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  1. 1. Topic Sowing Prosperity Boosting agricultural productivity Cooperative Farming model using Principles of Alternative Farming Team Details Representing Lady Brabourne College, Kolkata Paanchajanya Anushka Khasnobish Moumita Biswas Nandini Pain Suparna Chakraborty Madhuparna Pandit (Coordinator)
  2. 2. Fragmentation of land coupled with stagnant productivity in a country even with favourable agricultural conditions has made feeding the rising population very difficult.  Approximately 407 million Indians live below poverty line (GoI, 2009), despite the fact that half the population is engaged directly or indirectly in agriculture for living.  Marked difference in dietary pattern between urban and rural population. Difference is also noticed between rich and poor. As income rises, demand for high value food products rises while the poor with low income depend on cereals as the sole food source.  Number of farming households has increased while average farm size has decreased resulting in poor participation of about 80% farmers in India due to low productivity and considerably high production and transaction costs.  Use of several soil degrading varieties of hybrid and genetically modified (GM) seeds has lead to increased dependence on chemical fertilizers and water for adequate production resulting in degradation of soil fertility, and salinity of soil due to depletion of ground water respectively.  Due to low production and decreasing farm sizes, farmers are excluded from financial security systems ,like credits and micro insurance.  Lack of public and private investment in agriculture. 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 1970-71 1981-82 1991-92 2002-03 % share of agriculture and allied sectors to total GDP (at current prices) Average Farm Holding Size (ha/holding) Consumption of fertilizers (million tonnes) Source: Union Budget and Economic Survey Stirring the Pyramid Planning Commission, Government of India
  3. 3. Two farming methods are being looked into as potential solutions but each comes with a set of disadvantages along with the desired set of advantages Method of Farming Advantages Disadvantages Alternative Farming: Replacing inorganic farming practices (use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides) with organic farming practices (use of organic fertilizers and pesticides). Use of traditional farming methods and quality seeds. Use of organic fertilizers to improve soil fertility. Management of water. Practising inter cropping and strip farming. Soil Degrading varieties of hybrid and GM seed industries gain importance in current market due to higher yield. High cost and low availability of organic fertilizers make organic products costly in market. Subsidies on soil degrading varieties of hybrid seeds and chemical fertilizers, and higher demand for such products encourage farmers to practice inorganic farming. Cooperative Farming: Forming clusters, or grouping small land holdings, to obtain a bigger plot of land through cooperation among the land holders. Seeks cooperation between farmers to use larger farm sizes for production. Larger farm size provides enough space for strip farming. With demand for wide variety of food products increasing, with increase in income, yet need to produce enough cereals to support the poor, call for the practice of strip farming in large scale. Exposing farmers to financial security systems on account of the total land size obtained through cooperation.  Reducing transaction, and transportation cost, and increasing production. In fear of loosing land, farmers are reluctant to go for cooperation. In cooperative farming, farmers aren’t able to apply their innovative farming practices that they would prefer for their land. Chances of inequality and difference between farmers arise due to absence of a proper management system on farmland that will track the amount of labour contributed by each farmer. In a democratic system, farmers can not be forced to go for cooperation. There is an act for cooperative farming, however ,not yet accepted by the farmers. Lack of interest from officials involved in registration of farmlands resulting from cooperation.
  4. 4. Our solution is to combine the advantages of the two prevailing methods in such a way that will nullify their corresponding disadvantages Important features of the solution include: 1) Seeking cooperation between farmers without leasing out their lands in order to protect their ownership over their individual pieces of land where farmers share the net profit among themselves on the basis of their inputs. 2) Arrangement of programs and workshops to make the farmers self sufficient by ensuring that they can at least read and understand their legal documents. 3) Recruitment of agri-graduates for working in the workshops along with the regional and national agriculture experts from Government and public sector industries that already work in these areas to educate the farmers about technological advancements available for agriculture, farming practices that can provide them profit as well as encouragement to practice cooperative farming by educating them about the benefits involved in it. 4) Legal action from Government and existing Government officials be involved in this program to ensure speedy registration of land grouped through cooperation. 5) Practising traditional methods of farming to ensure reclamation of degraded land as well as to encourage reduced use of fertilizers and soil degrading varieties of hybrid and GM seeds. 6) Since use of soil degrading varieties of hybrid and GM seeds is eliminated, need for huge amount of fertilizers is greatly reduced. The money spent on purchasing huge amounts of considerably cheaper chemical fertilizers can be used to purchase much lower amounts of expensive organic fertilizers. Thus, cost for fertilizers are maintained or probably reduced. Subsidies on organic fertilizers must be given. 7) Increasing tax on soil degrading varieties of hybrid and GM seed production and their use to encourage farmers to go for indigenous seeds. 8) Relaxation of tax for cooperative farming to attract them to seek cooperation. 9) Provision for farmer forums headed by a panel of elected farmers (who act as representatives of all farmers), where farmers can put forward their grievances that may arise due to cooperation and speedy justice can be obtained. 10) Organizing interactive sessions in workshops as well as local agricultural schools and institutes, where farmers are entertained to put forward their innovative ideas. Discussion and assessment on such ideas can be done to measure their impacts. Exchange of ideas can be achieved. 11) To obtain competitive yields traditional methods of farming must be combined with scientific developments based upon the physical condition and soil structure of the concerned area. 12) Intensive farming must be practiced to utilize the labour force available for agriculture. Both the systems, cooperative and individual type of production for a few years should be continued side by side. Out of final result, willing farmers may choose the cooperative system.
