SUSTAINABILITY OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE: TOWARDS AN ASSESSMENT
V M Rao
This paper presents a systemic framework to look at the prospects for sustainability of Indian agriculture. The framework is based on trends, indicators and assessment by experts spanning three domains which are the principal influences shaping the growth, efficiency and stability of agriculture. The domains are: natural resources covering land, water, climate and environment; human development comprising the characteristics of farmers as producers and entrepreneurs; and, technology and institutions which provide the development thrust and means for harmonising growth, social justice and adjustment to globalisation. The paper concludes with three scenarios ranging from scary to desirable. Not surprisingly, the prospects for agriculture are seen to depend in the final analysis not so much on nature or factors beyond control but on friendliness of the policy regime towards farmer, agriculture and rural communities.