Agriculture

AGRICULTURE

To prepare for INDIAN ECONOMY  for any competitive exam, aspirants have to know about Agriculture.  It gives an idea of all the important topics for the IAS Exam and the Economy syllabus (GS-II). Important Agriculture terms are important from Economy perspectives in the UPSC exam. IAS aspirants should thoroughly understand their meaning and application, as questions can be asked from this static portion of the IAS Syllabus in both the UPSC Prelims and the UPSC Mains exams.

Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that enabled people to live in cities.

 

PRIMARY ACTIVITIES

  • Humans Engage in different activities to exploit natural resources and the most ancient of them are Primary activities.
  • Primary activities are directly dependent on the environment and some of these activities are:

 

Gathering and hunting:

  • These are the oldest economic activities known.
  • Gathering is practiced in regions with harsh climatic conditions.
  • It often involves primitive societies, who extract both plants and animals to satisfy their needs for food, shelter and clothing.

 

  • The main features of Gathering and Hunting activities are:
    • Low Capital / Skill Investment
    • Low Yield Per Person
    • No Surplus in production
  • Gathering is practised in the following areas of the world:
    • Northern Canada, northern Eurasia and southern Chile (High Altitude Areas)
    • Low latitude zones such as the Amazon Basin, tropical Africa, Northern fringe of Australia and the interior parts of Southeast Asia.

 

 

Nomadic Herding or Pastoral Nomadism:

  • Nomadic herding or pastoral nomadism is a primitive subsistence activity, in which the herders rely on animals for food, clothing, shelter, tools and transport.
  • They move from one place to another along with their livestock, depending on the amount and quality of pastures and water, thus there is an irregular pattern of movement.
  • It is different from Transhumance in which there is a fixed seasonal pattern of movement.
  • Nomadic pastoralism is commonly practised in regions with little arable land, typically in the developing world.
  • Of the estimated 30–40 million nomadic pastoralists worldwide, most are found in central Asia and Northern and western regions of Africa, some parts of southern Africa and Tundra regions.
  • In the Himalayas, Gujjars, Bakarwals, Gaddis and Bhotiyas are nomadic pastoralists who practice transhumance.

 

TYPES OF AGRICULTURE IN VARIOUS PARTS OF THE WORLD

Commercial Livestock Rearing:

  • Commercial livestock rearing is more organised and capital-intensive activity in comparison to the Nomadic pastoralism. It is generally practised in permanent ranches.
  • Products such as meat, wool, hides and skin are processed and packed scientifically and exported to different world markets emphasis is on breeding, genetic improvement, disease control and health care of the animals.
  • New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, Uruguay and the United States of America are important countries where commercial livestock rearing is practised.

 

Ranches refers to the large stock farms, usually fenced in, where animals are bred and reared on a commercial scale. They are found especially in the United States.

 

Primary Subsistence Agriculture

  • Subsistence agriculture is one in which the farming areas consume all, or nearly so, of the products locally grown.

Subsistence agriculture

  1. Primitive Subsistence Agriculture
  2. Intensive Subsistence Agriculture

 

Primitive Subsistence Agriculture

  • This agriculture is also known as  Shifting CultivationShifting Cultivation.
  • It is widely practised by many tribes in the tropics, especially in Africa, south and Central America and south East Asia.
  • When the vegetation is cleared by fire, and the ashes add to the fertility of the soil, it is called slash and burn agriculture.
  • After sometime (3 to 5 years) the soil loses its fertility and the farmer shifts to other parts and clears other patches of the forest for cultivation.

 

Name Region
Jhum North-eastern India
Vevar and Dahiyaar Bundelkhand Region (Madhya Pradesh)
Deepa Bastar District (Madhya Pradesh)
Zara and Erka Southern States
Batra South-eastern Rajasthan
Podu Andhra Pradesh
Kumari Hilly Region of the Western Ghats of Kerala
Kaman, Vinga and Dhavi Odisha

 

Intensive Subsistence Agriculture

  • In this type of farming system, crops are grown mainly for local consumption. If there is a surplus, then it is sold in the market.
  • This type of farming is largely found in densely populated regions of monsoon Asia.
  • Basically, there are two types of intensive subsistence agriculture.
  1. One is dominated by wet paddy and
  2. Another is dominated by crops such as sorghum, soybeans, sugarcane, maize, and vegetables.
  • Areas of Intensive Subsistence Farming are: Tonkin Delta (Vietnam), lower Menem (Thailand); lower Irrawaddy (Myanmar); and the Ganga-Brahmaputra Delta, Eastern Coastal Plains (India).

 

Mediterranean Agriculture

  • It is practised within the Mediterranean climatic region where winter is wet and summer is dry.
  • Farming is intensive, highly specialised and varied in the kind of crops raised.
  • Many crops such as wheat, barley and vegetables are raised for domestic consumption, while others like citrus fruits, olives and grapes are grown mainly for export.
  • That’s why this region is also called Orchard Lands of the World and it is the heart of the world’s wine industry. This region is famous around the world for the production of citrus fruits and grapes in the world.

 

Viticulture or grape cultivation is a speciality of the Mediterranean region. Best quality wines in the world with distinctive flavours are produced from high quality grapes in various countries of this region. The inferior grapes are dried into raisins and currants. This region also produces olives and figs. The advantage of Mediterranean agriculture is that more valuable crops such as fruits and vegetables are grown in winters when there is great demand in European and North American markets.

 

Plantation Agriculture

  • This type of farming has developed in parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America, where the influence of the Europeans have been important during the colonial period.
  • Though practiced over a rather small area, this type of farming is quite important in terms of its commercial value.
  • Tea, coffee, rubber and oil palm are the major products of this type of farming. Most of the plantations were developed to provide some of the important tropical crops to the European markets.
  • Important plantation regions:
  • Tea gardens in India and Sri Lanka
  • Banana and sugar plantations in the West Indies
  • Coffee plantations in Brazil
  • Rubber in Malaysia
  • This is a highly capital-intensive farming and most of the crops are tree crops.

 

EXTENSIVE COMMERCIAL GRAIN CULTIVATION

  • This type of agriculture system is mainly practiced in the Eurasian steppes in regions of chernozem soil, Canadian and American Prairies, the Pampas of Argentina, the Veld of South Africa, the Australian Downs and the Canterbury Plain of New Zealand.

 

  • The main characteristics of this type of agriculture are:
    • highly mechanized cultivation
    • farms are very large
    • predominance of wheat
    • low yield per acre but yield per capita is high.

 

MIXED FARMING

  • This type of agricultural system is found in the highly developed parts of the world: north-western Europe, eastern North America, Russia, Ukraine, and the temperate latitudes of parts of the southern continents.
  • Farming is very intensive and sometimes highly specialized.
  • Traditionally, farmers have practised a mixed economy by raising animals and growing crops on the same farm.
  • Mixed farming is characterised by high capital expenditure on farm machinery and building, extensive use of chemical fertilisers and green manures and also by the skill and expertise of the farmers.

 

DAIRY FARMING

  • Dairy is the most advanced and efficient type of rearing of milch animals. It is highly capital intensive. Animal sheds, storage facilities for fodder, feeding and milking machines add to the cost of dairy farming. Special emphasis is laid on cattle breeding, health care and veterinary services.
  • It is highly labour intensive as it involves rigorous care in feeding and milching. There is no off season during the year as in the case of crop raising.
  • It is practised mainly near urban and industrial centres which provide neighbourhood markets for fresh milk and dairy products. The development of transportation, refrigeration, pasteurisation and other preservation processes have increased the duration of shortage of various dairy products.

 

MARKET GARDENING AND HORTICULTURE

  • It is practised mainly in the same region as that of mixed farming that consists of cultivation of vegetables, fruit and flowers solely for the urban market.
  • It is well-developed in the densely populated industrial districts of north-western Europe (Britain, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany) and in North-Eastern USA.

 

The regions where farmers specialise in vegetables only, the farming is known as truck farming. The distance of truck farms from the market is governed by the distance that a truck can cover overnight, hence the name truck farming.

 

FACTORY FARMING

  • Factory farming is a method of mass food production in which animals are kept in very confined areas in order to get the best possible profit.
  • This farming is particularly concentrated in Developed countries like USA, European nations, Australia etc.

 

CO-OPERATIVE FARMING

  • A group of farmers form a co-operative society by pooling in their resources voluntarily for more efficient and profitable farming. Individual farms remain intact and farming is a matter of cooperative initiative.
  • Co-operative societies help farmers, to procure all important inputs of farming, sell the products at the most favourable terms and help in processing of quality products at cheaper rates.
  • Co-operative movement originated over a century ago and has been successful in many western European countries like Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Italy etc. In Denmark, the movement has been so successful that practically every farmer is a member of a co-operative.

 

COLLECTIVE FARMING

  • The basic principle behind this type of farming is based on social ownership of the means of production and collective labour.
  • Collective farming or the model of Kolkhoz was introduced in the erstwhile Soviet Union to improve upon the inefficiency of the previous methods of agriculture and to boost agricultural production for self-sufficiency.
  • The farmers used to pool in all their resources like land, livestock and labour. However, they were allowed to retain very small plots to grow crops in order to meet their daily requirements.
  • Yearly targets were set by the government and the produce was also sold to the state at fixed prices.
  • Produce in excess of the fixed amount was distributed among the members or sold in the market. The farmers had to pay taxes on the farm produce, hired machinery etc.
  • Members were paid according to the nature of the work allotted to them by the farm management.
  • Exceptional work was rewarded in cash or kind. This type of farming was introduced in the former Soviet Union under the socialist regime which was adopted by the socialist countries. After its collapse, these have already been modified.

 

INDIAN AGRICULTURE

INTRODUCTION

  • India is an agricultural economy where 49% of the people depend directly or indirectly on agriculture.
  • Net sown area still accounts for about 47% of the total land area of India.
  • In India, over 80 per cent of water is used in irrigation. Of the net sown area of around 140 million hectares (Mn ha), close to half (68.4 Mn ha) is irrigated (2019)
  • Major states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha among others are still majorly dependent on Agriculture.