  5. 5. Proposed model of cooperative farming that will use the principles of alternative farming Shelter Belts that protect the farmland from insects and bear fruits that add to the net profit Inter cropping with leguminous crops or crops that restore soil fertility under prevailing land and climatic conditions Practice of strip farming to ensure the production of a variety of crops as well as cereals and to prevent spread of pest. Fragmented lands grouped through cooperation Along with the model, rain water management, composting and other eco-friendly practices are encouraged to obtain sustainable agricultural development. Cooperative farming model is suggested for extremely small farm holders. Farmers with considerably larger farm holdings are also advised to participate in cooperation. However due to larger farm size they may not need cooperation to practice alternative and sustainable farming. However, use of organic fertilizers, quality seeds and eco-friendly methods are strongly recommended to achieve greater yield and restoration of soil fertility. Organic Fertilizers are no doubt much more expensive than inorganic fertilizers and are required in considerably high amount but are easily available in our country. With reduction in imported fertilizers, subsidy for imported fertilizers will also be reduced. So, Government can fund easily. Earlier days, Government had a plan to use organic and inorganic fertilizers at 50:50 ratio. Our suggestion is to make it 75:25 ratio. This will maintain our production rate, soil health and ecology. Hence cost of using and providing organic fertilizers can be adjusted from the budget involved in importing and producing huge amount of inorganic fertilizers
  6. 6. Higher productivity can only be achieved if traditional farming methods are supported by recent developments in agricultural science and knowledge on eco-friendly technologies available to the farmers. Crop production is dependant on capital investment, land fertility, along with climatic conditions, prevailing in a particular area. Any change in the balance, which occur occasionally may hamper productivity. Hence, day-to-day data collection on above said items and proper analysis is imperative. Periodical survey is must in this regard and should be done. Farmers Survey Team Research and Development Institutes Assessment team Agricultural institutions, graduates, industries, legal advisors and Government officials & experts Agri-graduates lack practical knowledge. Field Training must be given to them from their institutes. They should be engaged to some particular villages for 3 years. In this process they will impart their knowledge of new agricultural technologies to the farmers. Village level agricultural scholars are beneficial. After proper training, the graduates are centrally recruited via their respective institutions. While selecting students, special preferences should be given to farming community.
  7. 7. Practical Implementation of the proposed model can be achieved through the joint contribution of several bodies involved in agriculture and allied sectors Agricultural Research and Education Survey Team Research and Development Wing Assessment Team Makes a survey on prevailing agro-climatic and soil condition in different region. Performs research based upon the reports gathered by the survey team. Develops better methodology of farming and eco- friendly technologies that would help the farmers and the nation as a whole. Assesses the viability of technologies developed and whether they suit the farming conditions and can be beneficial over existing practices. If the experiments fail to serve their purposes, they would be returned to the respective R &D wings. If they serve their purpose, the models are taken forward to agro industries as well as agricultural institutions where agri-graduates are trained. Industries Agricultural institutions Large scale production in industry by supply of agricultural produce as raw material. Training of graduates in agriculture who will take part in workshops jointly participated by the advanced farmers. Public sector industries are mainly requested to contribute at initial stages. Private sector industries also should follow as agriculture is a rich source of raw materials for industry and with increase of purchasing power of the farmer, market will expand.
  8. 8. Workshops organized to sensitize the farmers with advanced technologies need joint contribution of officials and persons belonging to several agricultural and allied agricultural occupations including agri-graduates  Centrally recruited agri-graduates  Agriculture experts from Government/ Universities/ICAR  Industries involved in agriculture (mainly public sector)  Government officials  Legal action from Government  Advanced Farmers • Easy to recruit and employ. • Short term of service and low salary. • Have basic knowledge on agriculture. • Since they lack expertise, they are to be trained before recruitment. Agri-graduates • Have experience in this field. • Know how to interact with farmers. • Concerned about the development of farmers and agriculture and the market. • Ready to help in case of pest attack, natural calamity. Agriculture experts from Government • Have experience and expertise. • Will contribute for benefit of farmers as well as for profit. • To acknowledge the farmers about products and technologies available in marketing facilities. Industries Government Officials Legal action from Government •Can provide information on existing Government policies as well as subsidies and aides given by Government. •Required for speedy registration of cooperative lands and land to the tillers. • Procure field product directly from the farmers at their profitable rate. • Can provide information on laws pertaining to land documents and deeds. • Government should introduce proper law and act, beneficial to farmers to attract farming as a profession.
