Agriculture Growth in India: Issues and Challenges

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Dr. Namrata Shrivastava


The country of India is well-known as the "Land of Villages” because large number of populations live in villages around 65 percent of the population. Their main profession is agriculture and agricultural-related activities. Agriculture employs approximately 70% of the Indian population, making it the largest and most vital sector of our economy. Agriculture is critical to the Indian economy. While its influence to GDP is now roughly two-thirds of what it was, it employs 43 percent of the Indian workforce. Furthermore, the forward and backward linkage effects of agricultural expansion have enhanced non-agriculture sector earnings. Large regions that had suffered from recurrent rainfall failures have gotten irrigation systems, and new crops have emerged to play an important role in the country's output and commerce. Rural indebtedness and the predatory tactics of village moneylenders are far less prevalent. While there have been farmer-friendly efforts, such as those to promote institutional credit to rural areas, improved access to inputs, fertiliser and electricity  subsidies, minimum support prices, and so on, these have not been completely successful in protecting the interests of farmers in general, and small/marginal farmers in particular. Farmers on the margins and small farms have borne the brunt of the agricultural downturn. The most disturbing manifestation of this misery is the recent wave of farmer suicides in several locations. Accelerating agricultural output development must be viewed as critical to more inclusive growth. The expansion of some commercial crops offers tremendous potential for increasing agricultural commodity exports and hastening the development of agro-based enterprises.

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