The drastic explosion of global population and continuously changing consumption preferences is drawing more investment need in the primary sector i.e. Agriculture. According to the FAO, demand for food will increase by 70% by 2050. Considering the seriousness of this estimation, it’s necessary to ponder over the current mechanism and overall functioning of agricultural system.
No doubt, the shift from the traditional and conventional system to modern agriculture has been remarkable. But, is this sufficient to maintain the equilibrium with the growing population demand and specifically when there is burning issues like climate change & economic slowdown? There has been a lot more programs, schemes, subsidies etc., by both Government and private institutions with the objective of enhancing and uplifting the status of farmers as well as agriculture. But, how far these are actually intercepting and reaching out to the grass-root level by sticking to the real motive of all-round welfare of the agricultural sector, is what the pertinent concern being ignored and politicized often.
To answer all these questions strategic and committed reforms with proper action plan and timeline are must. Indian Agriculture being vulnerable and fragile, constraints like land, financial services, water, and climate are basics to be tackled with.
structural reforms like- technology infusion, dissemination of innovations, effective functioning of lab to land programs, improving rural infrastructure, marketing channels, capacity building, input supplies etc.
It’s high time to leap towards the concept of productivity per liter, from the conventional idea of productivity per acre. There should be the introduction of land & water saving technologies like micro irrigation, hi-tech farming, aeroponics etc. keeping an eye with cost effectiveness. Moreover the ideas and techniques should be conveyed to people in a way that will mobilize and encourage them to put these in practice. There exist so many govt. & non-govt. organizations as well as cooperatives to aggregate the producers and work in a demand driven, need satisfying concept. But assuring financial assistance with a productive purpose to these organizations (say FPOs or Cooperatives etc.) will be more boosting. The scheme of proposing the payment of ₹6000 per farmer (PM-Kisan) as income support has indeed less potential to bring dramatic transformation in positive economics of agriculture. Rather, there should be more focus on structural reforms like- technology infusion, dissemination of innovations, effective functioning of lab to land programs, improving rural infrastructure, marketing channels, capacity building, input supplies etc.
Climate change is one of the major threats now-a-days. Starting from the issue of stubble burning to hazardous effects of fertilizers and pesticides can be addressed by adopting proper farming practices, cropping pattern, zero budget farming, use of nano fertilizers (developed by IFFCO recently), organic methods etc. Low remuneration for the produces and low income of farmers resulting suicides and distress can be confronted by proper diversified farm plans, institutional credits with proper check on productive purpose (in order to avoid NPA), aggregation of farmers, establishing profitable marketing channels and cooperatives etc.
In a nutshell, it’s the time to put wholesome effort by integrating all the divisions of science i.e., to be specific, more importantly the behavioral sector in order to know the user-cum-beneficiary-cum-customer satisfaction & awareness level and how to improve the corresponding response accordingly. Improving the behavioral sector without re-framing the execution is of no value. So, the execution of proposed plans and programs should be more based on consumer feedback as well as effective after-action in a strict and obviously corrupt less manner.
If the proposers will act in a system with the motive of peoples’ welfare and so as the nation rather than indulging in petty politics with self-motive, corruption and several points being known lucidly by the people, then the proposed “welfare state” of the constitution will appropriately justified with the proper interception of programs and schemes to the grass-root level and targeted group.
Author : Sumita Samantaray, MSc. Scholar, Dept. of Agricultural Economics, College of Agriculture, OUAT, BBSR.
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