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An Essay on Farming in India

India is an agricultural country. Seventy percent of its people live in


villages. Their chief occupation is farming. They work on farmers
scattered round the villages. Still India was not able to produce
enough food for its people. Till recently the people lived on the verge
of starvation. The reason is that in India farming is backward. The
Indian farmer still works with his old fashioned plough driven by
bullocks. The tractor, which is now common in foreign countries, can
be used only on big farms. Land holdings in India are small and
scattered. The result is that tractor is used in India only on a few big
farms. The yield per acre is, therefore, very low. Other scientific
appliances which are used by farmers in other countries have not even
heard of by the Indian farmer. He does not know that fruits can be
ripened much earlier by electric heating and that eggs can be hatched
easily and quickly in the incubators. Similarly, the different machines
used for milking cattle and processing of milk and milk products are
equally unknown to him.
Indian farming is still a gamble in rains. The Indian farmer depends
chiefly on rains for irrigation. Sometimes, the rain does not fall in time
or there is no rain at all. At other times, the rain is excessive or much
before time. In either case, crops suffer. Tube-wells have been
constructed and canals dug, but they are not at all sufficient. Such
wonders of science as soil-less farming, and indoor farming are not
even dreamed of by the Indian farmer. But it is only such latest
scientific methods that can make the farmer independent of the
vagaries of nature. It is only by the use of such methods that he can be
sure of reaping the crop which he sows.

Farming in India does not get the benefit of many other inventions of
science. Crops in India often suffer from diseases or are destroyed by
pests. Now science has invented many medicines which kill pests and
thus protect the crops. But the use of such medicines is practically
unknown in India. Moreover, scientists have produced through crossbreeding newer and better varieties of plants and animals. Thus, a new
kind of wheat plant has been produced which is much shorter, which
ripens in a much shorter time, and which yields more and better
wheat. Similarly, there are hens which lay more eggs, and cattle which
yield more milk. Indian scientists, too, have done much commendable
work in this respect, but the fruits of their research have not yet
reached the Indian farmer, particularly those who live and work in
remote backward areas.
The yield per acre in India continues to be extremely low. The manure
used by the India farmers is still old-fashioned. Through some
chemical fertilizers are now produced in the country, they are not at all
sufficient to meet the needs of Indian farming. The seeds which the
Indian farmer uses are also of a low quality. Better quality seeds are
still not available to him, the result is that he cannot produce as much
in his fields as done by his counterparts in Europe and America. To
increase production it is essential that scientific knowledge and
technology must be made available to the Indian farmer at the earliest.
Modern science has revolutionized farming. Farming in India must
also be mechanized as rapidly as possible. The Government must take
early steps to consolidate land holdings so that the use of tractors and
other machines may become possible on a large scale. The Indian
farmer must be provided rapidly with better seeds, scientific manures

and storage facilities and other scientific devices which are being used
rapidly in other parts of the world. In short, Indian farming must be
modernized. This is the only way in which the needs of the growing
population of the country can be met. We are glad to note that the
government has already done much in this direction. Intensive
research is being carried out and new varieties of seeds and better
fertilizers are being developed. Production has already been increased
manifold to meet the needs of a growing population.