 

GDP compositions in 2018-19 are as follows (ES2020)

  • Agriculture (16.5%)
  • Services (55.3%)
  • Industry (28.6%)

 

Facts/Data related to Agriculture sector
Share of agriculture and allied sectors in Gross Value Addition (GVA) has declined from 18.2 percent in 2014-15 to 16.5 percent in 2019-20.
The Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector is estimated to grow by 2.8 percent in 2019-20 as compared to growth of 2.9 percent in 2018-19.
According to the 2010-11 Agricultural Census, 47% of landholdings had become less than half a hectare in size. These holdings are too small to support a family of five so that many farmers now seek alternative sources of income – NITI 3-year action agenda
About 80 percent of farmers own less than two hectare.

 

SALIENT FEATURES OF AN INDIAN AGRICULTURE

  • Subsistence type of agriculture.
  • Dependent on unreliable and erratic monsoon (about 60 percent)
  • India’s vast relief, varying climate and soil conditions produce a variety of crops
  • All tropical, subtropical and temperate crops are grown across geographical areas.
  • Predominance of food crop → about 2/3rd of total cropped area.
  • Backbone of rural economy.
  • Plays critical role in ensuring food security
  • Poor electricity, storage, water, credit & marketing infrastructure.
  • Supports allied sectors and activities – cattle, poultry etc.
  • Major involvement of women in Indian agriculture sector
  • Characterized by poor mechanization, inadequate Agricultural research and extension services.
  • Fragmented nature of agricultural holding.

 

PRODUCTIVITY OF AGRICULTURE

  • Productivity of Agriculture is defined as the number of crops produced per unit land.
  • Productivity levels in Indian agriculture are very low as compared to the productivity levels of other countries – China, USA etc.
  • Like in 2018, average productivity in India was 3075 Kg/ha while world average was 3200kg/ha.
  • Fertiliser use, irrigation and rainfall cause significant variation in productivity
  • Productivity in the regions of Green revolution are certainly higher than other areas. Other high productivity regions are Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal and Maharashtra.
  • The productivity in Gangetic plain is reducing because of Land bifurcation leading to reduced size of land holdings.
  • Key issues affecting agricultural productivity include the decreasing sizes of agricultural land holdings, continued dependence on the monsoon, inadequate access to irrigation, imbalanced use of soil nutrients resulting in loss of fertility of soil, uneven access to modern technology in different parts of the country, lack of access to formal agricultural credit, limited procurement of food grains by government agencies, and failure to provide remunerative prices to farmers.

 

Cropping Intensity

  • The ratio of the gross cropped area to the net sown area.
  • As the land is cropped multiple times, the cropping intensity increases.
  • It depends on factors like climate, demand of crops, availability of irrigation and other inputs etc.

 

Boosting productivity

Boosting productivity in agriculture in a sustainable manner requires us to work on four fronts:
 

 

 

Irrigation

The main reason for low crop intensity is access to water and moisture for crop production in Rabi season. Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) provides a sound framework for the expansion as well as effective use of water in irrigation.
 

 

Seeds and Fertilizer

We need to enhance seed-research capacity as well as multiply stations so that seed replacement rate should be increased. Soil health cards need to be promoted as they are important for customizing fertilizer use.
 

 

 

New Technology

 

Genetically modified (GM) seeds have emerged as a powerful new technology promising high productivity, improved quality and lower use of fertilizers, weedicides and pesticides in the last one to two decades.

Precision farming and related new technologies allow highly efficient farming and resource conservation.

 

 

Diversification

Crop diversification provides the farmers with a wider choice in the production of a variety of crops in a given area so as to expand production related activities on various crops and also to bring down the possible risk

 

 

CROPS

  • A crop is a plant or animal product that can be grown and harvested extensively for profit or subsistence.
Basic facts
India produced 284.83 Mn tons of food grains in 2018.
India is the world’s largest producer of milk, pulses and jute.
India occupies a leading position in global trade of agricultural products, agricultural export basket accounts for a little over 2.15 per cent of the world agricultural trade.

 

Crop classification based upon the type of produce 

Type Description Examples
Food crops Crops used for human consumption Cereals, i.e. grass like plants with starchy edible seeds having high nutritional value – rice, wheat, maize. Pulses for e.g. gram tur etc.
Cash crop Grown for sale in raw or processed form Cotton, jute, tobacco, castor, oilseeds
Plantation crop Grown in plantations covering large estates. Tea, coffee, coconut, rubber, spices, etc.
Horticulture Fruits and vegetables Fruits (apple, mango, bananas) and vegetables (onion, tomato etc.)

 

 

Crop classification based upon climate

Tropical Temperate
Crops grown well in hot and warm climate Crops grown well in cool climate
e.g. rice, sugarcane, jawar e.g. wheat, gram, potato

 

 

Crop classification based on growing season

The kharif Season starts in June and ends in October and largely coincides with Southwest Monsoon under which the cultivation of tropical crops such as rice, cotton, jute, jowar, bajra and tur is possible.
The rabi Season begins with the onset of winter in October-November and ends in March-April. The low temperature conditions during this season facilitate the cultivation of temperate and subtropical crops such as wheat, gram and mustard.
Zaid Short duration summer cropping season beginning after harvesting of rabi crops. The cultivation of watermelons, cucumbers, vegetables and fodder crops during this season is done on irrigated lands. However, this type of distinction in the cropping season does not exist in southern parts of the country.

 

FOOD GRAINS

Food grains are dominant crops in all parts of the country whether they have subsistence or commercial agricultural economy.

 

Food grains

  1. Cereals
  2. Pulses

 

  1. Cereals
  • The cereals occupy about 54 per cent of the total cropped area in India.
  • India produces a variety of cereals, which are classified as fine grains (rice, wheat) and coarse grains (jowar, bajra, maize, ragi), etc.

 

  1. Pulses
  • Pulses are a very important ingredient of vegetarian food as these are rich sources of proteins.
  • These are legume crops which increase the natural fertility of soils through nitrogen fixation.
  • India is a leading producer of pulses and accounts for about one-fifth of the total production of pulses in the world.
  • The cultivation of pulses in the country is largely concentrated in the drylands of Deccan and central plateaus and north-western parts of the country.
  • Pulses occupy about 11 per cent of the total cropped area in the country. Being the rainfed crops of drylands, the yields of pulses are low and fluctuate from year to year.
  • Gram and tur are the main pulses cultivated in India.

 

In India, the dryland farming is largely confined to the regions having annual rainfall less than 75 cm. These regions grow hardy and drought resistant crops such as ragi, bajra, moong, gram and fodder crops.

 

MAJOR FOOD CROPS IN INDIA

  1. RICE
  • Rice is preferred staple food in southern and north-eastern India.
  • India produced 42 mmt in 2018-19, 2nd highest production in world after China.
  • India had the highest export volume of rice worldwide, at 9.8 million metric tons as of 2018/2019.
  • West Bengal is the largest producer followed by Uttar Pradesh.
 

 

 

Favourable conditions

●       Rice is tropical and kharif crop (warm and wet climate is ideal)

●       Temperature: Between 22-32°C with high humidity.

●       Annual Rainfall: above 150 cm

●       Requires semi aquatic conditions

●       Soil Type: Deep clayey and loamy soil

 

 

 

Geo. Distribution

●       Rice is a staple food for the overwhelming majority of the population in India.

●       About one-fourth of the total cropped area in the country is under rice cultivation.

●       Though it is considered to be a crop of tropical humid areas, it has about 3,000 varieties which are grown in different agro-climatic regions.

●       These are successfully grown from sea level to about 2,000 m altitude and from humid areas in eastern India to dry but irrigated areas of Punjab, Haryana, western U.P. and northern Rajasthan.

●       In southern states and West Bengal, the climatic conditions allow the cultivation of two or three crops of rice in an agricultural year.

●       In the Himalayas and north-western parts of the country, it is grown as a kharif crop during the southwest Monsoon season.

Other information In West Bengal farmers grow three crops of rice called ‘aus’, ‘aman’ and ‘boro’.

 

Farmers in West Bengal are experimenting with the Pokkali variety of rice to tide over a crisis-like situation created by severe seawater incursion into paddy fields in the Sundarbans (owing to Cyclone Amphan). Vyttila-11 varieties of pokkali seedlings were brought from Kerala. The pokkali variety of rice is known for its saltwater resistance and flourishes in the rice paddies of coastal Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Thrissur districts of Kerala.

Kuttanad Below Sea Level Farming System of Kerala is Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) site in India.

 

  1. WHEAT
  • Wheat is preferred staple food in northern and north-western parts of India.
  • India’s wheat production has increased to a record 20 million tonne (MT) for the crop year 2018-19 (July-June), up by 1.3% from a year ago.
  • India is the third largest producer of wheat after EU and China.
  • Largest producer of wheat in India is Uttar Pradesh followed by Punjab and Haryana.

 

 

 

 

 

Favourable conditions

●       Temperature: Between 10-15°C (Sowing time) and 21-26°C (Ripening & Harvesting) with bright sunlight.

●       Wheat is a temperate crop which requires a cool climate with moderate rainfall.

●       It shows great adaptability & can be grown in tropics as well (yields are low in tropics).

●       Wheat is rabi crop (Winter crop)

●       Rainfall: Around 75-100 cm.

●       Soil Type: Well-drained fertile loamy and clayey loamy (Ganga-Sutlej plains and black soil region of the Deccan)

●       Light drizzles and cloudiness (E.g. Weather brought by Western Disturbances) at the time of ripening help in increasing the yield.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geo. Distribution

●       Wheat is the second most important cereal crop in India after rice.

●       India produces about 12 percent of the world’s total wheat production.

●       It is primarily a crop of temperate zones. Hence, its cultivation in India is done during winter i.e. rabi season.

●       About 85 percent of total area under this crop is concentrated in north and central regions of the country i.e. Indo-Gangetic Plain, Malwa Plateau and Himalayas up to 2,700 m altitude.

▪        Being a rabi crop, it is mostly grown under irrigated conditions.

▪        But it is a rainfed crop in Himalayan highlands and parts of Malwa plateau in Madhya Pradesh.

▪        Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are five leading wheat producing states.

Other information Rice-wheat cropping system is labour, water, capital and energy-intensive, and becomes less profitable as availability of these resources diminishes. The problem is further exacerbated by dynamics of climate change.

