What is agriculture?
Agriculture is the practice of cultivating crops and raising animals for food, fuel, fiber, and other products. It involves the use of land, water, and other natural resources to produce food and other agricultural products, which are essential for human survival and development. Agriculture can be practiced on a small scale by individuals or on a large scale by commercial enterprises. It is an important sector of the economy in many countries, providing food, employment, and income for millions of people around the world.
Agriculture in India
Agriculture is a significant sector of the Indian economy, contributing about 17-18% of India’s GDP and employing around 50% of the country’s workforce. India is the second-largest producer of agricultural products in the world, after China.
The major crops grown in India include rice, wheat, maize, millets, pulses, oilseeds, sugarcane, cotton, jute, and tea. Agriculture in India is largely dependent on monsoon rainfall, which is why it is often subject to droughts and floods.
There are different types of agriculture practices followed in India such as subsistence farming, commercial farming, organic farming, and more recently, precision farming, and vertical farming.
The government of India has launched various schemes and initiatives to support and enhance agricultural productivity in the country, such as the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, and Soil Health Card Scheme.
However, the agricultural sector in India faces several challenges such as low productivity, lack of adequate infrastructure, market access, and storage facilities, soil degradation, and increasing incidents of crop failure due to climate change.
Major constraints in Indian culture
There are several major constraints in Indian agriculture, including:
- Small landholdings
- Dependence on monsoon
- Lack of irrigation facilities
- Soil degradation
- Inadequate infrastructure
- Lack of access to credit
- Low prices
- Climate change
Key trends expected in future
Technologies like precision farming, drones, AI, hydroponic farming, and the use of biotechnology will become frequently used in the future. With the increment in farming knowledge farmers will use more and more farming equipment. This will surely find new areas for production and result in increased yield and quality. According to the ongoing race to meet demands and increase production people will more tend toward urban and vertical farming methods in the future.
Increase in food production
Since new technologies like the green revolution have been introduced in agriculture, a dramatic rise has been seen in food production in India. The trend is going to rise steadily in the coming times. As India’s population is increasing (expected to reach 1.64 billion in 2050) at a pace there will be a need to increase production to feed everyone.
Change in consumption pattern
As people are becoming health conscious, and household incomes are also increasing the demand for fruits, vegetables, and dairy products is going to increase in the future. The high-value greens and other vegetables will be cultivated more in the future. Because there will be more demand for processes and affordable quality products.
Small-scale landholders will achieve economies through the release of fragmented land holdings. Land consolidation will go real and virtual with the development of digital technologies. In the coming years, India will take rural citizens and farmers online. The coming decade will migrate the country’s agriculture ecosystem into a digital architecture. It will help overcome problems of fragmentation to an extent.
Increase in demand for processed food
The country’s diet pattern is taking a shift leading to the expansion in export markets. In order to opt healthy diet pattern, the Diversification of diet products into high-value items has been seen. Production of green will pull driven by the desire for freshness and immediate fulfillment of the consumers. Cities will look for secure food supply chains from exports, in the upcoming decade.
Increase in competitiveness
More competition is expected to be seen in private companies. The private sector will result in innovative products, better seeds, fertilizers, customized farm machinery, plant protection chemicals, feed for animals, and cost-effective ways at competitive prices. This will result in more returns on investment for farmers. Cost-effective methods such as the use of biotechnology and breeding will also develop to promote eco-friendly & more nutritious crop varieties.
Agriculture labor will move to more productive jobs
The labor engaged in agriculture will move towards higher productivity jobs. Rural farming is steadily moving off into agriculture’s allied industries and other Agri tech services. This shift will retain the higher productivity jobs of the future.
It is used as a tool to promote sustainable agriculture and reduction in import dependence. It will higher incomes for the farmers. Agriculture also completes development needs along with the demand for grains and food. The farming industry is going to shift to produce commercial and horticulture crops to meet the demand. The diversion of sugarcane crops for ethanol production is also going to be encouraged. Basically, the focus is on to diversification of crops to increase productivity and eco-friendly agriculture.
These key trends are the future of Indian agriculture. Among these trends, some are already followed by the farmers. And some trends are going to be embraced by Indian farmers to increase productivity and yield.
Agriculture along with opting for modern technologies is also focusing on increasing the income of the farmers. Modern agriculture aims to develop sustainable agriculture along with maintaining a balance in the Indian economy.
While the future of Indian agriculture presents some significant challenges, there are also many opportunities for growth and development. By embracing new technologies, sustainable practices, and innovative approaches, the agricultural sector in India can become more resilient, productive, and competitive in the global market.
In addition, there is a growing trend of farmers adopting precision farming techniques, organic farming, and vertical farming, which could potentially revolutionize the agricultural sector in India.