WHY WE SELECTED THIS ISSUE AS ONE OF THE PRIME IMPORTANCE
• Agriculture accounts nearly 60% of the work force, but the contribution from agriculture keeps on declining from a whopping 58% to GDP
– 14.2% in the present scenario while the employment in this sector has seen only a marginal dip.
• India’s current policies for the agricultural sector are geared towards short term solutions and revenue expenditure rather than long term
capital investment solutions.
• The need for increasing agricultural productivity through technology infusions and market led interventions is gaining urgency.
• Agriculture is indirect growth driver as a growth rate of 4% translates in to robust demand for other sectors.
• Agriculture is most well equipped to solve the humanitarian crisis like rural poverty, malnutrition and starvation. High agricultural growth
helps in mitigating the problem of food inflation.
CAUSES FOR LOW PRODUCTIVITY IN AGRICULTURE
1. Individualistic behavior of the farmers.
2. Lack of institutional and infrastructural facilities.
3. Supply chain infrastructure is not in well organized state.
4. Poor techniques of production.
5. Large scale post harvest loss.
6. Lack of proper irrigation facilities and water management.
7. Lack of scientific and extension temper.
8. Credit unavailability
9. Well organized integrated package of practices not being followed.
SUGGESTIONS TO DRIVE THE PRODUCTIVITY CART
1. Farmers never think of the production system as of whole. They think it on their part and are least bothered about the prevailing situations.
The institutions responsible for training to the farmers should not only focus on giving the technical know how’s should also impart the
knowledge of social and moral responsibility an they should be made to think as they are one of the pillars of nation building.
2. The ICAR, apex body for agricultural research focuses on developing institutions which will be beneficial to farming community but the
ground reality is that this institutions are not functioning to the level which they are desired.
The monitoring of the institutions responsible should be done by the expert group of scientists with the help of local bureaucrats, monthly
progress reports should be collected, analysed and acted upon. The need and suggestions given by the farmers should be acted upon as fast
as possible. Because everything can wait but not agriculture. Sincerity, dedication and timeliness are of utmost importance.
3. Supply chain infrastructure is not in well organized state because of the lack of GOVT interest and also if present the store houses are in pity
condition. The official figure on the amount of grains that rots everywhere ranges between 2.5 lakh tones and 5 lakh tones. This wastage is
on the procurement of roughly 40 million tones every year. Most of this wastages are the grain stored in ware houses of FCI, CWC and state
(source: India commodity year book 2011, NCMSL)
Solution: encouraging the private players in procurement and storage process will enable the GOVT to absorb the production from the states
where FCI infrastructure is inadequate. Supply chain infrastructure creation such as warehousing, cold storage and rural roads will also bring
in private funds. The private sector is capable of large scale technology infusion. Legal and policy interventions by the GOVT could help
augment private investments.
4. Indian farmers still believe in the old and traditional methods of farming while the countries like china and brazil have leapfrogged with
relation to technology. Solution 1: precision farming which leverages IT for matching inputs and provides real time information on soil as
well as it focuses on accurate quantity of inputs at appropriate time can double or quadruple the yield. Success stories are many in the
districts of Dharmapuri in Tamilnadu state which can be adopted in whole of the country.
Solution 2: No till farming or zero tillage is used in place of ploughing in some countries leaving residues of the last crop to enrich the soil.
Such new age farming methods if propagated can transform production and yields. So it is of urgent requirement to raise public research in
agriculture. Investment in R&D and science based technologies would greatly benefit India which has 14 agro climatic zones which has the
potentiality to produce wide range o0f products.
Solution 3: private investment in to agricultural R&D must be encouraged through incentives such as tax breaks and availability of land and
5. Large scale loss of food grains takes place due to improper handling or due to inadequate storage facilities. Institution concerned or focusing on
increasing production but not on reducing post-harvest loss.
