Growth Potential and Challenges in Indian Agriculture

GS-3 Mains (Agriculture)

Short Notes or Revision Notes 


Question : Examine the major challenges faced by Indian agriculture and  Discuss the impact of these challenges on farmers’ livelihoods and agricultural productivity.


Growth Expected in 2024-25:

  • NITI Aayog predicts over 6% growth due to:
    • Normal/above normal monsoon rainfall.
    • Low growth base from 2023-24 (0.67%).

Importance of Agriculture:

  • Employs ~55% of India’s population.
  • 2nd largest producer of many fruits, vegetables, and crops.
  • 5th place globally in organic farming area.

Recent Trends:

  • Agriculture’s share of GVA declining (35% in 1990-91 to 15% in 2022-23).
  • Average annual growth of 4% in the last five years.
  • Stagnant/falling agricultural prices despite rising MSP (5% average increase since 2013-14).
  • Decline in real income of agricultural households (-1.4% between 2012-13 and 2018-19).
  • Stagnant public investment in agriculture.
  • Rising real prices of agricultural commodities (WPI increasing faster than non-agri).

Major Challenges:

  • Water scarcity and irrigation issues.
  • Limited access to credit and finance for small farmers.
  • Fragmented landholdings due to small farm sizes.
  • Outdated farming practices and lack of technology adoption.
  • Market volatility and price fluctuations for farmers.

Government Initiatives:

  • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN): Income support scheme (Rs. 6000/year).
  • Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY): Improves water use efficiency (micro-irrigation, watershed development).
  • Pradhan Mantri Fasal BimaYojana (PMFBY): Crop insurance scheme addressing premium rates and sum insured.
  • Per Drop More Crop: Promotes water efficiency through micro-irrigation technologies.
  • PM-AASHA (Price Support Scheme, Price Deficiency Payment Scheme, Pilot of Private Procurement & Stockist Scheme).
  • Namo Drone Didi: Provides drones to women SHGs for agricultural services (fertilizers & pesticides).
  • Kisan Credit Card (KCC) Scheme: Subsidized credit for farmers.
  • National Agriculture Market (e-NAM): Online platform for a unified agricultural commodity market.

Way Forward:

  • Paradigm shift needed to increase farmer income and transform agriculture.
  • Advancements in science and technology.
  • Increased private sector role (pre & post-harvest).
  • Liberalized output market and active land lease market.
  • Emphasis on efficiency to address challenges.
  • Well-coordinated central and state government actions for agricultural development.

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