In spite of the major importance given both in terms of institutional and policy methodology right from the 1950s, the Indian farmer’s Agriculture has taken a back track on growth progress with a meager 3.2℅ of agri-GDP growth.
The reason for the same can be different from one state to other but on a broad level they can be low irrigational facilities, no institution-institutionalsources for credit requirements,lack of capital infrastructural and infrastructural facilities, practice of extensive agriculture, less dependence on F&V(food and agriculture) crops,s mall and marginal land holdings etc.
Restructuring the misguided policies, instead of giving free power the peasantry can be rewarded for saving power through cash incentives, encouraging farmers to shift their gears towards high value addition crops,deploying the latest farm technology (direct seeding of rice,drip irrigation Internet of things)with an air towards Digitalisation, discussing proactively on international platforms especially in WTO on the farm subsidy,removal of stocking limits on private trade and heavy taxes ,all the seem to be viable solutions to reduce the distress of farming sector.
With India being a tropical country the monsoon patterns are highly unpredictable resulting in frequent crop failure and thereby loss of agricultural income.Not only this the loss of agricultural income can be attributed to the unexpected external shocks( like 2008 global meltdown, frequent wars among gulf countries, Devaluation made by major economies etc).In this scenario, the task of responsible government lies in insulating the farmers from their loss of revenue.This can be done by crop insurance.
Crop insurance is in active practice in our country from 2005, with index-based insurance covering.The recent scheme of Pradhan Mantri Faisal Brahma yojana that targets of expanding agriculture insurance to 50℅ of farmers by 2018 shows the vigour of government in solidarity to farmers.Challenges like insufficient insurance risk coverage, delayed and inaccurate claim assessment, leakages, interference of banking channels rather than insurance companies, infrastructural and distributional challenges can be unfolded or get resolved by careful planning, innovative use of technology, favorable government policies,etc..
The technology deployment in extending crop insurance include the following:
1.IOT that is Internet of things which uses soil sensors, analytics to give accurate forecasts relating to seasonal crop productivity with early detection of field warning
2.Use of drones in taking images, assessing soil water hold capacity, PEST control, weed maps or frost damage maps.
3.Mobile based apps for detecting canopy coverage, fertilizer requirements, to get details on the injured area and insurance coverage, farmer profiles.
4.Digitization I.e. bank account linking for benefit transfers, Enam( national agriculture market).
5.Using satellite images to map crop types, to capture crop homogeneity of different field conditions, the calculating area under each category etc.
With success in the green revolution, achievement in production level to the double of buffer stock norms India still has a long path to battle with the primary sector to make it as a base for the Indian economy. Without rural prosperity, the government plans for an economy firing on all cylinders will be easier said than done.So let’s reshift our focus to agricultural development for the common benefit of all