Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Guitar Natarajan on agriculture in India

Examining agriculture in India :
"Very good analysis of India's agriculture system by Ram Kaundinya. I have always struggled with a outlining a satisfactory enough pathway to agricultural sector reforms. Here is only the latest attempt. 

As a context, about 130-140 m farmers cultivate around 175 m hectares of land, of which over 60% is unirrigated and rely on erratic monsoons. Mechanization is limited and with perhaps not much (though not non-trivial) potential given the small and fragmented holdings. Farming is therefore not very productive and largely subsistence. A vast and entrenched intermediary network coupled with lack of storage infrastructure means that most of farm production is sold immediately at farm gate at lower prices in a post-harvest buyers market. Cropping patterns have been shifting, with riskier and more infrastructure dependent horticulture crop production recently exceeding food grains. "
Link to Ram Kaundinya article The difficulty of being a farmer:"The Indian farmer faces pressure from both the demand and the supply sides. Technology can help solve some of his problems...., We need to overhaul our thinking and approach towards addressing farmers’ challenges which are complicated and structural in nature. Waiving farm loans is a lazy option for governments and a costly option for the banking system. Successive governments have chosen this option because they do not have the political will to find better solutions. "

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