Ashok Gulati Calls For A ‘Brown Revolution’: Indian Agriculture Must Focus On Soil Quality 

Swarajya Staff

Nov 11, 2016, 06:27 PM | Updated 06:26 PM IST

Agriculture in India (NOAH SEELAM/AFP/Getty Images)
Agriculture in India (NOAH SEELAM/AFP/Getty Images)

One of India's leading agricultural economists has called on the government to push the idea of 'brown revolution' in agriculture to significantly improve income of farmers. Ashok Gulati was speaking during the three-day agri-tech meet, GRAM 2016, after Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje inaugurated the event in Jaipur yesterday (9 November).

"India needs to move from green to gene to brown revolution in agriculture," said Gulati, who is also the Infosys Chair Professor at Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER).

Gulati explained:

What is ‘brown’ revolution? It relates to focusing greatly on the soil quality. We need to figure out exactly the kind of crops the soil is ideal for, the amount of seeds, fertilisers, irrigation needs, moisture level etc. 

The agricultural scientist said the world is increasingly adopting technologies that greatly rely on soil quality, and added:

Everything a soil needs can be figured out by advanced technology, and machines can assess whatever a crop needs at whatever time and the required quantity. This obviates the need for human intervention. A person can focus on tracking the work of the machine sitting at his/her home as all the data can be uploaded on the cloud.

In US states likes Iowa and Illinois, the results of such experiments have been good, Gulati said and that in these states, in maize cultivation for instance, the yields are as high as 11 tonnes per hectare and this has been achieved with lesser irrigation, seed and fertilisers.

He believes Rajasthan can emulate such experiments.

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