Find Agriculture expertise in India
Agriculture, together with forestry and fisheries, contributes 19% of India’s GDP (2010), and with two-thirds of the population dependent on it for their livelihood it forms a crucial part of the Indian economy. Major food grain crops include rice, wheat, sorghum, maize and millet, while major cash crops include oilseeds, sugarcane, cotton, tea, coffee, potatoes, onions and jute. The country has developed into the world’s largest producer of fruits and vegetables thanks to its favourable agro-climatic conditions and rich natural resource base. It ranks second worldwide in the production of cashew, cabbage, cotton seed, garlic, cardamom, onions, sugarcane, tomatoes, coconut, groundnut, tea, green peas, cauliflower and potatoes. The main exports markets for the country are the United States, the European Union, China and United Arab Emirates.
Agriculture plays an important, although declining role in the economy. Its share in overall GDP fell from 30% in the early nineties, to below 19% in 2008. All this has been a result of the country’s rapid economic growth and diversification into the services and manufacturing areas of the economy. However the viability of the sector remains important to India’s overall economic well-being; there has been concern expressed over the slowdown in agricultural growth during the 2000s, with, according to the World Bank, the country’s rice yields only a third those of China and half those of Vietnam and Indonesia. A similar situation is the case in relation to many agricultural products. The livestock sector is a key part of the provision of food for the country. It is largely for domestic use – although production of milk in 2011 was 13% of the global total, none was exported. The livestock population includes cattle, buffalo, goats, pigs and sheep, yet meat production is low. The Ministry of Agriculture is the leading public body in sector.
In the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report (2012-13) India placed 87th in the world (out of 144 countries) in terms of its balanced agricultural policy costs, with a value of 3.7 out of 7, just below the world mean of 3.9.
The agricultural sector faces numerous challenges posed by environmental and infrastructural problems in the country. With India’s changing climate, the increasingly erratic seasonal rains are causing many issues. The advice of agricultural experts recommends that the country works on combating rodent attacks, improving road networks, increasing soil fertility and converting agricultural bio-wastes in order to encourage growth.
The state is promoting the adoption of new technologies in order to achieve their target of 4% annual growth in agriculture. National agricultural research centres are also working on developing drought and pest-resistant crop varieties to combat the impacts of climate change. The World Bank wants the state to strengthen agricultural research and extension systems and improve water management and irrigation, in order to move away from subsistence and towards a highly productive and diversified agricultural sector.
|Agriculture organisations in India|
|Ministry of Agriculture||