 

  1. MILLETS
  • Temperature: Between 27-32°C
  • Rainfall: Around 50-100 cm.
  • Soil Type: Can be grown in inferior alluvial or loamy soil because they are less sensitive to soil deficiencies
  • India is the largest producer followed by Niger.
  • Entirely grown under subsistence farming
  • Grown for fodder crops
  • Very nutritious and affordable, important for Nutrition security but least preferred given low remunerative outcomes.
  • Millets include jawar, bajara, ragi etc.

Jawar

  • Jawar – 3th most important crop after rice and wheat
  • Jowar has high nutritional value.
  • Jowar is grown in both Kharif and Rabi seasons. It is sown in both kharif and rabi seasons in southern states. But it is a kharif crop in northern India where it is mostly grown as a fodder crop
  • Suitable for rainfed areas of dryland farming.
  • Require around 30 cm rainfall – dry situation
  • The coarse cereals together occupy about 16.50 per cent of total cropped area in the country. Among these, jowar or sorghum alone accounts for about 5.3 per cent of total cropped area.
  • It is the main food crop in semi-arid areas of central and southern India.
  • Maharashtra alone produces more than half of the total jowar production of the country.
  • Other leading producer states of jowar are Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Bajra

  • Bajara Is the second most important
  • Grown in the areas of 40-50 cm of annual rainfall.
  • Bajra is sown in hot and dry climatic conditions in north-western and western parts of the country.
  • It is a hardy crop which resists frequent dry spells and drought in this region.
  • It is cultivated alone as well as part of mixed cropping.
  • This coarse cereal occupies about 5.2 per cent of the total cropped area in the country.
  • Leading producers of bajra are the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana.
  • Being a rainfed crop, the yield level of this crop is low in Rajasthan and fluctuates a lot from year to year.
  • Yield of this crop has increased during recent years in Haryana and Gujarat due to introduction of drought resistant varieties and expansion of irrigation under it.

 

Maize

  • Maize is rainfed kharif
  • Maize is a food as well as fodder crop grown under semi-arid climatic conditions and over inferior soils.
  • This crop occupies only about 3.6 per cent of total cropped area.
  • India is the Sixth Largest producer of the crop in the world.
  • Maize cultivation is not concentrated in any specific region. It is sown all over India except eastern and north-eastern regions.
  • The leading producers of maize are the states of Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
  • Yield level of maize is higher than other coarse cereals. It is high in southern states and declines towards central parts.

 

  1. OILSEEDS
 

 

 

Favourable conditions

●       Temperature: Between 15-30°C

●       Rainfall: Around 30-75 cm.

●       Soil Type: Loam to clayey loam and well drained sandy loams.

●       The oilseeds are produced for extracting edible oils.

●       Groundnut, rapeseed and mustard, soybean and sunflower are the main oilseed crops grown in India.

 

 

 

 

 

Geo. Distribution

●       Drylands of Malwa plateau, Marathwada, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Telangana, Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka plateau are oilseeds growing regions of India.

●       Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat are main producers of major oilseeds accounting for over two-third area and three-fourth of production.

●       These crops together occupy about 14 percent of total cropped area in the country

 

Groundnut

  • It is largely a rainfed kharif crop of drylands. But in southern India, it is cultivated during rabi season as well.
  • It is a tropical crop that requires 50-75 cm of rainfall.
  • It covers about 3.6 per cent of the total cropped area in the country.
  • Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra are the leading producers.
  • Yield of groundnut is comparatively high in Tamil Nadu where it is partly irrigated. But its yield is low in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

Rapeseed and Mustard

  • Rapeseed and mustard comprise several oilseeds as rai, sarson, toria and taramira.
  • These are subtropical crops cultivated during rabi season in north-western and central parts of India.
  • These are frost sensitive crops and their yields fluctuate from year to year.
  • But with the expansion of irrigation and improvement in seed technology, their yields have improved and stabilised to some extent.
  • About two-third of the cultivated area under these crops is irrigated. These oilseeds together occupy only 2.5 per cent of the total cropped area in the country.
  • Rajasthan contributes about one-third production while other leading producers are Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh. Yields of these crops are comparatively high in Haryana and Rajasthan.

 

Soyabean

  • Soyabean is mostly grown in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
  • These two states together produce about 90 per cent of total output of soyabean in the country.

 

 

Sunflower

  • Sunflower cultivation is concentrated in
    Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and adjoining areas of Maharashtra.
  • It is a minor crop in northern parts of the country where its yield is high due to

 

Sesamum

  • India accounts for one-third of the world production and is the largest producer.
  • Since it is a rainfed kharif crop the production fluctuates greatly with time.
  • Sesamum is produced in almost all parts of the country.
  • West Bengal is the largest producing state (one-third of the total production of India). The other major producers are Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, etc.

 

  1. CASH CROPS
  • Cash crops are crops that are grown for sale in the market. E.g. Cotton, jute, tobacco, castor, oilseeds, sugarcane etc.
  • They occupy only about 15 percent of cropped area but account for over 40 percent of agriculture production by value.

 

Cotton

  • Cotton is chiefly a tropical and sub-tropical crop.
  • Temperature: Between 21-30°C
  • Rainfall: Around 50-100 cm
  • Soil Type: Well drained deep black soils (regur-lava soil) of the Deccan Plateau, Malwa Plateau and those of Gujarat are best suited for cotton cultivation.
  • It is a tropical and subtropical crop grown in the kharif season in semi-arid areas of the country.
  • India grows both short staple (Indian) cotton as well as long staple (American) cotton called ‘Narma’ in north-western parts of the country
  • Cotton occupies about 4.7 per cent of the total cropped area in the country.
  • India is the Largest producer of cotton. (2018-19)
  • Almost 65 per cent of the area under cotton is rainfed with erratic and poorly distributed rains. It is also subjected to severe attack of pests and diseases.
  • There are three cotton growing areas, i.e. parts of Punjab, Haryana and northern Rajasthan in north-west, Gujarat and Maharashtra in the west and plateaus of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
  • Largest producer is Gujarat followed by Maharashtra. (2018-19)
  • Labor – Since picking of cotton is not yet mechanized, a lot of cheap and efficient labour is required.

 

TYPES OF COTTON
 

Long staple cotton

 

It has the longest fibre whose length varies from 24 to 27 mm. The fibre is fine and lustrous and is used for making superior quality cloth. About half of the total cotton produced in India is long staple. It is largely grown in Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.
 

Medium staple cotton

 

The length of its fiber is between 20 mm and 24 mm. About 44 per cent of the total cotton production in India is of medium staple. Rajasthan, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra are its main producers.
 

Short staple cotton

 

This is inferior cotton with fibre less than 20 mm long. It is used for manufacturing inferior cloth and fetches less price. About 6 per cent of the total production is of short staple cotton. U.P, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab are its main producers.

 

BT COTTON à Bt stands for the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. Bacillus thuringiensis produces a toxin called bt. toxin which is detrimental for certain kind of pest (bollworms) that infects cotton crop. This trait of Bacillus thuringiensis is induced into cotton by genetic modification. The Bt cotton was first tested in U.S.A. and it to cultivation there in 1995. China (1997) and India (2002) also followed the cultivation of Bt cotton.

 

Jute

  • Jute is the second most important fiber crop in India after cotton.
  • Humid climate (120-150 cm) with 80-90 percent relative humidity during the period of its growth.
  • It is a cash crop in West Bengal and adjoining eastern parts of the country.
  • India lost large jute growing areas to East Pakistan (Bangladesh) during partition.
  • At present, India produces about three-fifth of jute production of the world.
  • West Bengal accounts for about three-fourth of the production in the country. Bihar and Assam are other jute growing areas.
  • Just like cotton, jute also exhausts the fertility of soil rapidly. It is necessary that the soil is replenished annually by the silt-laden flood water of the rivers.
  • Large supply of cheap labor and lot of water are necessary for processing the jute fiber post-harvest.
  • Over 99 per cent of the total jute of India is produced in just five states of West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
  • Being concentrated only in a few states, this crop accounts for only about 0.5 per cent of the total cropped area in the country.
  • Jute is used for making coarse cloth, bags, sacks and decorative items.

 

Sugarcane

  • Temperature: Between 21-27°C with hot and humid climate.
  • Rainfall: Around 75-100 cm.
  • Soil Type: Deep rich loamy soil.
  • Sugarcane is a crop of tropical areas. Under rainfed conditions, it is cultivated in sub-humid and humid climates. But it is largely an irrigated crop in India.
  • India became the largest sugarcane producer in 2018-19, beats brazil for first time in 16 years.
  • In the Indo-Gangetic plain, its cultivation is largely concentrated in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Sugarcane growing area in western India is spread over Maharashtra and Gujarat.

 

  1. Why is the sugar industry shifting from northern to peninsular India?
DISTRIBUTION OF SUGARCANE

Three distinct belts of sugarcane cultivation can be identified in India.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sutlej-Ganga plain from Punjab to Bihar (51 per cent of the total area and 60 per cent of the country’s total production)

●       Low yield

●       High summer temperatures ranging from 30° to 35°C leads to low growth and fibrous crop.

●       Loo (dry scorching wind in May and June with a desiccating effect) hampers the normal growth of the cane.

●       In winter months (December and January) the crop is likely to be damaged by severe cold and frost.

●       Crushing cannot be done in winter. [only 8 month crushing season. Factories remain idle for 4 winter months]

Black soil belt from Maharashtra to Tamil Nadu along the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats (to protect from high speed monsoon winds).

Coastal Andhra and the Krishna Valley .

 

●       High Productivity

●       No winds like ‘loo’ during the summer.

●       Reasonably high temperature during winter.

●       Frost free climate throughout the year.

●       Yearlong crushing

 

 

 

 

 

   
   
   
  • The tropical climate of Peninsular India results in higher yield per unit hectare of land.
  • Higher sucrose content in peninsular cane as here grows tropical varieties of Sugarcane. Tropical sugarcane areas are the northern plains.
  • Sub-tropical variety has low sugar content.
  • Sugar factories shut in winter. From northern plains the factories shifted to Punjab, Haryana, South India and Western India.
  • Long crushing season in the south.
  • Cooperative sugar mills are more successful in management in south India.

