Challenges and Solutions for Modern Agriculture

Agriculture in itself is a highly challenging profession. There has always been a need for innovative solutions to agricultural problems. Due to this, farmers have turned into extremely adaptable people over the decades. When manual work became exhausting, they switched to tractors. However, the challenges do not end here. Recent times have given birth to more complex issues like global economic and climate changes. Farming challenges are critical in the Indian context, as our significant population is still working in this industry. Agricultural development means increased per capita. It will allow more farmers to adopt mechanisation and buy sophisticated equipment like tractor implements. Let us discuss some of the most pressing issues of modern agriculture and develop relevant solutions.

Limited mechanisation

Challenge: Most Indian farmers consider only tractors part of agricultural mechanisation. However, there are different machines for various farming operations that reduce animal and human labour. Marginal farmers think the technology to be highly complex—also, additional constraints like high investment and high-cost equipment force farmers to depend on traditional ways. 

Solution: Employing youth in agriculture will boost farm mechanisation in India. They have good knowledge of modern technology besides tractors and can gain core expertise or institutional education. In addition, small farmers must regularly be made aware of new technology and cutting-edge machinery. The government needs to offer subsidies for procurement to increase their efficiency, quality and productivity. After gaining independence, several efforts were made to revolutionise Indian agriculture. In the 1960s, the Green Revolution placed a great emphasis on the need for mechanisation. Government and NGO-based initiatives and programs are required to enable producers to own various kinds of machinery. They need to understand how modern methods are better than traditional ones. 

Fragmented Landholdings

Challenge: Fragmented landholding is a timeless issue that has troubled Indian farmers for decades. Every successive generation reduces the arable plot size because of our inheritance laws. Wards inherit the land of their parents to divide it into fragments. Such fragments turn economically useless in relation to agricultural produce. The number of farms has nearly doubled since 1970, resulting in more people in diminishing land holdings. Land fragmentation is a primary cause of decreased agricultural productivity. A small farm can only sustain a family. If a farmer needs to sell to the market, they require investment in suitable infrastructure. Most times, the return on this investment is not enough and can incur losses. 

Solution: There is only one solution to this problem: consolidating holdings. Scattered holdings need redistribution, so a farm consists of a few patches rather than many parcels. In addition, cooperation is another viable solution to this challenge. In this practice, a group of farmers pool resources to receive suitable profits. It is also known as FPOs or Farmer Producer Organisations that assist small-scale producers to avail of saving, monetary and profit benefits. Agri-tech offers a data-driven approach to help producers increase their yield. Cutting-edge technologies can provide guidance related to buying farm inputs, getting credit, supply & demand patterns, and pricing. 


Challenge: In rural regions, storage spaces are extremely inadequate or nonexistent. Due to this, farmers are forced to sell the product immediately after harvesting at low market rates. Several farmers are not able to earn their rightful profits because of such distressed sales. Efficient storage is necessary for the prevention of losses and is beneficial for both customers and farmers. The existing warehouses do not have suitable ambience, like adequate moisture and temperature, which dramatically impacts grain quality. 

Solution: Several organisations are functioning to resolve storage and warehouse issues. Examples include the Food Corporation of India (FCI), the State Warehousing Corporation, and the Central Warehousing Corporation. These bodies help in the creation of a buffer supply to be utilised in an emergency. Underground storage is a practical option for smallholder farmers cultivating tuber or root crops. In this practice, crops are left in the ground until required. It is a standard method to store carrots and potatoes. Underground storage preserves crop quality for a limited time, provided the soil is well-drained. 

Agricultural Marketing

Challenge: Marketing is a big concern in rural India. Intermediaries and local traders dictate how farmers sell their products. Most often, they are a loss-making deal for farmers as there is a lack of suitable marketing facilities. Farmers are under the pressure of socioeconomic conditions, due to which they are continually selling their yield at a loss. Generally, farmers borrow money from a moneylender against their products in small settlements. As there is a lack of a formalised marketing structure, middlemen and trading companies dominate the trading and advertising of farm products. Not only this, but the compensation received by the intermediaries also ups the burden on customers. However, farmers are left without gaining similar returns. 

Solution: Regulated markets have been set up by the government to eliminate the middle layer of intermediaries and money lenders. There is a standard of competitive purchasing in such marketplaces. In addition, they eliminate the chances of fraud while applying standardised weights and measurements. There are also relevant systems to settle disputes so farmers can get fair prices and not be looted. 


Challenge: Agriculture operations demand massive capital for functioning. Also, the rise in agricultural technology has increased capital input. Farmers have to borrow money to increase their output as their capital is restricted to their stocks and land. Commission agents, traders and money lenders purchase agricultural products at extremely high-interest rates from farmers. It is the primary source of funding for producers in rural regions. Solution: There is a need for major changes in the rural finance scene and institutions like government agencies, State Cooperative Banks and Central Cooperative Banks. Farmers must be able to get credit at favourable terms. In addition, reform in land titling is needed, as clear titles will permit small farmers to get financing for various agricultural operations. They will also be able to exploit several government aids. The goal must be to prevent farmers from getting trapped in the maze of spiralling debt. It is one of the main reasons farmers take their own lives across the country. 

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