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Salient Features of Indian Agriculture – Part 2

HYV (High Yielding Variety) Seeds → Green Revolution by Norman Borlaug

Positives

  • To achieve self-sufficiency in food
  • Shorter Life cycles
  • Increased productivity
  • Benefited Wheat & Rice
  • Benefitted Punjab, Haryana, UP, TN, Andhra Pradesh & Maharashtra
Negatives

  • Input cost increased
  • More water & fertilizer required
  • Chemical poisoning of soil
  • Salinity & Alkalinity increased which makes soil impermeable
  • Depletion of ground water
  • Loss of fertility of soil
  • Limited to selective states only
  • Limited to selected crops only

Government Schemes for farmers

  • Subsidized power supply + Cheaper Credits + Better Roads
  • Storage & Marketing policies for food grains & crops
  • FCI MSP to farmers + adequate public distribution of food grains + stabilize market volatility
  • Redistribution of ownership holding of land by abolishing intermediaries (Zamindars, Absentee Landlords etc.)
  • Bringing actual cultivators in direct contact with the state
  • Ceiling on land holdings + Distribution of surplus land to landless agricultural labors & small farmers
  • Land record modernization to keep recorded copies of computerized data for proper distribution of land
  • Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), agricultural universities, animal breeding centers For research and development activities in agriculture
  • Kissan Credit Card, Personal and Crop Insurance schemes, etc. have been launched
  • Command Area Development Programme & Integrated Watershed Management Programme for better use of irrigation & land

 


Command Area Development Programme (CADP)

Command Area
  • Area fed by an irrigation system like Wells, Tubewells, Canals, Tanks Etc.
Cultivable Command Area
  • An area which can be fed by an irrigation scheme & is fit for cultivation
Objective
  • Improving utilization of irrigation potential
  • Optimizing agricultural productivity & production
Aim
  • Bridging the gap between created irrigation potential and its utilization in the command area
Ministry 
  • A Centrally-sponsored scheme under  Ministry of Water Resources

Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP)

  • Flagship programme of Ministry of Rural Development which aims at 

 

  • Harnessing, conserving and developing degraded natural resources such as soil, vegetative cover and water
  • Prevention of soil run-off
  • Rain water harvesting and recharging of the ground water table
  • Increasing the productivity of crops,
  • Introduction of multi-cropping and diverse agro-based activities
  • Promoting sustainable livelihoods and increasing the household incomes
  • Integrated Watershed Management Programme mainly consists of 3 major Programmes viz.
  • Desert Development Programme (DDP)
  • Drought Prone Area Programme (DPAP)
  • Integrated Wastelands Development Programme (IWDP)

 

Rainwater harvesting
  • Rainwater harvesting is a technique used for collecting, storing, and using rainwater for landscape irrigation and other uses.
  • Rainwater is collected from various manmade catchment surfaces.

rain-water-harvesting

Desert Development Programme (DDP)

  • Under Ministry of Rural Development (Department of Land Resources)
  • Desertification is the degradation of land in any dry land via:
  • Extensive cultivation of one crop
  • Use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides
  • Shifting cultivation without adequate period of recovery
  • Industrial and mining activities
  • Overgrazing
  • forest fires
  • Unsustainable water management
  • DDP was started both in hot desert areas of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana and the cold deserts of Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, with an objective 
  • To mitigate the adverse effects of desertification on crops, human and livestock population
  • To restore ecological balance by harnessing, conserving and developing natural resources
  • To implement developmental works through the watershed approach

 

Drought Prone Area Programme (DPAP)

  • Focuses on the non-arable land and drainage lines for in-situ soil and moisture conservation
  • Programme includes agro- forestry, pasture development, horticulture and alternate land use
  • Under Ministry of Rural Development (Department of Land Resources)
  • Panchayati Raj Institutions have the right to monitor & review the programme at district, block and village levels
  • Area development programmes to be implemented exclusively on watershed basis
  • Watershed project to be, as far as possible, co-terminus with village boundary

 

Objectives of DPAP
  • to minimize the adverse effects of drought on crops, livestock, productivity of land, water & human resources
  • to optimize utilization of  the Watershed’s natural resources like land, water, vegetation
  • to promote economic development & employment generation for the village community – directly or indirectly dependent on the water shed;

 

Integrated Wastelands Development Programme (IWDP)

  • For improving productivity of waste & degraded lands keeping in view poverty, backwardness, gender & equity
  • Focuses on at checking land degradation & putting such wastelands to sustainable use
  • Increasing bio-mass availability especially that of fuel wood, fodder, fruits, fiber & small timber
  • Under Ministry of Rural Development (Department of Land Resources)