 

  1. PLANTATION CROP

A plantation is a large-scale estate meant for farming that specializes in cash crops. The crops that are grown include cotton, coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar cane, sisal, oil seeds, oil palms, fruits, rubber trees and forest trees.

 

Tea

 

 

 

 

 

 

Favourable conditions

●       Temperature: Between 20-30°C

●       Rainfall: Around 150-300 cm.

●       Soil Type: Deep and fertile well-drained soil, rich in humus and organic matter.

●       Tea leaves have rich content of caffeine and tannin.

●       It is an indigenous crop of hills in northern China.

●       It is grown over undulating topography of hilly areas and well drained soils in humid and sub-humid tropics and sub-tropics.

 

 

Geo. Distribution

●       In India, tea plantations started in the 1840s in Brahmaputra valley of Assam which still is a major tea growing area in the country.

●       Later on, its plantation was introduced in the sub-Himalayan region of West Bengal (Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Bihar districts)

●       Tea is also cultivated on the lower slopes of Nilgiris and Cardamom hills in Western Ghats.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other information

●       Tea requires an abundant supply of cheap and skilled labour at every stage.

●       It is one of the largest employers of women among the organized industries of India.

●       India is the second largest producer of tea in the world (2019), producing an average 1,325,050 tonnes each year.

●       Assam is the largest producer among Indian states.

●       India is the fourth largest exporter after China, Sri Lanka and Kenya.

●       14% of global tea exports and nearly 20% of the tea produced in the country is exported, according to Tea Board India.

●       Declining export because:

India’s Assam CTC Tea faces competition from Kenya while orthodox tea faces competition from Sri Lanka & Mozambique.

·        Issues with the Industry

–        The lack of innovation in tea plant and the agricultural practices (e.g. slower pace of replantation) accompanying it has stagnated the leaf quality and output

–        Rising input prices, is making tree farming less profitable.

–        Large share of tea production comes from small, independent farmers, will find tea production unsustainable.

–        Monsoon Dependence.

–        Various tariff and non-tariff barriers by many importing countries. For example Phyto-sanitary related objection raised by the EU, is hampering exports.

–        Trade Policy related: The FTP 2015, which reduced exports concessions to tea from 5% to 3%.

–        The tea farms in India are often hit by strikes and labour unrest.

–        Many areas known for tea gardens, like Assam and the Darjeeling hills, suffer from insurgency, social unrest and extortion. This scares away fresh investment and fresh capital.

 

  • It is indigenous to Abyssinia Plateau (Ethiopia).
  • Coffee was first raised in the Baba Budan Hills of Karnataka. British planters established large coffee estates in 1820s near Chikmagalur (Karnataka), Wayanad, Shevoroys and Nilgiris in TN.

 

 

 

 

Favourable conditions

●       Temperature: Between 15-28°C

●       Rainfall: Around 150-250 cm.

●       Soil Type: Well drained, deep friable loam soil.

●       Coffee is a tropical plantation crop. Its seeds are roasted, ground and are used for preparing a beverage.

 

 

Geo. Distribution

●       Coffee is cultivated in the highlands of Western Ghats in Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Karnataka alone accounts for more than two-third of total production of coffee in the country
 

 

 

 

 

 

Other information

●       There are three varieties of coffee i.e. Arabica, Robusta and Liberia. India mostly grows superior quality coffee, Arabica, which is in great demand in the International market.

●       Coffee cultivation requires plenty of cheap and skilled labor.

●       Northern and eastern aspects of slopes are preferred as they are less exposed to strong afternoon sun and the south-west monsoon winds.

●       Karnataka produces more than 70% of Coffee followed by Kerala.

●       Almost the entire production is shared by three states namely Karnataka (71%), Kerala (22%) and Tamil Nadu (6.5%).

In wetland farming, the rainfall is in excess of soil moisture requirement of plants during the rainy season. Such regions may face flood and soil erosion hazards. These areas grow various water intensive crops such as rice, jute and sugarcane and practice aquaculture in the freshwater bodies.

 

Rubber

  • Rubber is obtained from the latex of Hevea brasiliensis and many other tropical trees. It begins to yield latex in 5-7 years after planting.
  • Hevea brasiliensis requires hot (25°-35°C) and humid climate (200 cm). The rainfall should be well distributed throughout the year.
  • Deep well drained loamy soils are best suited for rubber plantations.
  • Almost entire rubber is produced in Kerala (92%), Tamil Nadu (3%) and Karnataka (2%) and Tripura (2%) is the fourth largest producer. Andaman & Nicobar Islands also produce small quantities of rubber.

 

  1. SPICES
  • Pepper, cardamom, chillies, turmeric, ginger are some of the important spices produced in India. They are used for flavoring foodstuffs.
  • Well drained sandy, clayey or red loams and laterites are best suited soils for the cultivation of most of the spices mentioned above.
  • These soil conditions exist predominantly in the hilly regions of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
  • India is an exporter of spices. There has been a constant increase in area and production of spices in India.

 

Pepper

 

●       Its distribution is highly concentrated in Kerala (94%), Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
 

 

Cardamom

 

●       Cardamom‘queen of aromatic spices’ – is mainly used for medicines. India produces a major part of the world’s total cardamom.

●       The entire production comes from three states viz., Kerala (53%), Karnataka (42%) and Tamil Nadu.

 

 

Chilies

 

●       Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are the largest producers of chilies.

●       Guntur, East Godavari and West Godavari in are the major chili producing districts in AP.

 

Ginger

 

●       India (80%) is the largest producer of ginger in the world.

●       Meghalaya, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, etc. are the main producers.

 

 

Turmeric

 

●       Turmeric is native to tropical South-East Asia.

●       India is an important producer of turmeric in the world.

●       Andhra Pradesh (more than half) is the largest producer.

 

  1. HORTICULTURE
  • India is the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world after China.
  • Horticulture sector contributes about 25-30 per cent of GDP from agriculture.
  • India is the largest producer of bananas and mangoes.

 

 

 

 

 

Cashew Nut

 

●       Cashew kernel is used as a dry fruit.

●       India holds first position in the world in the production of cashew.

●       Coasts of Maharashtra (29.9%), Andhra Pradesh (15.7%), Odisha, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are the major producers.

 

 

 

 

 

Mango

 

●       Mango is the native to the Indian monsoon lands.

●       More than half of the world’s mangoes are produced in India. It is also the largest exporter.

●       Alfonso mango is an important export variety.

●       Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, West

●       Bengal, Odisha, are the main producers.

Apple

 

●       Apple is a temperate fruit crop.

●       It requires sunny climate with gentle winds.

●       Partial sun reduces yields.

●       It requires average temperature (~22°C) during the growing season. In the non-growing season, apple crop can tolerate very low temperatures.

●       Low temperature, rain, fog and cloudy weather hampers growth at the time of maturity.

●       Well distributed 100-125 cm rainfall throughout the growing season is optimal. Apple orchard regions should be free from hail storms and frost.

●       Kullu and Shimla districts in Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir Valley and hilly areas of Uttarakhand are important apple growing areas.

 

 

 

Banana

 

●       Banana is a tropical and sub-tropical crop.

●       Although cultivation is spread all over India. But peninsular India provides ideal conditions for its cultivation.

●       Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra account for about half of total production.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orange

 

●       Most of orange orchards are rainfed.

●       Although orange is grown in almost all states, its cultivation is more prominently concentrated in the hilly region of Uttarakhand.

●       Kangra valley of Himachal Pradesh, Darjeeling in W. Bengal, Khasi and Jaintia Hills in Meghalaya, Kodagu district of Karnataka are the important orange growing regions.

 

Peach

●       Peach is temperate fruit that is highly perishable (more than apple).

 

CROP DIVERSIFICATION

It refers to a shift from the regional dominance of one crop to production of a number of crops.

 

Why is it Needed?

  • Maintaining soil fertility: Only those crops are grown in a particular region which are suitable to a particular agro climate zone and it helps in maintaining soil fertility because excessive use of nutrients, irrigation is not required.
  • To arrest depletion of groundwater: It will help in diversifying cropping patterns from water guzzling crops such as paddy to pulses, oilseeds, maize with the aim of tackling the problem of depleting water tables.
  • Diversification can also provide habitat for beneficial insects and at the same time reduce colonization by pests.
  • Additional employment opportunities
  • Reducing risk from agriculture sector
  • Insurance against vagaries of nature, pests etc.
  • Higher level of income – reduction in poverty (SDG-1)

 

MEANING AND REASONS FOR DIVERSIFICATION OF AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES

It means reducing the share of labour force in agriculture sector and finding employment in Non- farm activities

Reasons

  1. To Reduce Risk of Earning from Agriculture Sector
  2. To Give Wider Choice

 

TYPES OF FARMING

On the basis of main source of moisture for crops, the farming can be classified as-

Main source of moisture

  1. Irrigated
  2. Rainfed
  • Irrigated farming can be of two types –
      1. Protective
      2. Productive

 

Type Description
Protective The objective of protective irrigation is to protect the crops from adverse effects of soil moisture deficiency which often means that irrigation acts as a supplementary source of water over and above the rainfall.
Productive Productive irrigation is meant to provide sufficient soil moisture in the cropping season to achieve high productivity
Rainfed farming It is further classified on the basis of adequacy of soil moisture during cropping season into dryland and wetland farming
Dryland farming In India, the dryland farming is largely confined to the regions having annual rainfall less than 75 cm. These regions grow hardy and drought resistant crops such as ragi, bajra, moong, gram and guar (fodder crops) and practice various measures of soil moisture conservation and rainwater harvesting.
Wetland farming The rainfall is in excess of soil moisture requirement of plants during the rainy season. Such regions may face flood and soil erosion hazards. These areas grow various water intensive crops such as rice, jute and sugarcane and practice aquaculture in the freshwater bodies.

