Major agricultural changes and policies were initiated to bring more agricultural productivity in India. Union Government also addresses this issue in their five year plans to bring in more growth in Agricultural sector. Yet, the result seems to be slower agricultural growth and lack of proper vision & implementation. Major areas of concerns like availability of water, improper distribution of water through water channels, water pollution, land pollution, population growth, migration of rural mass to urban life, attraction towards industry and manufacturing sector, and increasing rural poverty are prominent in this country.
Authors have highlighted with empirical evidence n above mentioned issues and bring to notice that it is mandatory to consider these points into their future policies. Authors have also pointed out that unless agricultural productivity increases, Average Indian poverty statistics is going to increase. It is important to keep these figures intact by tapping the growth potentials in this agricultural sector. India by 2030, manage to be first in population, yet food production is going to be a problem if current trend going to continue.
Authors have also given some recommendations and suggestions to build strong agricultural productivity and revive the industry soon. Key. Rods – Indian agriculture, Food production, Agricultural growth, future of agriculture In a recent press release, our honorable Indian Prime minister sari Man Moan Sings has admitted that there is short fall of food grains for the year 2009, due to failures of monsoon in the country.
In an open meeting with state secretaries of agriculture and food on Gauge, 10th 2009, he claims, around 141 districts in the Indian sub-continent has been declared as drought affected areas (The Economic times, 2009 1 10th Gauge). In addition, report points out that their might be reduction in Karri crops due to shortfall of reduction from six million hectares of payday lands, due to deficit in south west monsoon. Surprisingly, the rise in essential commodities price and inflation 7. 9% (MIFF report, 2009) leaves individual Indians to spend more than 60% of his income towards essential commodities (The Economic times, 2008, 29th Mar).
Historically, India was attracted by invaders due to abundant food production, rich water resources and vast fertile lands. But now the situation was quite opposing. Indian vision on agriculture is fading out in a phased manner. Individual states were encouraged to promote industries rather than agriculture. On the contrary, US President Barack Obama spends $6. 9 billion towards rural development and encourages water conservation plans (www. Whitehorse. Gob/rural). Indian economy need to be towards the agricultural economy and upbringing more of the agricultural produce.
This paper brings out facts & reasons contribute for decline in Indian food production. Significance of Agricultural economy Indian agriculture consists of only 21% of GAP, but its significance goes very well beyond economic, social, and political fabrics. About 72% of the total Indian population lives in rural areas, where almost poor. Most of them upend on rain-fed agriculture and river waters for their livelihoods. During Green revolution period sass’s, India achieved self sufficiency in the food grains production.
At that time India showed 2 significant growth in rural economy with increase in rural wages and reduction in rural poverty. On the contrary, from 1 990 waning of Indian agricultural growth was experienced and has become major cause for the rural poverty. India ranks second to China in population but on rice yield produces only 1/3rd of china’s rice production and about half of Vietnam and Indonesia (WAD, 2009). Though Government of India voice out to reduce the rural poverty, promising agricultural productivity, but a bold policies, internationally competitive agricultural base and good R&D are not available for this sector.
This is one of the major reasons for the backlog of such sector in India. India though, marching itself in IT and other Industrial sectors, but one cannot deny that its basis and strong roots were from Agriculture base. By the failure of such roots, Industries are grown in this country. Indian needs strong rural leadership to be built. This system might help the rural community to develop and grow in prosperity. Factors for declining food It was clearly evident that agriculture was a major reason for rural poverty which constitutes more than 70% of Indian population (World Bank briefs, 2009).
One of the significant reasons for rural poverty due to Rain fed agriculture and fragile forests for their livelihoods. In a recent report by Crisis (credit rating agency) says deficient monsoon was one of the critical factor that affected the current GAP and inflation percentage (The Economic times, 2009 10th Gauge). A 64% of rainfall shortage drudgingly – Gauge had impacted on 25% on GAP and resulted In Inflation. The current GAP compared to last year as decreased to 5. 7% (IMP, 2009). On the contrary, prices of commodities have increased due to heavy demand, less availability and increasing population growth.
