Increase agricultural productivity, efficiency, and crop diversification by modernising agricultural technology. Create income and employment by implementing a paradigm shift that ensures food security while maximising agricultural value addition.
The current yield levels of the majority of crops remain significantly lower than the global average. The primary causes are a lack of irrigation, the use of low-quality seeds, a lack of adoption of improved technology, and a lack of knowledge about improved agricultural practises.
There is a disconnect between best scientific practises and best field practises. The second discrepancy is between best field practises and the average farmer.
Factors influencing demand favour the expansion of fruits and vegetables and livestock products. These businesses also provide a higher income. Staple crops (cereals, pulses, and oilseeds) account for 77% of total gross cropped area (GCA), but contribute only 41% of crop output. High value crops (HVCs) contribute nearly the same amount to total output as staples, but they account for only 19% of the GCA. Diversification into the fruits and vegetables segment is also likely to benefit small and medium farmers more than large farmers, according to research. Rigid structure needs to break down so that farmers can adapt to new demands.
Strong and vibrant R&D in the public or private sector drives efficiency. The country's public sector R&D is exhausted and suffering from resource constraints, disciplinary fragmentation, and a lack of drive and inspiration. Because of the country's IPR regime, private sector investment in agricultural R&D is also low. As a result, the gap between domestic and global agricultural innovations is widening, and many fascinating changes seen in global agriculture are absent in the country. In the absence of domestic R&D that meets global standards, our farmers must have easy access to global technology, high-quality seed and germplasm, and other knowledge products.
Infrastructure is essential in agriculture at every stage, including input delivery, crop seeding, and post-harvest management. Planned investment in farm infrastructure is critical to increasing productivity and reducing post-harvest losses; this will also result in capacity development and increased revenue creation. Post-harvest losses in India are significantly greater due to a lack of essential agricultural infrastructure such as storage houses, pack houses, and a lack of a good supply chain, among other things.
The main cause of low crop and livestock productivity is the use of outdated and ineffective technology.
Given the predominance of small and marginal farmers in Indian agriculture, affordability becomes a significant barrier to farmer adoption of technology.
The country's agricultural research is hampered by a lack of resources, regulations, and intellectual property rights (IPR). Lab to land is an issue that dominates the policy making talks and is yet to be resolved.
A significant gap exists between the demand for and supply of agricultural skills, impeding diversification, precision agriculture adoption, and on-farm post-harvest value addition.
India has not caught up with the rest of the world in terms of technology, resulting in the dominance of inefficient production practises at the farm level, such as flood irrigation. To modernise agriculture in India, a renewed focus on on-the-ground absorption of technology, market intelligence, skills and extension, and modernising trade and commerce in agriculture is required.
Due to a lack of adequate capital, both production and marketing suffer.
Small scale is a significant impediment to the adoption of improved practises and in the input and output markets.
India falling into the tropical and subtropical region is naturally gifted, it is endowed with a variety of soils and diverse climatic conditions perfectly suitable for Agriculture. India has rich climatic diversity and we have not utilized it to the fullest. Owing to various policies and dietary needs farmers have gotten stuck with selective narrow crops for which they are now paying a hefty economic and ecological cost. This is a twin-pronged issue that can be resolved by adopting diversified agricultural practices. It will enhance income, make agriculture sustainable, and would also make agriculture a profitable enterprise.
The Punjab Economic survey noted that agricultural income growth can be kick-started only by diversifying into high-value commodities like horticulture, pulses, oilseeds, and livestock. This enables producers to capitalize on the increased demand for certain goods and optimize resource use.
Farmers' income will be doubled when demand for agri-products rises, increasing the price given to farmers, doubling their income. Farmers will get a better price if the food processing industry is encouraged, farmers need to be made aware. Credit facilities are extended, small plants can be set up in the rural areas which will not only reduce disguise unemployment but also raise the income of farmers. Small and marginal farmers can come together and collectively establish cottage industries. Government and panchayats can assist and allow private entrepreneurs to aid with technical and commercial know-how and help with marketing. Value-added extension services should be prioritised in order to reduce post-harvest losses by converting raw agricultural produce to processed products. This allows for higher price realisation and contributes to farmers' income growth.
There is a need to promote smart horticulture. There have been pockets of success all over the country, thanks to techniques like high-density plantation, protected cultivation, and organic production. These methods must be documented and replicated on a national scale. It is suggested that a smart horticulture mission be established to identify and promote new technologies. This mission must collaborate with the country's various agricultural research institutions.
Create a knowledge hub or strengthen existing ones to disseminate best practises. Adoption of new technology at the farm level is critical. External agencies should review the performance of Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) on a regular basis, and high-performing KVKs should be strengthened to disseminate best practises on the ground.
Create integrated farming models. Previous research has concentrated on practises for individual crops or businesses. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and State Agriculture Universities (SAUs) should focus on making recommendations that cover the entire farming value chain, including production, post-production, processing, and other value-added activities.
Convergence of government initiatives is import. Coordination is required between the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Processing, and Commerce initiatives in order to develop effective procurement links, processing facilities, retail chains, and export activity. This will facilitate synergies between various initiatives such as the Agriculture Ministry's Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), the Ministry of Commerce's viability gap funding for cold chain and warehousing infrastructure development, and the Ministry of Food Processing Industries' Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana.