Feeding India's Billion plus Population , the Roadmap Ahead.
India with 2.4% of land of the world and more than 18% of the population. India is one of the most populous country in the world and 2nd most populous country of the world after china and India is ready to overtake china by 2024 in terms of population. Currently India comprises 1.34billion people as of 2019 and India will still see rise in population at a faster rate than that of during independence. Agriculture accounts for 16% of the GDP of India.
The main reason for the improper food security is the over exploitation of all the resources due to population pressure. To sustain the population, agriculture is to be vastly adopted but due to increase in population density day to day the pressure on the land is very high due occupying land for commercial purposes. This circumstance leads to a very critical decision in making and executing plans by government of India. The main concern today is over exploitation of ground water for traditional irrigation which consumes more amount of ground water, fragmentation of land, land degradation by over grazing and use of more fertilizers and pesticides, droughts, heavy rain, climate change due to global warming, pollution of rivers, lakes, seas and oceans. Due to this land degradation people are now started to destroy forest lands for agriculture. This leads to higher cost per living of the people as the agricultural productivity is less. Due to this scenarios the more suffering is the rural and particularly vulnerable people where their child born will usually be lacking adequate nutrition, under-weight, anemia and stunted growth and they are prone to lot of communicable and non-communicable diseases.
India should provide for better employment opportunities for every people and make ways for “Universal Basic Income”. Some of the initiatives of the government of India for better living and to encourage farmers for carrying out irrigation and to provide incentives are Price stabilization fund, Pradhan mantra shram yogi mandhan, Pradhan mantri laghu vyapari maan-dhan yojana, Pradhan mantri jan vikas karyakram, Pradhan mantra fasal bima yojana. And creation of PDS (Public distribution system) in all the states, the best example is tamiladu which successfully implemented PDS at early 1960’s. Even though the government of India launches so many schemes the schemes should be properly administered that these go in to hands of all rural and the poorest of the poor people who are the sole beneficiaries. To increase the productivity, minimal consumption of water, less or no use of fertilizer and higher yields of the crops high yield variety (HYV) seeds, modern technological farm equipment, hydroponics, GM (Genetically Modified) crops, Organic farming, drip irrigation, sprinkler irrigation, terrace irrigation, mycorrhizal biotechnology (can be utilized to reclaim waste lands), use of IoT (Internet of things) and artificial intelligence, modern agricultural methods and promote research and development in the field of irrigation, to take steps to recharge aquifiers. To create awareness among young children and especially youth to focus on conserving biodiversity and their sustainable use for mankind.
A good example for sustainable and modern agricultural practice and proper utilization of water is Israel. Even though Israel is water stressed country it is a role model for all the countries in the world in terms of sustainable agriculture because it practices drip irrigation, sprinkler irrigation, many modern agricultural techniques and equipment and use of artificial intelligence and research and development in the field of agriculture. It showed a massive increase in the field of agriculture about 16times more than during its establishment since the year 1948. Now India is gearing and partnering with Israel to adopt the technologies in the field of agriculture and many countries in the world are utilizing Israeli’s technology. And India should need to focus on mainly the post-harvest losses and should make proper infrastructure for storage of agro based productsto improve food security in the country.