With its varied allied sectors, agriculture is undeniably the largest source of revenue for millions across the length and breadth of India. Contributing a momentous figure to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the nation, sustainable agriculture that offers rural occupation and environmentally sustainable expertise, agriculture is essential for a comprehensive development of a nation. Did you know that over the years the Indian agriculture sector has witnessed a green revolution, a white revolution, a yellow revolution and a blue revolution? Here’s how each era is defined:
Green Revolution: The period when agriculture in India increased its yields due to improved agronomic technology.
White Revolution: Operation Flood, the world’s largest agricultural development program by Verghese Kurien
Yellow Revolution: The growth, development and adoption of new varieties of oilseeds and complementary technologies.
Blue Revolution: Management of water resources that steered humanity to achieve drinking water and crop irrigation security.
Agriculture, India’s principal private-sector enterprise engages over 119 million farmers and an additional 144 million landless laborers. In India according to the saying, “Uttam kheti, Madhyam vyapar, Kanishtha naukri” agriculture is even deemed to be the most reputable industry. The above saying implies – supreme is farming, business is medium and servitude is the least desirable.
Agriculture as a business: Is it OR Is it not?
Firstly, cultivation is the only kind of business around the world which has both production and is accompanied by variable cost risks. Here are some examples why we made the above statement. A businessman who makes steel might bump into problems like worker & transporters strikes, instability in prices, variation of raw material, natural calamities etc. Yet these disturbances are incidents that happen once in a blue moon.
Conversely for a farmer, production hazards are almost an everyday occurrence. There may be no rains during the sowing season or for the duration of germination and growth periods. Furthermore pest attacks, hailstorms during crop maturity and enormously fluctuating price crashes can wreak havoc to the lives of farmers. These factors are the ones that make both production and price risks commercially unviable for farmers.
Secondly, agriculture is the lone kind of industry wherein you purchase everything retail and sell everything wholesale. If you are an e-commerce giant, you buy wholesale, but sell retail. Farmers are the only bunch who pay in retail for everything, no matter what the product is… from tractors to small machinery and seeds. But, they are obligated to trade their produce at wholesale prices.
The best way to get around this prejudice is to have farmer-producer cooperatives that will obtain all the requirements for the farmers… seeds, agricultural products, fertilizers etc from producers in bulk and make them obtainable by farmers at indiscriminate rates. However, the sad reality is that in a country like India where the middleman plays a huge role, such organizations are rare.
The time will soon come may be when our farmers will begin demanding ways to get around certain laws that given them and bring about another revolution.