Solutions: Call in for the greater involvement of the private sector in value addition and storage facilities, financing and operating of this value
added industries can be done on the module of BOT(Build Operate and Transfer). In this the private companies should be allowed and
provided with the necessary facilities like land and legislations to build rural godowns, rural roads, rural market and value adding industries.
The need for cold storage has been increased in recent times because the perishable commodities have been in the demand in the recent
times. Excise exemption procedures to be relaxed, concessional electrical tariff should be given for cold storages, GOVT initiatives with
financial incentives and thrust on sound technology and energy efficiency should be brought in to focus.
6. Development of irrigation and water management are crucial for raising levels of living in rural areas. Major areas of concern in irrigation are:
decline in real investment, thin spread of investment, low recovery of costs, decline in water table, wastages and inefficiencies in water use
and, non-involvement of users. Both investment and efficiency in use of water are needed.
Solutions: Major areas of reforms needed in irrigation are:
stepping up and prioritizing public investment,
raising profitability of groundwater exploitation and augmenting ground water resources,
rational pricing of irrigation water and electricity,
involvement of farmers in the management of irrigation systems and,
making groundwater markets equitable.
Watershed development and water conservation by the community are needed to be brought under water management. The implementation
has to be stepped up in order to obtain benefits in rainfed areas. National Rainfed Area Authority has big responsibility in matters relating to
water conservation and watershed development. Assets created under NREGS can help in improving land and water management.
7. The yield for many crops declined in the 1990s. Technology plays an important role in improving yields. The National Commission on Farmers
indicates that there is a large knowledge gap between the yields in research stations and actual yields in farmers’ fields; the yield gaps given
by the Planning Commission range from 5% to 300% depending on the crop and the state.
Solution: The issue of technology fatigue in agriculture is well known. There is a need to shift away from individual crop-oriented research
focused essentially on irrigated areas towards research on crops and cropping systems in the dry lands, hills, tribal and other marginal areas.
In view of high variability in agro-climatic conditions in such unfavourable areas, research has to become increasingly location-specific with
greater participation or interaction with farmers. Private sector participation in agricultural research, extension and marketing is becoming
increasingly important especially with the advent of biotechnology and protection being given to intellectual property.
There is a need to strengthen extension. The ATMA (Agricultural Technology Management Agency) scheme was launched in 2005 to support
the state governments’ efforts to revitalize the extension. This scheme gives an opportunity to improve the extension system. The returns to
investment on research and extension will be much higher on agricultural growth as compared to other investments.
8. Credit unavailability
According to the expert group on Financial Inclusion, only 27% of farmers have access to institutional credit. It is true that there have been
some improvements in flow of farm credit in recent years.
Solution: The government has to be sensitive to the four distributional aspects of agricultural credit. These are: (a) not much improvement in
the share of small and marginal farmers; (b) decline in credit-deposit (CD) ratios of rural and semi-urban branches; (c) increase in the share
of indirect credit in total agricultural credit and; (d) significant regional inequalities in credit.
some more solutions to strengthen rural credit:
1. PACS needs to be strengthen
2. Political interventions in provision of loans to be strictly monitored.
3. Working of PACS should be more transparent
4. Regular loans remitters should be given some rebate
5. Defaulters should be identified and penalized in order to reduce the procedural formalities, national database for farmers should be
created with genuine land records. So that loan can be made available by just accessing the database and identifying the genuinity of the
6. The government should make arrangements for fixing of minimum loans given to farmers through PACS. The fixing should be based on
the cost of cultivation of the crops and also on the basis of the previous year performance of the farmer.
9. Well organized integrated package of practices not being followed:
there is large scale misuse of the fertilizers for which the GOVT spends huge sum of money in terms of subsidy. This loss can be prevented by
following soil health report and using the fertilizers in appropriate quantity required. INM- Integrated Nutrient Management which focuses
on balanced use of organics and inorganics can boost the agricultural productivity and save huge sum of money of the GOVT. Rampant
application of pesticides which kill beneficial as well as harmful insects can be prevented by using integrated pest management which
focuses on use of biological and mechanical methods for pest control along with chemical method can go a long way in reducing the cost of
cultivation and increasing the agricultural productivity.
