Ninth Plan will remain operative from April 1, 1997 to March 31, 2002. So far, its Approach Paper alone has been issued. The Approach Paper has the following characteristics in respect of agricultural development:
(A) Significance of agriculture in the economic development of India has been recognized in the Ninth Plan. Agricultural sector contributes 29 percent to the national income. It provides employment to 64 percent workers.
(B) To achieve targets relating to agriculture, different policies will be adopted for different regions in the plan. For example:
(i) Agriculture production will be diversified in North Western High Productivity Region. Emphasis will be laid on high-valued crops.
(ii) Target of increase in productivity will be achieved in the Eastern Region where water is available in plenty.
(iii) New technique of irrigation will be adopted in water scarce regions like Rajasthan.
(C) Ninth-Plan will aim at making proper provision for agricultural inputs like, seeds, fertilizers, water, etc. National Water Development Plan will be implemented so that those regions which have little irrigation potential may get water.
(D) Agriculture sector will get adequate credit facilities at reasonable rate, specially small and marginal farmers. Scope of crop insurance will be extended.
(E) Provision for more research in agriculture will be made.
(F) The total expenditure will be Rs. 42,462 cm.