Topic: Major crops-cropping patterns in various parts of the country, – different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.
6. The cropping pattern in India is highly skewed towards crops that are water-intensive. In this context, discuss the need to shift the focus from land productivity to irrigation water productivity. (250 words)
Why the question:
The question is based on the issues concerning the cropping pattern in India.
Key Demand of the question:
Discuss why the cropping pattern in India is highly skewed towards water intensive crops and thus discuss the need to shift the focus from land productivity to irrigation water productivity.
Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.
Structure of the answer:
Briefly mention the issues related to cropping pattern in India.
Highlight the reasons for the highly skewed crop pattern towards water intensive crops. India’s cropping pattern highlights the rampant cultivation of water intensive crops such as sugarcane production in Maharashtra, paddy in North-West India, which are amongst the water stressed regions of India.
Explain the reasons behind such a shift; Government’s incentive structure, Minimum Support Prices (MSPs), Demand for water intensive crops, Increased water demand by crops, Lack of sensitization etc.
Discuss the need to shift the focus from land productivity to irrigation water productivity. Conclusion:
Conclude that in order to bring this shift, governments need to focus on crop diversification, sustainable practices like Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF), nudging farmers to use micro-irrigation techniques such as drip irrigation and micro-sprinklers. The focus should be on growing crops, which are climatically suitable for any region.