India is well-known for its agriculture, producing the most pulses, milk, and spices. In India, approximately 70% of the population lives in rural areas. Agriculture and farmers are frequently referred to as the country's backbone. The majority of farmers devote their entire lives to farming, making agriculture the primary source of income for two-thirds of all families.
Wheat, peas, mustard, barley, and gram are some of the major Rabi crops (planted in the winter), while paddy, bajra, tur, moong, jowar, soybean, groundnut, cotton, and jute are some of the major Kharif crops (planted during the monsoon season).
Agriculture plays a significant role in a country's economy and provides food for its growing population. Recently, farmers protested against three farm bills as they feared it would lead to the corporatization of agriculture. However, several other problems faced by Indian farmers were also highlighted during this protest. Some of the main agricultural problems in India are listed below.
Agricultural Problems in India
- Irrigation: The first challenge that Indian farmers face is the unpredictability of monsoon rains. Their reliance on rain hampers their ability to produce crops consistently. In some states, improper water use and waste have resulted in a drop in groundwater levels. In agricultural lands, water resources and irrigation have become a problem. Despite the fact that irrigation capital expenses are increased to 3.5 times for major irrigation projects and 2.5 times for minor irrigation projects, there are still gaps in providing irrigation facilities to farmers with small lands.
- Irregular Land Ownership: Land ownership is another issue in agriculture. The majority of agricultural land in India is distributed unequally, affecting land ownership. This leads to poor economic advantages from large-scale farming.
- Poor infrastructure and facilities: The biggest challenge farmers face today is the loss incurred at the sale and post-harvest stages. Although the country takes pride in being the second-largest producer of fruits and vegetables, it is vital to take note that these perishable goods incur high post-harvest losses due to a lack of infrastructures like cold chain facilities and cold storage.
- Lack of information and education on improved farming techniques: Indian soil has been used to produce crops for a long time. It is important to create awareness among farmers and educate them on new farming methods. Crop rotation is essential for the soil to regain its lost nutrients. Very few farmers know the importance of using natural manure like cow-dung and compost. Educating them on these aspects can enhance their production and relieve them from several issues.
Recently, some reforms have been underway for improving farmers' conditions in India. The Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana for precision irrigation, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana for insurance coverage and financial support, and provision of fertilizers and cold storage facilities are covered.
FAQs About Problems of Indian Agriculture
Q.1) What are the main problems faced by Indian farmers?
The main problems faced by Indian farmers are irregular land divisions, poor infrastructure, poor facilities, irrigation problems, unprecedented natural calamities, and minimal policies that address their issues.
Q.2) How can the condition of Indian farmers improve?
The condition of Indian farmers can improve by implementing better policies, irrigation, education, awareness of new techniques of farming, better facilities, etc.
Q.3) Despite being the second-largest producer of vegetables and fruits, why do Indian farmers incur a loss?
Vegetables and fruits are perishable products. Insufficient cold storage facilities can result in losses at the stage of the post-harvest sale.