India is a country that leaves one spellbound with its alluring contrasts and striking features in all that it beholds! Agriculture is not only the dominant occupations of the people of India but is also one of the most important economic sectors for the country. Almost two-thirds of the working population of India is dependent on agriculture for its livelihood. As much as 43% of the Indian land area is used for agricultural activities. Even though there may be a steady decline of contribution of agriculture in the GDP of India due to industrialization and other reasons, it still plays a significant role in the socio-economic development of India. The concept of sustainable agriculture in India was based on thousands of years of farming with the specific knowledge of climatic conditions. However with the advent of British, it was in a shambles. But with green revolution and other measures to increase production, India did it again.
Indian agriculture is almost dependent on the monsoons as they determine how the harvest will be. Most of the agricultural responsibilities in India are carried out by the state rather than the central department. Apart from the state government, there are many institutions and agriculture companies in India which performs agriculture based economic activity for rural India. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is the apex body in agriculture and allied fields. The National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development bank is another institution which is employed in encouraging agriculture based economic activities in rural India. Globalization and agriculture in India is changing the face of the country and the development in agriculture is taking place at a faster rate. With opening up of the economy, agriculture sector in India is becoming modernized and technology is being used to its maximum so that more and more people can be benefited from this sector. Private players are also now being interested in acquiring land and cultivating with modern equipments and amenities.
Post independent India has greatly benefitted from the green revolution. There was significant increase in the wheat production in the 1970s. Most five year plans laid emphasis on the development of agriculture and animal husbandary.
India has benefitted a lot from its agricultural activities. India is the largest producer of cashew nuts, coconuts, tea, ginger, milk, turmeric etc. India has almost a 10% share in the world fruit production and it ranks first in the production of banana and sapota.
The Punjab region of India has been one of the most fertile regions on earth making it ideal for wheat. Haryana is the second largest contributor to the production of foodgrains in India. However, average yield in India is just 30% to 50% of the highest average yield in the world. The low productivity in India is a result of factors like inadequate or inefficient finance and marketing services for farm produce, illiteracy, socio-economic backwardness etc. Land holdings are small and the adoption of modern agricultural practices is inadequate. In the last few decades many farmers have committed suicide because of indebtedness and repeated crop failures.
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