  9. 9. Educational Expenditure allocated per agri-graduate per annum =INR 7,00,000 INR 700 cr/annum TOTAL: INR 43,890.60cr/annum We are concerned with inclusion of 10% of total villages in India in first year of implementation Though it is ideal to allot 14% of total planned Indian budget (2013-14) for agriculture sector (see that agriculture contributes 14.1% ,at 2004-05 prices, of GDP) in place of present 4.86%, we propose an amount of INR 45,000cr, i.e., 8.10% for the year 2013-14. State Governments may adjust further requirement to achieve the goal. To make all farmers technologically advanced, we require 1,00,000 agri- graduates in total for 10 years. We suggest to allocate 1 agri-graduate per group of 10 villages In first year, we require Wage per agri-graduate per annum INR 20,000x12 = INR 2,40,000 INR 240 cr/annum Processing cost for recruiting the agri- graduates - nominal INR 30 lac/annum Cost for change to organic from inorganic INR 2135000/village/annum INR 21350 cr/annum Suggested investment for R&D wing INR 1,000 cr/annum Cost for setting up workshops INR 30 lac/annum Suggested investment for agri-inputs and machinery Miscellaneous INR 1,000 cr/annum INR 20,000 cr/annum Suggested investment for farmer forums We suggest for 1 honorarium of elected farmers per village Expenditure per farmer forum INR 5,000x12 = INR60,000/annum INR 600 cr/annum So far as we discussed the budgetary allocation, it is found that the said amount may easily be allotted. Only requirement is the sincere and strong approach towards increasing agricultural productivity. 10% of 10,00,000 villages = 1,00,000 villages For 10,000 agri- graduates
  10. 10.  Food is of utmost importance to maintain proper health of population. It is also said in our constitution, Government should make arrangement so that every citizen of our country get quality and sufficient quantity of food. So, priority in budgetary investment should be given to agriculture and allied sectors.  Special taxation on higher income groups and companies may be imposed.  By exporting safe and organic food, and food products to the international market, we can earn a good purse.  Special taxation on multinational companies dealing agro-business. Investments made at initial stages are considerably higher as the setting up of eco-friendly systems and using such technologies is more expensive. In view of future sustainability of humanity, present investment for organic cultivation is very negligible when we are accustomed with millennium development goal now-a- days. In that view also, eco-friendly organic cultivation is the last answer. A national consciousness in this regard is extremely necessary. Special Taxation Export Budgetary Investment
  11. 11. Though effective, the model may face certain challenges during practical implementation Probable Challenges Solutions Initial production may be low due to use of quality seeds. Reclamation of land as well as setting up of water management systems takes time and capital investment. If we go step by step, gradually increasing organic farming and reducing hazardous chemicals along with appropriate use of inorganic fertilizers, total production of food will be under control. Lack of public interest results in lack of investments from this sector. Field experiments will sensitize farmers. Increase in number of field demonstration and pilot projects in each village will sensitize farming community in favour of cooperative based organic farming. Advertisements in websites, social network sites, television and equivalent platforms. Inadequate extension service from the agricultural department and universities. Village level agro school and institutes, block level ‘Krishi Vigyan Kendra’, more and more agro colleges and research as well as development facilities are must to meet this challenge. Restoration of soil fertility and reclamation of land degraded due to various reasons can be achieved. Import expenditure of inorganic fertilizers can be reduced by using quality seeds and organic fertilizers. Almost all Indian farmers can be exposed to direct market as well as insurance and credit systems. Enough production can be achieved in near future to satisfy the dietary needs of the nation. Problems involved in irrigation and shortage of water can be resolved. Production is likely to double and can be sustained for future generations.
  12. 12. Acknowledging the following references: Accelerating Agricultural Development for inclusive Growth: Strategic Issues and Policy Options Credit Inclusion, farm lease and forming clusters can help small farmers overcome poverty much faster  Eleventh Five Year plan (2007-2012)  The World Bank  Dhaka Starting Microfinance in India  NGO Partnership System   Stirring the Pyramid  National Portal of India  Trading Economics  Agro-processing Industries in India-Growth, status and Prospects  Continuance of interest subvention scheme, other measures to boost agriculture