AGRICULTURAL REFORMS : Best Farming Techniques in Indian Scenario
21st Nov, 2019
Conservation Agriculture (CA)
- It has been viewed as an important strategy against food security challenges posed by climate change, deterioration and depletion of soil health, reducing or stagnating crop yields.
- It is defined as a sustainable agriculture production system comprising a set of farming practices adapted to the requirements of crops and local conditions of each region, whose farming and soil management techniques protect the soil from erosion and degradation, improve its quality and biodiversity.
Integrated Farming Systems (IFS)
- The approach is considered as important and relevant, especially for the small and marginal farmers as location-specific IFS will be more resilient and adaptive to climate variability.
- Under irrigated areas the following IFS models are most suitable to maintain soil fertility and productivity-
- Intensification and diversification of crop component of farming system
- Diversification of other components of farming system for higher income.
Precise Nutrient Management and Soil Health Cards
- The Site-Specific Nutrient Management (SSNM) approach emphasizes ‘feeding’ crop with nutrients as and when needed.
- It strives to enable farmers to dynamically adjust fertilizer use to optimally fill the deficit between the nutrient needs of a high-yielding crop and the nutrient supply from naturally occurring indigenous sources such as soil, organic amendments, crop residues, manures and irrigation water.
Efficient Water Management
- In arid and semi-arid regions, where precipitation is low or infrequent during the dry season, it is necessary to store the maximum amount of rainwater during the wet season for use at a later time, especially for agricultural water supply.
- Under the ‘Har Khet ko Pani’ a component of PMKSY scheme, the ground water irrigation scheme was implemented in 96 districts, where less than 30 percent land is currently getting an assured irrigation facility.
Integrated Crop Management (ICM)
- ICM suggests the use of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) such as Integrated Nutrient Management(INM), Integrated Weed Management(IWM), Integrated Disease Management(IDM) and Integrated Pest Management(IPM), etc, for raising a good crop.
- It is an alternative system of crop production, which conserves and enhances natural resources while producing quality food on an economically viable and sustainable foundation. It also covers integrated tillage and water management approaches in a holistic manner.
- Protected Cultivation or Greenhouse Cultivation is the most contemporary approach to produce, mainly, horticultural crops qualitatively and quantitatively and has spread extensively in last few decades.
- It is also known as Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) and is highly productive, encourages water and land conservation as well as protects the environment.
- The main purpose is to create a favourable environment for the sustained growth of crop, so as to realise its maximum potential even in adverse climatic conditions.
- It proved to be of paramount importance in mitigating the environmental problems arising on account of monoculture.
- Inclusion of certain crops in sequential and inter-cropping systems has been found to reduce some obnoxious weeds to considerable extent, thereby reducing the need of herbicides to a great extent.
Key Challenges Facing the Indian Agriculture Sector-
o Decreasing size of agricultural land holdings- increases input cost and also irrigation becomes difficult in a small fragmentation of land.
o Poor transport infrastructure and poor storage facilities- it becomes extremely difficult to store and subsequently transport agricultural produce from remote areas, owing to lack of cold storage and transport facilities.
o Lack of use of modern technology- results in gross wastage of the produce
o Lack of proper irrigation facilities and loss of soil fertility- results in loss of remunerative income for the farmer
o Inadequate access to agricultural credit and lack of marketing support- due to the small and marginal farmers, who account for more than half of the total land holdings, are unable to access institutionalized credit and are left in the sphere of uncertainty.