Viksit Bharat Needs Inclusive and Sustainable Agriculture

GS-3 Mains 

Short Notes or Revision Notes 

Question : Analyze the significance of agriculture for Viksit Bharat’s inclusive growth objectives and evaluate the effectiveness of current policies in addressing agricultural challenges.

Climate Change Threatens Food Security for Viksit Bharat

  • 2023 was the hottest year on record, and 2024 could be worse.
  • This threatens India’s ability to produce enough food for a growing population under the Viksit Bharat vision.

Growth Analysis (1991-2024)

  • Overall GDP growth (1991-2024): 6.1% (average annual)
  • Agri-GDP growth (1991-2024): 3.3% (average annual)
  • Last 10 years (2014-2024):
    • Overall GDP growth: 5.9% (Modi government) vs 6.8% (Manmohan Singh government)
    • Agri-GDP growth: 3.6% (similar for both governments)

Why Agriculture Matters for Viksit Bharat

  • 45% of India’s workforce is in agriculture (2022-23).
  • Inclusive growth requires developing agriculture’s full potential.
  • Challenges:
    • Increase productivity
    • Reduce water consumption
    • Recharge groundwater
    • Prevent soil degradation
    • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Current Policies Not Enough for Viksit Bharat

  • Business as usual won’t achieve inclusive growth by 2047.
  • Agriculture’s share of GDP may shrink to 7-8%, but employ over 30% of the workforce.
  • People need to move to higher-productivity jobs.
  • Skill development for rural youth is crucial.

The Way Forward

  • Build on the 7.6% GDP growth expected in 2023-24.
  • Address the recent 0.7% agri-GDP growth (due to unseasonal rains).
  • Climate change risks require adaptation strategies for agriculture.

Avoiding Policy Failures

  • Two successive droughts can derail Viksit Bharat.
  • Current measures (export controls, stocking limits) are temporary solutions.
  • Viksit Bharat needs sustainable agriculture policies.

Policy Recommendations for Viksit Bharat

  • Rationalize food and fertilizer subsidies.
  • Invest savings in:
    • Agri-research and development
    • Innovation
    • Extension services
    • Soil and water conservation
    • Water-saving irrigation techniques
  • Shift towards high-value agriculture (e.g., poultry, dairy, fruits, vegetables).
  • Implement a value chain approach (“plate to plough”).
  • Develop farmer access to domestic and export markets through:
    • Cooperatives
    • Farmer producer organizations (FPOs)
    • Digital commerce platforms (E-NAM, ONDC)
    • Contract farming
  • Promote futures trading in agriculture.

Conclusion

  • With a weak agricultural sector, Viksit Bharat cannot be achieved.
  • The government needs to empower farmers to participate in domestic and global markets.

 

 

Wheat Harvest 2024 and Climate Change Concerns

GS-3 Mains 

Short Notes or Revision Notes 

Question : Discuss the impact of climate change on India’s wheat production, highlighting vulnerabilities and potential solutions.

India’s Wheat Stock

  • Govt godowns have the lowest wheat stock in 7 years (9.7 million tonnes on March 1).
  • 2024 harvest expected to be a bumper crop, filling the current shortfall.

2024 Wheat Harvest Outlook

  • Positive outlook in major wheat belts (Punjab, Haryana, UP, Bihar).
  • No adverse weather events like previous years (heat spikes, unseasonal rains).
  • Favorable March temperatures and grain filling progress in Indo-Gangetic plains.
  • Central India (MP, Gujarat, Maharashtra) might see lower yields due to unseasonal warm temperatures in Nov-Dec.

Wheat’s Vulnerability to Climate Change

  • Wheat production is increasingly susceptible to climate fluctuations.
  • Not just terminal heat stress, but also warm sowing/vegetative growth periods are problematic.
  • Climate change disrupts both early and late growing seasons.
  • This year, central India’s crop might be affected by delayed winter.

Potential Solutions

  • Despite central India’s concerns, a good harvest in the Indo-Gangetic plains could offset the losses.
  • Lower global wheat prices offer an opportunity for import if needed.
  • The government should remove the 40% import duty on wheat.

Green Revolution 2.0: A Pressing Need

  • Long-term solution: invest in breeding climate-resilient wheat varieties.
  • Green Revolution 1.0 focused on irrigation and high-fertilizer crops.
  • Green Revolution 2.0 needs to prioritize:
    • Input use efficiency (more yield with less water, fertilizer, energy)
    • Breeding drought-resistant and heat-tolerant varieties
    • Germplasm screening and gene identification for desired traits

Conclusion

  • India’s food security and poverty reduction depend on sustainable agriculture.
  • Green Revolution 2.0 is crucial for adapting to climate change and ensuring future harvests.

 

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