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Factors of technology boosting Indian Agriculture

  • Published
    28th Nov, 2023
Context

Genetics, crop nutrition, crop protection and agronomic interventions – have boosted agricultural growth in India despite shrinking cultivable land.

About

Pre-Green Revolution Agriculture

  • Land Dominance: Pre-Green Revolution, agricultural growth depended on expanding cultivable land. India's farm sector grew at 2.8% annually (1950-62) due to increased ploughed area.
  • Soil Fertility and Water Quality: Fertile alluvial soils and water availability dictated productivity, favoring certain regions over others.

Factors of Technology in Agriculture

  • Genetics and Plant Breeding: High-yielding varieties with dwarfing genes transformed agriculture during the Green Revolution, ensuring upright panicles and increased nutrient absorption.
  • Crop Nutrition Revolution: Chemical fertilizers with higher NPK content replaced traditional farmyard manure, significantly boosting crop yields.
  • Crop Protection Technologies: Chemicals defending against pests and diseases enhanced yield gains from genetics and nutrition, reducing manual labor.
  • Mechanization and Agronomic Interventions: Tractors and modern implements replaced bullocks, enabling deep tillage and introducing water-saving technologies like drip irrigation.

Impact of Technological Shifts

  • Productivity Surge: Technological factors shifted the aggregate production function, yielding more output from the same or fewer inputs.
  • Net Sown Area Growth: Despite a modest 3.3% increase in net sown area (1961-2019), agricultural production soared due to technological advancements.
  • Technological Trend Growth: During 2005-2022, a 3.7% annual growth in gross value added signifies the highest acceleration, reflecting the rapid diffusion of productivity-enhancing technologies.

Analyzing Growth Trends

Shift in Growth Drivers: The historical analysis reveals a transition from land-driven growth to technology-driven productivity.

Technological Advancements: Faster diffusion of modern technologies and improved infrastructure since the early 2000s underpins the recent agricultural growth phase.

Continued Impact: Despite challenges, the factors of technology remain pivotal, promising sustained agricultural productivity gains in the foreseeable future.

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