Government has failed to meet the demand and supply situations in the domestic market due to shortage of supply of food grains to domestic needs. In 3 addition, proper marketing channel and standard procedures were also absent to control the mercantile of agricultural goods to the domestic needs. This report will elaborate these factors with statistical evidences to paint the real picture of the Indian agricultural yields. Increase in Population growth According to central demographic projection about population in India seems surprising. The projection for 2026 based on 2001 census, is in increase by 400 million.
This will give a total projected population of 1,420 million peoples in 2026 (UN report, 1998). According to this report, India will surpass china in population by 2030. Concerns regarding population projection and increasing trends gives Indian Government managing pressure regarding every issues in the public. One of major issue is that government needs to address is about supply of agricultural produce. As far as food is concerned extra production f food is needed for at least before 2026. Incidence of Malnutrition for children’s are reported in recent world development report, 2009.
About 60 million children’s are under weight in India (Michele et al, 2005). Chart 1 shows the data collected by National family health survey (NEFF) during 2005. The data shows about 46% children’s aged between 0-3 will be of underweight and 38% will be stunted. This is going to have impact on health, education, productivity, and economic growth in country. The problem of Malnutrition is itself a concern for government, on top of it, government needs to manage increasing bigger population. The agricultural growth rate has slowed down (2004-2005 reported less than 2%) and it poses major threat on the future.
More population, less production going to create of less supply and more demand for produce. Lesser agricultural growth going to increase demand for food production which is a major reason for India not achieving self sufficiency in food production. One 4 way India has large population to attract every global company to market their products towards them, but on contrary government should see how they are going to tackle the raising concern on food supplies and essential commodities supplies for all of the general public.
Government machineries need to be expanded on this demand to serve to the nation people which are also a concern for the government to think about. CHART 1 – NEFF survey on Malnutrition among Indian children Source adapted from WAD on Indian Nutrition 2009 Urban migration by rural mass Migration of rural mass towards urban lands or metro cities is also a major reason for slower growth rate of agricultural sector in India. Food production depends on more rural mass and skilled humans for this job. Most of the rural masses have migrated towards the urban cities due to employment and poverty reasons.
The census data are alarming to note that with in 9 decades increasing urban population was noted. More over, 285 million people lives in urban areas (Gar, 2001). Urban population figure itself surmounts total population of Canada, Russia and Australia considering together. This 5 amounts to 28% of total Indian population lives in urban cities. During 1 901, one out of 9 Indian lived in cities, but today every 3rd person is a city dweller. The migration of rural population to urban demonstrates rural mass has changed their occupation and career line. About 75% of the urban income comes from non-agricultural source.
This prominently states that the importance for agriculture sector is waning in the Indian economy. This attributes as a major factor for declining food production in India today. Table 1 Total Gross decal migrant as % of Total Urban Population in 2001 Source adapted from Miter & Murray (2008) title “Rural to Urban Migration – district level analysis in India” 6 The table above states the statistics on fast migrating rural mass towards urban life. This phase also indicates that skilled, and semi-skilled agricultural labors will be scarce resources in coming decades. Robbery, agricultural occupation might be totally vanishing in the rural lands. Need for more water reserves and consumptions In a recent water survey report released by International water management institute (Grail 2008), states that the average consumption of water for agriculture during year 2015-2050 projected to be 80%. It is also stated that it need to grow water-intensive crops for its food production supplies. Water intensive crops like wheat, rice and sugar cane growth constituted 91% in the year 2008. Virtually, these water intensive crops have consumed 88 trillion liters over a period of 8 years (2000-2008).
On this basis, it IS projected to round 275 trillion liters of water needed for these crops to grow until 2025. The below chart 2 depicts statistics on global sector’s consumption of water. India compared with china and US, it seems that consumption of water projected to be 56% compounded annual growth rate (CARR). On comparison with China, Indian agricultural sector needs water consumption more than the current reserves. On the flip side of this data, it is noticed that Indian water footprints will be depleting sooner.
It is projected that at least 50 -75% of depletion of groundwater reserves will be occurring in Ganges basin and also among arioso river basins in India. This is also threat for agricultural sector to consider this occupation. It needs innovative way of using or consuming water to minimum. “Grow bio intensive” type of agricultural strategies need to be trained for the agriculturist to grow the needed food grains in the country. Need for water is a primary need for agriculture which becomes a crucial factor for drop in the agricultural yields.
