Model question | 22-07-2023
Model question | 22-07-2023
GS 3 Paper CSE 2022
Q13. What are the main bottlenecks in upstream and downstream process of marketing of agricultural products in India? (Answer in 250 words) 15mark
The marketing of agricultural products in India plays a pivotal role in ensuring fair returns to farmers and a stable food supply for consumers. However, the agricultural sector faces significant bottlenecks in both the upstream and downstream processes. Upstream processes involve activities from production to harvesting, while downstream processes encompass activities from post-harvest handling to the distribution of agricultural products.
Main Bottlenecks in Upstream Marketing:
• Outdated Farming Practices: Many farmers in India still employ traditional and outdated farming practices, resulting in low productivity and inefficiency.
• Limited Access to Credit: Small and marginal farmers often face challenges in accessing credit to invest in modern agricultural techniques, machinery, and inputs.
• Inadequate Irrigation Facilities: Dependence on monsoons and limited irrigation facilities can lead to uncertain and erratic agricultural output, affecting marketing planning and supply.
• Inefficient Supply Chain: Weak infrastructure and logistics result in losses during transportation from farms to markets, leading to increased costs and reduced profits for farmers.
• Lack of Market Information: Farmers often lack access to real- time market information, making it difficult to make informed decisions on crop selection and pricing strategies.
Main Bottlenecks in Downstream Marketing:
• Inadequate Storage and Warehousing: The lack of proper storage and warehousing facilities leads to post-harvest losses, affecting the quality and availability of agricultural products in the market.
• Fragmented Supply Chain: The supply chain for agricultural products in India is often fragmented, with multiple intermediaries involved, leading to higher costs and inefficiencies.
• Insufficient Processing Facilities: The absence of adequate processing facilities hampers value addition and limits the scope for diversification of agricultural products.
• Weak Market Linkages: Limited integration between farmers and end consumers makes it challenging to connect supply with demand effectively.
• Inefficient Marketing Channels: Middlemen often dominate the agricultural marketing process, leading to unfair pricing and reduced profits for farmers.
Examples and Data Reports:
• According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), post- harvest losses in India account for about 30-40 percent of agricultural production.
• A study by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) found that inefficient market linkages and lack of market information result in farmers getting only 30-35 percent of the consumer price for their agricultural produce.
• The Small Farmers' Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) reported that the absence of a robust supply chain and lack of access to credit adversely affect the marketing of agricultural products.
The marketing of agricultural products in India faces several bottlenecks in both the upstream and downstream processes. Outdated farming practices, limited access to credit, inefficient supply chains, inadequate infrastructure, and lack of market information pose significant challenges for farmers and hinder the smooth flow of agricultural produce from farms to markets. Addressing these bottlenecks requires a multi-pronged approach, including investment in modernising farming practices, strengthening supply chain infrastructure, promoting value addition and processing, improving market linkages, and enhancing access to credit and market information for farmers. By overcoming these challenges, India can unlock the full potential of its agricultural sector and ensure fair returns to farmers while meeting the demand for a stable food supply for its growing population.
Q14. What is Integrated Farming System? How is it helpful to small and marginal farmers in India? (Answer in 250 words) 15 mark
Integrated Farming System (IFS) is an agricultural production system that aims to optimize resource utilization and increase farm productivity through the integration of various farming components. It involves the synergistic combination of crops, livestock, poultry, fishery, and other agricultural activities to create a sustainable and diversified farming system. Integrated Farming Systems offer numerous benefits to small and marginal farmers in India, helping them improve their livelihoods and achieve higher agricultural productivity.
Concept of Integrated Farming System:
• Crop-Livestock Integration: The integration of crops and livestock allows for the efficient utilization of resources. Crop residues and by- products can be used as animal feed, while animal waste provides organic fertilizer for crops.
• Diversification: IFS promotes diversification by integrating different agricultural components, reducing dependency on a single crop and increasing resilience against climate variability and market fluctuations.
• Nutrient Cycling: Integrated farming systems emphasize the recycling of nutrients within the farm. Animal waste and crop residues are utilized as organic manure, reducing the need for chemical fertilizers.
• Sustainable Pest and Disease Management: The combination of different crops and animals in IFS can help control pests and diseases naturally. For example, certain crops may repel pests, while livestock can help control weeds.
Advantages for Small and Marginal Farmers in India:
• Enhanced Resource Utilisation: Integrated Farming Systems enable small and marginal farmers to maximise the use of available resources. By integrating crops, livestock, and other components, farmers can utilise land, water, and nutrients more efficiently.
• Income Generation and Diversification: IFS provides multiple sources of income through the integration of various farming components. Farmers can generate revenue from crop sales, livestock products, poultry, fishery, and value-added products, reducing dependence on a single income source.
• Improved Soil Health and Fertility: The incorporation of organic manure from livestock waste and crop residues enhances soil health and fertility. This reduces the reliance on chemical fertilizers and promotes sustainable farming practices.
• Risk Mitigation: The diversification aspect of IFS helps mitigate risks associated with climate variability, market fluctuations, and pest outbreaks. If one component is affected, farmers still have other components that can provide income and support their livelihoods.
• Reduced Input Costs: Integrated farming systems rely on the efficient utilisation of resources within the farm, reducing the need for external inputs such as chemical fertilizers and pesticides. This helps lower input costs for small and marginal farmers.
Examples and Data Reports:
• The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has supported various Integrated Farming System projects in India, aiming to enhance farm productivity and income for small and marginal farmers.
• A study conducted by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in Andhra Pradesh reported that the adoption of Integrated Farming Systems led to higher income levels and improved livelihoods for small farmers.
• The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India, has launched several schemes and programs, such as the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), to promote Integrated Farming Systems and support small and marginal farmers.
The Integrated Farming System offers significant advantages to small and marginal farmers in India. By integrating crops, livestock, poultry, fishery, and other components, farmers can optimise resource utilisation, enhance income generation, improve soil health, mitigate risks, and reduce input costs. The adoption of Integrated Farming Systems promotes sustainable and diversified agricultural practices, enabling farmers to improve their livelihoods and achieve higher agricultural productivity. Government support, knowledge dissemination, and financial assistance are crucial in promoting and expanding the adoption of Integrated Farming Systems among small and marginal farmers, ensuring their sustainable development and prosperity.