 

Objectives of IWDP
  • Wastelands development to enhance their productivity
  • Aims at rural employment

 


Organic Farming

  • Excludes the use of manufactured fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides, fungicides & herbicides
  • Strictly prohibits the use of plant growth regulators, livestock antibiotics, food additives, and genetically modified organisms
  • Relies on techniques such as crop rotation, green manure, biofertilizers, compost and biological pest control to maintain soil productivity
  • It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects

Indian Agriculture Organic Farming


Green Manure

  • a type of cover crop grown primarily to add nutrients and organic matter to the soil.
  • a green manure crop is grown for a specific period of time, and then ploughed under and incorporated into the soil while it is still green or shortly after flowering
  • provides subsidy on purchase of seeds & on cost for production of seeds for green manure plants
  • Leguminous types Have Nitrogen fixing ability for ex. Cowpeas, Soybeans
  • Non- Leguminous types For weed suppression & addition of biomass to the soil for ex. Sudan grass, Millets, Sorghum & Buckwheat

Green manure Crops

Advantages 

  • Helps in soil improvement & soil protection
  • Provides forage for pollinating insects
  • Deep rooting properties Increase aeration of soil+ Efficient at suppressing weeds
  • Fix nitrogen in soil, thus Less chemical fertilizers are required
  • Provides habitat for predatory beneficial insects which kill and eat harmful insects thus less pesticides are required
Disadvantage

  • Leguminous plants require good amount of irrigation
  • The “time” factor you cannot plant the primary marketable crop during green manuring phase

Biofertilizers & Organic fertilizers

Organic Fertilizers

  • Derived from animal matter or vegetable matter (e.g. compost, manure)
  • Other Examples Crop residue (green manure), Cow dung, Rock Phosphate, Bone Meal, Blood Meal, Fish Meal, Wood Chips / Sawdust 
Bio Fertilizers 

  • Contains living microorganisms which, when applied  promotes growth by increasing supply or availability of primary nutrients to the host plant
  • Exmples   Rhizobium,  Azotobacter,  Azospirilium and Blue Green Algae (BGA)
 Though, these fertilizers take time to enrich the soil, but once it is done, it is fairly lasting & completely sustainable

Biofertilizers

Biofertilizers Pros 

  • Increases crop yield by 20-30%
  • Provide protection against drought and some soil-borne diseases
  • Replaces chemical nitrogen & phosphorus by 25%
  • Stimulates plant growth
  • Cost-effective
  • Environment friendly
  • To some extent, helps to cleanse the plant from precipitated chemical fertilizers
Biofertilizers Cons 

  • Effects are slower compared to chemical fertilizer
  • Difficulty to store as sensitive to temp. and humidity changes
  • Much lower nutrient density — requires large amounts to get enough for most crops
  • Sometimes, are hard to locate/purchase in faraway rural areas

Genetically Modified Food

  • Modified form of agricultural plants to enhance desired traits such as increased resistance to herbicides or improved nutritional content
  • Using the latest molecular biology techniques & genetic engineering, plants are undertaken breeding to get the desired results
  • Last decade, Genetically modified (GM) crops were introduced esp. for Cotton & Brinjal in India but as of now only GM Bt. Cotton production is allowed
Advantages of GM Foods

  • Pest resistance
  • Herbicide resistance
  • Disease resistance
  • Draught tolerance
  • Salinity tolerance
  • Increased nutrition
  • Better flavour and colour
  • Early maturing
  • All year availability
  • Easy to store
Disadvantages of GM Foods 

  • Reduced effectiveness to pesticides
  • Unknown effects on human health
  • Gene transfer to non-target species
  • Playing with nature and its mechanisms
  • Monopoly of MNCsin GM seeds
  • High input cost Requires high dose of fertilizers

Genetically-modified foods have the potential to solve many of the world’s hunger and malnutrition problems, and to help protect and preserve the environment by increasing yield and reducing reliance upon chemical pesticides and herbicides. Yet there are many challenges ahead for governments, especially in the areas of safety testing, regulation, international policy and food labeling. Hence, we must proceed with caution to avoid causing unintended harm to human health and the environment as a result of our enthusiasm for this powerful technology.


