Government's farm misadventure will hurt urbanisation and agricultural reform:
Now that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sacrificed his poorly intended makeover of India's farms on the altar of electoral math, it's possible that no new attempt at reform will be made for a decade. It's a pity that urbanisation is suffering as a result of this. Agriculture in the world's second-most-populated country has a number of flaws: Unlike the Japanese rulers of Taiwan in the early twentieth century, the British colonial administration in India did not provide stable rights to tenants, thereby killing post-independence land reforms. Holdings are fragmented and unprofitable; crop diversification beyond rice and wheat is limited; and while subsidies abound, state investment is minimal.
With the high-yielding seed boom of the 1960s now over, India's agriculture desperately needs a new productivity boost. The manpower that would power industrialization will not be liberated as long as 43 percent of the workforce is stuck in agriculture to make a living. In a subsistence economy, where the average farmer earns Rs 27 ($0.36) per day, the household capital that would drive urban growth cannot form.