 

CLIMATE SMART AGRICULTURE

  • According to the World bank, Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is an integrated approach to managing landscapes – cropland, livestock, forests and fisheries – that address the interlinked challenges of food security and climate change.
  • Climate Smart Agriculture also known as Climate Resilient Agriculture. It is the development of agriculture under new realities of climate change.
  • “Agriculture that sustainably increases productivity, enhances resilience (adaptation), reduces/removes GHGs (mitigation) where possible, and enhances achievement of national food security and development goals” – FAO

 

Climate-smart agriculture helps in the following ways:

  • Triple win-increase yield
  • Make yield resilient
  • Make farm a solution to climate changes problem
  • Reduction and removal of GHGs
  • Would help in achieving SDGs and food security.
  • Adapt and build resilience to climate change
  • Reduce and/or remove greenhouse gas emissions, where possible.

 

Practices under Climate smart Agriculture:

  • Minimum soil disturbance
  • Zero tillage is ideal, but the system may involve controlled tillage in which no more than 20 to 25% of the soil surface is disturbed.
  • Retention of crop residues or other soil surface cover
  • Use of crop rotations – Crop rotation helps reduce build-up of weeds, pests and diseases. Where farmers do not have enough land to rotate crops, intercropping can be used. Legumes are recommended as rotational crops for their nitrogen-fixing functions.
  • Increasing organic content of soil
  • Promoting carbon soil capture

 

Key initiatives

  • Paramparagat Krishi vikas yojana
  • Soil health cards
  • PM Fasal Bima Yojana
  • PM Krishi sinchai yojana
  • National mission for sustainable agriculture
  • National Initiative on Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA)
  • National Adaptation Fund
  • National and State Action Plan on Climate Change.

      

Impact of climate change on agri.

  1. Less agri. production
  2. rural and farmers distress
  3. depletes natural resources
  4. droughts & heatwaves
  5. hits poor’s most
  6. 5% loss in GDP

 

THE INTEGRATED FARMING SYSTEM

  • Integrated Farming refers to an agriculture system that integrates livestock and crop production. It is also called an Integrated Biosystem.
      1. Crop
      2. Farming
      3. Livestock

 

  • The Integrated Farming system has revolutionized conventional farming of livestock, aquaculture, horticulture, agro-industry and allied activities.
  • It is a combined approach aimed at efficient sustainable resource management for increased productivity in the cropping system.
  • The IFS approach has multiple objectives of sustainability, food security, farmer’s security and poverty reduction by involving livestock, vermicomposting, organic farming etc.
  • IFS provides multiple benefits that are sustainable and can pave the way for climate-smart agriculture. India needs to adopt a “well designed” Integrated Farming System (IFS) to realize the vision of doubling farmers’ income by 2022 (Ashok Dalwai Committee) and having sustainable agricultural practices

 

Integrated Farming

  1. Climate change and air quality
  2. Organization and Planning
  3. Crop health and protection
  4. Crop Nutrition
  5. Human and Social Capital
  6. Waste Management and pollution control
  7. Landscape and Nature conservation
  8. Animal husbandry and animal welfare
  9. Energy Efficiency
  10. Water Use and Protection
  11. Soil Management

 

IRRIGATION

  • Irrigation is described as the artificial application of water to the land or soil.
  • It is the substitute or supplement of rainwater with another source of water.

 

IRRIGATION

  1. Tanks
  2. Drip irrigation
  3. River Lift Systems
  4. Wells
  5. Canals

 

Well and Tube Well Irrigation:

  • Wells are mainly found in P., Bihar, Tamil Nadu, etc.
  • There are various types of wells – shallow wells, deep wells, tube wells, artesian wells, etc. From the shallow wells water is not always available as the level of water goes down during the dry months.
  • Deep wells are more suitable for the purpose of irrigation as water from them is available throughout the year.
  • At places where groundwater is available, a tube well can be installed near the agricultural area. A deep tube well worked by electricity, can irrigate a much larger area than a surface well.
  • Tube wells are mostly used in P., Haryana, Punjab, Bihar and Gujarat.

 

Merits Demerits
Well is the simplest, cheapest and independent source of irrigation and can be used as and when the necessity arises. Only a limited area can be irrigated. In the event of a drought, the ground water level falls and enough water is not available.
Several chemicals such as nitrate, chloride, sulphate, etc. found in well water add to the fertility of soil. Tube wells can draw a lot of groundwater from its neighboring areas and make the ground dry and unfit for agriculture.
More reliable during periods of drought when surface water dries up. Wastage of water due to subsidized electricity in green revolution region

 

Canal Irrigation:

  • Canals can be an effective source of irrigation in areas of low-level relief, deep fertile soils, perennial source of water and extensive command area.
  • Therefore, the main concentration of canal irrigation is in the northern plain of India, especially the areas comprising Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab.
  • The digging of canals in rocky and uneven areas is difficult and uneconomic. Thus, canals are practically absent from the Peninsular plateau area. However, the coastal and the delta regions in South India do have some canals for irrigation.

 

 

Merits Demerits
Most of the canals provide perennial irrigation and supply water as and when needed. Many canals overflow during the rainy season and flood the surrounding areas.
This saves the crops from drought conditions and helps in increasing the farm production. Canal irrigation is suitable in plain areas only.

 

This sediment is deposited in the agricultural fields which make soil more fertile. The canal water soaks into the ground and results in water-logging along the canal route.
Initial cost involved in canal irrigation is more, it is quite cheap in the long run. Excessive flow of water in the fields raises the ground water level.
Capillary action brings alkaline salts to the surface and makes large areas unfit for agriculture

 

  • Two types: Inundation canals, which are taken out from the rivers without any regulating system like weirs etc. at their head. Such canals provide irrigation mainly in the rainy season when the river is in flood and there is excess water.

 

  • Perennial Canals are those which are taken off from perennial rivers by constructing a barrage across the river. Most of the canals in India are perennial.

Tanks Irrigation:

  • A tank is developed by constructing a small bund of earth or stones built across a stream. The water impounded by the bund is used for irrigation and other purposes. Tank comprises an important source of irrigation in the Karnataka Plateau, MP, Maharashtra, Odisha, Kerala Bundelkhand area of MP, Rajasthan and Gujarat.

 

Merits Demerits
Most of the tanks are natural and do not involve heavy cost for their construction Many tanks dry up during the dry season and fail to provide irrigation when it is required.
Tanks have a longer life span. Much water is evaporated from the large expanse of shallow water and is therefore not available for irrigation.
In many tanks, fishing is also carried on, which supplements both the food resources and income of the farmer Lifting of water from tanks and carrying it to the fields is a strenuous and costly exercise.

 

Drip irrigation:

  • In drip irrigation, water is applied near the plant root through emitters or drippers, on or below the soil surface, at a low rate varying from 2-20 liters per hour. The soil moisture is kept at an optimum level with frequent irrigations.
  • Among all irrigation methods, drip irrigation is the most efficient and can be practiced for a large variety of crops, especially in vegetables, orchard crops, flowers and plantation crops.

 

Merits Demerits
Fertilizer and nutrient loss is minimized due to localized application and reduced leaching. Initial cost can be more.

 

Field leveling is not necessary. Recycled non-potable water can be used. Can result in clogging, wastage of water, time and harvest, if not installed properly.
Water application efficiency increases. Lack of skilled labor.

 

Soil erosion and weed growth is lessened. Maintenance is costly

 

Sprinkler Irrigation:

  • In this method, water is sprayed into the air and allowed to fall on the ground surface somewhat resembling rainfall. The spray is developed by the flow of water under pressure through small orifices or nozzles.
  • The sprinkler irrigation system is a very suitable method for irrigation on uneven lands and on shallow soils.
  • Nearly all crops are suitable for sprinkler irrigation systems except crops like paddy, jute, etc.
  • The dry crops, vegetables, flowering crops, orchards, plantation crops like tea, coffee are all suitable and can be irrigated through sprinklers.

 

Merits Demerits
Suitable to all types of soil except heavy clay Lack of skilled labor to manage it
Water saving to 30% – 50 % Higher initial cost.
Increase in yield Under high wind conditions and high temperature distribution and application efficiency is poor.
Saves land as no bunds etc. are required. Reduces productivity of soil in long term

 

Fertigation
  • Fertigation is a method of fertilizer application in which fertilizer is incorporated within the irrigation water by the drip system.
  • In this system fertilizer solution is distributed evenly in irrigation. The availability of nutrients is very high therefore the efficiency is more.
  • In this method liquid fertilizer as well as water soluble fertilizers are used. By this method, fertilizer use efficiency is increased from 80 to 90 per cent.

 

Advantages of fertigation

  • Nutrients and water are supplied near the active root zone through fertigation which results in greater absorption by the crops.
  • As water and fertilizer are supplied evenly to all the crops through fertigation there is possibility for getting 25-50 per cent higher yield.
  • Fertilizer use efficiency through fertigation ranges between 80-90 per cent, which helps to save a minimum of 25 per cent of nutrients.
  • By this way, along with less amount of water and saving of fertilizer, time, labour and energy use is also reduced substantially.

 

PRADHAN MANTRI KRISHI SINCHAI YOJANA (PMKSY)

PMKSY envisages amalgamation of –

  1. Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation (MoWR RD & GR)
  2. Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP) of Department of Land Resources (DoLR)
  3. On Farm Water Management (OFWM) of Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC)

 

Objectives:

  • Achieve convergence of investments in irrigation at the field level
  • Har Khet ko pani – Expand cultivable area under assured irrigation
  • More crop per drop – Improve on-farm water use efficiency to reduce wastage of water & enhance the adoption of precision-irrigation and other water saving technologies
  • Enhance recharge of aquifers and introduce sustainable water conservation practices by exploring the feasibility of reusing treated municipal based water for peri-urban agriculture
  • Attract greater private investment in precision irrigation systems.

 

Salient features

  • Decentralized State level planning and projectized execution’ structure, in order to allow States to draw up a District Irrigation Plan (DIP) and a State Irrigation Plan (SIP). These plans need to be prepared in order to access PMKSY fund.
  • It will be supervised and monitored by Inter-Ministerial National Steering Committee (NSC) under PM with Union Ministers of all concerned Ministries. A National Executive Committee (NEC) is to be constituted under the Chairmanship of the Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog to oversee programme implementation.
  • PMKSY has been formulated amalgamating ongoing schemes Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP); Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP); and On Farm Water Management (OFWM) component of National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA).
  • Water budgeting is done for all sectors namely, household, agriculture and industries.
  • Investments will happen at farm level. So, farmers know what is happening and can provide valuable feedback.
  • Recently, Long Term Irrigation Fund has been instituted under PMKSY in NABARD for funding and fast tracking the implementation of incomplete major and medium irrigation projects.

