ri    lt re and ood            ana ement          8.43
                     in the WTO regime the economy                   may take a look at the challenges before the Indian
                     will emerge as the biggest importer             agriculture:
                     of agricultural products. At the                      (i) Self-sufficiency of Food: Due to inflow
                     same time the cheaper agri-imports                          of cheaper foodgrains from the world it
                     might devastate Indian agricultural                         would not remain economically viable in
                     structure and the import-dependence                         India to produce them and farmers might
                     may ruin the prospects of a better life                     incline in favour of the profitable agri-
                     for millions of poor Indians.                               products. This will make India heavily
                (g) Even if India does not want to tap the                       dependent upon the world market for its
                     opportunities of the globalising world                      food supplies, marring its achievement
                     it has to gear up in the agriculture                        of food self-sufficiency. This will have
                     sector since the world market will                          serious political and ethical outcomes for
                     hardly be able to fulfil the agri-goods                     India.60
                     demands of India by 2025. It means,
                                                                         (ii) Price Stability: Dependence on the world
                     it is only India which can meet its
                                                                                 market for the supply of agricultural
                     own agri-goods demand in the future.                        products and specially for foodgrains
           There is no doubt that the WTO has brought                            will never be safe for India. As the
     probably the last opportunity to make our                                   international market for the products is
     masses have better income and standard of living                            highly speculative and full of variations
     via better income coming from agriculture. But                              (due to natural factors) the price stability
     provided we go for the right kind of preparation                            will be always in danger—fluctuations
     at the right time. There are enough prospects,                              hamper the producers and consumers
     undoubtedly.                                                                of agri-goods in India. It would be very
                                                                                 tough to fight dumping of surplus agri-
     the chAllenges59                                                            goods from other countries.
     If the WTO brings high prospects for Indian                        (iii) Cropping Pattern: The cropping pattern of
     agriculture, it also brings in some hard-boiled                             agriculture might take a very imbalanced
     challenges in front of it. These could be seen as                           shape, which will be highly detrimental
                                                                                 to the ecology at large61 as the farmers
     individual challenges of the similar economies
                                                                                 will always be in favour of going for
     as well as joint challenges of such economies.
                                                                                 the crops and commodities which have
     The first category of challenges pertains to the
                                                                                 comparative price advantage.
     area of relevant preparations, investment and
     restructuring of agriculture. And the second                      60.    Almost 50 per cent of the Indian population spends
     category of challenges are nothing less than a                           75 per cent of its total income on the purchase of
                                                                              foodgrains—this is why their standard of life and
     revision in the very agricultural provisions of the                      nutrition depends on the indigenously grown food in a
     WTO itself (around which today revolves the                              great way. nce the self sufficiency is lost their lives
     success and failure of the organisation itself). We                      will depend upon the diplomatic uncertainties of its
                                                                              regular supply. It will have serious political outcomes
       59.   The challenges and their possible remedies discussed in          for the political scenario of India. Similarly, irregular
             this su topic are ased on some of the finest and timely          supply of the foodgrains will create a high ethical
             debates and articles which appeared in many renowned             dilemma, too.
             journals and newspapers between the period 1994 and       61.    Farmers might go for highly repetitive kind of cropping
             2007. For better understanding of the readers only the           pattern creating problems for soil fertility, water
             consensual as well as the less-complex parts have been           crisis, etc. This will have highly adverse effects on the
             provided here.                                                   agriculture insurance companies, too.