Skip to main content

Open Access 2022 | Open Access | Book | 1. edition

Cover of the book

Indian Agriculture Towards 2030

Pathways for Enhancing Farmers’ Income, Nutritional Security and Sustainable Food and Farm Systems

Editors: Ramesh Chand, Pramod Joshi, Shyam Khadka

Publisher: Springer Nature Singapore

Book Series : India Studies in Business and Economics


About this book

This open access book brings together varying perspectives for transformational change needed in India’s agriculture and allied sectors. Stressing the need of thinking for a post-Green Revolution future, the book promotes approaching this change through eight broad areas, indicating the policy shifts needed to meet the challenges for the coming decade (2021-2030).

The book comprises of ten contributions. Apart from the overview chapter on transformational change and the concluding chapter on pathways for 2030, there are eight thematic chapters on topics such as transforming Indian agriculture, dietary diversity for nutritive and safe food; climate crisis and risk management; water in agriculture; pests, pandemics, preparedness and biosecurity natural farming; agroecology and biodiverse futures; science, technology and innovation in agriculture; and structural reforms and governance. The writing style of these papers written by technical experts is forward-looking—not merely an analysis of what has been and why it was so, but what ought to be.

This is an essential reading for those interested in agriculture, food and nutrition sectors of India, and more so their interconnectedness.

Table of Contents


Open Access

Indian Agriculture Towards 2030—Need for a Transformative Vision
The historical experience of almost all economies shows that the share of the agriculture and allied sectors in total employment as well as in their national income falls with progress in economic development. This decline does not, however, diminish the need to address various challenges confronting the agriculture sector, which is a core concern in both developed and developing countries. Agriculture, after all, provides food for the very survival of human life. More importantly, this dependence goes beyond mere survival to adequate nutrition for an active and healthy life. The other significance of agriculture is its role in supporting and improving rural livelihoods. The kind of agriculture practised determines the maintenance of the agroecological balance, biodiversity, sustainable use of land, water and other natural resources, apart from ensuring social security. Agriculture also supplies the raw material that is the foundation for economic activities ranging from industrial production to trade and commerce. Agriculture is both a victim of and contributor to climate change and, therefore, it must adapt to the consequences of this change and reduce its own emissions of greenhouse gases. The challenges and opportunities of the agriculture sector are dynamic; some are common for all countries while some are country specific.
Ramesh Chand

Open Access

Transforming Indian Agriculture
Agriculture is an important sector of the Indian economy. Covering 11.24% of the world’s arable land area and 4% of the world’s renewable water resources, India produces sufficient food, feed and fibre to sustain about 18% (1.38 billion) of the world’s population (as of 2020). Over the last few decades (1980/81–2019/20), the sector has registered an average annual growth of 3.2%—almost double the population growth of 1.7% per annum during the same period. As a result, it has turned India from a food deficit country to one with a net trade surplus of 3.7% of agri-gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018–19. Agriculture contributes about 16.5% to the country’s overall GDP, and employs nearly 42.3% of the country’s workforce (2019/–20), with an average holding size of just 1.08 hectares (2015/16). This chapter dwells on how Indian agriculture was structurally transformed over the long run and the role of technologies, investments and institutions and policies in this transformation. In the light of this, a moot question addressed in this paper is: can India remain a food surplus nation by 2030, especially in the wake of emerging challenges of sustainability, climate change, urbanisation, etc.? The chapter ends on a positive note that with emerging innovations across food value chains, India can remain largely self-reliant in food—with the possibility of some net surpluses—and can also graduate to more nutritious diets, provided agriculture policy is not only crop-neutral but also neutral between consumers and producers.
Ashok Gulati, Ritika Juneja

Open Access

Dietary Diversity, Nutrition and Food Safety
There is a coexistence of undernutrition, over-nutrition, and micronutrient deficiencies in India. A structural shift in the dietary pattern and nutrition transition is observed. The contribution of cereals to calorie and protein intake is high, and an increased share of non-cereals items in calories and protein intake is reflected. The consumption of unhealthy foods has increased. Widespread adoption of healthy diets may lead to some adverse environmental impacts. Multi-pronged strategies with increased coverage, better targeting, change in the design, higher allocations of funds, and coordination between different policies and programmes to achieve SDG 2 targets are required. Pathways for nutritional security consist of improving dietary diversity, kitchen gardens, reducing postharvest losses, bio-fortification of staples with its inclusion in safety net programmes, women’s empowerment, enforcement of standards and regulations, improving WASH, nutrition education, and effective use of digital technology. Food and nutrition security initiatives will require tuning it with changing demographics, livelihood patterns, environmental sustainability, health-specific needs, and overall development activities.
S. Mahendra Dev, Vijay Laxmi Pandey

Open Access

Managing Climatic Risks in Agriculture
Climate change and associated increase in climatic variability is projected to increase risks to our food security. Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA), which includes several technological, institutional and policy interventions, can help us increase production and adapt to climate change with significant greenhouse gases (GHG) mitigation co-benefits. Several policy and institutional initiatives in the past have promoted greater adoption of CSA practices and technologies, which have helped reduce the impact of rainfall deficit on an aggregate scale. There is a need to invest in developing a better understanding of the adoption domains of CSA interventions, their linkages with demand and supply of food, and appropriate ‘business models’ to scale them out. Climate-Smart Village approach is one such strategy to facilitate this. Increased focus on new digital and genetic technologies, improved early warning systems of weather and production risks, redesigned agricultural insurance programme, replacement foods, and circular economy for comprehensive resource utilisation could further transform resilience of agricultural systems.
Pramod Aggarwal, Joyashree Roy, Himanshu Pathak, S. Naresh Kumar, B. Venkateswarlu, Anupa Ghosh, Duke Ghosh

