The Comprehensive Scheme for Studying the Cost of Cultivation of Principal
Crops in India

The Premise
The Comprehensive Scheme for Studying the Cost of Cultivation of Principal Crops in India is a Central Sector Scheme initiated by the Government of India in the year 1970-71 as recommended by the Standing Committee on Indices of Input Costs. The Scheme, popularly known as ‘Cost of Cultivation Scheme’ (CCS) was sanctioned to Assam Agricultural University (AAU) for its implementation in the state of Assam way back in 1971-72, vide F.No.11/37-Econ-py dated the 25th March, 1971 (Copy at Annexure -I). The University, vide Memo No. CS/I-A/71-72/17-18 Dt. 13.4.1971 (Copy at Annexure -II) entrusted the Agro Economic Research Centre (AERC) for North East India, located in Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat to implement the Scheme. Since then, the AERC, Jorhat continues to shoulder the additional responsibility of executing another important flagship programme of the Government of India.
In the initial stage of implementation only 30 sample clusters comprising of 300 farm households (i.e. 10 farm households from each sample cluster) were allotted to the state of Assam(Annexure -III) with 33 nos. of Field Man, one Field Officer, one Asstt Statistician, four Field Supervisors (one Field Supervisor to supervise 10 Field Man), four Computors and one each of Clerk, Typist and Peon.  In the initial years i.e. from 1971 to 1973, only paddy was taken as the principal crop in Assam and in 1973-74, Jute was taken as principal crop and paddy as sub- sample for the study. From 1981-82 onwards, new crop complex approach was adopted. Paddy, Jut and Rapeseed & Mustard crops were included in the crop complex. The Govt of India subsequently increased the sample size to 45 (fourty five) from the agricultural year 1984-85 as intimated vide its letter No 17012/2/82- Econ. Admn.Dated the 5th May, 1983 (Annexure-IV). The cost of cultivation data are now collected from 45 sample clusters covering 450 farm households across five different size classes. The staff strength at the field level, supervisory level, data entry and validation level has also been strengthened along with the increase in number of samples. From the block period 2014-17, potato crop has also been included in the crop complex in Assam.
In order to capture all categories of farmers of all the districts of the state and for efficient supervision, scrutiny and validation a fresh proposal has also been moved to the Ministry of Agriculture, GOI to increase the number of sample clusters to 50 and also to strengthen the number of Field Man to 50, Field Supervisor to 5 and Computor to 5 numbers vide letter No CS/C-2/2088-94 dated 20th November, 2011 (Annexure V).

Prime Activities:
Besides fulfilling the mandate of the Ministry (Collection of cost data), the Cost of Cultivation Scheme at Jorhat is also undertaking cost-related studies in the interest of the state and provides academic support to the researchers, academicians and students as well maintaining strict data quality, consistency and timeliness. It also works in close collaboration with the University (KrishiVigyanKendras) and State Department of Agriculture, Government of Assam.
Pressing Issues
One of the pressing issues, as realized by the retired employees of the Centre is the non-receipt of pensions till date. Though there is no discrimination between the staff of AAU and that of the CCS in respect of pay and allowances and other amenities and the same set of rules govern all categories of employees, the staff members of the CCS are yet to get the benefit of pension. It is worthwhile to mention that out of 17 (seventeen) CCS centres located in different State/Central Universities of India, the pension scheme has been implemented in 13 (thirteen) centres by the respective universities except in the states of Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Kerala.
In this regard, Mr. G.S. Ram, the Economic and Statistical Adviser to the GOI had rightly pointed out in his D.O. letter No. 8-8/92-CS-ES dtd 06.06.1996(copy enclosed at Annexure VI) that the staff of CCS may be treated as University employees and the benefits available to the similar category of the staff of the University may also be extended to the employees of this scheme. He also reiterated that the role of the Directorate of Economic and Statistics is limited only to give grants-in-aid for the scheme. As such the implementing agency has no financial liabilities to meet the expenses against salary and pensionary benefits in respect of the employees of the CCS. Further, the new pension rule as outlined in letter No. 3-10/2003/CS-ES dtd 07.05.2008 (Copy enclosed at Annexure VII) is yet to be implemented in this establishment, reason being that the host institute i.e. AAU is yet to complete the formalities for its introduction.

