Agriculture in India

Agriculture in India

Working on the future of agriculture in India is paramount as agriculture is the livelihood for greater than 70% of people. Even though its contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) has dwindled to less than 20% of the total GDP, agriculture as an industry cannot be neglected. India still remains one of the few countries that do not need to rely on other countries for imports of food/perishable items. We overproduce to the extent that we are also comfortable able to export our surpluses.

It is positive to note that the food grain production is estimated to be 291.95 million tonnes in 2022, and it is expected to increase to 345 million tonnes by 2030. The demand for farmers and improved agricultural practices will always be optimistic because of the increasing average income, increasing population and the effects of globalisation on the economy.

India has a lot of arable lands and is blessed with fifteen agro-climatic zones. It has different weather conditions and soils, making growing various crops relatively easy. India is leading in the production of cashew, jute, spices, milk, cotton, sugarcane and many more crops.

However, it is important to note that even though India is an agricultural country, agriculturalists are one of the lowest earners, and the average productivity of the produce is on the lower end.

Ways to Improve agricultural Practices in India

Working NOT for Short-Term Profit
Farmers should stop focusing only on high yield & profit variety of crops throughout the year that destroys the soil of any nutrients in the long term. They need to be educated on the soil nutrition and requirements and knowledge about pesticides and atmospheric conditions. All of these play a vital role in the long term and are the basics of modern agricultural approaches.

Adopting Technology
Most farmers are reluctant to learn and adopt new technologies. They are hesitant to move away from traditional methods that have been bearing fruit over the last few centuries. However, those who have invested have seen a considerable increase in their output and top line. To bridge the gap and improve adoption, the government needs to introduce schemes that help farmers earn better and manage their resources more smartly.

Use of AI and Drone Technology
The agro-industry will grow massively if an investment is made in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UA1). AI and UAVs help capture and assimilate information about the produce, and it is the future of agriculture globally. AI is implemented in soil and crop monitoring, product monitoring and analytics. UAV is used for observing crucial data like weather conditions, thermal imagery and much more. Both AI and UAV help farmers make correct decisions.

Move to 100% Organic Farming
By 2030, the organic farming industry is expected to feed close to 1.5 billion people. India already has over 15,000 certified organic farms. The demand for organic farming has increased due to the general public's increased awareness of organic food and overall health. Organic farming methods can also help in reducing environmental hazards and soil degradation.

Support from Academics
Educational institutions need to support farmers and guide them about improved farming methods, technology, and digital adoption to enhance the farmers' work-life quality. Increased private sector involvement in agro technologies should be the government's priority.

Is farming a good profession in India? In India, even though, over the last few decades, farming has been a risky and thankless profession with significantly fewer returns, the agriculture industry is witnessing a new future. The real challenge will be to move away from harmful and redundant practices and adopt the technology. The increased involvement of the government and private sector will definitely yield a positive output. Getting the right people and the right technology is the key. If carried out smartly, farming will be the new sought after profession, and the agro-industry will continue to boom in India.

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