INDIAN AGRICULTURE - INTRODUCTION
Agriculture remains the most important sector of the Indian Economy whether it be the pre-independence or the post-independence periods.
Special Features of Agriculture:
i) From monetary point of view the share of agriculture sector in the economy remains at 14.1% of the GDP in the fiscal 1950 - 51 agriculture accounted for 55.4% in the GDP.
ii) The share of agriculture has been falling in the country's gross income while industrial and services sector's shares have been on a rise constantly.
» From the livelihood point of view still 58.2% people of India depend on the agriculture sector.
» In the developed economics such as the USA, France, Norway, the UK and Japan agriculture contributes only 2% of their GDP with only 2% people dependent on this sector for their livelihood.
iii) This is the biggest unorganised sector of the economy accounting for more than 90% share in the total unorganised labour force.
iv) It is the only profession which still carries no burden of individual Income tax.
v) India is among the 13 leading exporters of agricultural products in the world.
vi) According to the export figures, agriculture is deeply related to industrial growth and the national income in India.
» 1% increase in the agricultural growth leads to 0.5% increase in industrial output (growth) and 0.7% increase in the national income of India.
vii) Productivity gap between the field and ideal farm practices decreasing.
viii) Nearly 66% of the cropped area in the economy still depends on the uncertainties of monsoon for their irrigational requirements.
Agriculture Seasons in India
The agriculture crop year in India is from July to June.
» The Indian cropping season is classified into two main seasons
i) Kharif and
ii) Rabi based on the monsoon.
» The Kharif crops include rice, maize/ sorghum, pearl/millet/bajra, finger millet/ ragi (cereals), arhar (pulses), soyabean, groundnut (oil seeds), cotton etc.
» The Rabi crops include wheat, barley, oats (cerals), chikpea/gram (pulses), linseed, mustard (oilseeds) etc.
Kharif: The Kharif cropping season is from July to October during the south west / summer monsoon.
Rabi: The Rabi cropping season is from October to March (north-east/ returning/winter monsoon).
» The crops, grown between March and June are summer crops known as of Jayads.
» Pakistan and Bangladesh are two other countries that are using the term Kharif and Rabi to describe about their cropping patterns.
» The terms Kharif and Rabi originate from Arabic language where Kharif means Autumn and Rabi means Spring.
FOOD PHILOSOPHY OF INDIA
Indian food philosophy is generally seen divided into three phases with their own objectives and challenges.
The First Phase
This phase continued for the first three decades after Independence. The main aim and the struggle of this phase was producing as much food grains as required by the Indian population.
» Achieving physical access to food.
» The idea of the Green Revolution at the end of this phase atleast gave India the confidence of realising the objectives. At the end of 1980's, India was a self-sufficient country regarding food.
The Second Phase
A new challenge confronted India - achieving Economic access to food.
The situation went on worsening and by early 2000 there was a paradoxical situation in the country when it was having more than times buffer stocks of food grains in the central pool, but in several states people three were dying due to lack of food.
» As the inputs of the Green Revolution were costlier its output naturally were to be costlier. To fight the situation there should have been a time - bound and target - oriented macro - economic policy support.
» India is still in this phase and trying to solve the crisis through twin approach firstly, by creating maximum number of gainful employment and secondly by cutting cost of food grains.
» India is still fighting to achieve physical reach to the required level of food.
The Third phase
By the end of 1980's, world experts started questioning the very way world was carrying on with different modes of production.
» All developed economies had declared their agriculture to be an industry.
» The much - hyped Green Revolution was declared ecologically untenable and the world headed for organic farming, green farming, etc.
» India needed a new kind of Green Revolution which could deliver it the physical, economic as well as ecological access to food - the Second Green Revolution an all-in-one approach towards the agriculture sector.