India wants to double farmers’ incomes – and tackle climate change. Is technology the answer to this double bind?

Originally published as on Op-ed on Impaktar

Forty years since India gained independence, what has really changed for the farmers of today? During this crucial post-independence period, agriculture contributed 45% of the country’s GDP, employing the majority of Indian workers. After an impressive increase in agricultural production in the first two Five Year Plans, a period of stagnancy set in from the 1960s, preceding the ‘Green Revolution’.

As the economy opened up post liberalization (1992), globalization promoted other sectors into generating more employment and economic growth. But, despite the reduction to 18 % in agriculture’s contribution to the GDP, agriculture and allied activities still employ the vast majority of the population.

India’s agrarian sector has undergone various reforms to: increase productivity to meet the demands of a rising population, make farming inclusive, reform land tenures, ensure more benefits to farmers, end exploitation, encourage better water management practices and so on….