Strengths and Weaknesses of Indian Agricultural System – Essay
i. India has a vast diversity of basic natural resources in terms of land, water, climate, rainfall, flora and fauna. The country has a vast shoreline, excellent sunshine for about 280 days annually in most parts of the country and has a vast network of natural perennial river systems running over 1, 32,000 kms.
ii. The country is recognized as one of the eight mega-centres of plant biodiversity having about 45,000 species of plants.
iii. It also has a complex animal genetic diversity consisting of cattle, buffaloes, sheep, goats, camels, horses, pigs and poultry. The Indian waters also have a wide range of fish species contributing to the wide biodiversity in aquatic resources.
iv. It has a large coastline with significant marine resources, a coastal belt that harbours some rare species of plants and animals, which could be used for genetic improvement.
v. India is bestowed with excellent climate with all types of agroclimatic conditions prevalent anywhere in the world and making it suitable for the production of a variety of crops that includes food grains, fruits, vegetables, plantations and commercial crops.
vi. The country has the world’s second largest irrigation system with an estimated potential of 156 million hectares making it suitable for the growth of many plants.
vii. There is a rich heritage of knowledge on farming systems and wisdom based upon indigenous technical built up through centuries of farming and agriculture.
viii. India has one of the largest and institutionally complex agricultural research systems in the world.
ix. The National Agricultural Research System (NARS) has been at the forefront to steer and guide technological breakthroughs that have ushered in the Green Revolution.
x. The transfer of technology and extension system in the country are strong and extensive, with over 1, 20,000 trained extension workers carrying the message of newer technology to the field.
xi. The country has well established and strong public and private sector industry for providing quality seeds of different crops.
xii. The input supply system for the supply of fertilizer, pesticides and the agrochemicals is strong and is also supported by the government machinery, where needed.
xiii. There is a good marketing network for agricultural produce with over 7000 regulated wholesale markets and 28,000 rural periodic markets.
xiv. The country has an extensive network of educational institutions for imparting quality training in agricultural and allied areas. This is backed by a National Agricultural Research System (NARS).
xv. Highly trained technical and scientific manpower is available both at the Centre and in the States.
xvi. Linkages with a number of external agencies, research and development organizations are strong and many bilateral and multilateral arrangements have been developed. This has helped bringing frontier technologies from many countries in the service of the farmer and have helped to improve agricultural productivity in general, and diversification of crops in particular.
xvii. A fairly well developed industrial sector, capable of producing inputs needed for agricultural such as fertilizers, seeds, pesticides and agrochemicals, agricultural implements and machinery.
xviii. An Exclusive Economic zone of 202 million sq. km of ocean, offering an economics scope for development of a marine fisheries and vast inland fisheries resources.
i. Even though the Green Revolution registered a remarkable increase in productivity of foodgrain crops, especially wheat and rice, the average yield continues to be low when compared to many other countries.
ii. The ultimate success of improved technology is measured by the stability in production, unaffected by the vagaries of season, or biotic and abiotic stresses. Indian agriculture is still heavily monsoon dependant and has to reach the level of stability required for continued growth.
iii. The Agro-based industry is very weak and thus farm-age prices of commodities have been low in the absence of facilities for even primary value addition at the farm and other production centers.
iv. Rural employment and income enhancement through value addition have become causalities in the process.
v. Land holdings are small and scattered and the prevailing social systems of inheritance of family land holdings have further eroded their size.
vi. Market infrastructure, storage, transportation, credit support etc. are weak.
vii. Power availability to Indian farmers, which currently is only l KW/ha is inadequate to cope up with the demands of high intensity of cropping and high productivity.
viii. Despite the fact that the rate of return to investments in agricultural research and education are very high, investments in agricultural research and education in the public sector funding is low.
ix. Private sector investment in research is low, except in highly viable commercial sectors.
x. Holistic thrust is lacking in the development of farm technologies that are appropriate to address the problems of rural poor.
xi. Indian farms are multi-dimensional and multi-enterprise oriented. Technology development, therefore has to address the farming system as a whole.
xii. Gross Capital Formation in the agriculture sector has not kept pace with the overall Gross capital Formation, limiting rural employment and development of rural industries.
xiii. Inability of the system to organize demand-driven production system that calls for market interventions during gluts or shortages.
xiv. Inadequate and skewed flow of farm credit effects production.
xv. India ranks second worldwide in farm output. Agriculture and allied sectors like forestry and logging account for 14.02% in the year 2010-11
Achievements in India Agriculture:
i. India ranks second worldwide in farm output. Agriculture and allied sectors like forestry and logging account for 16.6% of GDP in the year 2007.
ii. India is largest producer in the world of milk, cashewnuts, coconut, tea, ginger, turmeric and blackpepper.
iii. India is second largest producer of wheat, rice, sugar, groundnut, egg plant and inland fish.
iv. India has largest cattle production (281 million).
v. India accounts for 10% of world fruit production with first rank in sappota and banana.
vi. India is third largest producer of tobbacco in the world.
vii. India ranks first in mango production in world.
viii. India ranks third in potato production in world.
ix. India ranks second in use of fertilizers in the world.
x. India ranks third in numbers of tractors.