Agriculture in Bharat


India is primarily an agrarian country with 60 per cent of its population being dependent directly or indirectly on agriculture. The Indian agriculture sector has made considerable progress in the last few decades with its large resources of land, water and sunshine. India produces all major crops to meet the requirement of food, fodder, fibre, fuel and inputs for its agricultural industry.
India is presently the world's largest producer of pulses and the second largest producer of rice and wheat in the world. The country is also the second largest producer of sugar, after Brazil..
The Department of Agriculture and Cooperation under the Ministry of Agriculture is the nodal organisation responsible for the development of the agriculture sector in India. The organisation is responsible for formulation and implementation of national policies and programmes aimed at achieving rapid agricultural growth through optimum utilisation of land, water, soil and plant resources of the country.

Market size
Agriculture is expected to grow at 4.6 per cent in 2014. Agriculture production of food grains this year is expected to break the 2011-12 record of 259 million tonnes (MT). More importantly, agricultural profitability has increased over the last decade with record increases in MSPs (minimum support prices for agricultural produce) for all covered crops. MSP increase in the past 10 years, between 2004-05 to 2014-15, vary from about 125 per cent for foodgrains such as wheat and paddy to over 200 per cent for pulses like moong dal.
India is also set to record the highest ever food grain production. The Government of India revised its estimate, stating that the country would collectively produce 264.28 MT of food grain as compared to 257.13 MT last year.
Spice exports from India are expected to reach US$ 3 billion by 2016-17, on the back of creative marketing strategies, innovative packaging, strength in quality and a strong distribution network. The Indian spices market is pegged at Rs 40,000 crore (US$ 6.61 billion) annually, of which the branded segment accounts for 15 per cent.
Indian basmati rice processing and marketing companies such as KRBL Ltd and LT Foods Ltd have seen their profits grow. Basmati exports to countries such as South Africa, Egypt, Azerbaijan, Tanzania, Poland and Ukraine, among others, have more than tripled in the past three years.


The foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in agricultural services and machinery sector during April 2000 - April 2014 stood at US$ 1,699.96 million and US$ 359.68 million respectively, as per data released by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). The major investments in the recent past are as follows:
Tractor manufacturer Escorts Ltd has launched its Farmtrac Heritage range at South Africa's biggest agriculture show, Nampo 2014. South Africa is poised to be a trend setter for other African countries and it is a key market area for India, said Mr Rajesh Kumar, Chief International Business, Escorts Agri Machinery.
Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages and Jain Irrigation plan to invest Rs 50 crore (US$ 8.26 million) over 10 years in the second phase of their Unnati project, which assists farmers to grow more mango trees.
PepsiCo will source cashew fruit from farmers in Maharashtra for its Indian juice business, under a strategic partnership with the Clinton Foundation. The partnership will stimulate social and economic development in emerging markets through a social enterprise model, as per the company.
In a bid to promote dairy business in Kenya, Kenya Dairy Farmer Foundation (KDFF) and East Africa Dairy Development Project of Heifer International have sought assistance from the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) on forming co-operatives for milk procurement, processing and marketing.
Monsanto will start selling cotton hybrid seeds in India under its global brand 'Deltapine' from the current kharif season. Monsanto presently has a four per cent market share of the estimated 45 million-packets-a-year Indian cotton hybrids seeds market and is currently marketing cotton seeds under the 'Paras Brahma' brand.

Government Initiatives

The Government of India realises the importance of agriculture to the development of this nation and hence has adopted several initiatives and programmes for this sector's continuous growth. Notable among them are Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY); National Food Security Mission (NFSM); National Horticulture Mission (NHM); Gramin Bhandaran Yojana; Integrated Scheme of Oilseeds, Pulses, Oil palm, and Maize (ISOPOM), etc. Some of the recent major government initiatives in the sector are as follows:
In a meeting between Mr Alphonsus Stoelinga, the Dutch Ambassador to India, and Mr Radha Mohan Singh, Union Minister for Agriculture, Government of India, both countries have decided to strengthen the cooperation in the field of agriculture.
The General Council for National Food Security Mission (NSFM) has approved Rs 2,100 crore (US$ 347.21 million) for the scheme in 2014-15 which will focus on improving the production of oilseeds and pulses.
The Coffee Board has taken steps to include growers associations, eminent growers, and experts in the field of agriculture to strengthen coffee research at the Central Coffee Research Institute.
The Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) has sanctioned seven new projects worth Rs 87.88 crore (US$ 14.53 million) during FY 15, which include projects for road construction, irrigation scheme and renewal of electric installations. The irrigation schemes are slated to help the agriculture sector in the rural areas of the Northeast.

