Explain the emerging trends in cropping pattern of India.
Emerging Trends in Cropping Pattern:
India is a major producer of agricultural goods in the world and we are the second largest producer of crops in the world, our cropping pattern does a show a very welcome trend. The following are certain features noticed in our cropping pattern:
Majority of our farmers are engaged in growing subsistence crops like food grains, cereals, pulses, etc. which are basic crops, not very lucrative from the point of view of earnings. Cereals re demanded by the poor and the farmers growing hem too remain poor. Most are marginal farmers having holdings of 0-5 acres and they are. So we see that the people undertaking agricultural activities are very poor who produce only for self-consumption.
So they are not in a condition to produce non food cash crops that are far more lucrative. Again, the reverse is also true that in order to grow cash crops, the cost of the inputs is also higher. This again has led to increase in farm loans and grants, which is not a good trend.
Our farm productivity over the past few decades has increased, but it is still less than the global average, being just 30-40% of the global average. The fact of low productivity can also be understood with the help of ratio of employment to GDP. We have 500 million people engaged in agriculture, whose contribution to GDP is just 15%.
The number of people engaged in agriculture has reduced from 70% at independence to 50% presently, but it is more than the developed economies, where only 5% people work in the agricultural sector on an average. This means that we are still using primitive techniques of production which use a big number of labour force, and the use of machinery and equipment’s in agriculture is much less because of farmer’s poverty.
The crop pattern has changed with a very satisfactory trend, i.e. growing more cash crops like fruit and vegetables instead of food grains. India produces 10% of the world production of fruits, and holds the first place in case of fruits like papaya, mango, banana, among others. Still, commercially, we are not in a position where we can have a global impact because our overall share in world output is not very large.
Another trend in our agricultural cropping pattern is that our production of wheat and rice is not increasing as fast as our population. The direct impact of this is on our imports bill because we have to import food grains in order to fill the shortfall in supplies of food grains.