February 24, 2012

Time to give more than the standard election-time lip service to this sector

With state elections gaining heat, the farmer community of India would again, suddenly find themselves in the thick of all attention.This pocket of population that is usually sidelined, would again find themselves at the top of all political manifestos. And why not! When farmers constitute 60 per cent of the entire population, no political party can ignore this huge vote bank. And ironically, in spite of their seasonal electoral importance, the very same people are left in the lurch post the elections. Today, this one sector employs almost 60 per cent of the entire population, yet contributes merely 17 per cent to our national income! Shamelessly, our successive governments have succeeded in keeping a majority of them marginalised, bereft of even basic amenities, which are required for day-to-day sustenance.

The fact is that till date, our agriculture sector has hardly seen any major technological breakthrough. We are still stuck in an era from where we started. A stroll through any of our villages would be enough to visualise the archaic method of agriculture that’s still being practised throughout India - as even today, cattle is mostly used to plough fields, thus reducing the per hectare productivity. Our irrigation facilities still need so much upgradation that even today we are dependent on a good rain for a good produce. A Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO) report reveals that India’s yield of rice in the period 2003-2005 was 3,034 kilograms per hectare. This is nothing when compared to China’s, which produced more than double the yield of India with 6,233 kilograms per hectare, during the same period. The same trend was seen in the productivity of other crops like wheat (India’s production being 2,688 kg/hectare while for China it was 4,155 kg/hectare) and mustard (India’s average productivity was 909 kg/hectares which was a little less than half of China’s 1,778 kg/hectare) too! In 2004, China’s aggregate rice production was 186 million tonnes – way ahead of India’s 124 million tonnes. That’s not all. In 2009, in the international market, the per-hectare crop-produce value per for India was $914, compared to China’s $2780 and Korea’s $3530. In other words, the per hectare value of crops from Korea was around 4 times that of those from India. Similarly, China was 3 times ahead of India on the same parameter.

In 2008, China employed 39.6 per cent of its people in agriculture, a fall from 40.8 per cent in the previous year. On the contrary, in India, agriculture and its allied sector have been responsible for 60 per cent of the country’s employment, even though the sector contributes only 17 per cent to its GDP. It has always been observed that conventionally, over time, nations take a natural course in their path of development – a shift of employment concentration occurs from the agriculture sector to manufacturing and finally to the tertiary sector. In this context, even though India is lagging behind China (China has a lower proportion of its work force employed in agriculture), both are almost in a similar platform. But South Korea is in a different league altogether! It employs only 7.2 per cent of its total workforce in agriculture. This is due to South Korea’s committed adherence to incredible growth and its integration with hi-tech Western economies and scientific methods since 1960s!
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15 comments:

Yatin Kumar said...

its very informative content!
continue your good job...


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Gaurav said...

Such a situation in Indian agriculture will continue to be the same unless and until modern equipments and techniques are used.

Rohan said...

when it comes to agriculture,India is one of the leading producers even with such outdated methods......just imagine the net profit if we start using the latest techniques and methods!

vikash said...

high price badly affects the poor farmers as they can't buy the required commodities needed for better cultivation.

Abhas Ganguli said...

its a shame that even after so many years of independence,situation of Indian farmers remains to be the same that it was before independence.

Simran said...

drastic change in climate has its effect on agriculture as well........

Diptimayee Nayak said...

Farmers are also to be blamed at the same time and as they do not want to change their customary attitudes and do not want to adopt new policies to improve agriculture.

Pyush said...

when will our so called ministers take the required steps for the uplift met of the poor farmers in the country?????

minaxi said...

Wake up call for Indian government!!!!
Nice blog...........

jadu said...

The techniques and methods of cultivation are too outdated in India to bear high profits.

Dinesh said...

The government spends huge amount of money on lot of other things,why can't they do the same when it comes to agriculture.

Neeraj Kumar said...

These ministers and politicians are a bunch of selfish people who can't think of anything else except them self.....

anuj sharma said...

does the govt. do anything that benefits the poor in the country????????

anuj sharma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sumit said...

our agriculture sector has hardly seen any major technological breakthrough.

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