Indian Agriculture Essay

Agriculture in India has a significant history. Today, India ranks second worldwide in farm output. Agriculture and allied sectors like forestry and fisheries accounted for 16. 6?% of the GDP in 2009, about 50?% of the total workforce. [1][2] The economic contribution of agriculture to India’s GDP is steadily declining with the country’s broad-based economic growth. Still, agriculture is demographically the broadest economic sector and plays a significant role in the overall socio-economic fabric of India.

The invention of agriculture is one of the great revolution of human history. It includes the food production and domestication which led to significant changes in human society, population increase and biological changes. Some archaeologists believe rice was a domesticated crop along the banks of the Indian river Ganges in the sixth millennium BC. So were species of winter cereals (barley, oats, and wheat) and legumes (lentil and chickpea) grown in Northwest India before the sixth millennium BC.

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Other crops cultivated in India 3000 to 6000 years ago, include sesame, linseed, safflower, mustards, castor, mung bean, black gram, horse gram, pigeonpea, field pea, grass pea (khesari), fenugreek, cotton, jujube, grapes, dates, jackfruit, mango, mulberry, and black plum. Indian peasants had also domesticated cattle, buffaloes, sheep, goats, pigs and horses thousands of years ago. Some scientists claim agriculture in India was widespread in the Indian peninsula, some 3000–5000 years ago, well beyond the fertile plains of the north.

Over 2500 years ago, Indian farmers had discovered and begun farming many spices and sugarcane. It was in India, between the sixth and fourth centuries BC, that the Persians, followed by the Greeks, discovered the famous “reeds that produce honey without bees” being grown Irrigation was developed in the Indus Valley Civilisation by around 4500 BCE. [24] The size and prosperity of the Indus civilisation grew as a result of this innovation, which eventually led to more planned settlements making use of drainage and sewers. 24] Sophisticated irrigation and water storage systems were developed by the Indus Valley Civilisation, including artificial reservoirs at Girnar dated to 3000 BCE, and an early canal irrigation system from circa 2600 BCE. [25] Archeological evidence of an animal-drawnplough dates back to 2500 BC in the Indus Valley Civilisation. [4] DEVELOPMENT OF AGRICULTURAL POST INDEPENDENCE : Agriculture is the dominant sector of Indian economy, which determines the growth and sustainability. About 65 per cent of the population still relies on agriculture for employment and livelihood.

India is the first in the world in the production of milk, pulses, jute and jute-like fibres; second in rice, wheat, sugarcane, groundnut, vegetables, fruits and cotton production; and is a leading producer of spices and plantation crops as well as livestock, fisheries and poultry. In the past few years, Indian agriculture has done remarkably well in terms of output growth. The 11th Five Year Plan (2007-12) witnessed an average annual growth of 3. 6 per cent in the gross domestic product (GDP) from agriculture and allied sector. The growth target for agriculture in the 12th Five Year Plan is estimated to be 4 per cent.

Indian agriculture is benefitting huge from rising external demand and the sector’s wider participation in the global economy. In order to boost investments in the sector, the Government of India has allowed 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) under automatic route in storage and warehousing including cold storages. The government has also allowed 100 per cent FDI under the automatic route for the development of seeds. Market Dynamics Backed by policy impetus by the Government of India, the country ranks 10th in global agricultural and food exports, as per Economic Survey 2012-13.

Agriculture accounts for about 10 per cent of the total export earnings and provides raw material to a large number of industries. “Exports of agricultural products are expected to cross US$ 22 billion mark by 2014 and account for 5 per cent of the world’s agriculture exports,” according to the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA). Total exports of Indian agri and processed food products from April 2012 to February 2013 stood at Rs 11,254,275. 51 lakh (US$ 20. 74 billion) as compared to Rs 7,186,784. 33 lakh (US$ 13. 4 billion) during the same period last year, according to the data provided by APEDA. Major Developments and Investments The total planned expenditure for the Ministry of Agriculture has increased considerably to Rs 27,049 crore (US$ 4. 98 billion) in the Union Budget 2013-14. The outlay is 22 per cent over the revised estimates of the year 2012-13. Further, the amount of Rs 1,000 crore (US$ 184. 32 million) has been allocated to continue support to the new green revolution in Eastern States like Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal to increase the rice production.

An outlay of Rs 500 crore (US$ 92. 17 million) is also proposed for starting a programme of crop diversification that would promote technological innovation and encourage farmers to choose crop alternatives in the original green revolution States. Under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, an outlay of Rs 9954 crore (US$ 1. 83 billion) and Rs 2250 crore (US$ 414. 64 million) have been proposed for mobilizing higher investment in agriculture and the National Food Security Mission respectively.

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