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CHALLENGES IN

INDIAN
AGRICULTURE
Contents:
 Introduction
 Green Revolution
 Challenges in Indian Agriculture
a. Economic challenges
b. Ecological challenges
c. Global challenges
d. Other challenges
O Indian agriculture has been called as the gamble of
monsoon.
O Farmers in India are heavily dependent on rain water.
O Farms in India are poorly irrigated.
O There is also enormous regional disparity.
O The Indian cropping season is classified into two main
seasons the Kharif and Rabi.
O Kharif cropping season is from july to October during
the south-west monsoon.
O Rabi crops are the winter cropping season is from
October to march.
O During independence, agriculture contributed around
56.5% of GDP.
O The contribution of agriculture to Indian GDP has
consistently fallen over the years.
O While this trend has been witnessed in developed
nations as well.
O What makes the Indian case worrying is the absence
the of a concomitant fall in the percentage of people
employed in this sector.
O In 2013, agriculture contributed only 13.7 % to the
GDP.
O The sector employs around 55% of the work force.
O Seasonal and disguised employment are also
prevalent in this sector harming the already ailing
sector.
O Moreover stagnation in the growth below 3% in the
past decade has added to the woes of the sector.
O Indian constitution has categorised the agriculture as
a state subject.
O Any impactful action has to come from the state.
O The centre can only act as a friend, philosopher and
guide in nurturing the states to take action.
O Ex: agricultural produce marketing committees.
Despite the centre bringing a model agricultural
produce marketing committees act, few states have
taken measures to reform them.
Green revolution :
O Under colonial rule, India had suffered from frequent
famines.
O And out-dated agricultural practices and primitive
technologies were used.
O In the 1960’s India adopted novel methods and
technologies in agriculture to improve the agricultural
productivity.
O The use of high yielding variety seeds and quality
fertilizers and better irrigation witnessed a quantum
jump in the production.
O Punjab, due to water availability and favourable
historical experience was chosen and later other
regions followed.
O Indian agriculture transformed itself from starving
nation to food exporting nation.
O The increased production helped to become self-
sufficient.
Economic issue:
O The input cost of agriculture has been increasing
continuously.
O It is further abbreviated by decreasing returns from
output.
O The middlemen pockets significant amounts as
commission leaving farmer with meagre amount
which is often an adverse.
O Even when there is bumper harvest, farmers are not
able to make profits because of price crashes due to
excessive supply.
O The price fluctuations and absence of storage
capabilities have disempowered the farmer.
O Crop failure due to pests, weeds and pathogens have
been on rise especially due to resistance by excessive
use of pesticides and herbicides.
O Land fragmentation, due to inheritance has also made
farming the unviable and unprofitable.
O It has been proposed that Cooperative farming
initiatives by pooling land and resources can change
the face of the sector.
O A cooperative management revolution similar to the
white revolution can help them achieve the economic
scale.
Ecological issues:
O Degradation of land, water and biodiversity has been
a cause of major worry.
O The excessive use of pesticides and fertilizers has
added to the issue.
O Another area of significant concern is the level of
falling water table.
O Many state governments have made provisions for
free or subsidised electricity to the farmer.
O This has led to overdrawing and over
exploitation of ground water at a rate well
beyond the recharge capacity.
O It has led to increase in the salanity, decrease
in productivity due to fall in the fertility of
farm lands has led to decrease in the returns on
investment.
O Farmers have tend to increase the fertilizers to
compensate the fall which has done more
harm than good.
O So growing of rotational crops such as legumes
and fodder crops can increase the fertility of the
soil.
O Awareness among the farmers should be increased
about the harmful effects of excessive chemicals.
O Scientific water management through monsoon
management centre should enable the
maximization of benefits that is good rainfall and
decrease the harmful impact of deficit rainfall.
Climate change:
O Climate change has become a buzz word in the
discussions about environment but little is
being done to make a real and significant
impact on ground.
O There has been insufficient global cooperation
on the issue.
O The Consensus evolved at the Paris climate
conference to restrict the increase in the
temperature to 1.5 0 C above pre industrial era
is feared by some experts too little and too
late.
O The climate change there has been increase in the abnormality
and unpredictability of the monsoons.
O The rise in the sea level is feared to adversely affect the coastal
regions.
O India with a long coastal line 7500km might be adversely
affected due to sea level rise.
O Cultivable regions in West Bengal and Kerala are particularly
vulnerable to sea level rise.
O The unpredictability monsoons would effect the cycles of
drought and flood, there is an urgent need to put in place the
responsive to drought code and flood code to deal with the
situation.
O Not only the government, the world community should take
anticipatory and proactive steps to deal with the challenges.
Global challenges:
O India along with other developing countries has fought
against the developed countries for an equitable deal in
world trade organization.
O However, the north-south divide the difference of
opinion between the developed and developing
countries has been only increasing with the final
agreement on agriculture is still elusive that developed
nations have large land holdings .
O The practice of commercial agriculture using machines
on the other hand developing nations like India and
underdeveloped nations they mainly comprise of small
and marginal farmers who practice farming for their
livelihood.
O India, along with other developing nations should
be protected and also pushed forward for special
safeguard mechanism to check and protect the
farmers from abnormal surge in cheap imports.
O During WTO subsidy regime, India has managed
to get the peace clause by protecting India until
permanent solution to the public stock holding
problem is found.
O To protect the farmers from International price
fluctuations, India has made the import duties,
min. export price and antidumping duties.
O Stringent phytosanitary certifications under codex
alimentarius are harmful to Indian exports.
Other challenges:
O Loss of interest in farming is the particular concern in
Indian agricultural sector.
O Increasing the input costs and risk - decrease in the
output has made farming unprofitable and high risk
venture. This has resulted in decrease in the youth
participation in the sector.
O Farmer suicides – unable bear the debt burden and
crop failure.
O Other challenges contorting Indian agriculture
includes loss of prime farmland, loss of biodiversity
decrease in productivity and technological stagnation.
With increase in ecological and economic
uncertainty, there is an urgent need to protect
and safeguard the farmers interest.
Thank you