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Agriculture plays an important role in the Indian Economy. It is the principal source of livelihood for majority of the population in the country, provides bulk of wage goods required by non-agriculture sectors and most of the raw materials for the industries sector. Due to the dominant position of Agriculture in the Indian economy, collection and maintenance of Agricultural statistics assumes special importance, particularly, in respect of statistics relating to the agricultural holdings.

India is one of the few countries in the world which has developed a sound system of land records including village maps which date back to very early times. The objective of these village maps and registers was to generate basic data for land revenue assessment. These documents have now become basic source of information for agricultural planning and development as these contain information on land utilization, crop and irrigation etc.

Recognizing the importance of Agriculture sector, since, 1970-71, the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare is implementing Agriculture Census Scheme, quinquennially, to collect and compile data on operational holdings in the country.

 Being a Central Sector Plan Scheme of the Government of India, for Agriculture Census Scheme, 100% financial assistance is provided to the States for conducting the Census programme. The estimated implementation cost of Agriculture Census Scheme for 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) is INR 137.68 Crores.  

The Census Organization

At national level, the Agricultural Census Division in the Department of Agriculture,  Cooperation & Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare is the leading organization for conducting Agriculture Census in India. As per Constitutional provision, statistical surveys and inquiries fall in the Concurrent List and hence the Government of India is responsible for preparation of an all-India Census program keeping in view the diverse systems of maintenance of land records which is a State subject. The plan of the Census is prepared keeping in view the objective of collecting & compiling high quality data following at every steps of the census program taking rigorous procedures and standards are followed. The role of Government of India includes preparation of plan of Agricultural Census of the country, provide funding and technical assistance to the States for undertaking Censuses, process the data and bring out all-India results etc. In view of the organizational advantage in administration and mobilization of manpower, the responsibility for execution of the Census has been entrusted to the States with technical backstopping by the Centre. This approach of census has been found cost-effective and largely successful, keeping in view the inherent diversity in the systems followed in different parts of the country.  



Government of India acknowledges the contribution made by over half-a-million primary workers who meticulously carried out different census operations in field despite their multifarious duties. These enumerators known as Patwari, karnam, talathi, Field Investigator, etc., and are part of the administrative machinery of the State.

Thanks are also due to members of Steering Committees at the Centre and State level Coordination Committees who have continuously provided valuable guidance and technical expertise to the process of census-taking.

The officers of Agriculture Census Division have contributed at all stages of census project including financial provision, administration and management, preparation of schedules and instructions, training of trainers and enumerators, carrying out field inspections, guiding the manual scrutiny, guiding the preparation of computer programmes and their testing, processing of data and final preparation of database for dissemination etc.