
  • Popularizing resource conservation technologies (both on-farm and off-farm) and introducing practices that will support mitigation efforts in extreme climatic events or disasters like drought, floods etc.
  • Promoting effective management of available water resources and enhancing water use efficiency through application of technologies.
  • Encouraging improved agronomic practices for higher farm productivity, improved soil treatment, increased water holding capacity, judicious use of chemicals/energy and enhanced soil carbon storage.
  • Creating database on soil resources through land use survey and soil analysis on GIS platform to facilitate adoption of location and soil specific crop management practices & optimize fertilizer use.
  • Promoting location and crop specific integrated nutrient management practices for improving soil health, enhancing crop productivity and maintaining quality of land and water resources.
  • Developing climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies for specific agro climatic situations and promoting them through appropriate farming systems.
  • Programmatic interventions as per land capability and conducive to climatic parameters in select blocks as pilots for ensuring integrated development through dissemination and adoption of rainfed technologies with location specific planning by way of coordination, convergence and leveraging investments from other Schemes like MGNREGS, IWMP, RKVY, National Food Security Mission (NFSM), Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH), National Mission for Agricultural Extension & Technology (NMAE&T) etc.
  • State Government may engage reputed NGOs for implementation of cluster/village development plan in case of limited govt. infrastructure is available in that area.
  • Strong technical monitoring and feedback systems on climate change mitigation and adaptation issues to the National Advisory council for regular updates on technical feasibility of various components and their effectiveness in bringing about the climate resilience. The capacity building of the implementing agencies would be steered by MANAGE.

Components of NMSA

There are four components or intervention as described here.

  1. Rainfed Area Development (RAD)

RAD explores potential utilization of natural resources available or created through watershed development and soil conservation activities. This component includes appropriate farming systems by integrating multiple components of agriculture such as crops, horticulture, livestock, fishery, forestry with agro based income generating activities and value addition. Besides, soil health card based nutrient management, farmland development, resource conservation and crop selection based on local agro climatic condition is also promoted under this component. Farming Systems recommended by ICAR’s Contingency Plans and successful findings of NICRA projects shall also be considered in development of integrated project plan. Besides, creation and development of common property resources like grain bank, biomass shredders, fodder bank, group marketing etc. will be encouraged under this component.

  1. On Farm Water Management (OFWM)

It focuses primarily on enhancing water use efficiency by promoting efficient on-farm water management technologies and equipment, also emphasize on effective harvesting & management of rainwater.

  1. Soil Health Management (SHM)

SHM aims at promoting location as well as crop specific sustainable soil health management including residue management, organic farming practices by way of creating and linking soil fertility maps with macro-micro nutrient management, appropriate land use, judicious application of fertilizers and minimizing the soil erosion. Besides, this component also provides support to reclamation of problem soils (acid/alkaline/saline).

  1. Climate Change and Sustainable Agriculture: Monitoring, Modeling and Networking (CCSAMMN):

CCSAMMN provides creation and bidirectional (land/farmers to scientific establishments and vice versa) dissemination of climate change related information and knowledge by way of piloting climate change adaptation/mitigation research projects in the domain of climate smart sustainable management practices and integrated farming system suitable to local agro-climatic conditions. Comprehensive pilot blocks will be supported to illustrate functional mechanism for dissemination of rainfed technologies, planning, convergence and coordination with flagship schemes/Missions like MGNREGS, IWMP, Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP), RKVY, NFSM, NHM etc. Such an integrated action of input and output flows across agriculture, livestock and other production systems will harness the growth potential of the rainfed production systems, imparting sustainability of local production systems while negotiating climate change risks.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

When did NMSA operationalize?


What is National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture Scheme?

The scheme aims to make agriculture more productive, sustainable, remunerative, and climate resilient by promoting location specific integrated farming systems, soil and moisture conservation measures, comprehensive soil health management and efficient water management practices especially in rainfed area.

What are the components of NMSA?

There are 4-components namely, (1) Rainfed Area Development (RAD) (2) On Farm Water Management (OFWM) (3) Soil Health Management (SHM) (4) Climate Change and Sustainable Agriculture.

What is Rainfed farming?

Cultivation of crops in areas where annual rainfall is more than 1150mm. Practiced in humid regions.

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