Dr Mukti Sadhan Basu is a former director of the National Research Centre for Groundnut, Indian Council of Agricultural Research. He was also International Consultant on Aflatoxin Management, UNIDO and worked in Africa in that capacity. Presently he is Managing Director of SBSF Consultancy.
Should ‘Smart India’ carry forward the burden of ‘Unsmart Agriculture’, how long?
Probably, time has come to abandon the dream project ‘Doubling Farmers Income’ by 2022, launched 7 years ago, which appears a far cry! Better, initiate exercise to pay remunerative price to farmers having rationality to MRP and closer to price charged from consumers.
India earns nearly Rs. 65,000 crores by exporting Rice, synonym to water export as it requires 4000-5000 litre to produce 1 kg. At the same time govt spend Rs. 1,34,280 crore by importing Oilseeds and Pulses, most eco-friendly crops known to improve soil fertility and contribute to human health.
Oilseeds and Pulses, the major sources of vegetable oil and protein are most suited for Indian soils and range of agro-climates. Oilseeds crop, on an average, requires 900 litres of water for 1 kg worth produce. Whereas Pulses, the far more water use efficient crop just requires 50 litres of water to realize 1 kg produce. So, India as a policy must put emphasis on low water demanding high value energy crops with rational allocation of irrigated areas to overcome chronic shortages and mop up sizable revenues from exports.
India being an agrarian country and agriculture being a State-subject, there is a need for a calculated and balanced approach between the Union of India and the States as far agriculture, in totality, is concerned.
[The study was co-authored by Dr. Shravani Basu, Ángel de Jaén Gotarredona, Dr. Sébastien Foucaud & Dr. Mukti Sadhan Basu for SBSF Consultancy and originally published on towardsdatascience.com. The full study shall be published in a series of articles and this is the first article of that series.] Goals of […]
It reminds me how India became close to self-reliant in edible oil by doubling the output from 7.0 million tons of oil to nearly 14.0 million tons in no time with the launching of First Technology Mission on Oilseeds (TMO) in 1986. The simple interventions were price incentive to oilseed growers, procurement guarantee and total restriction on import of edible oils.
Rooftop agriculture allows urban areas to become more innovative and efficient in their resource utilization through smart farming towards producing local, clean and healthy food (free from residues) with much reduced carbon footprints.
It’s a pity that India in spite of having unique opportunities to double the Lentil, Green gram and Black gram production in Rice Fallows particularly in the inland coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Odisha, West Bengal, and other upland ecosystem in Eastern and North-eastern States besides improving yields in other pulses, the Country is resorted to import Pulses heavily on regular basis!