Road Ahead

The Indian agriculture sector is expected to grow with better momentum in the next few years owing to increase in investment in agricultural infrastructure such as irrigation facilities, warehousing and cold storage. Factors such as reduced transaction costs, time, better port gate management and fiscal incentives will also contribute to this upward trend. Furthermore, the increased use of genetically modified crops is also expected to better the yield of the Indian farmers.


A 2003 analysis of India’s agricultural growth from 1970 to 2001 by the Food and Agriculture Organisation identified systemic problems in Indian agriculture. For food staples, the annual growth rate in production during the six-year segments 1970-76, 1976–82, 1982–88, 1988–1994, 1994-2000 were found to be respectively 2.5, 2.5, 3.0, 2.6, and 1.8% per annum. Corresponding analyses for the index of total agricultural production show a similar pattern, with the growth rate for 1994-2000 attaining only 1.5% per annum.


India has very poor rural roads affecting timely supply of inputs and timely transfer of outputs from Indian farms. Irrigation systems are inadequate leading to crop failures in some parts of the country because of lack of water. In other areas regional floods, poor seed quality and inefficient farming practices, lack of cold storage and harvest spoilage cause over 30% of farmer's produce going to waste, lack oforganised retail and competing buyers thereby limiting Indian farmer's ability to sell the surplus and commercial crops.
The Indian farmer receives just 10 to 23% of the price the Indian consumer pays for exactly the same produce, the difference going to losses, inefficiencies and middlemen. Farmers in developed economies of Europe and the United States, in contrast, receive 64 to 81%.
Although India has attained self-sufficiency in food staples, the productivity of Indian farms is below that of Brazil, the United States, France and other nations. Indian wheat farms, for example, produce about a third of the wheat per hectare per year compared to farms in France. Rice productivity in India was less than half that of China. Other staples productivity in India is similarly low. Indian total factor productivitygrowth remains below 2% per annum; in contrast, China's total factor productivity growths is about 6% per annum, even though China also has smallholding farmers. Several studies suggest India could eradicate hunger and malnutrition within India, and be a major source of food for the world by achieving productivity comparable with other countries
By contrast Indian farms in some regions post the best yields, for sugarcane, cassava and tea crops.
Yields for various crops vary significantly between Indian states. Some Indian states produce two to three times more grain per acre than in other Indian states. The table compares the statewide average yields for a few major agricultural crops within India, for 2001-2002.
Average farm yield in Bihar
Average farm yield in Karnataka
Average farm yield in Punjab
kilogram per hectare
kilogram per hectare
kilogram per hectare
Oil seeds
Crop yields for some farms within India are within 90% of the best achieved yields by farms in developed countries such as the United States and in European Union. No single state of India is best in every crop. Tamil Nadu achieved highest yields in rice and sugarcane,Haryana in wheat and coarse grains, Karnataka in cotton, Bihar in pulses, while other states do well in horticulture, aquaculture, flower and fruit plantations. These differences in agricultural productivity within India are a function of local infrastructure, soil quality, micro-climates, local resources, farmer knowledge and innovations.
The Indian food distribution system is highly inefficient. Movement of agricultural produce within India is heavily regulated, with inter-state and even inter-district restrictions on marketing and movement of agricultural goods.
One study suggests Indian agricultural policy should best focus on improving rural infrastructure primarily in the form of irrigation and flood control infrastructure, knowledge transfer of better yielding and more disease resistant seeds. Additionally, cold storage, hygienic food packaging and efficient modern retail to reduce waste can improve output and rural incomes.
The low productivity in India is a result of the following factors:
·         The average size of land holdings is very small (less than 2 hectares) and is subject to fragmentation due to land ceiling acts, and in some cases, family disputes. Such small holdings are often over-manned, resulting in disguised unemployment and low productivity of labour. Some reports claim smallholder farming may not be cause of poor productivity, since the productivity is higher in China and many developing economies even though China smallholder farmers constitute over 97% of its farming population. Chinese smallholder farmer is able to rent his land to larger farmers, China's organised retail and extensive Chinese highways are able to provide the incentive and infrastructure necessary to its farmers for sharp increases in farm productivity.
·         Adoption of modern agricultural practices and use of technology is inadequate, hampered by ignorance of such practices, high costs and impracticality in the case of small land holdings.
·         According to the World Bank, Indian Branch: Priorities for Agriculture and Rural Development", India's large agricultural subsidies are hampering productivity-enhancing investment. Overregulation of agriculture has increased costs, price risks and uncertainty. Government intervenes in labour, land, and credit markets. India has inadequate infrastructure and services. World Bank also says that the allocation of water is inefficient, unsustainable and inequitable. The irrigation infrastructure is deteriorating.The overuse of water is currently being covered by over pumping aquifers, but as these are falling by foot of groundwater each year, this is a limited resource TheIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report that food security may be a big problem in the region post 2030
·         Illiteracy, general socio-economic backwardness, slow progress in implementing land reforms and inadequate or inefficient finance and marketing services for farm produce.
·         Inconsistent government policy. Agricultural subsidies and taxes often changed without notice for short term political ends.
·         Irrigation facilities are inadequate, as revealed by the fact that only 52.6% of the land was irrigated in 2003–04,[70] which result in farmers still being dependent on rainfall, specifically the Monsoon season. A good monsoon results in a robust growth for the economy as a whole, while a poor monsoon leads to a sluggish growth. Farm credit is regulated by NABARD, which is the statutory apex agent for rural development in the subcontinent. At the same time overpumping made possible by subsidised electric power is leading to an alarming drop in aquifer levels.
·         A third of all food that is produced rots due to inefficient supply chains and the use of the "Walmart model" to improve efficiency is blocked by laws against foreign investment in the retail sector.

