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Agriculture

Agriculture is the backbone Indian economy even though modern India is
associated with industrialisation. Agriculture contributes nearly 25 percent of
gross domestic product in India. Agriculture provides direct employment to 70
percent of the working people in our country. A majority of area sown in India
is dependent on rainfall so the performance of crop husbandry relies on
monsoon. During the period of 1950-65, modern cultivation and irrigation
facilities were extended to such lands to increase productivity.

A large number of people occupy agro-based activities and there are others
directly caught up in agrarian region. Because of this cotton textile industry,
jute and sugar industry exists as one of the many leading industries in India.
There are two main components of agriculture production, food grains and non
food grains. Rice and wheat are food grains products and non food grain
category includes products like tea, coffee, cocoa, oil cakes, fruits,
vegetables, spices sugar, cotton and jute. These non food grain product are
largely exported and food grain products has made India self sufficient.

We have to thank The Green Revolution that made our country self reliant and
exporting agriculture products have helped India earn foreign exchange.
Economic development has touched new heights since then.

Agricultural Development

The use of fertilisers was introduced that increased agricultural production.
The Ninth Plan was introduced by the Department of Agriculture And Co-operation
and procedures to import high quality seeds were simplified. These seeds could
stand any contingent situation arising out of natural calamities. As we all
know, the climatic condition of India is favourable to a large number of
horticultural crops like fruits, potato, tropical tuber crops, aromatic plants,
coconut, cocoa and vegetables. These efforts paid well by making India number
one producer of coconut, ginger , cashew nut, black pepper and number two
producer of fruits and vegetables.

Five Year Plans

The First Five Year Plan was introduced to increase agricultural production by
developing irrigation, power and transport system in India. This helped lay a
strong foundation of economic and social development. Then the Second Plan came
into existence. The top priority of this plan was to provide adequate food to
the increasing population and generate raw material that could help our
industry. This plan created interdependence between agriculture and industrial
development.

For further development of agriculture an organisation called National Bank for
Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) came into existence. They provided
financial help to farmers in the rural sector. The main goal was to create a
self-reliant and self-generating economy. Seed Act was formed to regulate the
quality of seeds sold in the country in 1966 and a Central Seed Committee (CSC)
and Central Seed certification board (CSCB) was established to administer this
Act. There was a revolution in agricultural production because of the use of
these superior quality seeds and fertilisers and better irrigation facilities.
The use of farm machinery and other modern techniques had an adverse effect on
labourers who lost their jobs. The rich farmers made big bucks whereas marginal
farmers could not. The productivity of land increased whereas productivity of
labour remained stagnant. The new technology was out of reach of illiterate
farmers.

Issues to be addressed

Increasing number of people is exclusively dependent on agriculture for
survival. There is a lot of pressure on land and that is leading to
fragmentation of prosperity, contributing to unprofitable yields. Still today
there are many farmers who depend on conventional agricultural methods and rely
on rainfall to irrigate their lands. Even though the Zamindari System is
abolished there are people out there who are exploiting the poor.

Efforts to strengthen Agricultural sector

During the Ninth Plan a scheme was approved to toughen the use of IT tools and
networking of the field offices and Directorates of a department called
DACENET. The Department of Agricultural Research And Education are conducting
research and training activities for agriculture, animal husbandry and
fisheries in collaboration with certain other national and international
agencies of the same field with a vision to educate people who are into
farming.

Certain insurance policies are there to help agriculturalists. National
Agricultural Insurance Scheme was introduced that covers all food crops,
oilseeds, and yearly horticultural crops for profit. The export of oilseeds has
helped India earn foreign exchange. With the increased dairy, poultry and fish
production there has been a rise in rural economy thus making our country
wealthier.

The Indian agriculture today has diversified into various sectors and has
contributed significantly to the nations economy.

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