The main causes for low productivity of agriculture are broadly of three types;
1. Human Factors:
Human favors are those which are related to training and efficiency of the farmers.
(i) Social atmosphere:
Social climate includes customs and traditions. Indian farmer is illiterate and has no knowledge for latest techniques of production. He believes in God and fatalist in thought. He wastes money on customs and traditions. So social climate is not suitable for agriculture.
(ii) Pressure of population on land:
Heavy pressure of population is the main cause of low productivity of Indian agriculture. In 1901, 16.30 crore people were dependent on agriculture. The number has gone up to 58.80 crore. So per capita cultivable land had reduced from 0.43 hectare to 0.23 hectare. Heavy pressure has led to subdivision and fragmentation of land holdings.
2. Technical Factors:
Technical Factors include techniques and methods of production:
(i) Traditional methods of Cultivation:
Traditional methods of cultivation like manual ploughing, two crop pattern and old system of irrigation are mainly responsible for low productivity of agriculture.
(ii) Old implements:
Traditional equipment’s like wooden ploughs, sickles and spades are commonly used. Tractors & Combines are not so common in use. Due to the use of these old implements agriculture is backward.
(iii) Insufficient irrigation facilities:
Indian agriculture is mainly dependent on rain. Even after 60 years of Independence only 40% of the agricultural land has permanent irrigation facility. Due to improper irrigation facility, farmer can produce one crop only in a year.
(iv) Problems of soil:
Indian soil has many problems like soil erosion, water logging, nitrogen deficiency and swamps. These are the reasons for low productivity of agriculture.
(v) Problems of pests and diseases of crops:
Plant diseases like rust and smut and rats, insects and pests destroy large portion of crops.
(vi) Feeble cattle:
Due to limited mechanisation of Indian agriculture, cattle has significant place in agriculture. Cattle are generally weak. Farmer has to spent a lot on these Cattle farming is more time consuming and expensive than tractor. So these also increase the cost of agriculture.
(vii) Lack of credit facility:
Credit facilities are inadequate in rural areas. Farmers can not be able to raise credit from rural banks easily. They have to depend on ‘Mahajans’ and ‘Shahukars’. These money lenders charge heavy rate of interest. Farmers have to sell their produce at low price to these money lenders. So farmers have low Income and thus low productivity.
(viii) Lack of High Yielding Variety (HYV) seeds:
HYV seeds are not commonly used. Farmers do not understand their significance. They cannot afford to buy them and also these seeds are not easily available.
(ix) Improper marketing:
Improper marketing is a significant factor for low productivity of agriculture. Farmers fail to get suitable price for their produce. Inadequate means of transport forces the farmers to sell their produce to local money lenders at low prices. Due to lack of warehousing facilities, farmers can not able to store their produce when prices are low. So these attribute a lot for low productivity of agriculture.
3. Institutional Factors:
Institutional factors include land holdings and land system.
(i) Small size of farms:
Land holdings in India are of very small size. Average size of holding is 2.3 hectare and 70% of the holdings are even less than 2 hectares. These holdings are fragmented. Due to these small holdings, mechanised cultivation is difficult. Implements and irrigation facilities are not properly utilized. It affects Indian agriculture .
(ii) Defective land tenure system:
Zamindari system has been an important factor responsible for the low productivity of Indian agriculture. In this system cultivator is not owner of land. Zamindar is the owner of land and he can evict the tenant any time. So the cultivator does not take interest in the development of land and Zaminder does not take interest in the development of cultivation. Though Zamindari system was abolished after independence yet the position of cultivator has not improved.