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INDIA’S AGRICULTURE HAS A BRIGHT FUTURE, BUT REFORMS ARE REQUIRED…

Agriculture is one of the few industries that fully utilizes all four components of production — land, labour, capital, and organization/management – while also consuming the most scarce resource, water. Several constraints hamper agriculture’s future. The land is lacking, and residents and people in business have competing demands. Water and money are both in short supply. Management is reliant on the adoption of new technology.

India controls only 4% of the world’s water resources. According to demographic experts, the country’s current population of roughly 1.39 billion people will likely grow to 1.69 billion by 2050.

It is critical to improving:

  1. Water resource optimization.
  2. The productivity of small holdings accounts for half of all arable land in India.
  3. Technology is specific to Indian production systems.
  4. Integration of all sorts of agricultural activity.
  5. Climate change resistance.

India’s agricultural expansion (1950-2020) may be observed in various ways:

  • The world’s second most excellent horticulture output
  • The world’s highest milk production, with a twelve-fold increase
  • The world’s second-largest fish production

It is currently a net exporter, with agricultural output 44 per cent greater than the United States.

Praveen Rao

India’s agricultural GDP surged from US$ 15 billion in 1960 to US$ 101 billion in 2000, according to Praveen Rao, Vice Chancellor, PJTS Agricultural University, Hyderabad. Over the following sixteen years, the growth rate was 350% higher than the previous thirty years.

In his most recent J. Raghotham Reddy memorial lecture at Hyderabad, A.K. Singh, Director, Indian Agricultural Research Institute of ICAR, pointed out that despite a 32.7 per cent increase in area from 1951 to 2011, production increased by nearly six times and productivity increased by 4.5 times, ensuring food security. Pestilence and starvation were not common during this period.

MAS is currently an intrinsic element of cultivar creation programs at ICAR facilities and other agricultural colleges, with 74 crop cultivars developed in seven crops: rice, wheat, pearl millet, chickpea, soybean, groundnut, and maize. The task of generating 333 million tons of food grains to feed India’s estimated 1.64 billion people by 2050 remains. According to the NSSO (2014), agriculture employs around 232 million people (49% of the workforce) and contributes roughly 17% of GDP.

A. K. Singh

In 2015, the figure was estimated to be 219 million, which is still a significant amount (Kapoor, 2017). According to NITI Aayog research, agricultural labour productivity is one-third of non-agricultural industries. Farm labour is in short supply, either to cut the sugarcane crop or pick cotton, the two most labour-intensive crops.

Thanks to intensive research by the PJTSAU under the particular order of farmer-Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, Telangana State is the first state to begin cultivating single-pick cotton this year. Farmers are anxiously awaiting guaranteed harvests from this cultivar to save labour expenditures.

All of the study, which has undoubtedly achieved fantastic outcomes, has focused on farming rather than the farmer. Farmers’ incomes being doubled by 2025 is still a pipe dream because agricultural reforms have been mostly disregarded for the past three decades. Small farmers and tenant farmers have realized that they must become businesses to develop sustainably. Several farm-related start-ups have recently emerged.

K. Chandrasekhar Rao

Aggregators at the farm gate, marketing changes, and simple finance access all demand policymakers’ attention, especially when we consider the technical improvements mentioned by A. K. Singh: 1. Molecular breeding, 2. crop biofortification, 3. microbial technologies, 4. climate change and mitigation measures, 5. satellite remote-sensing technology, 6. precision agriculture, and 7. irrigation efficiency improvements

Drone technology for intelligent agriculture is gaining traction with speed breeding, genomic breeding, and remote sensing techniques. Drone sensing for crop mapping and discrimination, monitoring biotic and abiotic crop stress, yield damage assessment, soil fertility, and agri-input applications are just a few of the drone-based technologies.

While it is true that disruptive technologies will shape agriculture growth in the next century, the way forward would be to invest in human resources and infrastructure for disruptive innovations (at least 1.4 per cent of GDP in agriculture), such as the Internet of Things (IoT), AI, Machine Learning (ML), Block Chain leading climate, intelligent, regenerative, and remunerative agriculture, adoption of management practices integrating small farm holdings, and mainstreaming the fortifiable agriculture.

The farmer’s equity or his capacity to acquire loans should be used to fund the investment. Farmers and small business owners are suspicious of India’s debt markets. As a result, there is a need for a cultural transformation in agricultural lending. Second, all preceding devices are still vulnerable to bad weather and climate. In addition, they are vulnerable to storms, tsunamis, floods, and holocausts.

While crop-related technologies are short-term investments, the remainder is medium- to long-term capital expenditures. Angel investors, patient capital investors, and social capital entrepreneurs are good options for agribusinesses. House of Green According to A. K. Singh, gas reduction via climate-resilient agricultural techniques has the potential to generate carbon credits (CC) up to 5CC/ha, with one carbon credit equaling US$37. Fifteen thousand hectares have this potential.

Moreover, integrated farming on small farm holdings – crop, horticulture, domestic dairy, backyard poultry, small pond culture, and home-grown ducks – would reduce risk and open the road for farmers to double their income shortly. Significant capital investments in climate-resistant technology ensure agriculture’s long-term viability, cashing in carbon credits sooner rather than later, a shift in lenders’ and farmers’ mindsets to speed financing, and farmer-friendly insurance arrangements.

Source: INVENTIVA

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