The future of farming looks with new prospects and innovations in the agricultural field. There is a paradigm shift towards farmer’s income being doubled rather than just focusing on growing crops. Sustainable agriculture is the keyword now and new ways and technologies are being constantly improvised to better the existing farming practices.
The green revolution is here and so is organic farming. Major changes are being put into place to ensure better infrastructure and facilities for farming, efficient utilization of water resources, linking farmers to banks, websites, technology, consumers etc. The focus is on the famer being better adapted to handle climatic changes, learn better technologies and use them to better their situation. SMS and mobile technology is being used to connect farmers with knowledge databases for timely information regarding agriculture practices, land, crops, seeds, and any other farming information.
Farmers are learning a lot more now and are better connected with the consumer directly rather than suffering at the hands of moneylenders, retailers, middle men and so on. Village Panchayati are a lot more tech savvy now than they were earlier. But these changes will take time and a lot of effort on the part of the Government, Agriculture Department, private companies, NGOs etc to train and educate farmers on the use of technology and new farming practices.
Connectivity is better now in villages and districts than ever before but it still needs a major push in all parts of the country. Even if technology and internet do reach all the villages, educating villagers will be a task to achieve. Although farmers are better known now through the Aadhar cards and Kisan Credit Card schemes, but literacy is still an issue that needs to be resolved. Mobile connectivity is better than internet connectivity at the present and the future will only improve this situation.
Where crops are concerned, better strategies need to be adopted to improve seed varieties, grow more crops per hectare and so on. It is currently observed that the yield per hectare is lesser in India than elsewhere and this must be resolved to achieve declining productivity. There is also a call to grow other crops than the usual wheat, rice, cereal norm that is currently predominant.
Many farmers are selling their lands and relocating to other countries for better prospects. Retaining farmers, reclaiming lands, conserving water, practicing organic farming, lowering usage of fertilizers and chemicals are some of the prevalent issues that are being practiced and hopefully in the future these issues will be a thing of the past. Agriculture plays such a crucial role as it directly affects farmers in more ways than one and hence measures must be taken to ease their distress in any way possible.
Land holdings are rapidly decreasing, forcing farmers to get better yields. Farmers have to also worry about loans, buying equipment, land, maintenance of land, shelters etc. These and other issues are not what they should be focusing on and instead must devote their time and effort in a better way to focus on the core agriculture and increase crop yields.
The future looks at better prospects and support for farmers from the Government and Private organizations who are collectively working to achieve this goal. There is a strong and urgent need to meet the requirements of the ever growing population by increasing food production. It is found that India is less urban than other countries and hence there is an impending need to create a rural urban continuum to better the farming prospects. Produce type and variety and must increase and improve to meet the quality standards of the world. Export to other countries can increase as well for brighter economic prospects.
To improve the prospects of mechanized farming, CLAAS, a 4 billion euro German manufacturer has agreed to lease CLAAS machines to the farming community. With the help of these machines, a one acre farm can be harvested in an hour. Farm labor has fallen over the years and this has to go up by encouraging more farmers to come forward and explore new options available to them. Farmers lose their land as they are unable to pay up the price for it and this is where the Government steps in to help ease the misery by offering easy and flexi loans to farmers with flexible pay back options.
About 2.5 million farmers committed suicide in the last decade owing to their poor livelihood and money lending issues. Government is taking drastic initiatives to reduce input costs to farmers and provide finance and insurance policies. The idea is to make farming more income centric rather than production centric. The government has announced a 7 point strategy which includes emphasis on irrigation to give more crop per drop, provision of quality seeds and nutrients, large investments in warehouses and cold storage, value added food processing, implementation of National Agricultural Markets (e-NAM), crop insurance schemes at lower costs, promotion of dairy farming, animal husbandry, poultry, horticulture and fisheries.
Cloud based irrigation systems have been developed and tested in Tamil Nadu to reduce water usage and increase crop yield. This system has helped reduce water usage up to 80% and has doubled the crop yield. Agricultural lands are now on the map and farmers are more aware of sudden changes in weather and other conditions affecting crops. Farmers can easily address their queries through Kisan Call Centers or government and related websites that address their issues and grievances. This keeps them better informed and provides feedback as well.