Some more agronomic methods like LEISA(Low External Input Sustainable Agriculture) which focuses on reuse and recycle of farm generated
wastes like cow dung, husk, paddy straw which reduces the cost for external inputs and makes the profitability increase. Then ITK
(indigenous technical knowledge) of the farmers should be encouraged to develop a sustainable agriculture.
The simple methods of farming which has been kept on for the years need to be done away with. New and developed method like : 1. Multi tier
2. intercropping 3. Relay cropping 4. High density planting can be followed and popularized by the institutions.
Multitier cropping : This type of cropping focuses on growing different heights of plants in the same piece of land . The main areas which grows
coconut can focus on growing crops like peeper which grows around the coconut tree like wise in the gap we can grow shade loving crops
and also some plants like cocoa and brinjal or some other crops. This not only increases the land use efficiency but also increases the
productivity of the land.
Inter cropping : this method which accounts for growing two or more crops in the same field can in long way enhance the land use efficiency,
increase the productivity give assured source of income to the farmer as well as makes maximum use of available nutrients and resources.
One crop can be treated as the main crop where as the other crops can be put as the secondary crop in some lesser area.
Relay cropping : Relay cropping consists of interseeding the second crop into the first crop well before it is harvested. Relay cropping enables
farmers to double crop their land, eliminate a time management bottleneck, and protect the environment by reducing soil erosion and
impacts of manure and/or chemical fertilizer. The farmers of the Tamilnadu region cultivate pulses just when they are about to harvest the
main crop. The relay crop is not given any nutrient or irrigation it grows with the available moisture.
High density means to increase the plant population per unit area for increasing the production of fruit crops.
Advantages of High Density Planting:
1. Best utilized of land and resources.
2. Increase in yield per unit area.
3. Quality production of fruit crops.
IMPACT OF THE SOLUTION
1. Frequent observation of the work done by the farmers
2. Check whether consolidation of land holdings have been done.
3. Participation of private sectors have been increased
4. Expenditure in the field of R&D and allocations to the agricultural sector being increased by the GOVT
5. Booming of corporate farming in rural areas
6. Better cultivation methods being practiced by the farmers
7. Better infrastructural facilities in rural areas in the form of warehouses, cold storage structures and rural roads.
8. The persons to be covered under subsidies needs to be checked through AADHAR database which can provide accurate data.
9. Any year may be declared as the “YEAR OF AGRICULTURE” so that the allocation of funds can be increased and the multinational
players may come in to the scenario to help the production.
The solutions proposed in the presentation do not require huge sum of money baring one of creating rural amenities and R&D. GOVT should
make the land laws easier, give tax exemptions to provide confidence among the MNC’s to invest in agriculture. The monitoring teams
for the success of the work should be handled by an expert team of
a) Retired agricultural scientists
b) Reputed NGO’s
c) Working officials of agricultural department
d) Secretaries of agriculture to the state GOVT
• The rural population may be adamant to change at first sight but they need to be brought to confidence in order to make the projects
• The participation of the private sectors will be difficult in agriculture but the GOVT has to instill confidence, relax laws, provide funds and
at times provide the support.
• Political challenges may be faced from the farmers organization. It can be solved by demonstrating successful models of development from
round the world.
• Allocation of funds in the budget for agriculture may be difficult but the GOVT has to give focus back on agriculture in same lines with
service sectors if it has to solve the dual problem of food security and unemployment. As agriculture caters to the twin purpose of food
security and employment.
• ARYA- Attracting Rural Youth in Agriculture is a big challenge which has to be done on the basis of good schemes being implemented by
the GOVT to attract and retain the rural youths from being driven away from agricultural to the cities for meager employment.
• The confidence should be built among the rural population that agriculture is profitable and reliable employment which can be taken as
career. The agriculture not only solves their family requirement but also helps in nation building