Day 15 – Q 3.Plantation agriculture has got immense potential to be a source of gainful employment? Do you agree? Substantiate. Also, examine the need of developing efficient backward and forward linkages for improving the export of plantation products.
3. Plantation agriculture has got immense potential to be a source of gainful employment? Do you agree? Substantiate. Also, examine the need of developing efficient backward and forward linkages for improving the export of plantation products.
वृक्षारोपण कृषि लाभकारी रोज़गार का एक बड़ा साधन है? क्या आप सहमत हैं? पुष्टी करें। इसके अलावा, वृक्षारोपण उत्पादों के निर्यात में सुधार के लिए कुशल बैकवर्ड तथा फॉरवर्ड लिंकेज विकसित करने की आवश्यकता की जांच करें।
Plantation agriculture are the crops which are grown commercially on a large area as cash crops. Tea, coffee, rubber, coconut are examples of plantation crops. Plantation crops being highly remunerative has immense scope for generating employment.
Potential to be a source of gainful employment:
- Floriculture has immense potential for generating gainful self-employment among small and marginal farmers who can act as intermediaries for floriculture products such as cut flowers, pot plants, cut foliage which has demand worldwide.
- Most of the plantation crops like tea, coffee etc., are labour intensive who are involved in planting the samplings, plucking and later works till the product reaches the market.
- Indian agriculture is mainly characterised by disguised unemployment. If Plantation crops like rubber, horticulture replace some crops like wheat, paddy – it can reduce it as more workers are required in those sectors.
- Plantation crops are intermediary raw material for processed food. For instance, tomato for ketchup. Thus, it can generate employment in those sectors as well.
- The skills required in plantation is less and thus it can provide employment to unskilled and semi-skilled labourers. Also, the wage rate is less compared to other agriculture allied sector and hence it remains labour intensive.
Need of developing efficient backward and forward linkages:
Indian plantation sector is constrained by low productivity, high cost of production, huge post-harvest losses, inefficient supply chain and poor market intelligence. Thus, there is a need to develop efficient backward and forward linkages which makes exports of plantation crops competitive.
- Land availability: promotion of practices like co-operative farming, land pooling etc., will help in growing plantation crops on a large area. This in turn will help in capital investment which is a necessity for plantation agriculture.
- Contract farming: This will help in adoption of latest technology, modern variety high quality seeds with support from private sector. This will help in high quality processed food products which have international demand and increase our exports. E.g. Pepsi collaborated with Punjab for orange procurement.
- Infrastructure development like road to transport will reduce the cost of final products which makes the plantation crops competitive in international market.
- Warehousing facility and cold storage will reduce the wastage of plantation crops off-season or during transportation which now stands as much as 30%. This reduction will result in surplus and to preservation the raw materials for longer durations for exports.
- Testing and standardisation facility: will help in grading the final product according to international requirements and hence will help in exporting to multiple countries. At present several countries including USA and some countries of Europe restrict Indian exports for lack of grade certification.
- e-marketing or supermarkets etc., will help in reducing the number of intermediaries and thus, making the plantation products competitive in international market.
- Chilling infrastructure: will help in transportation of plantation crops like flowers, fruits etc., into different countries without getting rotten. Thus, it helps in exports.
Ashok Dalwai committee suggested mega food parks with sufficient backward and forward linkages which will help in agricultural exports. This applies to plantation sector as well. Further, High variety seeds, technology adoption along with support to farmers through schemes like PM Krishi Sampada Yojana etc., will help not only in making the horticulture sector remunerative, but also in generating employment directly and indirectly.