MUMBAI, 26 January 2023: Agriculture is a major contributor to the Indian economy, accounting for around 18 percent of the country's GDP and providing employment for around 50 percent of the population.
Some of the key challenges facing Indian agriculture today include:
Small and fragmented landholdings: The average farm size in India is small, with around 85 percent of farms being less than 2 hectares in size, which can make it difficult for farmers to be profitable.
Water scarcity: India has a high population density and a large agricultural sector, which puts a strain on water resources, making it difficult for farmers to irrigate their crops.
Soil degradation: Unsustainable farming practices, such as overuse of pesticides and fertilizers, have led to soil degradation and reduced crop yields in many parts of India.
Lack of access to markets: Small farmers in India often have difficulty accessing markets to sell their products, which can limit their income and economic growth.
Food security: India has a large population and a high level of food insecurity, which requires increasing food production and ensuring that food is accessible and affordable for all.
Climate change: India is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, such as changing weather patterns and increased frequency of extreme weather events, which can reduce crop yields and make farming more difficult.
Pest and disease: Pests and diseases can have a significant impact on crop yields in India, and they are difficult to control due to the lack of effective pest management systems in place.
Labor shortage: Many farmers in India are facing labor shortages as a result of immigration policies and a lack of interest in farming as a career.
High-cost of production: The cost of production is increasing, including the cost of inputs such as seeds, fertilizer, and fuel, which can make it difficult for farmers to be profitable.
Technological gap: Not all farmers in India have access to advanced technologies, such as precision agriculture, which can limit their ability to increase productivity and efficiency.
Image credit: ruralvoice.in