Explain the changes in cropping pattern in India in the context of changes in consumption pattern and marketing conditions.


05:23 AM

The question Explain the changes in cropping pattern in India in the context of changes in consumption pattern and marketing conditions" was asked in the Mains 2023 GS Paper 3.  Let us look at the model answer to this question.

Answer:  Indian Agriculture is dominated by food crops. Amongst them, greater focus is on staple food grain such as rice and wheat rather than the high value crops such as spices, fiber, fruits, sugarcane, etc. Recently, due to a shift in consumption demand and market forces, this cropping pattern is also shifting correspondingly.

Changing consumption pattern impacting cropping pattern

  • Demand of protein rich food increase: Led to rise of soyabean cultivation.
  • Demand for meat and dairy increasing: Shift towards commercial fodder crop cultivation.
  • Preference of chemical free food: Rise in area under organic and natural farming.
  • Push for more nutritious food: Increasing area under horticulture crops.
  • Demand for exotic food: Growth of hydroponics, and aeroponics crops.

Changing Market condition influencing cropping pattern

  • Push for export: increasing cropping of high value crops.
  • Food processing product: Rise of Farmer Producer Organization, co-operative pushing cropping pattern away from subsistence towards commercial one.
  • Cobweb phenomena: Market demand in one year influences cropping pattern of next year especially with respect to TOP crops
  • Subsidies: cropping pattern inclined towards 24 crops under Minimum Support Price.
  • E-market place: Farmer now getting connected with the nation-wide market cropping pattern now aligning with the broader market forces rather than limiting to local demand.
  • Contract Farming and Value Chains: Contract farming arrangements with agribusiness firms have encouraged farmers to shift towards crops with assured markets. This often involves crops like cotton, sugarcane, and certain horticultural products.

According to Ashok Dalwai committee report, to double the farmer income, it is necessary to align the cropping pattern according to the consumption and the market condition along with the adoption of sustainable and resilient agriculture practices.