Tuesday, 12 March 2013

The Green Report

NOTE :-This report is not meant for those who wish to ape the western and forgetting the mother INDIA....if you love your nation, love your culture then at least you have to think about this !

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                In the last 25 years India has been considered as a agriculture economy and due to this very fact, agriculture occupies a predominant position in the developmental process. this are not just a source of income it's a part our culture. however in this sector people are not living with it, they are just surviving due to some fundamental problems that curtail the growth in this sector. 

               Although agriculture plays a pivotal role in the country's economy it is backward and traditional when compared with developed countries of the West. Agricultural productivity is low and the economic condition of the farmers is poor.
The investment in agricultural sector is lower than industrial and commercial sectors and the pace of modernization is very slow. Following is a brief mention of some of the problems which are retarding the development of agriculture in the country.

1. Uneconomic Size of Landholdings and their Fragmentation
Foregoing description leads us to conclude that majority of land holdings in India are too small to be economically viable to promote modern agricultural development. These do not generate enough income to buy new agricultural inputs or make heavy investment. Small size accompanied with fragmentation also prevents the use of new farm machinery which are very essential in today's agriculture.
The fact may be well exemplified by citing the example of Punjab where land holdings are comparatively bigger in size. This is one of the important reasons for the success of green revolution in this region. Elsewhere small and fragmented holdings, unequal distribution of agricultural land and faulty land tenure make the matter worse.
Although Zamindari has been abolished but its effects have not been completely wiped out. There is a large number of landless labourers who are paid paltry sum as wages and have to work as bonded labourers. Their condition is deplorable. Agriculture also has a section of landowners who act as absentee landlords and get their cultivation done through tenants and sharecroppers. None of them is interested to make investments for agricultural im­provements.
2. Poverty and Indebtedness of Farmers
Although peasants indebtedness is universal in subsistent farming, but its impact is perhaps nowhere as crushing as in Indian agriculture. An estimate of the All Indian Rural Credit Survey of 1954-56 indicated that nearly 70 per cent of all the cultivating families were in debt. New data confirm the continuance of large scale and deep-rooted rural poverty in the country. According to one estimate the average annual per capita income of an Indian farmer is about Rs. 2,000.
The lot of the landless cultivators is even more pitiable. Although government-run cooperative societies are offering credit facilities to farmers but their impact is only limited to the upper and middle classes of the cultivators. The bulk of peasantry belonging to the lower section has to still take shelter of big landlords and profes­sional money-lenders that charge exorbitant inter­est on loans (20 to 36 per cent per annum) and soon grab their property making them pauper. Average Indian farmers' income is hardly sufficient to meet its dire needs. That is why he is not in a position to make desirable investment in agriculture, use new agricultural inputs and adopt new technology. Pov­erty is, therefore, a serious impediment in the mod­ernisation and development of Indian agriculture.
Majority of Indian farmers are still elite who are not aware of new improvements in garniture, new government schemes for improving lots of the farmers or recent change in government policy towards agriculture. That is why people participation is very poor in agricultural development programmes and most of the subsidies loans either remain unutilized or go to the hands untargeted groups.
3. Scarcity of Agricultural Inputs
On the one hand farmers are less receptive to agricultural innovations on the other hand mostly the agricultural inputs like chemical fertilisers, high yielding varieties of seeds, insecticides, pesticides, weedicides, farm machineries etc. are either not available in sufficient quantity or their prices at beyond the reach of an ordinary farmer. Due to lad of quality control there is always possibility of hugger.
In 1992-93 about 58.5 lakh quintals of improved seeds were used on about 70 million hectares of agricultural land. This area is only 39 per cent of the total cropped area of the country. The total consumption of chemical fertilisers was 135.64 lakh tones in 1994-95 against the internal produc­tion of 104.38 lakh tones (31.26 lakh tones im­ported).
This gives a per hectare average of 0.075 tone of fertiliser consumption which is quite insuf­ficient to raise agricultural output. Only 41.4 per cent of the cropped area enjoys the facility of assured irrigation leaving out the remaining 58.6 per cent to the mercy of rainfall. The use of pesticides and insecticides is very limited and Indian farmers are almost unfamiliar with herbicides and weedicides, hence, a sizeable production (about 10%) is lost every year.
4. Lack of Infrastructural Facilities
Rural areas in India lack proper transport and communication facilities. Rural roads are unsurfaced and kachcha cart tracks are not useable during rainy season. Although a massive drive for road construc­tion has been launched to connect all villages having more than 1500 population with all weather surface roads but still the objective is difficult to be realised.
Telephone and telegraph facilities are still consid­ered luxury although the government has promised to provide telephone link to all a Panchayats of the country. Banking facilities are mostly confined to the urban areas. All this has hampered the devel­opment of agricultural and industrial activities in the rural areas.
5. Low Productivity
One of the main problems of Indian agricul­ture is its low productivity. Table 8.VIII showing major crop-yields of selected countries indicate that the Indian agricultural yields are among the lowest in the world, although there has been marked improvement in per hectare yield since 1950-51. The world average of wheat yield per hectare is 30% higher than Indian yield. Similarly the world aver­age yield for rice is 60% higher, millets 80% higher, potatoes 60% higher, maize 140% higher and cotton 250% higher than their respective Indian yields.
The main cause of this low per hectare yield is due to low fertility of soil and less care to replenish it through artificial fertilizers. "An average farmer, deep in debt, does not have the resources to apply nitrogen, potash, or potassium to the crops. Invest­ment in chemical fertilization could lead to his economic ruination. Burnt stubble, branches, leaf mold, or animal manure application are his chief means of fertilization.
6. Lack of Agricultural Research, Education & Training Facilities
In India agricultural research is still in infan­tile stage. There is also no co-ordination between the farm and the research laboratory. Hence gains of new researches are not reaching the common farmer. Very little attention is being paid for educating and training farmers for adopting new farming tech­niques, increasing agricultural production and mak­ing it profitable and sustainable.
7. Soil Erosion and Soil Degradation
Soil erosion is not only a major cause for decreasing soil fertility but loss of valuable cropped land. In India about 80 million hectares of the coun­try's area is facing the menacing problem of soil erosion. About 4 million hectares of area is in the form of ravines and gullies.


