INTRODUCTION• The word agriculture is the English adaptation of Latin agricultūra, from ager, "a field", and cultūra, "cultivation" in the strict sense of "tillage of the soil".• Agriculture also called farming or husbandry is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi, and other life forms for food, fiber, biofuel and other products used to sustain life.• The history of agriculture dates back thousands of years, and its development has been driven and defined by greatly different climates, cultures, and technologies
INDIAN AGRICULTURE• 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 13.9% of the GDP in 2011-2012 (at 2004- 2005 prices), about 50% of the total workforce.• The economic contribution of agriculture to Indias GDP is steadily declining with the countrys 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
• Rice, Coarse cereals, Pulses, Oilseeds, Sugarcane, Cotton, Jute and Mesta contributes major share in total agriculture production in India.• The agricultural sector of India has occupied almost 43 percent of Indias geographical area.
Role of Agriculture in Indian Economy:-Agriculture is the main sector of Indian economy which is amplypowered by the following points:-1) Contribution to National Income :- From the very beginning, agriculture is contributing a major portion in our National Income. It contributed 55.1% in 1950-51 to 37.6% in 1981-82 & further to 18.5% in 2006-07 and 17.9 % in 2008-2009 and to 14.5% in 2009- 2010 and it sharply declined to 13.9% in 2010-2012 .But agriculture still continues to be the main sector because it provides livelihood to a majority of the people.
2) Largest Employment Providing Sector:- In 1951, 69.5% of the working population was engaged in agriculture. This percentage fell to 66.9% in 1991 & to 56.7% in 2001. However, with rapid increase in population the absolute number of people engaged in agriculture has become exceedingly large.
3) Agriculture & Industrial Development :- Agriculture in India has been the major source of supply of raw materials to various important industries of the country. About50% of the income generated in the manufacturing sector comes from the agro-based industries of the country.4) Commercial Importance : Indian agriculture is playing a very important role both in the Internal & External Trade of the country. Nearly 70% of India’s exports are originated from agricultural sector. Further , agriculture is helping the country in earning foreign exchange to meet the required Import Bill of the country.5) Sources of Government Revenue : Agriculture is one of the major sources of revenue to both the Central & the State Government of the country. The Government gets a substantial income from raising land revenue. Thus, the agricultural sector is playing a very important role in the country like India & the prosperity of the Indian Economy still largely depends on agricultural sector. Agricultural development is the basic pre- condition of sectoral diversification & development of the economy.
PROBLEMS OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE In spite of dominating among all the sectors, agricultural sector in Indiahas been subjected to a number of problems. The following are some of themajor problems responsible for the poor state of Indian agriculture : 1) Inequality in Land Distribution : The distribution of agricultural land in India has not been fair. Rather there has been a considerable degree of concentration of land holding among the rich landlords, farmers & money lenders throughout the country. The vast majority of small farmers own a very small & uneconomic size of land, resulting in higher cost per unit. 2) Land Tenure System : The land tenure system practiced in India has been suffering from a lot of defects. Insecurity in tenancy was a big problem for the tenants, particularly during the pre-independence period, which still prevails to some extent due to the presence of absentee landlords & benami transfer of land in various states of the country
3) Poor Farming Techniques & Agricultural Practices : The farmers in India have been adopting orthodox & in efficient methods & techniques of cultivation. It is only in the recent years that the Indian farmers have been started adopting improved implements in agriculture.4) Inadequate Use of Inputs : Indian agriculture has been suffering from inadequate use of inputs like fertilizers & HYV seeds. Indian farmers are not applying sufficient quantity of fertilizers on their lands. Moreover, the supply of HYV seeds in the country is also minimum.5) Inadequate Irrigation Facilities : Indian agriculture is still suffering from lack of assured &controlled water supply through artificial irrigation facilities. Thus, Indian farmers have to depend much upon rainfall which is neither regular nor even. The proportion of irrigated land to total cropped area is only about 53% as per 1998-99 reports. Therefore, in absence of assured & controlled water supply, the agricultural productivity in India is bound to be low
6) Absence of Crop Rotation : Proper rotation of crops is very much essential for successful agricultural operations as it helps to regain the soil fertility. As the Indian farmers are mostly illiterate, they are not very much conscious about the benefits of crop rotation due to which the land loses its fertility.7) Lack of Organized Agricultural Marketing : Indian farmers are facing the problem of low income from their marketable surplus crops in the absence of proper organized markets & adequate transportation & communication facilities.8) Agricultural Indebtedness : One of the greatest problems of Indian agriculture is its growing indebtedness. The rural people are borrowing heavy amounts of loans regularly for meeting their requirements needed for production, consumption & also for meeting their social commitments. Due to crop failure, poor income arising out of low prices of crops, the farmers fall into debt trap & cannot arrange for sufficient money to repay their debts. Thus, the debt of farmers gradually increases leading to the problem of rural indebtedness.
