Cropping It is restricted to rice, wheat and sugarcane

Cropping
pattern refers to proportion of area under different crops at a particular
period of time. The proportion in India has significantly changing year after
year. With more than 50% of share in employment and 17% of GDP contribution
Indian Agriculture is a pillar of Indian Economy that is often considered less
modernized. To improve the productivity of agriculture and provide remunerative
incomes to households has been a long standing dream of successful government.
Governments have extensively focused on this sector with various schemes and
policies. But many of the policies have not only disproportionately favoured
few farmers but also adversely affected some farmers and cropping pattern in
India.

Adverse
impact of Govt. Policies can be observed from the following:-

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  -MSP: MSPs are mostly in favour of food
grains. It is restricted to rice, wheat and sugarcane which discourages the
growth of oilseeds and pulses which have their own nutritional value.

Though well
intentioned, it often incentivizes farmers to grow crops with remunerative MSP
irrespective of the soil, moisture and weather conditions (agro climatic
region). This adversely affects cropping pattern.

-Procurement policy: Crops like wheat
and rice are mostly(60%) acquire from few states like Punjab. Haryana and
western U.P. This led to excessive focus on the cultivation of wheat, rice and
sugarcane in the procurement states at the expense of other crops such as
pulses, oilseeds and coarse grains.

Subsidies: The high subsidies provided to
power, water and fertilizers mostly benefits the large farmer. They led to cultivation
of unsuitable crops through heavy fertilizer application and groundwater usage.

-Poor Infrastructure: Poor state of infrastructure,
technology adoption and logistics have made horticulture unviable even in
places where agro-climatic conditions are suitable.

Others:
Apart from the above, arbitrary stockholding limits as well as arbitrary
import/export policies have also distort the cropping pattern.

Case Study:- Farmers of Punjab are growing rice
which requires high irrigation. Despite lack of abundant rainfall as required,
they continue to grow it because of government support on irrigation, power,
fertilizers as well as MSP. This cause high stress on ground water and soil
salinization. Hence it is affection not only natural cropping pattern but also
agriculture sustainability.

In recent
years the price of certain crops has hit rock bottom which compelled farmers to
discard their produce. It is high time when government should come forward with
better price checks, easier export norms and more efficient procurement policy.
Not only on agriculture, inefficient govt. polices have repercussions on food
security, employment, rural-urban migration and inflation.

It is clear
that various government policies have adversely affected the cropping pattern
in India. To truly help in making agriculture remunerative and sustainable, the
government needs to integrate agro-climatic conditions, changing consumptions,
changing consumption patterns into its agriculture policies.

Government
should play the roles of a facilitator not as a regulator. It should be
farmer’s prerogative which crops they want to cultivate. Proper education to farmers
in necessary, a bottom-up approach would serve 
better rather than imposing policies from above.

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