                               My dream :)

        My dream :) is to developing a better solution programs for all these obstacles and to give  rebirth a nation with self sufficient and self reliant without loosing our own culture and identity.


      Above we discussed some of the basic problems that we are facing in the agrarian sector. in order to get rid out of this we have to take some decision or changes that will sustain our nation's growth in the agriculture sector.From my admittedly cursory review I noticed several recurring themes, which I discuss in no particular order: 

1. Increase farmer’s access to markets. 

The World Bank cites an “almost universal lack of good extension services” to farmers as a major factor inhibiting growth. In addition to the miserable infrastructure in many rural areas, the inability of farmers to directly access markets has sustained the presence of a chain of middlemen through whom most agricultural commodities must circulate before finally reaching consumers. Many SHGs have, with great success, arranged cooperatives that bypass such middlemen and sell directly to wholesalers. The government should learn from the success of such initiatives and try to help streamline the agricultural commodity supply chain. 

2. Improve agricultural productivity. 

In spite of the gains of the Green Revolution, Indian agriculture lags behind in terms of technology take-up and production efficiency. Lack of access to credit, which we discussed earlier, may be one of the factors inhibiting farmers from investing in technology. However, the ground reality also suggests that poor education and lack of awareness of the benefits of new technology is also a factor. In addition, the epic and recurring issue of poor irrigation and infrastructure is widely recognized as a drain on productivity in many regions (Its estimated that about 10% of all agricultural production in India is wasted due to lack of storage, transport, etc). The government already proved itself capable of stimulating advances in agricultural productivity with the Green Revolution. Future policies should focus on providing incentives to farmers to adopt better production technology, bridging the information gap that currently exists in the agricultural sector, and remedying severe underdevelopment of irrigation and infrastructure facilities.

3. Reconsider distortionary subsidies and other policies. 

Currently, the Indian government sets a minimum support price for almost all agricultural commodities. Farmers who produce various goods are guaranteed the option of selling directly to the government at a price fixed in the beginning of the season. The stated goal of this policy is to “ensuring remunerative prices to the growers for their produce with a view to (sic) encouraging higher investment and production.” The inherent endogeneity of MSP policy makes a rigorous impact assessment difficult, but the persistently low productivity growth in agriculture suggests that the MSP policies have failed to stimulate sufficient capital investments by farmers. Its conceivable the virtual subsidy provided by MSPs might actually dampen incentives for technology take-up by guaranteeing a basic level of income security. Furthermore, the existence of MSPs may encourage agricultural production for which there is actually limited demand in private markets, leading to unbalanced and suboptimal production choices by individual farmers. The process by which which MSPs are set is also somewhat dubious, and many have suggested that the current price-setting system is vulnerable to political manipulation and lack of parity across goods. Although scrapping MSPs would obviously expose a large number of farmers to the risk of price shocks, it seems to me that improving farmers access to insurance products and commodity futures markets is more sustainable and optimal way to manage such risks. 

4. Improve public education. 

Even if agricultural productivity does increase, it is still likely to lag behind the explosive IT and service sectors. However, the public education system is clearly failing to provide rural children with the skills necessary to enter these labor markets. This is perhaps the single biggest factor inhibiting the transition from agriculture to service sector employment. The demand for skilled workers in India has exploded, particularly in the service sector, demand which many firms are finding difficult to meet domestically due to extremely skewed distribution of human capital (something Doug discussed in the previous post). 

5. Promote non-farm entrepreneurship among farmers. 
Although India’s rural poor are by and large uneducated, many of them are capable of operating small businesses that have higher returns than traditional agriculture. However, their ability to start such business is often hampered by lack of access to credit and capital. In spite of the microfinance “revolution” and government policies designed to stimulate capital flow to the rural population (such as priority sector lending), there is still a massive failure of credit markets to meet the demands of the rural population. Empirical research has demonstrated that returns to capital are extremely high in microenterprises (roughly 80% in Sri Lanka), which of course suggests that there is tremendous potential for farmers who start operating small businesses to supplement or replace their primary line of work.

 Let's hope for a Green India .......

I’d be interested in hearing peoples opinions on any of these issues, and think this discussion would particularly benefit from the observations of people working in rural areas.

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