DMPQ- How can the Rural Development be boosted through Agri-infrastructure?

Boosting Rural Development through Agri-infrastructure

  • Most of the perishable items are produced in the villages which remain confined to these due to the absence of road networks. The existing road and rail facilities are inadequate. Most of the areas which produce good quality fruits are still inaccessible. This coupled with the rough terrain of the area and lack of regulatory markets make the farming community to suffer a lot at the hands of the local traders.
  • Farmers have no information about the market price. There is an urgent need to establish suitable infrastructure like the use of information communication technology (ICT) for benefit of farming community.
  • The technology like e-kiosks and e-choupals of Indian Tobacco Company in Madhya Pradesh and other states of the country are doing a great job. Each electronic kiosk is connected to a number of villages.
  • The villagers can obtain any information easily from these kiosks regarding various aspects of crop production. Communication with different markets and among different stakeholders is also possible through the use of ICT.
  • Irrigation is another area which requires infrastructure upgradation. With suitable infrastructure the irrigation potential can be increased. The utilization of available water for agriculture too is far from efficient. Wastage of water is huge in surface irrigation systems.
  • The inability to conserve adequate water and curb its indiscriminate utilization, including rampant wasteful exploitation of water is also a cause of concern. The problem is more severe in dry land area of the country which accounts for more than 60 percent of the total cultivable area. Suitable water conserving infrastructure like the drip irrigation and sprinkler irrigation should be installed in these areas.
  • Water conservation techniques like water sheds, rainwater harvesting and other measures can bring additional area under irrigation in these water scarce regions. Similarly we can also invest in creating community grain storage Banks where the farmers can store their excessive food grains. This will also prevent them from distress selling as they can wait for the right time to sell their produce.
  • To meet the energy needs of farming sector solar energy can be used and for that solar panels should be set up jointly in the villages to cater to the energy requirements of the farmers.
  • There is a need to invest in developing infrastructure of agricultural supply chain. Moreover, the government has emphasized on increasing investments of private sector in marketing, transportation and storage facility of fast degradable agricultural products.
  • The private sector should also come forward and invest in creating agriculture assets. They can use it on a built operate transfer basis.
  • At the same time greater emphasis has to be laid on research infrastructure by establishing a number of new institutes, national research centers for several crops and livestock to address the local problems and come out with site specific solutions.
  • To conclude, infrastructure potentially can influence rural economic performance through three ways. These are
  1. Individual development by the increased use of existing resources-land, labor, capital, etc.
  2. Bringing additional resources to rural areas and
  3. Socio-economic development by creating assets and making rural economies more productive.
  • I Suvrathan, Secretary in the ministry of Food Processing has rightly said, “ Opportunities given to farmers to run post harvest facilities all by themselves in a professional way will empower them, as farmers can hold on to their harvest more than 24 hours and have a say in fixing price for their produce.
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