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Q. Analysis of agricultural output in country: Comment on recently released acreage and output of key agricultural produces in India.
Aug 19, 2016 Related to : GS Paper-3

Ans :

Introduction-

Recently released acreage and output data of key agricultural produces reflects gloomy image of Indian farm sector. According to newly released data, The country’s agricultural strategy falls short of what is required for a prosperous society.

Key features of report-

  • Pulses, main source of protein for poor, has expanded 1.3 times in terms of acreage and rose 2.3 times in terms of output since 1950.
  • The acreage and output of coarse cereals, between 1970 and 2014 grew only 0.7 times and 2.8 times respectively.
  • Wheat has been planted on 28.2 million hectares, which is 6% lower than the 29.9 million hectares sown by this time last year.
  • It is expected that cotton output and acreage may drop 11% and 12% respectively in coming years.
  • Total acreage under sugarcane in India is estimated at around 4.99 million hectares (ha) in crushing season 2016-17, which is 5.5% lower than in the year-ago period.

 Analysis-

  • Since 1950, population grew 3.5 times, where as growth of farm sector is much lower in comparison to population growth. Lower growth in crop output compared to the growth in population affects per-capita availability.
  • And providing efficient markets and market linkage is as key as investment in farm infrastructure and in crop science when it comes to increasing yields.
  • Raising productivity across crops will ensure that the benefit from an expansion in the area under pulses is not offset by the decline, say, in oilseeds, whose cropped area has been diverted to pulses.

Suggestions-

  • There is need of huge investment in research and development related to agriculture.
  • India needs more and better managed irrigation, better seeds and plant breeds, including genetically modified crops and modern agronomic practices to increase productivity in every crop.
  • An enabling policy to support innovation in agricultural biotechnology will encourage companies to invest in research and development.

Conclusion-

For any self reliant country, agricultural output should match with growth of population. In India growth of agriculture is much lesser than the population growths, which will imbalance the country’s economy. Hence India should focus on increasing farm produce by developing technology and research. Government should pro-actively involve in the effort to increase farm productivity.


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