It’s said that India is a country of farmers. India is amongst the pioneers in agriculture. It is one of the most important sectors in Indian economy. Almost half of the India’s workforce is engaged in agriculture occupation. It contributes to 17 percent of India’s GDP.
History of Agriculture in India
After India got independence, lots of changes have been observed in the agricultural sector. India became dependent on agricultural exports. During the years of drought between 1965-1966, the government was keen to boost the yield per hectare of crop in order to raise agricultural production. For the betterment of output, green revolution began to happen in the agricultural states of the country. Better irrigation facilities, high yielding varieties and better fertilizers are the factors that boosted green revolution. Government started running different programs in the states to establish scientific research. As a result, improvement was observed in the yield of wheat during 1970. After wheat, the productivity of rise also rose in the country. The revolution started spreading from the northern states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to the eastern states of Odisha, Bihar and West Bengal following the Indo-Gangetic plan. Around 1980’s, the government started focusing on the production of oil seed, fruits and vegetables. Agriculture in India experienced 3 to 4 percent growth gradually during 1960’s and 1970’s. It increased by 5 to 6 percent during the 1980’s. It even touched 6 to 7 percent growth during early 1990’s but declined rapidly by 1 to 2 percent in late 1990’s and post-2000.
Noteworthy aspects of agriculture in India
India is mainly dependent on the monsoon rains for agriculture. Irrigation facilities require certain infrastructural development which is absent in most regions. Only about 35% of the agricultural land are provided with proper irrigation facility. Irrigation problems have been amongst the unsolved issues in this sector. Farmers have to pray to the rain gods for mercy. To benefit the farmers, the government needs to focus on overall rural development by availing irrigation facilities through leveraging the rivers.
Modern forms of agriculture are focusing on technology adoption. Farm mechanization is happening globally and Indian farmers really need to understand its economic importance. The research community plays the vital role in guiding the farmers. Farmers precisely know the challenges that they face and it’s essential for the government authorities to help them. Government is developing various agricultural policies for the farmers to educate them.
When it comes to the economic perspective of Indian agriculture, it has experienced worse situations. Many farmers have committed suicide in India due to agriculture failure. Farmers still have problems in accessing agricultural credit. Mainly, small farmers are unable to get it and go through serious debacle. Government and banks should come forward with better insurance schemes to provide independence and financial security for the farmers.
In the upcoming years, the development in rural infrastructure carried out by the government may help the agricultural sector to gain more benefits in Indian economy. Providing better access to credit for the farmers, guiding them with new technologies, fertilizers and pesticides, etc. can provide better growth to the farming occupation and the nation’s economy as well.