Transformation of Indian Agriculture? Growth, Inclusiveness and Sustainability -S Mahendra Dev (IGIDR)
-Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, December 2018 (WP-2018-026)
There are three goals of agricultural development in India. These are: (a) achieving high growth by raising productivity; (b) inclusiveness by focusing on lagging regions, small farmers and women; and (c) sustainability of agriculture. In this paper, we will address two questions: (a) How far India progressed in the three goals of agriculture in recent decades? (b) What are the policies and reforms needed to transform Indian agriculture in the next decade? This paper provides 10 conclusions on the policies needed to achieve three goals of agricultural development in India. These are : (1) There is a need for change in the narrative in the new context; (2) Global trends and macro policies are equally important for Indian agriculture; (3) We have to walk on two legs of both agriculture and non-agriculture. There is a need to shift from cereal based agriculture to non-cereal based crops and allied activities; (4) Doubling farm income also has to focus non-farm sector, look at different size classes and environmental considerations; (5) Remunerative prices and market reforms can enhances farmers' incomes; (6) The country has to go beyond harvest and give freedom for farmers on markets and exports; (7) Do not foreget basics like water and technology; (8) Inclusiveness is needed for broad based growth and equity. Focus on small and maginal farmers, women, youth, rainfed areas, Eastern and other lagging regions, social groups like SC and ST farmers; (9) Measures have to be taken to take care of impacs of climate change and improving resilience in agriculture and sustainability; (10) Strengthening institutions and governance is crucial for achieving growth, equality and sustainability of agriculture.
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