As Prime minister points in the press, India has declared more 7 districts as drought affected areas, this shows that Indian’s agricultural sector needs more strategic type of yields and production to tackle the coming eater depletion problem. Chart 2 – Global sector’s water consumption Source adapted from Grail research, 2009 on “water – The India story’ Water pollution and sewerage distribution Wastage of water and water pollution is also increasing day by day. Sector’s level of water pollution is increasing in trend with increase in population.
Industrial water consumption is going to increase to from 8% and additionally, untreated industrial waste water will be equal to 6. 2 billion liters of water per day (Grail, 2009). Shockingly, about 9275 mm liters per day will be waste water generated from 23 major metro cities and around 1 8 major ever basins and beds will be heavily polluted with garbage and 8 sewerage. This makes river water contaminated and polluted. This will decrease the water supply to irrigation by and large. Recent example, where untreated water drawn from Music River near Hydrated has reduced rice output to 40-50% (Grail, 2009).
Ground water gets contaminated due to usage of fertilizers, chemical and untreated wastage waters presence. This will led to decrease in the crop yield and output. Presence of fluoride, heavy metals, arsenic etc is toxic contents for soil and also for water sources. This will be grading the water minerals and makes agriculture to fade out quickly. Water pollution is one of the growing concerns which contribute to the shortfall of food production in India too. Distribution system About 90% of the land areas in Indian states are drained by river basins. Absence of river water stream and river water basin, the cultivable lands are not in use.
It has to depend only on the natural rainfall for its water. Unfortunately, most of the river basins are rich fertile source of food grain producers. In absences, water intensive crops will be failing which in result ill affect the food grain production. Water sharing and distribution was not properly managed by union government, resultant some states has taken water sharing problems with political motive for populace election victory. Union secretary Of water resources States that River board act was established 50 years ago and until now, union government has not applied this act for any inter state river division (Duggan, 2004).
In a simple issue of Caver water dispute between Thumbnail and Karakas, meetings and issues were talked for four decades right from 1968 till now. But the issue as politicized and no settlement was arrived till date (Richards & Sings, 2001). In a recent study conducted in a Caver river basin village Connotative, one of sample location depends solely on Caver water for their irrigation needs has shown 9 drastic decline in their payday cultivation from 1305. 08 tones (1995) to 707. 09 tones (2005). The decline was recorded by 50% compared to its normal production periods and cultivable lands had also been declined from 210. 7 hectares during 1 995 to 121. 16 hectares in 2005 (Cravings, 2005). This statistics visualizes clearly the drop of food production from one sample illegal. Readers could imagine the persisting problems over different river basins, water sharing problems between different states and how it affects the irrigation lands and food production. Unless, union government strongly enforces some innovative measure to restore the water resources to the disputed lands, food grains production will be affected in greater levels too.
Public spending and Agricultural policies World Bank report (2008) highlights the importance of agricultural for growth of future economy and also evidently shows how transformation of economy from agriculture to Industry has increased rural poverty level. Strikingly noted, that agriculture contributes to only 7% growth of GAP, but 82% increase in rural poverty level noted by the country because of transformation. Poverty alleviation has not been achieved even government has changed its approach towards Industrial economy. World Bank stresses the importance of public spending on Agricultural line.
Agricultural agenda should focus on reducing the disparity between rural and urban incomes and it will help raising the incomes of rural poor (WAD, 2008). According to the report, GAP from agriculture will be 4 times effective than GAP from industry to reduce poverty. Poverty is mainly attributed from rural side and rural migration to urban has also caused increasing crimes and unemployment situations in urban lands. This emphatically states the need to increase public spending on agricultural sector which in turn will increase food 10 production.
If not, about millions of rural mass will be stranded within this sector and will be transforming towards other sector. “Agricultural growth, as shown at the time of the green revolution, can be highly successful in reducing rural poverty in India,” said Isabel Guerdon, World Bank Country Director in India (WAD, 2008). As pointed Isabel, rural poverty need to tackled and reduced. In order to reduce rural poverty, considerable government allocation towards agricultural research on soil management, water conservation policies, agribusiness investments need to be increased in the country.
In support, agric-exports have grown up to 7. 2 percent until 2003 and have opened significant foreign income opportunity for Indian rural mass. The report also stresses investing on infrastructure facilities in rural areas. Public investment on agriculture in countries like India is heavily skewed towards providing besides rather than investments. In fact, subsidies are more than four times that of public investments in agriculture (WAD, 2008). Union government spending on rural infrastructure was lacking.
