Wave of agricultural research to assist farmers

Food insecurity, nutritional diet, climate change and chronic hunger are the main problems that the world is facing today. While the world is in its race to increase food production, the scarcity of natural resources has triggered the need of research and development in the Indian agriculture sector. In today?s era, it is highly significant for the agronomists to use innovative techniques in order to boost agricultural production.

Since last couple of years, agricultural research and development (R&D) has focused on developing new techniques to increase crop yield and to meet the goals of food security in India. According to 2011 reports, average global crop yields have been increased by 56% from 1965-1985 and by 20% from 1985-2005; underpinned by increasing inputs of non-renewable resources (Source) Also, according to a 2013 study, yields have escalated in some food-producing regions of the world, including East Asia (for rice) and Northwest Europe (for wheat) (Source). There are many instances to show that research in the field of agriculture has a great potential to multiply the value of farm output. Today, there is an urgent need of smart farming methods, not just in India, but worldwide.

Many experts believe that the best ways to assist farmers are by increasing their access to insurance for crop failure and livestock deaths, easy access to agricultural credit and giving them better weather advice via information and communication technology . Diversifying farmers? sources of income have also been the key to assist farmers for sustainable agricultural development.

Climate-smart agriculture is one of the solutions to assist farmers survive in weather shocks, adapt to climate change and improve food security, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (Source). Enhancing farmers’ research and development can reap big rewards for agricultural development that too at minimal farming cost. It has been seen that the modern agronomic practices such as crop rotations to rebuild soil nutrients, fertilizing fields with manure, use of improved seeds and agrochemicals are being adapted by most of the farmers.

I believe that some of the best results can come out through helping farmers to implement their own ideas. In India, we need to have farmer focused innovation, which aim should be to help farmers to sharpen their skills so that they can be more productive with fewer inputs or resources available. This would not only help the farmers, but it would also help India to feed its people. Usage of scientific practices, such as selecting crop variety, fertilizer use, timing of sowing and harvesting custom-made for different regions are highly recommendable for the farmers.

For India to attain food security, the Government must assist and encourage farmers for research and development in the agriculture sector. Also, the Government should help the farmers to team up with relevant researchers in order to adopt innovative technology. It is important for us to understand how farmers prefer to learn or adopt new practices for the sake of sustainable agriculture. No one can deny that the time has come to encourage agricultural research and development (R&D). Probably, this would help us as a nation to put food on everyone?s plates.