 

NATIONAL WATERSHED PROJECT

  • Watershed project involves conservation, regeneration and judicious use of all the resources like land, water, plants, animals and humans within the watershed area.
  • The National Watershed Project also known as Neeranchal. National Watershed Project is a World Bank assisted watershed management project.
  • The objective of this project is to support Integrated Watershed Management Program (IWMP) through technical assistance to improve incremental conservation outcomes for the natural resources including water, soil and forests while enhancing agricultural yields in a sustainable manner for farming communities.
  • Water-stressed regions of India such as Northwest India, Vidarbha region of Maharashtra etc. are prone to drought and water scarcity thus affecting the agricultural production in the regions. The National Watershed Project has the potential in increasing agricultural production in these regions.

 

SOIL NUTRITION

  • Nutrition provided to the soil plays an important role in soil fertility and productivity. It can be provided through Manure or fertilizer. However, fertilizer is more commonly used.
 

 

Advantages:

·        In initial years the yields increased

·        Provided increased income to farmers especially in North Western states

·        Improvement in soil fertility.

 

 

 

 

 

Disadvantages:

 

·        Macro nutrient imbalance in soil.

·        Degradation of soil.

·        Drain on the economic resources of the country due to huge urea subsidies, next only to oil and food subsidies.

·        Fertilizers entering the food chain impacting ecology and human health.

·        Stagnant or reducing yields in the last few years.

 

 

 

Future solutions:

 

·        Holistic approach to improve farming using environment friendly methods

·        Technology like drip irrigation, balanced use of fertilizers, good quality seeds, storage and transport infrastructure.

·        Agroforestry, food processing to increase farmer income so that pressure on increasing yields is reduced.

·        Analysis of existing situation in country, soil, climate and crops to come up with new scientific ratio of NPK in fertilizers.

 

 

 

 

SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES OF SOIL NUTRITION

Organic farming:

  • Organic farming can be defined as an agricultural process that uses biological fertilizers and pest control acquired from animal or plant waste.
  • Advantages of Organic Farming:
  • Economical– In organic farming no expensive fertilizers, pesticides, HYV seeds are required for the plantation of crops. Therefore, no extra expense.
  • Good return on Investment– With the usage of cheaper and local inputs, a farmer can make a good return on investment.
  • High Demand– There is a huge demand for the organic product in India and across the globe, generating more income through export.
  • Nutritional – As compared to chemical and fertilizer utilized products, organic products are more nutritional, tasty, and good for health.
  • Environment-Friendly – The farming of organic products is free of chemicals and fertilizers, so it doesn’t harm the environment.
  • Disadvantages:
  • Incompetent – The major issue of organic farming is the lack of Inadequate infrastructure and marketing of the product.
  • Less production– The organic farming products are lesser in the initial years as compared to the chemical product. So, the farmers find it difficult to accommodate large scale production.
  • Shorter shelf-life– Organic products have more flaws and shorter shelf life than the chemical product.( organic fruits and vegetables aren’t treated with waxes or preservatives, they may spoil faster.)
  • Limited production– Off-season crops are limited and have fewer choices in organic farming.
  • As the yield productivity is less in organic farming the cost of food is very high.

 

Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana:

  • To promote natural resource based integrated and climate resilient sustainable farming
  • To reduce the cost of agriculture to farmers through sustainable integrated organic farming systems thereby enhancing farmer’s net income per unit of land.
  • To protect the environment from hazardous inorganic chemicals by adoption of eco-friendly low-cost traditional techniques and farmer friendly technologies.
  • To empower farmers through their own institutional development in the form of clusters and groups with capacity to manage production, processing, value addition and certification management.
  • To make farmers entrepreneurs through direct market linkages with local and national markets

 

Zero budget natural Farming (ZBNF):

  • Zero budget natural farming is a method of chemical-free agriculture drawing from traditional Indian practices.
  • It was originally promoted by agriculturist Subhash Palekar, who developed it in the mid-1990s as an alternative to the Green Revolution’s methods that are driven by chemical fertilizers and pesticides and intensive irrigation.
  • Andhra Pradesh has pledged to switch to ZBNF by 2024 and govt’s support.

 

 

ZBNF is based on 4 pillars:

Jeevamrutha :- It is a mixture of fresh cow dung and aged cow urine (both from India’s indigenous cow breed), jaggery, pulse flour, water and soil; to be applied on farmland

Bijamrita :- It is a concoction of neem leaves & pulp, tobacco and green chilies prepared for insect and pest management, that can be used to treat seeds.

Acchadana (Mulching) :- It protects topsoil during cultivation and does not destroy it

Whapasa :- It is the condition where there are both air molecules and water molecules present in the soil.

 

 

SEEDS: PRESENT SCENARIO AND MEASURES

  • Among the various inputs required for crop production, Seed is the most basic and vital one, hence timely availability of good quality seeds is the deciding factor in the growth of the agriculture sector in India.
  • Issues involved in acquiring quality seeds:
  • The high cost of hybrid as well as genetically modified seeds especially with respect to the seeds of commercial crops.
  • Introduction of some spurious seeds by some private companies in the market.
  • High fertilizer and irrigation requirement of hybrid seeds.
  • Requirement of a special environment by genetically modified seeds to germinate.
  • Due to the huge demand supply gap, India suffers from a dismal seed Replacement Ratio.

 

Seed replacement Ratio (SRR): Seed Replacement Rate (SSR) or Seed Replacement Ratio is a measure of how much of the total cropped area was sown with certified seeds in comparison to farm saved seeds

 

Government Measures under Seed mission:

  • To ensure easy availability of high-quality certified seeds at reasonable prices to farmers, the agriculture ministry has launched the National Mission on Seeds for the 12th Plan Period.
  • To increase production of certified quality seeds
  • To enhance the seed replacement rate (SRR).
  • To upgrade quality of farm saved seeds
  • To establish a seed reserve at regional levels to meet requirement during natural calamities
  • Up-gradation of public sector seed producing agencies

 

What needs to be done?

  • The government should prepare and monitor seed production and formulate a supply plan for meeting the requirement of seeds according to the season.
  • With the help of proper extension service government can make farmers aware of the value of SRR in the productivity of crops especially in case of pulses.
  • The government should increase its contribution in production as well in distribution of good quality seeds to the farmers as compared to the contribution of private seed companies, so that the farmers are ensured of getting good quality seeds at a reasonable price.
  • The government should make such policies that allow regular check on black marketing of seeds.
  • The government should promote the concept of “Zero Budget Natural Farming” in which quality seeds are developed by farmers themselves.

 

AGRI-MODERNIZATION & MECHANIZATION

Green Revolution:

  • Launched in 1965-66 as HYV program
  • Model: Philippines and Mexico
  • S. Swaminathan brought HYV developed by Norman Borlaug

 

Objective of Green Revolution:

  • Manage food crisis
  • Develop self-sufficiency in food production
  • Modernization of agriculture
  • Develop agro-industry interface

 

Components of Green Revolution

  1. High Yielding Varieties (HYV)
  2. Use of Chemical Fertilizers and Pesticides
  3. Mechanization of Agriculture
  4. Irrigation

 

Impact of Green Revolution

POSITIVES

  • The Green Revolution has remarkably increased Agricultural Production. The biggest beneficiary of the revolution was the Wheat Grain.
  • Green Revolution increased the per hectare yield in case of wheat from 850 kg per hectare to an incredible 2281 kg/hectare in its early stage.
  • India reached its way to self-sufficiency and was less dependent on imports. The production in the country was sufficient to meet the normal and emergency demand.
  • Rather than depending on the import of food grains from other countries India started exporting its agricultural produce.
  • There was a rise in rural employment. The tertiary industries created employment opportunities for the workforce.

 

Table 2. Average Yield Per Hectare of Crops during 1950-51 to 1999-2000 (Yield per hectare in Kgs)

Year Rice Wheat Pulses
1950-51

 

1960-61

 

1970-71

 

1980-81

 

1990-91

 

1992-93

 

1995-96

 

1999-2000

668

 

1.013

 

1.123

 

1.336

 

1.740

 

1.744

 

1.855

 

1.986

663

 

851

 

1.307

 

1.630

 

2.281

 

2.327

 

2.493

 

2.778

441

 

539

 

524

 

433

 

578

 

573

 

552

 

635

 

  • The adoption of new technology has also given a boost to agricultural employment because of diverse job opportunities created by multiple cropping and shifts towards hired workers – transportation, irrigation, food processing, marketing. etc
  • There has been more consistency with the annual harvest because the fields are worked in a similar way each year.
  • New technology and modernization of agriculture have strengthened the linkages between agriculture and industry.
  • It has helped to create numerous strains of plants that are resistant to disease and pests. It makes farmers more secure financially.
  • The Green Revolution in India majorly benefited the farmers of the country. Farmers not only survived but also prospered during the revolution. Their income saw a significant raise which enabled them to shift from sustenance farming to commercial farming.

 

 

NEGATIVE

  • Retardation of agricultural growth due to inadequate irrigation cover, fragmentation of farm size, failure to evolve new technologies, inadequate use of technology, declining plan outlay, unbalanced use of inputs and weaknesses in credit delivery system.
  • Regional dispersal of the evolution created regional inequalities. The benefits of the green revolution remained concentrated in the areas where the new technology was used.
  • Since the revolution for the number of years remained limited to wheat production, its benefits were mostly accrued only to wheat-growing areas.
  • Interpersonal inequalities between large and small scale farmers.
  • Adverse effects on the distribution of pattern of income in rural areas. It led to widening the inter-regional and intra-regional disparities in income
  • The new technologies introduced during the revolution called for substantial investments which were beyond the means of a majority of small farmers.
  • Farmers having large farmlands continued to make greater absolute gains in income by reinvesting the earnings in farm and non-farm assets, purchasing land from the smaller cultivators, etc.
  • Ecological cost of the green revolution is tremendous and unsustainable.
  • The farmers are largely dependent on the market for the supply of inputs and for the demand for their products.
  • Demand for agricultural credit has also increased as the new technology has increased the cash requirements of the farmers. Poor farmers were not able to get loans easily.
  • There has been displacement of agricultural labour by extensive agricultural mechanization and left them unemployed.
  • The hybrid crops have also created environmental impacts like soil pollution, water pollution due to excessive use of fertilisers, pesticides etc. needed by these crops.

