Cash Crop

Edible Oil issues:

  • India is being used as a dumping ground of edible oils in world
  • Excessive imports has put domestic producers in stress
  • Country’s dependence on imports has increased to 70%
In recent years, farmers in India are switching to other crops such as oilseeds, soybean etc. from cash crops. Examine why and analyse the recent trend in cropping pattern. (200 Words)
Indian farming suffers from excess cropping of water-intensive crops like sugarcanes in dry areas. This is one of reason for agricultural and farm distress. The high dependency on Monsoon adds to worry.
The recent initiative from government which has emphasized the crop diversification and climate-appropriate agriculture and cropping are helping the shift from switch to value added and less water intensive crops:
  1. The Soil Health Card: The campaign to provide soil health card with nutrient information of soil would help the farmers to educate about most viable and appropriate cropping pattern suiting the climatic conditions in region. Shortage of infrastructure like soil testing labs is hindrances but it‘s a move in right direction.
  2. Higher MSP increase in Pulses and Oil Seeds: From last two years, the MSP has tried to address the issues of higher MSP in cereal and lower in Pulses and oil seed. The recent move to increase pulses MSP by 7% in move towards the Crop-neutral MSP regime.
  3. Erratic monsoon and depleting ground water conditions: This force farmers to move towards less water intensive crops.
  4. Market Demand: Increasing demand and higher price realization for Horticulture (flower, vegetables) and Pulses has added to this changing cropping pattern.
These changing pattern are not national rather regional in character. Some of trends are:
  1. The Maize production has increased in regions like Bihar (increased connectivity, strategic location for export to SE Asia, higher prices)
  2. Move towards Vegetables & floriculture in vicinity of urban areas
  3. Increased Soya Production in Madhya Pradesh (better linkage to market , availability of good quality inputs and suitable climate)
  4. Increased acreage under crops other than sugarcane in Maharashtra due to government efforts of ‘Beyond Sugarcane’ & ‘Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan’ (aimed at creating decentralised water sources).
Though these are gradual changes, but nevertheless direction of change is good for farmers, economy and environment.



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