LOW AGRICULTURAL PRODUTCIVITYThe condition of Indian agriculture still largely remains backward although it isconsidered as the backbone of the Indian economy.Agricultural productivity which is composed of both productivity of land & labouras well, is among the lowest in the world. Average yield per hectare in India isquite below the world average in all crops. It is much lower as compared witheven the yield rates prevailing in less advanced countries of the world. CAUSES OF LOW AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTIVITY ININDIAFactors which are responsible for this backwardness or low agriculturalproductivity in Indian agriculture can be convenient grouped under three broadheadings : Institutional Technological General Factors Factors Factors
General FactorsFollowing are some of the General Factors which are responsible for lowagricultural productivity in Indian agriculture :1) Socio-Economic Factors :Various socio-economic factors like farmer’s conservativeoutlook, ignorance, illiteracy, superstition etc. stand in the way of adoption ofmodern technology in Indian agriculture. Unless this discouraging ruralatmosphere is changed, it is not possible to improve the condition of agriculturein this country.2) Lack of Adequate Finance :Indian agriculture still remains backward due to its inadequate financialprovisions. Until recent times, farmers had to depend much on village moneylenders who charged high rates of interest, to repay which the farmers had topart with their land & become landless agricultural labourers. Other financialinstitutions although exists, their contributions are almost insignificant inquantity.3) Lack of Productive Investment :There is nearly absence of productive investment in Indian agriculture as theinvestment in agriculture land is found to be less attractive than the alternativeinvestments in jewellary trade & moneylending. This also adds up to be one ofthe causes of low agricultural productivity in the country.
Institutional FactorsThe following are some of the Institutional Factors which are equally responsiblefor the backwardness of Indian agriculture :1) Small Size of Holdings :The average size of agricultural holding in India is very small & uneconomic & itis even less than 2 hectares or 5 acres. Besides, the agricultural holdings in Indiaare fragmented too. With such uneconomic & fragmented holdings, no scientificcultivation with improved implements, seeds etc. are ever possible. This hasresulted in low yield in Indian agriculture.2) Defective Pattern of Land Tenure :Land tenure system in India is totally defective & it is standing in the way of itsagricultural development. Even after the abolition ofZamindary System & enactment of Tenancy Legislation, the position of tenants isstill far from satisfactory. The cultivator shave to pay high rent to the landlords &are subject to frequent ejectment by the landlords. All these have led to lack ofincentives & confidence on the part of cultivators to make provisions for anypermanent development of their land.
Technological FactorsThe following Technological Factors are responsible for low agricultural productivityin Indian agriculture :1) Lack of High Yielding Seeds :Indian farmers are still applying seeds of indifferent quality. They have no sufficientfinancial ability to purchase good quality HYV seeds. The supply of HYV seeds isalso minimum in the country. Thus, the farmers are mostly applying traditionalvariety of seeds whose average yield is just half of the yield of improved variety ofseeds.2) Scanty Use of Fertilizers :The Indian farmers are not applying sufficient quantity of fertilizers on their lands.Constant cultivation of land causes deterioration of the fertility of soil. Forrevitalization of soil fertility, application of various types of fertilizers is muchrequired. But the poor cultivators cannot afford to purchase costly chemicalfertilizers for applying on their lands. Thus in India, the use of both chemicalfertilizers & even farm yard dung manure is totally inadequate.
3) Inadequate Irrigation Facilities :Indian agriculture is still suffering from lack of assured &controlled water supplythrough artificial irrigation facilities. Thus, Indian farmers have to depend muchupon rainfall which is neither regular nor even. The proportion of irrigated land tototal cropped area is only about 53% as per 1998-99 reports. Therefore, inabsence of assured & controlled water supply, the agricultural productivity in Indiais bound to be low.4) Lack of Agricultural Research :Agricultural research in India is still very poor in comparison to its requirements.Whatever research is being conducted, its result is not even made available to thefarmers fully for its application. Thus, many chronic problems of agriculturaloperation faced by the farmers still remain largely unattended. Thus, we have seen that there is gross absence of many basic facilities inIndian agriculture & all these have resulted in low agricultural productivity & alsobackwardness of agricultural sector in the country.
