Response to ‘India’s Biggest Challenge: The Future of Farming’

India Needs to Properly Manage its Water and Agriculture

I have a few comments on the article ‘India’s Biggest Challenge: The Future of Farming’ by Rahul Tongia.

Tongia has brought out very relevant points in his article. The concept of high productivity and high yield agriculture with more direct access to benefits to the marginal farmer is critical. Uberisation of our small farmers through technology will help in couple of key areas:
(a) Selection of crops which are complementary and are in need for a specific region or community; (b) better management of supply chain, storage and logistics in a community model to divide the costs; (c) sharing of knowledge and best practices in a seamless way and (d) focusing on native species and better management of organic fertilisers across the ecosystem.

Another issue is water management in water-starved regions. Israel has managed to drive high yield and high quality agriculture through better water management. We should do region-wise development of strong water management ecosystems that involve a combination of rain-fed check dams, canals, borewells, man-made lakes/ponds just like we had before. We have either killed or ignored this ecosystem completely and we complain about lack of water. We have plenty of water but we do not manage it efficiently. Proper management can help in this direction.

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