Economic transformation of a developing country like India crucially depends on the performance of its agriculture and allied sector. This sector plays a significant role in rural livelihood, employment and national food security. It happens to be the largest source of livelihoods in India.

Proportion of Indian population depending directly or indirectly on agriculture for employment opportunities is more than that of any other sector in India. As high as 70 percent of its rural households still depend primarily on agriculture for their livelihood, with 82 percent of farmers being small and marginal. The objective of inclusiveness in development has to be realized through a focus on rural development where agriculture can deliver significantly. For Government’s focus on doubling farmers’ income, a number of measures are being undertaken ranging from income support schemes, crop insurance, water conservation, and waste management techniques to agriculture marketing reforms.

Main highlights of the agriculture sector:

  • GVA (Gross Value Added) at constant (2011-12) prices for 2019-20 from ‘Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing’ sector is estimated to grow by 2.8 per cent.
  • Agriculture Mechanization helps the Indian farming transform into commercial from the subsistence farming. The overall farm mechanization in India is about 40 per cent, which is lower compared to China (59.5 per cent) and Brazil (75 per cent).
  • The regional distribution of agricultural credit in India shows a highly skewed pattern. It is seen that credit is low in North Eastern, Hilly and Eastern States. The share of North Eastern States has been less than one percent in total agricultural credit disbursement.
  • Livestock income has become an important secondary source of income for millions of rural families and has assumed an important role in achieving the goal of doubling farmers’ income. Livestock sector has been growing at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate)  of 7.9 per cent during last five years.
  • During the last 6 years ending 2017-18, Food Processing Industries sector has been growing at an Average Annual Growth Rate (AAGR) of around 5.06 per cent. The sector constituted as much as 8.83 per cent and 10.66 per cent of GVA in Manufacturing and Agriculture sector respectively in 2017-18 at 2011-12 prices.
  • With the implementation of the National Food Security Act from July 2013, the food subsidy bill has increased from ` 113171.2 crore in 2014-15 to ` 171127.5 crore in 2018-19. While the interests of the vulnerable sections of the population need to be safeguarded, for sustainability of food security operations, the issue of burgeoning food subsidy bill needs to be addressed.

Different schemes initiated by the Government in 202-21 budget:

  • Government to incentivize farmers to go solar, PM KUSUM to cover 20 lakh farmers for standalone solar pumps and further 15 lakh for grid connected pumps.
  • Viability gap funding for creation of efficient warehouses on PPP mode.
    • SHGs run Village storage scheme to be launched.
    • Integartion of e-NWR with e-NAM.
  • “Kisan Rail” and “Krishi Udaan” to be launched by Indian Railways and Ministry of Civil Aviation respectively for a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables.
  • Elimination of FMD and brucellosis in cattle and PPR in sheep and goat by 2025.
  • Increasing coverage of artificial insemination to 70 per cent.
  • Doubling of milk processing capacity by 2025.
  • Fish Production target of 200 lakh tonnes by 2022-23, Raise fishery exports to `1 lakh crore by 2024-25.
  • Fishery extention through 3477 Sagar Mitras and 500 fish FPOs.
  • Another 45000 acres of aqua culture to be supported.
  • Govt proposes plans to help farmers use proper manure and little water
  • Govt to build up the seamless national cold supply chain for perishables
  • Horticulture projects at the district level will be given importance. Online portal on Jaivik Kheti will be strengthened
  • Farmers with barren land can set up solar power units so that they can get a living out of it
  • Food Corporation of India and Warehousing Corporation of India to build warehousing facility on their land
  • Agri credit target for the year 2020-21 has been set at 15 lakh crore rupees
  • Framework for development, management and conservation of marine fishery
  • MGNREGA to be used to develop fodder farms

Blog by – Mr. Mohit Rawat
Asst. Prof., Department of Humanities