A noted researcher in a recent article claims that about 75% of government allocation on agriculture was applied for subsidies only (Joshua, 2009). Crowding of subsidies was one of the concerns noted by World Bank report as they are skewed towards few farmers. It is not equally shared and was not available to all the farmers who are In need of them. In stead, government spending would target public investments like developing infrastructure, roads, electric connections and other necessary infrastructure to make rural market approachable for every enterprise to reach the source.
In a recent interview release from economic times with McKinney & company partner and commodity Editor Arena Vital emphasized the government spending on infrastructure needed faster (Pariah, 2009). He stressed that India being a perennial water flowing country with abundant 11 water prints, suffering with drought situation. This is not due to failure of rainfall; it is a pure case of failure of infrastructure. It’s not going take more than 5-6 years to construct a proper infrastructure to store and save water throughout, but government fails to take initiatives in this direction (Carnivals, 2009).
Truly, lack of proper infrastructure for agriculture, water management and irrigation has significantly damaged food production today in India demanding Prime minister to declare 141 districts in India as drought affected state and admitting short fall of food grains production. If this trend is going to continue for near future, India should be ready to face food scarcity like some African countries (www. Economists. Mom). Table 2 Principal Advisor for Ministry of agriculture, Mr.. S. M. Shari admits that Investments in agriculture sector is lagging. Being 4. % GAP growth rate projected for 1 lath five year plan, but union has not initiated any measures to attract private sector investments into agricultural sector (Pariah, 2009). About 27% of public fund budgeted for this investment and balance need to be from private sector, for which plans and policies are not initiated. This shows the union governments lack of priorities on this sector. 12 Table 3 Table shows the growth rate for different areas related to agriculture. Most of them, shows decline and negative trend, which should also be considered during planning any policies.
Slow down in Agricultural growth Eleventh five year plan report has stated evidently, that agricultural growth GAP has been decelerating for past two decades. The below table will highlight the declining trend of agricultural growth rate and its trends in the past decades. For current five year plan projection made more Or less to 4% growth GAP. The trend seems to seep into various strong agricultural areas like Punjab, Harlan and UP districts. This might be because of embracing rural poverty trend and depending on the rain fed irrigations. The table 2 shows overall average GAP growth has gone down from 3. 2% to 0. 89% during 2004-05. The projected for this plan year is 4. 84%. 13 Table 4 This statistic reveals that agricultural growth over the period from ass’s has gone down drastically. Table 5 This table reveals the data relating to state level domestic product production in India. During Green revolution, states like Punjab, Harlan, Gujarat, Thumbnail, west Bengal, and Maharajah’s were doing remarkable agricultural yield. They were the prime states which supported India to attain self efficiency. Now, the latest data seems very much freighting for economic growth.
Few states have gone to negative State domestic production, where as other states have touched the least minimum possible growth rate even to single figure. This trend is annoying for agricultural sector. Will union consider 14 these points seriously to take immediate necessary measures to reinstate the growth rate as it is mandatory for the country now? Table 6 Data pertaining to the various agricultural produce were tabulated in this table and seems that during 2002-05 low percentage of yield has been seen in he output. This is not healthier for the country like India who survives in agrarian economy.
Climate change and Natural resources degradation 1 lath Five year plan have identified certain areas where natural distortions takes place. This leads to lowering productivity capacity for agricultural produce. Table 7 15 The above table shows the region wise problems and nature of degradation resulting in those areas. This natural degradation has to be answered before making any suggestion for improving the agricultural produce. Natural resources sustained needs to be addressed in India. One of pioneer environmentalist and international economist who have recently presented report to world bank about Global warming and impact on agriculture.
The report points out that India might have to face severe consequences due to this issue. According to Dry. Cline, “India is among the most adversely affected with losses of 30-40% (in agriculture productivity) depending upon whether higher carbon dioxide provides a significant fertilization effect. ” (World Bank Report on Climatic changes impact on south Asia, 2009) In addition the report states that due to increase in temperature, the increase n temperature will surpass the tolerance level of crops resultant in southern part of India, the crop will dry and die.