What are the ecological and economical challenges faced by Indian agriculture today? Discuss critically.

The major environment challenges faced by Indian agriculture include how to conserve our basic agricultural assets such as land, water, and biodiversity and how to make agriculture sustainable. Farming is sensitive to short term and long term climate changes. Both of these kinds of changes affect farming directly (due to change in temperature, precipitation and/or CO2 levels) and indirectly (through changes in soil, distribution and frequency of infestation by pests, insects, diseases or weeds). These environmental issues have already affected many crops in India. To handle these challenges, attention needs to be paid to soil, irrigation water, nutrients, crops and their management practices, to sustain the productivity and to ensure food and environmental security to the country.
The major economic challenges faced by Indian agriculture include these:

  • Declining farmer income over the years due to Declining farm productivity
  • post-harvest loss especially in horticulture due to lack of cold storage facilities
  • huge debts due to continuous failure of crops
  • Indian agriculture is dominated small land holdings, which leds to agriculture becomes uneconomic
  • Small Framers in India facing difficulty in marketing their crops

The instability of rainfall results in abundant production one year followed by drought another. This leads to fluctuation in prices. Inequality of land distribution, faulty land tenure system; issues in marketing of agricultural products; indebtedness of the farmers; improper use of manures and fertilisers due to subsidy regime are some of the challenges that link environmental and ecological problems to Indian agriculture.

Question for UPSC Mains:
What are the ecological and economical challenges faced by Indian agriculture today? Discuss critically.

Published: September 26, 2017 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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