India needs a second green revolution along with next-generation reforms to make agriculture more climate tolerant and environmentally sustainable, says an article by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) about the challenges facing the agriculture sector.
The article is part of the January 2022 issue of RBI’s monthly bulletin. According to this article, Indian agriculture has shown remarkable vitality during COVID-19. The newly emerging challenges underscore the need for a second Green Revolution along with the next generation of reforms.
Food inflation and its volatility remain a challenge despite success in terms of production ensuring food security in the country, requiring high public investment, warehousing infrastructure and supply-side interventions such as promotion of food processing. This view is expressed in the article titled, Indian Agriculture: Achievements and Challenges.
This article states that excessive production of crops such as rice, wheat and sugarcane has led to rapid depletion of groundwater levels, soil erosion and large-scale air pollution in the context of environmental sustainability of existing agriculture practices in India. “Solving these challenges will require a second Green Revolution focused on agricultural water-energy synergies to make agriculture more climate-resistant and environmentally sustainable,” it adds.
Addressing the new-age challenges would require a second Green Revolution “focussed on the agriculture water-energy nexus, making agriculture more climate resistant and environmentally sustainable. The use of biotechnology and breeding will be important in developing eco-friendly, disease-resistant, climate-resilient, more nutritious and diversified crop varieties,” it said.
Wider use of digital technology and extension services will be helpful in information sharing and generating awareness among the farmers. It also stressed that better post-harvest loss-management and a revamp of co-operative movement through the formation of farmer-producer organisations (FPOs) can arrest the volatility in food prices and farmers’ income and help harness the true potential of Indian agriculture.