Course : Economic Environment And PolicyProject ReportIndia's focus going forward:Agriculture or manufacturing and services?CONTENTS
Reasons agriculture should be the primary focus of Indian economy
Woes of agriculture
Agriculture is the solution
AGRICULTURE: FOCUS OF INDIA GOING FORWARDEvery grain of wheat I eat and waste is produced by a person toiling in the hot sun. He brings the life to the seeds which in turn are the cause of the survival of the millions. If that person commits suicide, is it justified? This convinced us that it is high time that ailments faced by agriculture are looked upon in depth as hundreds of millions of people depend on it.Letting aside the emotional aspect that revolves around farmers, this paper also intends to provide a rationale why it is beneficial for the government to invest in agriculture. The paper analyses the different reasons why Indian agriculture is going through a crisis today, what are the areas that need to be concentrated upon and how investment can bring changes to the people dependent on agriculture and in the process transforming the country into a prosperous one.IntroductionSince time immemorial India has been primarily an Agri-based society. Immediately after independence from British rule, India faced a severe crisis of food .Various measures were taken to increase the food production viz. using seeds with improved genetics, double cropping existing farmland, increase of farm lands, improving irrigation schemes etc. The result was green revolution which helped India reduce its dependence on food imports and helped in alleviating poverty and famine levels from their dangerous proportions in India during the era.Thirty years after the dawn of green revolution, Indian farmers realised that their love affair with intensive agriculture was on decline. Despite a bountiful monsoon (14 normal monsoons in a row, until 2004), harvests were not as plentiful as could have been expected. As intensive farming began to bare its fangs, mining the ground water, and destroying the soil fertility, sustainable livelihoods began to fall apart. At the same time, by the turn of the century, per capita food grain availability had dropped to an abysmal low of 152 Kg, nearly 23 kgs less than early nineties. The problem was further accentuated by the policies of government regarding the minimum support price. The unexplained number of huge number of farmer suicides is a testimony to the entire equation going wrong. (Refer Table 1 for per capita food availability)Reasons agriculture should be the primary focus of Indian economyAgriculture continues to be backbone of the Indian economy. About 60 percent of Indian population is still dependent on agriculture. Also, it still contributes significantly to national GDP (18.6%).Agriculture provides not only food and nutritional security to the country but also...