 

 

CONCLUSION

  • There are both positive and negative impacts of the Green Revolution on farmers.
  • Due to the Green Revolution there was a considerable increase in the food grains production which was extremely necessary for farmers to increase production so that agriculture became remunerative.
  • Due to the Green Revolution, the agricultural sector of India is able to meet the increasing demand for food grains. However, now is the high time to bring a green revolution which is also farmers friendly.

 

EVERGREEN REVOLUTION

  • Evergreen revolution refers to productivity improvement in perpetuity without ecological and social harm.
  • The evergreen revolution involves the integration of ecological principles in technology development and dissemination.

 

Need for Evergreen revolution:

  • Need for the Evergreen revolution arose due to failures of the green revolution.
  • More than five decades after India launched the Green Revolution, it has not only failed to eliminate hunger but also malnutrition is at its high.
  • Wheat and rice have largely displaced more nutritious pulses and other cereals such as millets in consumption.
  • Soil has lost its fertility due to unscientific application of fertilizers.
  • Due to mechanization of agriculture, the likeliness for sons instead of daughters led to skewed sex ratio in Punjab, Haryana.(Perspective that men can handle machines better than women)
  • Indian agriculture became cereal- centric and regionally biased.
  • Water logging in fields and salinity increased due to excess irrigation.
  • Farmers got burdened with debts from moneylenders, banks.
  • Given growing population and over-exploitation of land resources, the pressure on food security will continue to rise.
  • 65% of the population is still living in the villages and over 70% of the rural people are dependent on agriculture for their livelihood.
  • The Green Revolution was mainly confined to well irrigated areas. It was not successful in rain-fed areas, which contribute significantly to the country’s total food-grain production.
  • The environmental consequences and ecological costs are offsetting the progress made so far.
  • Depletion and pollution groundwater. The lakes and ponds are becoming less developed due to eutrophication – a direct consequence of the Green Revolution.
  • Growth in the agricultural sector has been almost stagnant.
  • GM crops are caught in various controversies related to intellectual property, ecological consequences, health consequences etc.
  • Global warming is said to engulf productive coastal lands due to rise in sea levels. This creates an urgent need to raise agricultural productivity.
  • It is necessary to develop a suitable strategy to improve agricultural development in India.
  • To ensure equitable and sustainable growth

 

Evergreen Revolution Should Ensure –

  • Improving agricultural production
  • Generating gainful self-employment for the small farmers and weaker sections of the society.
  • Scaling up food production without disturbing the ecological balance.
  • Boosting agricultural development, women empowerment (65-70% labourers in agriculture) and environmental protection. (Women are the major power in agriculture as about in crop production is contributed by women).
  • Reclaiming degraded and low fertile landsand lands deprived of irrigation.

 

OTHER REVOLUTIONS

Black Revolution Related with petroleum production
Blue Revolution Related with fish production
Brown Revolution Related with leather production
Golden Revolution Related with overall horticulture, honey and fruits productions
Green Revolution Related with agriculture production
Grey Revolution Related with fertilizers
Pink Revolution Meat and poultry production
Silver Revolution Related with egg production
White Revolution Related with dairy and milk production
Yellow Revolution Related with oil seed production

 

 

BRINGING GREEN REVOLUTION IN EASTERN INDIA (BGREI)

  • Green Revolution that turned India from ‘begging bowl’ to leading producer of food-grains.
  • The BGREI program was announced in the Union Budget of 2010-11.

 

7 states

 

  1. Odisha
  2. Jharkhand
  3. Chhattisgarh
  4. Assam
  5. West Bengal
  6. Eastern UP
  7. Bihar

 

 

  • BGREI is about bringing similar benefits to eastern India that largely remained untouched of the wonder that converted the north-west into a ‘grain bowl’.
  • BGREI is a flagship programme under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY).
  • It is intended to address the constraints limiting the productivity of “rice-based cropping systems”.
  • BGREI focuses on bringing the second Green Revolution in eastern region, which has rich water resources.

 

BGRE

  1. Equitable and sustainabl
  2. water harvesting and
  3. Extension of agriculture
  4. Balance regional development
  5. Yield maximization of rice
  6. Harness the water potential

 

Objectives of BGREI

Government Initiatives to Strengthen BGREI

  • The ICAR has established IARI, Hazaribagh (Jharkhand)
  • Establishment of Indian Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology, Ranchi.
  • It has also established the National Research Centre for Integrated Farmingat Motihari (Bihar) to further strengthen the agricultural research for the eastern region.

 

Ways To Make Second (Evergreen) Green Revolution A Success Story

  • Precision Agriculture – farmers can make the most efficient use of vital inputs such as water and fertilizer by applying them in precise amounts.
  • Testing labs – Testing of samples of soil from agricultural fields is vital for achieving nutrient stewardship.
  • Technology – Mobile-based applications for farmers will form an important part of the data-driven precision agriculture approach.
  • Efficient Use of Water
  • Laser levelling – Laser levelling has been shown to improve crop yields, reduce labour time spent wedding, and, in particular, reduce water use for irrigation by up to 20-25 per cent.
  • Developing additional water sources through tube wells, dug wells and farm ponds.
  • Micro and drip irrigation
  • Utilizing potential of fertigation technology
  • Climate smart agriculture
  • Promotion of Flood, Drought, and Salinity tolerant rice varieties.
  • Use of Drum seeders for timely planting of direct seeded rice.
  • Cultivation practices to increase biological and economic stability.
  • Selection of improved varieties to suit Agro-climatic necessities
  • Soil management by proper method of tillage.
  • Organic farming.

 

GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS (GM CROPS)

  • According to WHO, GMOs or Genetically modified organisms are organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating and/or natural recombination.
  • Crops or foods using GM organisms are referred to as GM crops or Genetically modified crops.
  • BT cotton, a non-food crop, has been the only GM crop cultivated in India yet attempts have been made to commercially release BT Brinjal and develop DMH -11, a transgenic mustard.

 

Issues and Challenges with GM Crops

  • Monopoly à patent laws give developers of the GM crops a lot of control over the food supply e.g. the “terminator seeds” allows farmers to use the seeds just once.
  • Outcrossing à the migration of genes from GM plants into conventional crops or wild species may have an indirect effect on food safety and food security.
  • Decline in yield à after a few years with respect to many GM crops which in turn leads to diminishing returns.
  • Environment concerns à like the susceptibility of non-target organisms (e.g. bees and butterflies), the loss of biodiversity of crop/plant species, presence of toxins (produced in GM crops) in every part of the plant may reach the soil/water table.
  • Resistance developed by pathogens à to the toxins produced by GM crops. E.g. the pink bollworm has grown resistant to the toxins produced by BT cotton seed of Monsanto

 

AGRICULTURE FINANCE

This can be divided into two categories:

Non-institutional sources Institutional sources

 

●       Moneylenders

●       Relatives

●       Traders

●       Commission agents

●       Landlords

●       Cooperative

●       Scheduled Commercial Banks

●       Regional Rural Banks

 

 

Issues of Agriculture finance in India:

  • Insufficiency à In spite of the expansion of rural credit structure, the volume of rural credit in the country is still insufficient as compared to its growing requirement arising out of the increase in prices of agricultural inputs.
  • Inadequate amount of sanctionà The amount of loan sanctioned to the farmers by the agencies is also very much inadequate for meeting their different aspects of agricultural operations. Considering the amount of loan sanctioned as inadequate and insignificant, the farmers often divert such loan for unproductive purposes and thereby dilute the very purpose of such loan.
  • Lesser attention of poor farmers à Rural credit agencies and its schemes have failed to meet the needs of the small and marginal farmers. Thus, lesser attention has been given on the credit needs of the needy farmers whereas the comparatively well-to-do farmers are getting more attention from the credit agencies for their better creditworthiness.
  • Inadequate institutional coverage à In India, the institutional credit arrangement continues to be inadequate as compared to its growing needs. The development of co-operative credit institutions like Primary agricultural credit societies, land development banks, commercial banks and regional rural banks, have failed to cover the entire rural farmers of the country.
  • Red tapism à Institutional agricultural-credit is subjected to red-tapism. Credit institutions are still adopting cumbersome rules and formalities for advancing loans to farmers which ultimately force the farmers to depend more on costly non-institutional sources of credit.

 

Government measures:

  • Kisan credit cardàThe Kisan Credit Card (KCC) scheme was launched with the aim of providing short-term formal credit to farmers.
  • Investment loanàLoan facility to the farmers is available for investment purposes in the areas viz. Irrigation, Agricultural Mechanization, Land Development, Plantation, Horticulture and Post-Harvest Management.
  • Interest subvention scheme
  • Micro-irrigation Fund under NABARD
  • SHG Bank linkage programme

 

AGRICULTURAL MARKETING

  • Agricultural marketing covers all the activities in the movement of agricultural products from the farms to the consumers.
  • Agriculture markets are regulated by APMC Acts
Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act
  • Agriculture is a state subject and almost all state governments enacted APMC act in 1950’s or so, to bring transparency and end discretion of traders.
  • Under the APMC acts, States are geographically divided in to markets which are headed by market committees and any production in that area shall be brought to a market committee for sale.

 

Problems of Agro-marketing in India:

  • Large no. of middle men
  • Lack of grading and standardization
  • Inadequate transport system
  • Lack of storage infra
  • Lack of credit facility to farmers
  • Lack of market info to farmers
  • Indian farmers receive 25% of the retail price of their produce (US farmers get 70%)

 

Measures taken by Government:

  • Regulated Markets à Amendments in APMC act and ECA act are recent developments.
  • Development of infrastructure à It includes efforts of connectivity under PMGSY, Efforts to improve other infrastructure under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana or development of food parks.
  • Co-operative marketing à Promotion of co-operative culture and ideas like contract farming are being discussed with enthusiasm.
  • Policy instruments à Measures like Minimum support price, buffer stock and public distribution system come under this head.
 