Farmer suicides

Following the liberalising economic reforms of 1991 the government withdrew support from the agricultural sector. These reforms, along with other factors, led to a rise in farmer suicides. Various studies identify the important factors as the withdrawal of government support, insufficient or risky credit systems, the difficulty of farming semi-arid regions, poor agricultural income, absence of alternative income opportunities, a downturn in the urban economy which forced non-farmers into farming, and the absence of suitable counseling services

Diversion of agricultural land for non agricultural purpose

The National Policy for Farmers (2007) calls for the protection of productive farmland, allowin re-zoning only in "exceptional circumstances". The 2013 draft National Land Utilisation Policy notes that as food demands rise and less land is available for farming, it becomes even more important to protect the remaining farms from development.[80] The Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) regulations prohibit foreign ownership of farmalnd. Real estate companies have been trying to circumvent this rule,[81] since foreign ownership is permitted in urban areas. The Ministry of Urban Development has formed a committee to investigate

Agriculture Sector of Indian Economy
Agriculture Sector of Indian Economy is one of the most significant part of India. Agriculture is the only means of living for almost two-thirds of the employed class in India. As being stated by the economic data of financial year 2006-07, agriculture has acquired 18 percent of India's GDP.
 The agriculture sector of India has occupied almost 43 percent of India's geographical area. Agriculture is still the only largest contributor to India's GDP even after a decline in the same in the agriculture share of India. Agriculture also plays a significant role in the growth of socio-economic sector in India.
In the earlier times, India was largely dependent upon food imports but the successive stories of the agriculture sector of Indian economy has made it self-sufficing in grain production. The country also has substantial reserves for the same. India depends heavily on the agriculture sector, especially on the food production unit after the 1960 crisis in food sector. Since then, India has put a lot of effort to be self-sufficient in the food production and this endeavor of India has led to the Green Revolution. The Green Revolution came into existence with the aim to improve the agriculture in India.
The services enhanced by the Green Revolution in the agriculture sector of Indian economy are as follows:
1.   Acquiring more area for cultivation purposes
2.   Expanding irrigation facilities
3.   Use of improved and advanced high-yielding variety of seeds
4.   Implementing better techniques that emerged from agriculture research
5.   Water management
6.   Plan protection activities through prudent use of fertilizers, pesticides, and cropping applications
All these measures taken by the Green Revolution led to an alarming rise in the wheat and rice production of India's agriculture. Considering the quantum leap witnessed by the wheat and rice production unit of India's agriculture, a National Pulse Development Programme that covered almost 13 states, was set up in 1986 with the aim to introduce the improved technologies to the farmers. A Technology Mission was introduced in 1986 right after the success of National Pulse Development Programme to boost the oilseeds sector in Indian economy. Pulses too came under this programme. A new seed policy was planned to provide entree to superior quality seeds and plant material for fruits, vegetables, oilseeds, pulses, and flowers.
The Indian government also set up Ministry of Food Processing Industries to stimulate the agriculture sector of Indian economy and make it more lucrative. India's agriculture sector highly depends upon the monsoon season as heavy rainfall during the time leads to a rich harvest. But the entire year's agriculture cannot possibly depend upon only one season. Taking into account this fact, a second Green Revolution is likely to be formed to overcome the such restrictions. An increase in the growth rate and irrigation area, improved water management, improving the soil quality, and diversifying into high value outputs, fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers, medicinal plants, and bio-diesel are also on the list of the services to be taken by the Green Revolution to improve the agriculture in India.