 

Study Design :
The study design prescribed by the Directorate of Economics & Statistics, Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India is three stage random sampling design with the tehsil (revenue circle) as the first stage sampling unit. In the second stage, depending on the proportion of cultivated area in each selected circle one nucleus village is selected and other two villages adjacent to the nucleus (one in South of the nucleus village and the other village is selected anti clock wise) which formed a cluster of sample villages. In the third and final stage, a list of operational holdings is prepared in ascending order and after stratifying the households into differentfarm size classes, 10 households are drawn at random proportionately from each of the size classes to collect the cost of cultivation data of principal crops continuously for a block period of three years.
Data Collection in field :
The data on different inputs and output are collected from the sample households by the whole time Field Man posted at different sample clusters across the state.The data collection is undertaken as follows
The Field Men are to prepare a map of the cluster of villages indicating the selected (ten) sample households.
The Field Men are to maintain a record book of each sample farmer indicating the number of plots of land, crops grown and total cropped area.
The Field Man records all the entries in the record book relating to daily operations, hours of work, all input items, human labour, bullock labour, machine labour, farm expenditure and receipts etc.
The Field Men are required to establish a good rapport with the farmers regarding his purpose of visit and usefulness of his work in the greater interest of the farmer.
The Field Supervisors are to visit the sample clusters under his jurisdiction at regular interval and verify the work done by the Field Man.

Data scrutiny, entry and validation:
After collection of data in prescribed Record Types (RTs), data are thoroughly scrutinised, compiled and checked at Field Supervisor, Assistant Statistician and Field Officers level and validated data are entered in computer software (Dataman) by the Computors and the recorded data are then sent to the DES, MOA, GOI.
Genesis of Cost of Cultivation Scheme (CCS) in India
Introduction:
The Comprehensive Scheme for Studying the Cost of Cultivation of Principal Crops was recommended for implementation by the Standing Technical Committee on Indices of Input Costs in 1965. The scheme was launched in 1970-71 with a view to providing representative estimates of Cost of Cultivation of Principal Crops to then Agricultural Prices Commission (Now Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices). Under this scheme, studies on Cost of Cultivation were initiated based on state level data and the data collected from the field by adopting stratified random sampling design.

Implementing Agenciesand DES:
The Directorate of Economics and Statistics (DES) in the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare is the Nodal Directorate for implementation of the Scheme through 16 Agricultural/General Universities/Colleges. Besides, the Directorate of Tobacco Development undertakes a special study on VFC tobacco in the state of Andhra Pradesh. These 17 Implementing Agencies collect and complete data pertaining to the cost of cultivation/ production of various crops in different states and send it to the DES for generating the crop-wise and state-wise estimates of cost of cultivation/production.
The technical details of the cost scheme were worked out by Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institutes (Formerly Institute of Agricultural Research & Statistics). At that time of initiation the collection of data was based on single-crop approach, which meant that sample for study was selected with reference the single crop selected for study in the concerned state. Cost estimates were generated only for the specific selected crops even though data were collected for all the crops grown by the sample farmers. Sub sample procedures were subsequently followed from 1973-74 to enable to cover a large number of crops.
The present design of the survey is a three stage stratified random design with tehsils at the first stage unit, clusters of villages as the second stage and sample farmers as the final stage unit. The stage is demarcated into homogenous agro -climatic zones based on cropping pattern, soil types, irrigation, rainfall and other independent variable factors.

Objectives:
The basic objectives of formulating the price policies are to protect the interest of the growers to enjoy remunerative prices and the consumers to offer the commodities at reasonable rate. The cost of cultivation data collected through this scheme is the primary information, based on which the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) make projections of cost of cultivation/ production to arrive at the Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for various agricultural commodities. The basic objectives of the cost study scheme located in different parts of the country are to collect the day to day cost data of production process according to certain uniform concepts and procedures.