 

 

 

 

E-NAM:

 

·        NAM is a pan-India electronic trading portal which seeks to network the existing APMCs and other market yards to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities. 

·        Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) has been selected as the lead agency to implement it.

·        585 wholesale regulated markets/ APMC Markets have been so far integrated with e-NAM platform in 16 States and 2 Union Territories (UTs).

·        For the local trader in the mandi / market, NAM offers the opportunity to access a larger national market for secondary trading.

·        Bulk buyers, processors, exporters etc. benefit from being able to participate directly in trading at the local mandi / market level, thereby reducing their intermediation costs.

·        Fund Allocation – The Scheme is being funded through Agri-Tech Infrastructure Fund (AITF).

·        Recently, the first inter-State trade on e-Nam between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana has been carried out.

 

 

MINIMUM SUPPORT PRICE (MSP)

  • The MSP is the rate at which the government buys grains from farmers. Reason behind the idea of MSP is to counter price volatility of agricultural commodities due to the factors like variation in their supply, lack of market integration and information asymmetry.
  • The MSP is fixed on the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). It is approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by the Prime Minister.

 

Impact of MSP on Cropping pattern:

Crop selection gets distorted in favor of those crops which have a high share of subsidies or attract large volumes of subsidies. For example, cheap electricity and irrigation subsidies motivated Punjab farmers to go for water guzzling crops like rice.

 

NEED FOR CROP INSURANCE

  • In our country nature has always been moody. Crop insurance provides protection to farmers against losses caused by crop failure and thereby ensures stability in farm income.
  • It also reduces, to some extent, government expenditure incurred on relief measures extended to meet the havoc caused by natural calamities such as droughts and floods, locusts, plant diseases.
  • It also strengthens the position of co-operatives and other institutions that finance agriculture to the extent it enables the farmer members to repay their loans in years of crop failure.
  • By protecting the economic interest of the farmers against possible risk or loss, it accelerates adoption of new agricultural practices.
  • It may act as an anti-inflationary measure, by locking up part of the resources in rural areas.
  • The government launched a new crop insurance scheme, PM’s Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) with a view to de-risk agriculture from the vagaries of nature.

 

FEMINIZATION OF AGRICULTURE

  • As per the 10th Agriculture Census (2015-16), the percentage of female operational holdings in the country have increased from about 13% percent during 2010-11 to around 14% during 2015-16.
  • Agriculture, contributing around 16% of the GDP, is increasingly becoming a female dominated activity.
  • Agriculture sector employs 80% of all economically active women; they comprise 33% of the agricultural labor force and 48% of self-employed farmers.
  • About 18% of the farm families in India, according to NSSO Reports are headed by women
  • According to the Economic Survey 2017-18, a rise in migration of men from rural to urban areas has resulted in feminization of agriculture.

 

Steps Taken by Government

  • Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP)
  • Implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development, it is a programme exclusively for women farmers.
  • It is a sub-component of Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihood Mission.
  • It aims to empower women by enhancing their participation in agriculture and to create sustainable livelihood opportunities for them.
  • Upto 60% (90% for North Eastern States) of the funding support for such projects is provided by the government.
  • It is in line with the provisions of the National Policy for Farmers (2007).
  • At least 30% of the budget allocation has been earmarked for women beneficiaries in all ongoing schemes/programmes and development activities.
  • Government has increased its focus on women self-help groups (SHG) to connect them to micro-credit through capacity building activities and to provide information and ensure their representation in different decision-making bodies.
  • Recognizing the critical role of women in agriculture, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has declared 15th October of every year as Women Farmer’s Day.

 

GOVERNMENT SCHEMES

Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan)

 

 

 

 

Objective:

Ø  To provide income support to all Small and Marginal land holding farmer families having cultivable land.

Ø  To supplement the financial needs of the farmers in procuring various inputs to ensure proper crop health and appropriate yields, commensurate with the anticipated farm income.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salient features:

 

Ø  Income support of Rs.6000/- per year is provided to all land holding farmer families across the country, irrespective of land size, in three equal instalments of Rs.2000/- every four months.

Ø  Definition of family for the Scheme is husband, wife and minor children.

Ø  Responsibility of identification of beneficiary farmer families rests with the State / UT Governments.

Ø  Fund is directly transferred to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.

Ø  Farmers can do their self-registration through the Farmers Corner in the portal or through Common Service Centers.

Ø  The benefit shall be paid to only those farmers families whose names are entered into the land records except for Forest dwellers, North-eastern states and Jharkhand which has separates provisions for land record.

 

Pm Fasal Bima Yojana

  • Every year, in one part of India or the other food crops are affected by natural calamities (like flood, drought and plant diseases).
  • The farmers have to be assured that they will be compensated for such loss in crops. Otherwise, they cannot be drawn into the campaign to increase productivity of land under their plough.

 

Salient features of PMFBY are as follows.

  • PMFBY targets to cover 50% India’s cropped area in the next three years. There will be a uniform premium of only 2% to be paid by farmers for all Kharif crops and 1.5% for all Rabi crops.
  • In case of annual commercial and horticultural crops, the premium to be paid by farmers will be only 5%.
  • There is no upper limit on Government subsidy. Even if the balance premium is 90%, it will be borne by the Government.
  • The new scheme will also seek to address a long-standing demand of farmers and provide farm-level assessment for localized calamities, including hailstorms, unseasonal rains, landslides and inundation

 

Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan-Dhan Yojana (PM-KMDY):

  • It is an old age pension scheme to provide social security net to around 3 crore Small and Marginal old age farmers as they have minimal or no savings to provide for old age and to support them in the event of consequent loss of livelihood

 

Mission For Integrated Development Of Horticulture:

  • Promote holistic development of Horticulture sector (including bamboo & coconut)
  • Encourage aggregation of farmers into groups such as FPOs.
  • Enhance horticulture production, augment farmers’ income and strengthen nutritional security.
  • Improve productivity by ways of germplasm, planting material and water use efficiency through micro irrigation.
  • Support skill development and create employment generation opportunities.

 

COOPERATIVE FARMING

  • Cooperative farming promotes pooling of resources and practicing joint agriculture.
  • Cooperative farming is not a new concept in India.

 

Why Cooperative farming?

  • Economies of scale – As the size of farms increases, the per hectare cost of using tube-well tractors comes down.
  • Small farms – some land is wasted in forming the ‘boundaries’ among them. When they’re combined into a big cooperative farm, we can also cultivate on that boundary land.
  • Overall, Large farms are economically more beneficial than small farms.
  • Solves the problem of sub-division and fragmentation of holdings.
  • Cooperative farms have more men-material-money resources to increase irrigation potential and land productivity. Members would not have been able to do it individually on their small farm.
  • Case studies generally point out that with cooperative farming, per acre production increases. Eg AMUL in Gujarat, SOFA in Salem, MAHA farmers cooperative in Maharashtra etc

 

CONTRACT FARMING

  • Contract farming is the process of agricultural production carried out according to an agreement between unequal parties, companies, government bodies or individual entrepreneurs on one side and economically weaker farmers on the other which establishes conditions for the production and marketing of farm products.

 

Pros of contract farming from the perspective of farmers interests:

  • Makes small scale farming competitive – small farmers can access technology, credit, marketing channels and information while lowering transaction costs
  • Assured market for their produce at their doorsteps, reducing marketing and transaction costs
  • It reduces the risk of production, price and marketing costs.
  • Contract farming can open up new markets which would otherwise be unavailable to small farmers.
  • It also ensures higher production of better quality, financial support in cash and /or kind and technical guidance to the farmers.
  • In the case of agri-processing level, it ensures consistent supply of agricultural produce with quality, at the right time and at a lesser cost.

 

Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020(Contract farming ordinance)

 

  • It provides a framework for the protection and empowerment of farmers with reference to the sale and purchase of farm products.
  • The provisions of the Ordinance will override all state APMC laws.
  • Farming agreement: The Ordinance provides for a farming agreement prior to the production or rearing of any farm produce, aimed at facilitating farmers in selling farm produces to sponsors
  • Duration of agreement: The minimum period of an agreement will be one crop season, or one production cycle of livestock. The maximum period will be five years.
  • Exemptions from existing laws: Farming produce under a farming agreement will be exempted from all state Acts aimed at regulating sale and purchase of farming produce.
  • Pricing of farming produce: The price to be paid for the purchase of a farming produce will be mentioned in the agreement.
  • Delivery and payment: The Ordinance provides that the sponsor will be responsible for all preparations for the timely acceptance of deliveries and will take deliveries within the agreed time.
  • Dispute Settlement: The Ordinance requires a farming agreement to provide for a conciliation board as well as a conciliation process for settlement of disputes

 

Reinventing Agriculture in the Time of COVID-19

  • Peak harvest with no procurement: This is the peak of Rabi season in India and crops like wheat, gram, lentil, mustard, etc. were at a harvestable stage or almost reaching maturity.
  • Labour unavailability due to reverse migration
  • The shortage of migrant labour has resulted in a sharp increase in daily wages for harvesting crops.
  • Input shortage: Due to global trade disturbance, farmers are facing the shortage of agricultural inputs like fertilizer and pesticides.
  • Fall in prices: Agricultural prices have collapsed due to lack of market access.
  • The rise in labour costs and Fall in prices farmers are staring at huge losses and hence allowing crops to rot in the fields, a better ‘stop-loss’ mechanism.
  • Lockdown induced debt and Cash Flow Constraints: The most important issue that farmers have to surmount is the problem of repaying their crop loans, gold loans and other informal debts.

 

MAINS PREVIOUS YEAR QUESTION

  1. How has the emphasis on certain crops brought about changes in cropping patterns in the recent past? Elaborate the emphasis on millet production and consumption – GS 3, Mains 2018
  2. What are the major reasons for declining rice and wheat yield in the cropping system? How crop diversification is helpful to stabilize the yield of the crop in the system? GS 3, Mains 2017
  3. Given the vulnerability of Indian agriculture to vagaries of nature, discuss the need for crop insurance and bring out the salient features of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY). GS 3 Mains 2016
  4. Emphasize on this point- the framework of MKSY. And other point in brief.
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