Agriculture and Economic Development in India (Hardcover)
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Agricultural sector occupies a key position in the Indian economy. Though agriculture has now shrunk as a proportion of gross domestic product (GDP) to around 13 percent, it is a vital sector and provider of livelihood for 2/3rd of India’s working population.
Although Indian agriculture is way back compared to the levels in developed countries, some notable developments have occurred since Independence in 1947. Large areas which suffered from repeated failures of rainfall have received irrigational facilities and new crops have come to occupy a significant position in the country’s production and trade. Problems of rural indebtedness and the exploitative practices of the village moneylenders are much less.
While there have been farmers-friendly efforts—such as those to promote institutional credit to rural areas, improved access to inputs, subsidies on fertilisers and electricity, minimum support prices etc.—but these have not been fully successful in protecting the interest of the farmers in general, and small/marginal farmers in particular. Marginal and small farmers have borne the brunt of the adverse circumstances in agriculture. The spate of suicides by farmers in many areas is the most disconcerting manifestation of this distress.
Accelerating the rate of growth of agricultural production must be seen as central to a more inclusive growth.
About the Author
Dr. Md. Ejaz Anwer is presently Senior Research Associate, Indian Council of Agricultural Research-National Institute of Agricultural Economics and Policy Research (ICAR-NIAP). He has published several research papers and articles in journals of international and national repute.