Open Access

Symbiosis of Water and Agricultural Transformation in India
This chapter develops the argument for twin propositions: (a) that the crisis in Indian agriculture cannot be resolved without a paradigm shift in water management and governance, and (b) that India’s water crisis requires a paradigm shift in agriculture. If three water-intensive crops use up 80% of agricultural water, the basic water needs of the country, for drinking water or protective irrigation, cannot be met. The paper sets out how this paradigm shift can be effected between 2020 to 2030—by shifting cropping patterns towards crops suited to each agroecological region, moving from monoculture to poly-cultural crop biodiversity, widespread adoption of water-saving seeds and technologies, a decisive move towards natural farming and greater emphasis on soil structure and green water. At the same time, we advocate protection of India’s catchment areas, a shift towards participatory approaches to water management, while building trans-disciplinarity and overcoming hydro-schizophrenia in water governance.
Mihir Shah, P. S. Vijayshankar

Open Access

Pests, Pandemics, Preparedness and Biosecurity
Pandemics continue to affect the edifice of India’s biosecurity threatening food, nutrition, health, livelihood, biodiversity and ecosystem services. Rapid, largescale movement of people and material in a globalised world, climate change and inadequate surveillance will exacerbate pandemics in the years to come. Despite vaccines, synthetic drugs, agrochemicals playing a key role in mitigation, cascading problems of resistance, resurgence, food safety, biodiversity, and ecosystem services is a stark reality. For India to be a part of preparedness, transformational changes in transboundary pest surveillance, strict quarantine, rapid molecular diagnosis, anticipatory research, and training are essential. Transparency, political commitment, investment in research and development, analysis and interpretation of bigdata, meta-analysis, multi-lateral institutional/international cooperation is the way forward for preparedness and biosecurity. Pandemics need a united regional and global approach rather than mere national focus.
N. K. Krishna Kumar, S. Vennila

Open Access

Transformative Agroecology-Based Alternatives for a Sustainable and Biodiverse Future
Globally food systems are at a crossroads and new directions are needed. At the first UN Food Systems Summit, Secretary General Guterres stipulated that a transformation of food systems is necessary so that they support the health and well-being of all people and at the same time protect our planet. Nearly 300 commitments from civil society, farmers, youth and indigenous peoples and member states highlights Summit’s inclusive process to accelerate action (UN Food Systems Summit, 2021).
Ravi Prabhu, Shiv Kumar Dhyani, Devashree Nayak, Javed Rizvi

Open Access

Science, Technology and Innovation
Science, technology and innovation (STI), targeted to solve both generic and location-specific challenges, are key drivers for transforming agri-food systems. These can transform the sustenance and low return livelihood to a profitable and respectable occupation for smallholder farmers, while motivating, attracting and empowering youth and women in agriculture. A paradigm shift is needed to: i) increase productivity, profitability, inclusiveness and efficiency of human engagement, ii) achieve complete nutrition security, iii) address the challenges of climate change, iv) adopt environment-friendly sustainable practices, and v) establish efficient farmer-market linkages. To achieve the desired goals, this chapter highlights effective pathways for: i) scaling innovations by combining ITK, conventional methods, and adopting NextGen cutting edge technologies evolved nationally or internationally, ii) enduring STI through a Gold Class education system, and iii) leveraging strong public-private partnership. The chapter also recommends increased investments in R&D, urgent need for enabling policy environment for scaling innovations and suggests clear transformative action points.
R. B. Singh, R. S. Paroda, Malavika Dadlani

Open Access

Structural Reforms and Governance Issues in Indian Agriculture
This chapter deals with key structural issues facing Indian agriculture since Independence. In the context of federal fiscal relations as well as shared responsibilities towards agricultural development, it examines spending on capital formation and subsidies in agriculture vis-à-vis other economic sectors. It then deals with reforms in the subsidy regime (relating to both inputs and ouput) and the implications of the agri-marketing laws enacted in 2020, since retracted. The agriculture sector (including irrigation) has always received relatively lower priority in public expenditure. Morever, the spending bias has been more towards input subsidies rather than on investment, which may affect agriculture growth in due course. The institutional, price and legislative reforms and structural changes identified in the paper suggest that the agricultural sector requires handholding. The Government of India and state governments should work in tandem to accelerate rural infrastructure, target specific regions as well as small and marginal farmers for support, and create a competitive environment that stimulates investment, productivity and marketing efficiency. States should also be given more flexibility in drawing up action plans relating to the production and marketing of produce to encourage farmers and the private sector. A greater role for existing institutions in coordination and to ensure effective implementation of policies is called for.
Seema Bathla, Siraj Hussain

Open Access

Remandating Indian Agriculture: Pathways for Transformation
This book began with a short description of the challenges facing global and Indian agriculture, and highlighted India’s commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and climate change. This chapter presents the pathways for transforming the Indian agri-food system. Before doing so, it briefly dwells upon the demand and supply responses of the Indian agri-food system, with a focus on how the consumption patterns and production portfolio of major food commodities are changing, and what the key enablers and hurdles in the transformation of the agri-food system are.
Pramod Joshi, Shyam Khadka

Open Access

Correction to: Indian Agriculture Towards 2030
Ramesh Chand, Pramod Joshi, Shyam Khadka
Indian Agriculture Towards 2030
Ramesh Chand
Pramod Joshi
Shyam Khadka
Copyright Year
Springer Nature Singapore
Electronic ISBN
Print ISBN

Premium Partner