Agriculture in India

Agriculture in India is a major economic sector and it creates plenty of employment opportunities as well.

Scenario of Agriculture in India

India agriculture has an extensive background which goes back to 10 thousand years. At present, in terms of agricultural production, the country holds the second position all over the world. In 2007, agriculture and other associated industries such as lumbering and forestry represented around 16.6% of the Gross Domestic Product of the country. In addition, the sector recruited about 52% of the entire manpower.

Regardless of the fact that there has been a gradual slump in its contribution to the gross domestic product of the country, India agriculture is currently the biggest industry in India. On the whole, it has a key role in the socioeconomic growth of the country.

In terms of agricultural contribution, the following states in India are the most developed states: All these states play a key role in the agrarian development of India.

The total arable territory in India is 1,269,219 km2, which represents about 56.78% of the overall land zone of the country. Arable land in India is diminishing because of continuous strain from an ever-increasing number of inhabitants and growing urbanization.

The overall water surface area of the country is 31440 km2 and the country experiences a mean yearly precipitation of 1,100 mm. Irrigation represents 92% of the consumption of water and in 1974, it was 380 km2. By 2025, the capacity will probably increase to 1,050 km2, with the equilibrium justifying both household and industrial usage.

Agricultural Products in India

India ranks first in producing the following agricultural outputs:

  • Anise
  • Fresh fruit
  • Badian
  • Fennel
  • Tropical fresh fruit
  • Coriander
  • Pigeon peas
  • Jute
  • Spices
  • Pulses
  • Castor oil seed
  • Millets
  • Safflower seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Limes
  • Lemons
  • Dry chillies and peppers
  • Cow's milk
  • Cashew nuts
  • Chickpeas
  • Ginger
  • Okra
  • Guavas
  • Turmeric
  • Goat milk
  • Mangoes
  • Meat
  • Buffalo milk
In addition, the country also ranks as the top producer of millets such as Bajra, Jowar, and Ragi. In terms of rice production, India holds the second position after China.

About 10% of the fruits produced in the world are produced in India. India holds the first position in the world in producing the following fruits:

  • Papaya
  • Mangoes
  • Sapota
  • Banana
India holds the third rank in the world in the production of the following:
  • Sorghum
  • Tobacco
  • Coconuts
  • Rapeseed
  • Tomatoes
  • Hen's eggs
By coffee production, India holds the sixth rank in the world.

India houses the biggest number of livestock in the world and the count is 281 million. In 2008, the country housed the second biggest number of cattle in the world and the count was 175 million livestock.

India ranks as the second biggest producer of the following:

  • Cabbages
  • Cashews
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Cotton seed and lint
  • Brinjal
  • Garlic
  • Silk
  • Goat meat
  • Cardamom
  • Nutmeg and Mace
  • Wheat
  • Onions
  • Sugarcane
  • Rice
  • Dry beans
  • Lentil
  • Tea
  • Groundnut
  • Cauliflowers
  • Green peas
  • Pumpkins
  • Potatoes
  • Gourds
  • Squashes
  • Inland fish
The population of India is increasing at a faster pace than its capacity to produce wheat and rice.

India holds the second position in production of wheat, rice, cotton, sugarcane, and groundnuts. It is also the second biggest harvester of vegetables and fruit, representing 8.6% and 10.9% of the overall vegetable and fruit production in the world correspondingly.

The country is the top producer of jute, milk, and pulses and holds the second rank in the production of silk and it is the biggest consumer of silk in the world. In 2005, the country produced 77,000 million tons of silk.

What are the initiatives taken by Government?

In a huge country like India, the necessary extent of outlay for the expansion of merchandising, warehousing, and cold storage arrangement is expected to be massive.

The Government of India has been earnestly trying to put into operation different plans to increase investment or outlay in merchandizing and commercializing. Some of the known plans and strategies of the Indian Government include the following:

  • Market Research and Information Network
  • Construction of Rural Godowns
  • Grading and Standardization
  • Development/Strengthening of Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure
The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is the principal authority in farming and ancillary industries, which comprise learning and research.

The post of the President of the ICAR is held by the Union Minister of Agriculture and at present, Mr. Sharad Pawar is holding the position.

The Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) was set up in the year 1905. The institute had a key role in the studies and explorations that resulted in the Green Revolution in the decade of the 1970s. The Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute formulates new methods for the planning of agricultural testing. It also evaluates information associated with cultivation and offers expert advices in statistical methods for livestock and tree raising.

Of late, the Government of India has established Farmers Commission to fully assess the cultivation plan. Nonetheless, the suggestions received varied responses.

Other interesting facts about Indian Agriculture

India enjoys the second position all over the world in terms of agricultural production. During the period of 2009-10, farming and associated industries such as lumbering, forestry, and fishing represented approximately 15.7% of the Gross Domestic Product of the country. These industries also recruited 52.1% of the overall manpower of India.

Outputs on a unitary basis for every type of harvest have increased from 1950. This has been possible since the government has put particular focus on farming operations in the five-year plans (Panchabarshiki Parikalpana) and stable developments in the domains of engineering science, irrigation, implementation of contemporary farming operations, and supply of cultivation loans and grants after the Green Revolution took place in the country.

Nonetheless, worldwide evaluative studies disclose that the mean agricultural output in the country is typically 30%-50% of the maximum average output in the world.

Last Updated on : 2/05/2013