Indian agriculture seems to witness a paradigm shift. With the country achieving sufficiency in food production, the Government thinks that the time has come for shifting gears.
With subsistence farming becoming a thing of past, India should look forward to commercial farming where farm mechanisation can play a bigger role, according to the Economic Survey 2019-20, which was tabled in Parliament on Friday by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
While China and Brazil have achieved farm mechanisation of 60 and 75 per cent respectively, the use of farm machinery in Indian agriculture is languishing at 40 per cent, it pointed out.
Allied agricultural sector, such as livestock and fisheries, which is an important secondary source of income and is vital for augmenting farmers’ income, the survey said.
While the livestock sector registered a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.9 per cent in the last five years, the fisheries sector, which provides livelihood to 16 million Indians, grew at a CAGR of 7 per cent in recent years.
It also proposed the need for revising the prices of foodgrains, the public distribution system, and called for more prudent management of buffer stocks maintained by state-owned procurement agencies.
The Survey reiterated need for increasing gross cropped area covered under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana to 50 per cent from the existing 23 per cent. It also noted that the share of agriculture and allied sectors in GVA of India at current prices has declined from 18.2 per cent in 2014-15 to 16.5 per cent in 2019-2020.