ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Review Of AgricultureSubscribe to Review Of Agriculture

Reorienting Land Use Strategies for Socio-economic Development in Uttar Pradesh

While the per capita availability of agricultural land has been decreasing rapidly everywhere in India, this article points out the socio-economic implications of current land use and management strategies in Uttar Pradesh. It argues that a judicious land use policy in synergy with the physical, economic and institutional factors should be framed, even as investment is encouraged in non-agricultural sector for employment.

National Water Policy: An Alternative Draft for Consideration

The Ministry of Water Resources is at present engaged in revising the National Water Policy 2002. Instead of trying to make changes in the 2002 Policy, the ministry should put it aside and draft a new policy, starting from first principles. In that context, the draft presented here is an attempt to formulate the kind of document that could be drawn up. It seeks to set forth for consideration a broad national perspective on the nature of water and on its prudent, wise, sustainable, equitable and harmonious use.

Revitalising Higher Agricultural Education in India

Agricultural education and R&D in India have grown overwhelmingly over the years but funding levels have not kept pace with growth in the number of programmes, institutions, colleges and universities. Restricted funding and vacant faculty positions are not allowing institutions to modernise the programmes and infrastructure to catch up with the changing needs of agriculture and agro-processing. This article proposes a comprehensive programme to revitalise higher agricultural education.

Farm Size and Productivity: Understanding the Strengths of Smallholder and Improving Their Livelihoods

During the 1960s and 1970s there was an intense debate on the observed inverse relationship between farm size and per hectare agricultural productivity in India. It was subsequently argued that the higher productivity of smallholdings would disappear with the adoption of superior technology, modernisation and growth in general. However, close to half a century later, National Sample Survey data from the initial years of the 21st century show that smallholdings in Indian agriculture still exhibit a higher productivity than large holdings. These smallholdings however show lower per capita productivity and the incidence of poverty is widespread. Strategies for Indian agriculture and smallholding households should include reducing the inequality in land distribution and promoting off-farm work in the rural areas itself. The strategy of improving the crop land-man ratio by facilitating migration from rural India has not worked and will not work. The lives of smallholding families can be improved only by building on their higher per acre agricultural productivity and by promoting off-farm rural employment.

Water Harvesting Traditions and the Social Milieu in India: A Second Look

India has a variety of local community traditions of water harvesting. There are a number of scholars and activists who tend to valorise premodern wisdoms without critically evaluating their sociocultural context and realising how deeply they were embedded in the social hierarchy of their times. There has been, of course, a great deal of stress lately on a kind of "eco-golden age". This is clearly a case of an "anachronistic projection of modern phenomenon on to the screen of tradition". Seen from such a perspective, all pre-industrial societies would exhibit a kind of harmony with nature. However, most of the times, it was the demographic and technological factors that made these societies less harmful to the environment. It was not that they wished to protect the whole canopy of nature. This reappraisal demonstrates how precepts and rites, culture and customary practices and state policy interact to lay the bases of water harvesting traditions. Social customs are the necessary conditions for sustaining these traditions, while local autonomy in resource management is the critical sufficient condition but it never results in equitable access for all.

Farmers' Suicides in Punjab: A Census Survey of the Two Most Affected Districts

This is a report on the first-ever census survey conducted on suicides by farmers in the two most affected districts of Punjab, Sangrur and Bhatinda. It tries to arrive at the number of farmer suicides, the reasons (whether they were caused by economic distress alone or they were due to the interplay of the forces of economic distress, social conflict, cultural backwardness and lack of community/state support) and also the present economic status of the families of the victims.

Spread and Economics of Micro-irrigation in India: Evidence from Nine States

The adoption of micro-irrigation projects has resulted in water saving, yield and income enhancement at the farm level. However, the overall impression is that they are capital-intensive and suited to large farms. In this context, a study was undertaken in nine states, mainly to examine the actual area covered compared to the potential area and to understand the adoption level of mi as well as to analyse the cost and returns under different farm categories. The results indicated that only about 9% of the mi potential is covered in the country. Key suggestions include reduction in capital cost of the system, provision of technical support for operation after installation, relaxation of farm size limitation in providing subsidies and the establishment of a single state level agency for implementation of the programme.

Irrigation in Telangana: The Rise and Fall of Tanks

Agriculture currently produces only 30% of total income in the Telangana region, but it remains the basis for survival of nearly 78% of the population. During the 53-year period, 1956-2009, Telangana lost 2.92 lakh hectares of tank irrigation. Meanwhile, despite the high cost of irrigation - both in capital and operating costs - over the same period the area irrigated by tube wells has grown up. The latter is entirely dependent on the recharge of groundwater and the availability and cost of power. Whatever the future irrigation policy and its implementation, it will need a close ground level, local district and regional governmental efforts in Telangana.

Pulses Production Technology: Pulses Production Technology:

India is the largest producer and consumer of pulses in the world. However, pulses production has been stagnant at between 11 and 14 million tonnes over the last two decades. Per capita pulses consumption over the years has come down from 61gm/day in 1951 to 30 gm/day in 2008. This paper analyses the status of pulses production technology, constraints in cultivation of pulses and the possibilities of increasing production. It emphasises the expansion of area under short duration varieties, development of multiple disease/pest resistance varieties, use of micro-nutrients like zinc and sulphur and increase in area under rabi pulse crops to increase pulses production. The minimum support price is not effective for pulse crops; prevailing market prices should be taken into account while fixing the msp to bridge the gap between demand and supply.

Secret of Gujarat's Agrarian Miracle after 2000

Semi-arid Gujarat has clocked high and steady growth at 9.6% per year in agricultural state domestic product since 1999-2000. What has driven this growth? The Gujarat government has aggressively pursued an innovative agriculture development programme by liberalising markets, inviting private capital, reinventing agricultural extension, improving roads and other infrastructure. Canal-irrigated South and Central Gujarat should have led Gujarat's agricultural rally. Instead it is dry Saurashtra and Kachchh, and North Gujarat that have been at the forefront. These could not have performed so well but for the improved availability of groundwater for irrigation. Arguably, mass-based water harvesting and farm power reforms have helped energise Gujarat's agriculture.

Sustainable Development of Biofuels: Prospects and Challenges

In the context of shrinking crude oil reserves, rising demand and the resultant rise in prices of petroleum, as well as the concerns about global climate change and energy security, bioenergy is becoming increasingly relevant as a possible and potential alternative to fossil fuels. However, with many developed countries pursuing aggressive policies for encouraging the production and use of biofuels, there are strong apprehensions that as more and more land is brought under biofuel crops, food prices would increase substantially affecting poor consumers, particularly those from low-income net food importing countries. Keeping in view these facts, this paper presents a brief overview of the current state of affairs of biofuels at the global level, with a special emphasis on the ongoing efforts of biofuel expansion in India. It throws light on the various policies at the national and regional levels and also on the implications of biofuels for changes in land utilisation, food security, social welfare and the environment.

Economic Liberalisation and Indian Agriculture: A Statewise Analysis

This study of the performance of agriculture at the state level in India during the post-reform period (1990-93 to 2003-06) and the immediate pre-reform period (1980-83 to 1990-93) shows that the post-reform period has been characterised by deceleration in the growth rate of crop yields as well as total agricultural output in most states. By ending discrimination against tradable agriculture, economic reforms were expected to improve the terms of trade in favour of agriculture and promote its growth. The paper also discusses the cropping pattern changes that have taken place in area allocation as well as in terms of value of output. The slowdown in the process of cropping pattern change means that most government efforts to diversify agriculture have failed to take off.

Pages

Back to Top