Agricultural Production and Productivity-During the 11th Plan, the rate of growth in yield showed that there was an impressive growth in crops such as wheat, bajra, and cereals; tur, soybean, and pulses; and maize, groundnut, sesame, oilseeds, and cotton. It is observed that the production increased for maize, wheat, bajra, groundnut, and oilseeds because of an increase in the yields, whereas the production for gram, pulses, tur, cotton, and soyabean increased because of the combination of both growths in the cultivable areas and increase in the yield of crops.
The main factors which have led to an increase in yield per hectare are an extension of irrigation facilities, use of fertilizers, high-yielding varieties (HYV) seeds, plant protection, and soil improvement.
HYV seeds produce large quantities of crops particularly wheat and rice. A regular supply of water, maximum use of fertilizers, and use of pesticides in an accurate proportion are needed to use these seeds. Financial resources to purchase fertilizers and pesticides and to install the required irrigation facilities are needed by farmers to take full advantage of HYV seeds.
Causes of Low Agricultural Productivity in India
Indian agricultural productivity is very low compared to other countries. The following factors account for low productivity in India:
- Too much dependence on agriculture: A fast-growing population and lack of alternative occupations are increasing the pressure on the land. More than half of the people depend on agriculture for their livelihood. This has led to fragmentation of holdings, disguised unemployment and other problems leading to low productivity.
- Social atmosphere: Indian farmers are poor, ignorant, illiterate, superstitious, conservative and bound by traditional customs and institutions which prevent them from adopting advanced technologies in cultivation. Hence, the productivity is low.
- Size of holding: Land holdings are either small or marginal, i.e. less than two hectares. Small holdings are due to the law of inheritance, socio-cultural and economic factors. Moreover, these small holdings and fragmented fields are not suitable for modern methods of farming.
- Land tenure system: The land tenure system in India is devastating, whether the zamindari system of the past or the taxation system at present. Under these situations, it is almost difficult to increase productivity.
- Old techniques of production: The low productivity is largely because Indian farmers cultivate using old techniques of production. They have not adopted the modern methods of techniques of production.
- Inadequate irrigation facility: Most farmers still depend on the rainfall which is uncertain. They lack the means to avail the facilities of artificial irrigation. Nearly 42% of the total cultivated land is irrigated and the rest completely depends on rainfall. This type of Indian agriculture is called a gamble of the monsoon. Because of inadequate irrigation facilities, farmers are unable to grow more than one crop in a year.
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