For making Indian agriculture profitable, sustainable and competitive, agricultural diversification will have to be intensively promoted. Attention towards precision farming, small farm mechanization, resource conservation technologies, use of sprinkler and drip irrigation systems, fertigation, protective cultivation of flowers and vegetables, and adoption of high-value and low-volume crops is expected to be rewarding. This warrants a multi-faceted approach with a greater appreciation of the various site-specific needs and compulsions of the farming systems, agro-climatic conditions, endowments of land and water resources, rural infrastructure, and the market demand both within the country and outside. Facilitating service and support systems covering planting materials, credit, extension, marketing, prices, etc. are critical for successful diversification.
With emphasis on much-needed diversification in agriculture, the availability of quality seed, particularly in case of oilseeds, pulses, horticultural crops and fisheries, becomes a crucial component of agriculture-led growth and development. This would require efficient field operations/hatchery management, facilitating and improving processing, marketing, quality assurance and strengthening of infrastructure for rapid multiplication of disease-free planting material.
On-farm experimentation would be given high priority for testing and disseminating technologies suitable for increasing food, feed, fodder and fuel (rural energy) security, and for improving the livelihoods of resource-poor farmers. Needless to mention that empowering of the small and marginal farmers and rural women through participatory approaches is critical to provide them adequate strength to face sudden calamities and farming failures.