Agricultural challenges in India

India's major water problem is making headlines thanks to this year's drought. But the underlying imbalances are deeper than one year's late monsoon, some of which are beyond water altogether:
“We can manage the drought,” said T. Nanda Kumar, secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture. “We have managed earlier droughts. But we need to move some people out of agriculture. I don’t think that a 17 percent share of G.D.P. and a 50 percent share of employment are viable in the long run.”
Obviously improving the productivity of agriculture would be a wonderful thing, but it is easier said than done. The NYT captures the often misunderstood point that the next green revolution in India will be driven by effective management, not technology.
One problem now, as opposed to in the 1960s, is that there are no obvious technological breakthroughs to radically change the status quo. During the green revolution, India introduced high-yield seeds and fertilizers and expanded irrigation.

Today, the challenge is more nuanced, involving a nationwide coordination effort to improve irrigation, better capture rainwater and conserve groundwater while lifting production — the type of complicated management task that critics say is rarely the strong suit of the Indian bureaucracy.
The challenge is not unique to India, but India's enormous population and overburdened environment makes it particularly acute and urgent.

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