What are main challenges in farm diversification in India?

Farm diversification includes changing bin cropping pattern and shifting of workforce towards allied activities. Agriculture in India faces several issues and to bring stability and increase the farm income, farm diversification is considered as an efficient strategy.

Benefits –

  • Better use of land, labour, capital.
  • Ecological conservation.
  • Reduces financial risk and stabilizes farm income.
  • Increased choice of farm practices.
  • Provides gainful employment.

  Challenges-

  • Lack of robust credit mechanism to support both farm and non-farm sector.
  • Inadequate knowledge and awareness.
  • Inadequate physical infrastructure (eg: storage, supply chain facilities etc.)
  • Lack of standard and quality checks in order to fetch a higher price.
  • The lesson to focus on livestock, fisheries.
  • Other issues – landholding size, regional disparity.

What should be done?

  • Government policies have to beyond conventional pricing policies.
  • Mass focus on procurement, developing required infrastructure, arresting price rise.
  • Encourage more participation in the allied sector through incentives, subsidies, policy implementation.
  • Making the best use of KVKs, scheme and policies like soil wealth, card, SAMPADA, Agriculture export policy etc.

To double the farm income by 2022, as envisaged by the government, the role of farm diversification can not be ignored.

The recent initiatives like Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog, interest subventions to fisheries sectors are appreciable yet, there is a need to adopt an integrated and holistic approach to address the issue related to farm diversification, greater political will and policy implementation is the need of the hour.

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