Capitalizing on Technology for Farmer's Welfare

How policies and technologies impact farming?

1. Farming is a way of life and livelihood for about 60% of India’s population.

2. Farmers are facing serious problems from climate change (that is leading to high temperature, a wide variation of precipitation and rise in sea level).

3. For quantum jump in production new scientific innovations, farmer-friendly economic policies and farmer’s own enthusiasm are all important.

Policies:

1. Integrated attention must be given to pricing, procurement, and public distribution.

2. Support should be extended to farmers as per requirement of their ecosystems which may be arid zone, irrigated areas, plantation crops, etc.

3. Progress in public policy has improved the productivity and production by Indian farmers over the last few decades.

Technology:

1. Effective use of genetic knowledge has helped in improving productivity and profitability of crops.

2. New innovations include induced mutation, chromosome doubling, genetic medication, and gene editing technologies in molecular biology.

3. New innovations are needed to overcome new challenges like climate change.

4. But while taking the new technology to the field, there pros and cons both have been analyzed.

5. The technology selected should help in achieving the desired goal sustainably, safely and economically.

What are the goals set by NCF?

National Commission on Farmers (NCF) has set goals for ensuring sustainable agriculture and food security.

1. To improve the economic viability of farming by ensuring a “minimum net income” for farmers.

2. Give explicit attention to sustainable rural livelihoods.

3. To complete land reforms and Aquarian reforms.

4. To develop a social security system and support services for farmers.

5. To protect and improve the land, water, biodiversity, and climate.

6. To foster community-centered systems in rural India and ensure nutritional security.

7. Suggest measures to attract and retain educated youth in farming.

8. To strengthen the biosecurity of crops, farm animals, fish, and forest trees.

9. To make India a global outsourcing hub in the fields of sustainable agriculture.  

Which measures were taken to improve the condition of farmers?

Significant measures and decisions were taken to improve the status and income of farmers in the last 4 years in India.

1. Designating the Ministry of Agriculture as Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare.

2. Universal Soil Health Card Scheme.

3. Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana.

4. Rashtriya Gokul Mission

5. Establishment of First International Congress on Agro-Biodiversity.

6. Promoting online trade

7. Gramin Agriculture markets created

8. Acts like Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing Act, 2017 for increased institutional credit to the farm sector.

9. Determination of Minimum Support Price based on the recommendation of the National Commission on Farmers (NCF).

10. Integration of protein-rich pulses and nutri-rich millets into welfare programmes.

11. Increase in the income of farmers through activities like apiculture, mushroom cultivation, bamboo production, etc.

12. Setting up several corpus funds to complete on-going irrigation production, modernized infrastructure, etc.

Where to focus?

1. New technologies help in productivity improvement.

2. But to ensure the wellbeing of farmers and farming, anticipatory research should be done on them.

Additional Information:

Importance of mangrove forests:

1. Mangroves function as bio-shield along coastal areas.

2. Mangroves have helped to save lives and livelihoods of fisher and coastal communities.

3. Damages caused by natural hazards like cyclone are observed lesser in mangrove-rich areas.

4. Thus, there is a need to save coastal wetlands and more particularly mangroves.