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5) Farm diversification, which is often described as a strategy for increasing farm income in India, faces huge challenges. Discuss. (250 words)

Topic– Indian agriculture

5) Farm diversification, which is often described as a strategy for increasing farm income in India, faces huge challenges. Discuss. (250 words)

Epw

Why this question

Farming is India is under huge environmental as well as economic threat and farm diversification if often proposed as a solution to increase incomes. In this context it is important to analyze the challenges involved in farm diversification in India.

Directive word

Discuss- this is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. we also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about the prospects of farm diversification in India and the challenges faced in that direction.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  farm diversification. E.g mention how farm diversification aims to bring benefits to the farmers- environmental conservation, diversification of income, hedging risks, participating in valuable supply chains etc.

Body-

Discuss the challenges faced in farm diversification in India. E.g

  • Agricultural pricing policies have barely looked beyond the populism of the minimum support prices (MSP) in the grain sector.
  • The chances of realising the MSP, particularly at such high levels, are bleak unless backed by public procurement. And the government has already limited the procurement for the central pool to the extent of a state’s public distribution system (PDS) requirement under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).
  • The non-grain sector, on the other hand, is plagued by market inefficiencies and associated price risks.
  • high returns in diversified agriculture are associated with high risks, and that 85% of the Indian farmers are bereft of any risk-hedging apparatus.
  • Given that, when they operate in the “high-value” sector they can control only about a fifth of the final price of the produce, while the remaining four-fifths of the price are influenced by players with higher risk-taking abilities and hence more bargaining power.
  • A blanket act covering livestock and agriculture.
  • Lack of access to farm and non-farm credit.
  • Lack of standards and quality checks in order to fetch a higher price in the international market etc.

Conclusion- based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.