SUBSIDIES LEADING TO UNSUSTAINABLE FARMING

When everyone is talking about AAP, no one has thought about the adverse effect of subsidy oriented political approach on indian agriculture. Lets discuss how the tussle between state and center has resulted In policies that has distorted our cropping patterns, and has caused an inefficient public food distribution system.

Typically in indian constituency, citizens demand has been fulfilled with these subsidies without thinking that the constituency also consists of our children and grandchildren’s.

In the case of agriculture water shortage will pose a serious threat to sustainability of indian agriculture. The subsidy oriented governance is making a mistake that if they provide more subsidies on water the water consumption will increase gradually. And taking about the future india will be able to meet only half of the water demand by 2030. And this will be catastrophic for agriculture since 85 % of irrigation is done by ground water.

Over the last five years our water level has been depleting at an average rate of 3-5 cm per year. This level if quite high for states like Punjab, Haryana, delhi, rajasthan where the depletion level is 30-40 cm per year. Thus the heart of our  food grain producing states is alreadly facing serious threat to water shortages.

During the drought effected india 0f 1960s the urgency of water was quite high because of high quality seeds were used that required more water, but the gravity based surface irrigation projects launched by Nehru were hobbled with delays and poor implementation. And hence tube well based irrigation methods surfaced, in time of urgency. But tube wells required electricity. Initially it was provided at flat rate without metered connections but eventually it became free and subsidized. Thus it has become a chronic problem for state electricity distribution companies.

Apart form the addiction to ground water irrigation  another negative aspect of green revolution  is excessive use of subsidized fertilizers. Fertilizers consumption has increased more that 320 times since 1950. This has caused degradation of soils in many parts of country. And to maintain the same level of productivity farmers are compelled to use more and more amount of fertilizers.

Hence the enormously successful policy of green revolution has outlived its usefulness with time. Hence with the passage of time the government must formulate new policies that will ascertain a sustainable growth to our farming sector.

 

Contributed by

Satyam Anand

PGDM II Sem

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