POLICIES AND INTIATIVE STEPS FOR DEVELOPMENT OFAGRICULTURE BY INDIAN GOVERNMENT :- Due to problems and low agricultural productivity government of Indiaimplemented many number of policies since its first five year plan and some of themwere discussed below :1) LAND REFORMS Land Reforms measures to abolish intermediary interests in land(viz., zamindars, jagirdars, etc.) and transfer of land to actual tiller of soil wereexpected to be taken up on a priority basis. a) Abolition of Intermediaries, b) Tenancy reforms2) CONSOLIDATION OF LAND HOLDINGS In a bid to reorganize agriculture and prevent subdivision and fragmentation ofholdings, the Indian agriculture policy introduced the programs of co-operation andconsolidation of holdings.
3) INSTITUTIONAL CREDIT Another important initiative was the expansion of institutional credit tofarmers, especially through co-operatives and commercial banks. Afternationalization of banks in 1969, national banks have paid increasing attention toneeds of agriculture.4) INPUT SUBSIDIES The government has provided massive subsidies to farmers on agriculturalinputs like irrigation, fertilizers and power. The Objective of input subsidization isto increase agriculture production and productivity by encouraging the use ofmodern inputs in agriculture.5) GREEN REVOLUTION The Introduction of High-yielding varieties of seeds and the increased use offertilizers and irrigation are known collectively as the Green Revolution, whichprovided the increase in production needed to make India self-sufficient in foodgrains, thus improving agriculture in India.
6) NATIONAL AGRICULTURE POLICY (2000) The Government of India announced this policy on July 28, 2000. This policyseeks to “actualise the vast untapped growth potential of Indianagriculture, strengthen rural infrastructure to support faster agriculturaldevelopment, promote value addition, accelerate the growth of agrobusiness, create employment in rural areas, secure a fair standard of living forthe farmers and agriculture workers and their families, discourage migration tourban areas and face the challenges arising out of economic liberalization andglobalization.7) NATIONAL POLICY FOR FARMERS (2007) Government of India has approved this policy taking into account therecommendations of the National Commission on farmers and after consultingthe state governments. This includes : Economic well-being of the farmers in addition to production and productivity. Asset Reforms Water use efficiency New Technologies National Agricultural Bio-security System Seeds and Soils Health.
REASONS FOR FAILURE :- Even after implementation of so many programs and policies framed byGovernment of India there is still under utilisation of agriculture property orrecourses and lack of proper implementation of policies and programs. Some arediscussed below :1) Uneven or un-estimated climatic conditions are also major reason for failure of agriculture and government to over come this problem provided irrigation facilities but that are no where satisfying the requirements of farmers across the country.2) Land Reforms and consolidated of land holdings are still not fully implemented or fully practiced except its first stage, still there are existence of lenders and no proper distribution of land.3) Lack of long term policy perspective, it is surprised to find that only recently the government has come out with a national agricultural policy.4) Neglect of Capital formation.5) Lagging Research and Development Efforts6) Technology Generation and Dissemination7) Rising Soil Degradation and Over-exploitation of ground water.
8) Degradation of Natural Resources9) Agriculture’s Terms of Trade and Farm Price Volatility10) No power for farmers to fix prices.11) Intermediaries between farmers and consumers.12) Under utilisation of advanced technology by insufficient training facilities tofarmers.
CONCLUSION CONCLUSIONThus, the agricultural productivity in India can be improved with the adoption ofaforesaid measures in the agricultural sector of the country.Hence, from the above analysis it can be well concluded that although the Indianagricultural sector is subject to certain limitations, it has got enormous potential ofgrowth & development with some changes in certain fields, including methodology ofagricultural production.Policies framed by government should implement fully in order get more benefitsfrom agriculture and increase living standards of people in rural areas anddevelopment of economy because agriculture provides major employment share andlivelihood to people.Thus we say there are so many mistakes in implementing the policies andgovernment should go with long term prospective instead of short term.