2. How is technology adoption transforming agricultural efficiency in rural India? Illustrate.
ग्रामीण भारत में प्रौद्योगिकी ने कृषि क्षेत्र को कैसे बदला है? उदाहरण देकर स्पष्ट करें।
Demand of the question:
It expects students to write in short about problems faced by agriculture sector while improving it’s efficiency, besides also expects more emphasis on how technology adoption has transformed agricultural efficiency in rural India.
India is one of the leading contributors to the domestic and global agriculture output demand. India is the world’s largest producer of milk, 2nd largest producer of fruit & vegetable in the world ,and technology adoption has helped to improve these figures in various ways.
Issues involved to improve agricultural efficiency:
- Conversion of agricultural land for alternative uses, declining average size of farm holdings have drastically reduced the average land holding in turn posing a challenge to implement efficiently the traditional methods of farming.
- Dependence on rainfall and climate: Indian agriculture is heavily dependent on monsoon rain and ever-increasing global temperature has made agriculture more prone to extreme weather events.
- Absence of marketing infrastructure, Large gaps in storage, Cold chains
limited connectivity have posed transport & marketing challenges.
- Lack of Mechanisation: Introduction of latest technology has been limited due to various reasons like accessibility for credit and low awareness.
- Profiteering by middlemen is reducing farmers income in turn reducing farmers purchasing power for new technology adoption.
- Food processing efficiency is low in India, It’s at 3% when compared to 30-70% in developed countries and wastage of agriculture produce is as high as 40%.
These issues were addressed by technology adoption in agriculture sector:
- Remote sensing (via satellites), GIS, crop and soil health monitoring, and technologies for livestock and farm management are the examples of technology which are helping to improve the agricultural efficiency.
- Seed quality enhancing: The quality enhancement can be done with advanced techniques, adopting seed management strategies resulted into creating high yield seed varieties.
- Solar-powered water pumps: These pumps use the abundant solar power available to pump water from the ground. These provide an energy-efficient way. Hence, reduce cost of production and increase profits for farmer.
- Per capita availability of fruits and vegetables is quite low because of post-harvest losses which account for about 25% to 30% of production. But, adoption of cold storage chain technology for perishable and other perishable allied agri – commodities has helped to reduce wastages and improve the gains to farmers and consumers substantially.
- ICT sectors such as e-choupal is an example of efficient supply chain system empowering the farmers with timely and relevant information enabling them to get better returns on their investment.
- E-governance in the areas like- maintenance of land records is a great step in removing the malpractices and creating assurance of rightful ownership.
- Aadhar linked bank accounts and government records provide access to monetary benefits by establishing the correct identity, in turn solving problem of access to credit.
- Direct farm to door connectivity through e-commerce and m-commerce platforms has facilitated large number of artisans to cut the middleman share and get fair price for their produce.
- Agro-based small enterprises such as providing tractor & other farm equipments on rents at reasonable rates in rural areas helped to reduce cost of production. e.g. : UBER enabled farm equipments on rent system through UBER apps.
- Better access to information through Kisan Suvidha app and DD Kisan Channel helped to improve efficiency in the agriculture.
- GPS mapping, which helps farmer in accessing the need i.e. where they need to put more fertilizer or less, as per requirement of the soil. GPS enabled services are also helping in field of documentation about yield, moisture, etc.
Though technology adoption has improved agricultural efficiency in Indian agricultural sector, some areas still need attention:
- As per FICCII’s “Knowledge Paper on Indian farm equipment sector” Farm equipments use in India stands at about 40-45 percent. This is still low when compared to countries such as the US (95percent), Brazil (75 percent) and China (57percent).
- ‘Tractor-isation’ and not mechanisation of Industry is happening.
- As per National Digital literacy mission, digital literacy is almost no-existent among more than 90% of India’s population.
Technology adoption has proved that it has potential to improve agricultural efficiency by improving farmers knowledge, access to credit, and agriculture output in many ways. Hence, technology adoption can help the farm product to reach from “local to global” market in an efficient way. If addressed the remaining issues in the technology adoption, it will also help to convert the image of Indian “Peasant farmer” in to an “Entrepreneur farmer”.