There has been a paradigm shift in India's economic conditions and cropping patterns in last few decades. Critically discuss why there is an upward trend in horticulture production while downward trend in food grains production? Is it an opportunity or threat?
For the last few years, the horticultutual production in the country has outstripped the food grains output. Currently, horticulture is contributing over one third fraction of India’s agriculture production. This marks a major structural change going on in Indian agriculture. There are several reasons to this trend. Firstly, Production of horticulture crops is more resilient to weather shocks. Secondly, unlike the green revolution in food grains which was limited to states like Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, horticulture production hubs are spread out across the country. Thirdly, in recent years, there is a marked change in consumption pattern in India. People with higher income have more demand for fruits and protein food and this has pushed up the production of fruits. Fourthly, the gradual progress in storage and processing infrastructure is making horticulture profitable. Lastly, Schemes like the National Horticulture Mission have played pivotal role in aggressively pushing production of fruits and vegetables across states.
This trend of increasing horticulture production, provides an opportunity in terms of stable income generation to farmers when provided with better post-harvest management facilities, increasing share of agriculture to the GDP but at the same time flagging food grains production may pose threat to achieve food security in rural areas, and may led to regional imbalances.