In this episode of the State of the Economy podcast, Subramanian Ra Mancombu, Business Line Director, Agri Business and Commodities, and CA Aditya Sesh, Member, Expert Committee, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India, discuss the challenges facing Indian agriculture, including the impact of climate change events over the past few years. Influence.
Climate change has severely affected agricultural production in India, especially grains and pulses. Due to these challenges, India banned wheat exports and restricted rice exports. Pulses prices have soared in recent months, with unusual southwest monsoon patterns adding to the woes. Although the September rains partially solved the problem of insufficient monsoon rains, they still caused concern.
Sesh emphasizes the interconnectedness of all markets, from production to consumer markets, and the need to view them from a holistic perspective. He discussed the integration of traditional physical mandis with virtual platforms like eNAM and ONDC to transform Indian agriculture into an industry.
Regarding the upcoming crop season, Sesh expressed optimism about wheat production but highlighted concerns about pulses, where shortages are expected. He also touched on the impact of El Niño on Indian agriculture and global issues affecting food supplies, such as Ukraine’s wheat dispute with Russia.
The accuracy of India’s crop assessments has been questioned, with Sesh acknowledging the challenges of data entry and working to improve data quality. He also discussed the use of technologies such as drones, satellite imagery and the Internet of Things to enhance data collection and yield estimation.
The conversation delves into pricing of agricultural produce and measures to ensure affordability while supporting farmers. Sesh highlighted the shift from food security to nutritional security and the growing demand for pulses and proteins in India.
Finally, the discussion extends to the idea of a global agricultural strategy for India, involving agricultural production in other countries. Sesh suggested that India should explore opportunities for agricultural expansion abroad, similar to the strategies adopted by China and Saudi Arabia.
(Host: Subramani Ra Mancombu, Producer: Jayapriyanka J)
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