Recognizing importance of agriculture sector in the economy, the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation is implementing Agriculture Census Scheme since 1970-71. Agriculture Census in India has been Conducting following broad guidelines of decennial World Census of Agriculture (WCA) evolved by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of United Nations conducted at an interval of five years. In Agriculture Census, operational holding has been taken as statistical unit at micro-level for data collection as operational holding is the ultimate unit for taking agriculture-related decisions.
Periodic Agriculture Censuses are the main source of information on basic characteristics of operational holdings such as land-use, cropping pattern, irrigation status, tenancy, terms of leasing and dispersal of holdings etc. This information is tabulated by different size classes and social groups and serves as an input for development planning, socio-economic policy formulation and establishment of national priorities. The Census also provides basis for development of a comprehensive integrated national system of agricultural statistics.
So far, eight Agriculture Censuses since 1970-71 have been conducted in the country. The current Agriculture Census with reference year 2010-11 is ninth in the series. The results of Phase-I of Agriculture Census 2010-11 have been released in the public domain and data processing activities for Phase-II/Phase-III of the Census are progressing in the country.
Agriculture Census Scheme was converted from a Centrally-Sponsored Scheme to a Central Sector Plan Scheme in 2007-08. Accordingly, 100 per cent financial assistance is provided to States/ UTs for payment of salaries, office expenses, honoraria, tabulation and printing of schedules, etc.