Introduction Agriculture in India has a significant history. Today, India ranks second worldwide in farm output. Agriculture and allied sectors like forestry and fisheries accounted for 16.6% of the GDP in 2009, about 50% of the total workforce. The economic contribution of agriculture to India's GDP is steadily declining with the country's broad-based economic growth. Still, agriculture is demographically the broadest economic sector and plays a significant role in the overall socio-economic fabric of India.


Overview Per 2010 FAO world agriculture statistics, India is the world's largest producer of many fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, major spices, select fresh meats, select fibrous crops such as jute, several staples such as millets and castor oil seed. India is the second largest producer of wheat and rice, the world's major food staples. India is also the world's second or third largest producer of several dry fruits, agriculture-based textile raw materials, roots and tuber crops, pulses, farmed fish, eggs, coconut, sugarcane and numerous vegetables.
Overview India ranked within the world's five largest producers of over 80% of agricultural produce items, including many cash crops such as coffee and cotton, in 2010. India is also one the world's five largest producers of livestock and poultry meat, with one of the fastest growth rates, as of 2011 .


History Over 50 years since its independence, India has made immense progress towards food security. Indian population has tripled, but food-grain production more than quadrupled: there has thus been substantial increase in available food-grain per capita. Prior to the mid-1960s India relied on imports and food aid to meet domestic requirements. However, two years of severe drought in 1965 and 1966 convinced India to reform its agricultural policy, and that India could not rely on foreign aid and foreign imports for food security.
History India adopted significant policy reforms focused on the goal of foodgrain self-sufficiency. This ushered in India's Green Revolution. It began with the decision to adopt superior yielding, disease resistant wheat varieties in combination with better farming knowledge to improve productivity. The Indian state of Punjab led India's green revolution and earned itself the distinction of being the country's bread basket.

Types Of Farming:

Types Of Farming In India

Dry Farming:

Dry Farming Dry farming is a system under which farming is carried on in the regions where the rainfall is scanty i.e. less than 50 Cm annually and where irrigation facilities are either absent or very little. It is followed in Gujarat, Rajasthan, South Punjab, Northern Maharashtra; Generally, single-cropping is practised under this system. Under this system, only those crops which can withstand drought conditions, such as Jowar and Bajra are grown.

Humid Farming:

Humid Farming Humid Farming is a system of farming practised in regions where the rainfall is adequate i.e. between 100 Cm to 200 Cm without the help of irrigation. It is followed in the West Coast, West Bengal, Parts of Bihar, U.P and Assam. Under this system, generally, double cropping (i.e. growing of two crops in a year on the same land) is practised. Rice, Sugarcane, jute etc. are cultivated under this system.

Irrigation Farming:

Irrigation Farming Irrigation farming is a system of farming under which crops are grown with the help of irrigation i.e. supply of water from rivers, reservoirs, tanks, wells to land for cultivation in regions of seasonal or low rainfall. It is followed in Western U.P., Punjab, Haryana, parts of Bihar, Orissa, A.P., Tamil Nadu, Karnataka etc. Under this system, multiple or double cropping is practiced. A large variety of crops, such as rice, sugarcane, cotton, wheat, tobacco etc. are grown under this system.

Shifting Cultivation:

Shifting Cultivation Shifting cultivation means the migratory subsistence farming. Under this system, a plot of land is cultivated for a few years and then, when the crop yield declines because of soil exhaustion and the effects of pests and weeds, is deserted for another area. Here the ground is again cleared by slash-and-burn methods, and the procedure is repeated.

Plantation Farming:

Plantation Farming Plantation farming means the cultivation of a single cash crop in plantations or estates (large areas of land) on a large scale. The farming is carried on with the help of technically advanced methods of cultivation and tools. The tea plantations of Assam and West Bengal, coffee plantations of Karnataka, Kerala & Tamil Nadu and rubber plantations of Kerala are the examples of Plantation farming in India.

Emerging Trends:

Emerging Trends in Indian Agriculture

Trends in Indian Agriculture:

Trends in Indian Agriculture Increasing integration of agriculture with the new emerging agri -system comprising Rural Business/Service Hubs (RBHs) at the back end, and agro-processing industry and organized retailing at the front end — primarily driven by the corporate sector . And the issue here is: Can the fast scaling up corporate sector in agri-business mainstream the fragmenting smallholders?
Trends in Indian Agriculture The increasing role of the corporate sector in agriculture by infusing new technologies and accessing new markets. And the key issue here is: Will the next revolution in Indian agriculture be triggered by the corporate sector?
Trends in Indian Agriculture There is a wide variation in agricultural growth across different states in India at least during the last five-seven years or so. At one end of the spectrum there are states like Gujarat that are showing strong growth of 8-10 per cent per annum in agriculture, while at the other end are states like Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, etc., that are growing barely at 1-2.5 per cent per annum