Q . Indian agriculture widely and mostly depends on the Monsoon. However in recent times the late arrival of Monsoon has hit agriculture in India. Examine the relation between cropping pattern and Monsoon in India and what measures need to be taken to reduce the impact of Monsoon variations on agriculture? (15 marks, 250 words, GS-3)
- First para could contain the relation between Monsoon and agriculture with stats.
- In next para, we could highlight the reasons for late Monsoon arrival and its possible impact.
- What measures have been taken to counter this impact can be in the next para.
- Future of agriculture if this trend continues and how to reduce the impact further could be the concluding para.
Indian agriculture is fully dependent on Monsoon. Around 51% of India’s net sown area is rainfed which produces more than 40% of the food grains. Hence Monsoon plays key role in the crop yield and food availability.
However with climate change, India has witnessed late arrival of Monsoon which is impacting the agriculture as sowing is being delayed affecting the overall crop cycle. The farmers sow seeds after the first rain as it reduces the cost of irrigation for ploughing and sowing. The delay in Monsoon results into spike in the power demand as more pumps are being incorporated to irrigate the land.
The land under irrigation is only 49% which increases the dependency on the Monsoon. So with the late arrival the Kharif crops are delayed resulting into delay in Rabi sowing. Also, the frequency of rainfall has changed which has led to deficiency in the food grains or premature food grains.
This has also impacted the overall production with major Kharif crops’ yield going down between 3-57% which includes paddy, maize, soyabean, tur and cotton. It is because the watering period is missed which resulted into immature food grain development. Recent Monsoon trend has hit hardly the Northern and Central India and the Deccan region which are ill-irrigated.
The reasons for the delayed Monsoon include El-Nino, Western Disturbances and rise in temperature in the Arabian Peninsula. These are nothing but the results of the changing climate which has affected the wind direction of the South-West Monsoon.
The Indian government has taken certain measures to reduce the dependence on the Monsoon. Scheme like Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana (PMKSY) is focusing on both macro and micro irrigation facilities and aims for ‘more crop-per drop’. The government has implemented PM-KUSUM initiative for providing solar-powered pumps to reduce demand for power-driven pumps.
The government has also started to provide financial support to the land holding farmers under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN). It is assisted by some of the states like Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh that have provided additional benefits.
But such initiatives are not going to increase the productivity. Switching to some mode of agricultural practices is needed whereby dependence on Monsoon is reduced in addition to reducing the impact of climate change. Multiple cropping system or inter-cropping system could proof to be fruitful where a main crop can be supported with other short duration crops or weather resistant crops to reduce any chance of financial distress.
Also upgrading the Monsoon predictions to help the farmers decide on the sowing time and types of crops could also help in the increasing the crop yield and also reducing the chances of crop failure. In addition occupying the conventional agricultural practices, Zero Budget Natural Farming or Conservation Agriculture could also help in increasing the crop yield and reducing the dependency on agriculture.