In this episode of the “State of the Economy” podcast, Subramanian Ra Mancombu, Head, Agri-biz and Commodities, businessline and CA Aditya Sesh, a member of the expert committee in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India discuss the challenges faced by Indian agriculture, including the impact of climate change events over the past few years.
Climate change has significantly affected agricultural production in India, particularly in food grains and pulses. India banned wheat exports and curbed rice exports due to these challenges. Prices of pulses have surged in recent months, and abnormal southwest monsoon patterns have added to the woes. The deficiency in monsoon rainfall, while partially addressed by September rains, has still raised concerns.
Sesh emphasizes the interconnectedness of all markets, from production to consumer markets, and the need to view them holistically. He discusses the integration of traditional physical mandis with virtual platforms like eNAM and ONDC, transforming Indian agriculture into an industry.
Regarding the upcoming crop season, Sesh expresses optimism about wheat production but highlights concerns about pulses, anticipating potential shortages. He also touches on the impact of El Nino on Indian agriculture and the global issues affecting food supply, such as the Ukraine-Russia wheat dispute.
The accuracy of crop assessments in India is questioned, with Sesh acknowledging data entry challenges and efforts to improve data quality. He also discusses the use of technology like drones, satellite imagery, and IoT in enhancing data collection and production estimation.
The conversation delves into the pricing of agricultural products and measures to ensure affordability while supporting farmers. Sesh emphasizes the shift from food security to nutritional security and the growing demand for pulses and proteins in India.
Finally, the discussion expands to the idea of a global agriculture strategy for India, involving agriculture production in other countries. Sesh suggests that India should explore opportunities for agriculture expansion beyond its borders, similar to strategies adopted by China and Saudi Arabia.
(Host: Subramani Ra Mancombu, Producer: Jayapriyanka J)
About the State of the Economy podcast
India’s economy has been hailed as a bright spot amid the general gloom that seems to have enveloped the rest of the world. But several sectors continue to stutter even as others seem set to fire on all cylinders. To help you make sense of the bundle of contradictions that the country is, businessline brings you podcasts with experts ranging from finance and marketing to technology and start-ups