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Agriculture In India

Agriculture in India has a significant history. Today, India ranks second worldwide in farm output. Agriculture and allied sectors like forestry and logging accounted for 16.6% of the GDP in 2007, % of the total workforce[1] and despite a steady decline of its share in the GDP, is still the largest economic sector and plays a significant role in the overall social-economic development of India.

India is the largest producer in the world of fresh fruit, anise, fennel, badian, coriander, tropicalfresh fruit, jute, pigeon peas, pulses, spices, millets, castor oil seed, sesame seeds, safflowerseeds, lemons, limes, cow's milk, dry chillies and peppers, chick peas, cashew nuts, okra,ginger, turmeric guavas, mangoes, goat milk and buffalo milk and meat. India is also the largest producer of millets like Jowar Bajra and Ragi. It is second only to China in the production of rice.[2][3] India is the 6th largest coffee producer in the world[4] It also has the world's largest cattlepopulation (281 million).[5] It is the second largest producer of cashews, cabbages, cotton seed and lint, fresh vegetables, garlic, egg plant, goat meat, silk, nutmeg. mace, cardamom, onions,wheat, rice, sugarcane, lentil, dry beans, groundnut, tea, green peas, cauliflowers, potatoes,pumpkins, squashes, gourds and inland fish.[2][6] It is the third largest producer of tobacco,sorghum, rapeseed, coconuts, hen's eggs and tomatoes.[2][6] India accounts for 10% of the world fruit production with first rank in the production of mangoes, papaya, banana and sapota.[6]

India's population is growing faster than its ability to produce rice and wheat.

Initiatives

The required level of investment for the development of marketing, storage and cold storage infrastructure is estimated to be huge. The government has not been able to implement various schemes to raise investment in marketing infrastructure. Among these schemes are Construction of Rural Go downs, Market Research and Information Network, and Development / Strengthening of Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure, Grading and Standardization.[8]

The Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), established in 1905, was responsible for the research leading to the "Indian Green Revolution" of the 1970s. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is the apex body in agriculture and related allied fields, including research and education.[9] The Union Minister of Agriculture is the President of the ICAR. The Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute develops new techniques for the design of agricultural experiments, analyses data in agriculture, and specializes in statistical techniques for animal and plant breeding.

Recently Government of India has set up Farmers Commission to completely evaluate the agriculture program.[10] However the recommendations have had a mixed reception.

Indian agriculture policy

 

Indian agriculture policy is aimed essentially at improving food self sufficiency and alleviating hunger through food distribution. Aside from investing in agricultural infrastructure, the government supports agriculture through measures including minimum support prices (MSP) for the major agricultural crops, farm input subsidies and preferential credit schemes.Under the price support policy, MSPs are set annually for basic staples to protect producers from sharp price falls, to stabilise prices and to ensure adequate food stocks for public distribution. In the past guaranteed prices have been below the prevailing market prices, according to the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in 2007.At the same time subsidies on farm inputs including fertilisers, electrical power and irrigation water have led to inefficient use of inputs and indirectly subsidise income. IFPRI concluded that “support for agriculture (from 1985-2002) has been largely counter cyclical to world prices”.

 

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