Fertilizer

  • A fertilizer is any organic or inorganic, natural or synthetic material added to soil to supply one or more plant nutrients essential to growth of plants.
  • These fertilizers provide 6 macronutrients & 8 micronutrients to plants for well balanced growth.
  • Macronutrients → Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K), Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg), Sulphur (S)
  • Micronutrients → Boron, Copper (Cu), Nickel (Ni), Zinc (Zn), Iron (Fe), Manganese (Mn), Chlorine (Cl), Molybdenum (Mo)
  • In India, Urea is the only controlled fertilizer, which is sold at statuary notified uniform sale price.
  • The Phosphoric & Potassium fertilizers are under a decontrolled regime & are sold at indicated MRPs

 


NBS (Nutrient Based Subsidy)

  • This scheme is for 22 grades of decontrolled fertilizers, which are provided to farmers at subsidized rates based on nutrient content (N, P, K & S) in these fertilizers.
  • Additional subsidy is also provided on the fertilizers fortified with other secondary micronutrients & micronutrients as approved under Fertilizer control order (FCO)
  • Subsidy given to companies is fixed annually on the basis of nutrient contents with MRPs of fertilizers has been left open
  • Manufacturers are allowed to fix MRPs at reasonable level.
  • But urea is not covered under the NBS scheme and government continues to provide subsidy on urea separately.
  • Result farmers are relying more on Urea than the new P & K fertilizers as  prices of these decontrolled products under NBS have doubled relying on the control of manufacturers 

 


Livestock India

  • India Largest population of livestock in the world
  • Largest no. of castles in India are found at MP & UP
  • Highest livestock density in India can be found at Maharashtra (1) & Haryana (2)
  • Cattle density in India is approx. 12.8 cattle / 100 Ha
  • Kamdhenu 2 Kg of Milk / Day
  • Brackish Water aquaculture For Shrimps
  • Integrated Fisheries Project Kochi
  • Central Sheep Breeding Farm Hisar
  • Central frozen semen institute & training centre HESARAGHATTA
  • Central Poultry training institute HESARGHATTA (Maize An imp. poultry feed ingredient)

 


Famous Indian Crops

Rice
  • 20 – 27* C  of average Temperature
  • 150 cm of average Rainfall
  • Require Warm & Humid climate
  • Clayely or alluvial moisture retentive soil
  • Labour intensive crop
Wheat
  • 15 – 20* C  of average Temperature
  • 75 cm of average Rainfall
  • Require moderate cool climate
  • Clayely or well drained fertile soil
  • Machine intensive crop
Maize
  • 18 – 27* C  of average Temperature
  • 75 cm of average Rainfall
  • Atleast 140 frost free days
  • Require Warm climate
  • Alternate Rainy & Sunny Season is best for this crop
Sugarcane
  • Belongs to Bamboo family
  • Indigenous to India
  • Long duration crop 10 – 15 months
  • 20 – 27* C  of average Temperature
  • 75 – 150 cm of average Rainfall
  • No from with moderately warm climate
  • Soil exhausting crop Requires heavy dose of fertilizers
  • Special Feature Ratooning
Millets
  • 20 – 30* C  of average Temperature
  • 40 – 60 cm of average Rainfall
  • Requires warm & dry climate
  • Can be grown on medium to low fertility soil
  • Best is sandy loamy soil with good drainage
  • Bigger millets are called Sorghums
  • For example Jowar Great Millet
Cotton
  • 20 – 30* C  of average Temperature
  • 50 – 100 cm of average Rainfall
  • Requires approx. 210 frost free days
  • Requires mineral rich black lava soil (Regur)
  • Soil exhausting crop Requires heavy dose of fertilizers
Jute
  • Obtained from the bark of the plant
  • 25 – 35* C  of average Temperature
  • 120 – 150 cm of average Rainfall
  • Requires Hot & Humid climate
  • Soil exhausting crop Requires heavy dose of fertilizers
  • Requires rich delta or alluvial soil
  • Famous Jute substitutes Mesta, Kenaf
Tobacco
  • More than 18* C  of average Temperature
  • 50 cm of average Rainfall
  • Requires 120 – 180 frost free days
  • Sandy soil with good drainage
Tea
  • 20 – 30* C  of average Temperature
  • 150 – 250 cm of average Rainfall
  • Requires heavy rainfall but no stagnant water
  • Hence grown on hill slopes
Coffee
  • 15 – 25* C  of average Temperature
  • 150 – 250 cm of average Rainfall
  • Shade loving crop Grown in shades of banana or rubber
  • Requires heavy rainfall but no stagnant water
  • Hence grown on hill slopes
Cocoa
  • 25* C  of average Temperature
  • 125 cm of average Rainfall
  • Requires protection from direct sunrays
  • Hence grown in shades
Barley
  • Same climatic conditions as wheat
  • Can be grown in areas of poor soil with less rainfall
  • Mainly used as fodder
Rubber
  • Obtained from the latex of plants (Heavea Brasitiensis)
  • 20 – 30* C  of average Temperature
  • 250 cm of average Rainfall
  • Grown on hill slopes to prevent water logging
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