Agriculture as a sector plays a significant role in the Indian economy.
Agriculture provides a source of living to almost 54% population of India, but its share in the gross domestic product(GDP) has been declining steadily since the 1950s. In 1950-51 agriculture contributed to 55% of total GDP of the nation, by 2014 it got reduced to 13.9%.
Since a large section of our population depends upon agro-based industries and in the trade of agriculture products, agriculture growth impacts the growth of non-agriculture sectors and impacts inflation too.
Agriculture is a vital source of raw material as well as the demand for various industrial products, especially pesticides, fertilizers, agricultural tools implements and a large variety of consumer goods. The growth of this sector however remained lower than non-agriculture sectors.
Here are the 5 Issues plaguing Agriculture Sector in India
1. Land distribution in India:
The legacy of Zamindari system has led to a very sparse distribution of land among majority of small farmers. They either own no land or hold an uneconomic size of land. This coupled with the population growth has shunted the area under cultivation since independence. Most farmers divided their fields among their inheritors which ultimately led to widespread scarcity of land , besides bringing down its fertility.
2. Lack of Awareness
Indian farmers are infamous for following age old, orthodox and unscientific techniques for farming. They fear the unknown and are very skeptical about modern techniques and unless they use them for increasing production, Indian agriculture would suffer from stagnation. There are various reasons why our farmers are unable to fully utilize agriculture inputs like fertilizers, BT seeds etc. One reason is they lack of knowledge to utilize them. The other more important reason is they lack financial resources to avail them.
3. Still Dependent on Monsoon for Water supply
Prime Minister Nehru called Dams ‘THE TEMPLES OF MODERN INDIA’. Lack of assured and controlled water supply throughout the Indian hinterlands has been the biggest hurdle in the growth of Indian Agriculture system. Majority of Indian farmers are at the mercy of monsoons for the next crop to be cultivated. Proper rotation of crops is necessary for successful agricultural operations as it helps soil to regain its fertility.
4. Lack of Credit and Market facilities
Though microfinance has seen quite a dramatic rise, its trickle down effects have not reached the farming community as of now. We are yet to reach a level where they can have a meaningful impact on the lives of Indian farmers like the Grameen Bank did for poor farmers in Bangladesh. Indian farmers borrow heavily from the local moneylenders at sky high interest rates to finance their crops which leave them knee deep in debt as they can’t pay the them with the returns accrued from the cultivated crop. Indian farmers also suffer due to non-existence of organized market and poor transportation and storage facilities. As a result they neither get proper price for their produce nor prevent wastage of highly perishable agricultural crops.
5. At the mercy of Nature
The produce of Indian farms isn’t insured against the calamities of nature. Sometimes its a long drought, other times heavy unseasonal rains. yet some other time a hailstorm or a attacks by pests destroy the farms completely pushing the farmers into deeper debts to refinance the interest of previous debt, to a point of suicides.
check this space for remedial measures for the above mentioned problems. Meanwhile Share these problems with people and aware them for the problems faced by our fellow citizens