Agriculture is the backbone of Indian Economy. About 65% of Indian population depends
directly on agriculture and it accounts for around 22% of GDP. Agriculture derives its
importance from the fact that it has vital supply and demand links with the manufacturing
sector. During the past five years agriculture sector has witnessed spectacular advances in
the production and productivity of food grains, oilseeds, commercial crops, fruits,
vegetables, food grains, poultry and dairy. India has emerged as the second largest
producer of fruits and vegetables in the world in addition to being the largest overseas
exporter of cashews and spices. Further, India is the highest producer of milk in the world.
India has Monsoon climate in which a year has been divided into two distinct seasons of
summer and winter. Rainfall occurs mainly in summer.
Weather Forecasting System:
India has a strong weather forecasting system developed and maintained by Indian
Meteorological Department (IMD).
Apart from weather forecasting and severe weather
warning, it also gives agro meteorological services to farmers in India.
Agro Climatic Zones:
India has diverse agro-climatic zones from north to south and from east to west. It has
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“I am India. The Indian nation is my body. Kanyakumari is my foot and the Himalayas my head. The Ganges flows from my thighs. My left leg is the Coromandal Coast, my right is the Coast of Malabar. I am this entire land. East and West are my arms. How wondrous is my form! When I walk I sense all India moves with me. When I speak, India speaks with me. I am India. I am Truth, I am God, I am Beauty.” ...
been divided into fifteen different agro-climatic zones, which signifies its diversified
agricultural production from tropical to temperate crops.
Rice, Wheat, Sugarcane, Oilseeds, Pulses, Cotton, Jowar, Bajra, Ragi, Tea, Coffee, Coconut,
Cashew, Rubber, Spices, Cauliflower, Onion, Cabbage, Mango, Banana, Sapota, Acid lime.
Indian Agriculture is characterized by small and marginal operational holdings. About 85%
of total cultivated land has been fragmented into less than 10-hectare land. About 60% of
farmland is less than 4 hectare in size.
All the production figures are in million tones.
2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07*
Total nine Oilseeds
Jute & Mesta @
*Second advanced estimate
# Million bales of 180 kg each
@ Million bales of 180 kg each
(Source: Ministry of Agriculture)
Genetic Modified food: Benefit or Detriment? The most wonderful activity a human being can experience is new flavors and foods. For example, the first time a person tastes a delicious juicy piece of prime rib or a delightful hamburger with cheese and ham, his world is never the same. However, since the beginning of the twentieth century, the production of food has been supplemented by science. ...
Extent of Mechanization:
Mechanization in Indian agriculture is still at rudimentary stage showing regional variation.
But it is increasing over the years. Power availability for carrying out various agricultural
operations, which is one of the indicators of mechanization, has been increased from 0.3
kilowatt per hectare in 1971-72 to 1.4 kilowatt per hectare in 2003-04.
(Source: Economic Survey: 2004-05)
Tea, Coffee, and Natural rubber are the main plantation crops in India that contribute in
Indian export to a considerable extent. India is the largest producer and consumer of tea in
the world. It contributes 4% to global coffee production and enjoys a niche market by
producing both arabica and robusta coffee. In rubber also, it ranks third in production and
fourth in consumption of natural rubber in the world.
India has a great potential in the production of horticultural crops, which includes fruits,
vegetables, spices, floriculture, and plantations. Acreage under horticulture is around 20
million hectares. India is the second largest producer of both fruits and vegetables in the
world. It occupies first position in the production of cauliflower, second in onion, and third in
cabbage. Trends in area Production of horticultural crops have been given below:
... India’s GDP. Government of India opened gate for private insurance companies to enter the arena and FDI of 26% in the Insurance sector ... income is achieved through production in the primary sector. Countries in a more ... in agricultural Fishing Fish breeding has increased almost five times since India got ... million square kilometers. Approximately 4.5 million ton catches are expected from that area. India ...
(Source-National Horticultural Mission)
Dairy: India ranks first in the world in milk production, which was around 100 million tones
in 2006-07.Strong networks of Milk Cooperatives, have been instrumental in this
phenomenal performance of dairy sector in India. Presently, 1.13 lakh village level cooperative societies spread over 265 districts in the country form part of the national Milk
Grid. This Grid links milk producers throughout India and consumers in 700 towns and
cities. De-licensing of dairy sector in 1991 has directed considerable amount of private
funds both from inside and outside country in this sector especially in manufacturing
facilities while investment in cooperative sector are concentrated largely in procurement and
processing of milk.
Livestock: Livestock sector contributes about 27% of the G.D.P. from agriculture and allied
activities. This sector has excellent forward and backward linkages, which p-promote many
industries and increase the incomes of vulnerable groups of the society such as agricultural
labourers and small and marginal farmers. India possesses the second largest livestock
population in the world. Production and export of poultry products have shown considerable
growth in the recent decades. Export of such products to countries including Bangladesh,
Srilanka, Middle East, Japan, Denmark, USA, and Angola augers well for this industry.
Fishery: Fishing, aquaculture and a host of allied activities are a source of livelihood to over
14 million people and a major source of foreign exchange earner. In 2005-06, this sector
contributed about 1% of G.D.P. and 5.3% of G.D.P from agricultural sector.8,118 k.m. of
coastline gives geographical basis for the development of marine fishery sector and cultural
Despite the provisions, control and regulations of Reserve Bank of India, banks in India except the State Bank of India or SBI, continued to be owned and operated by private persons. By the 1960s, the Indian banking industry had become an important tool to facilitate the development of the Indian economy. At the same time, it had emerged as a large employer, and a debate had ensued about the ...
factor boosts the inland fishery sector in India.
Credit: Availability of adequate credit is vital for every sector and agriculture is not an
exception. In India, Commercial Banks, Cooperative Banks, and Regional Rural Banks
( RRBs) are responsible for smooth flow of credit to agricultural sector. But a huge
unorganized market exists for credit to agricultural sector in India, which provide timely
fund to this sector but at the exorbitant rate of interest. Among organized credit
disbursement to agriculture commercial banks play a vital role with a share of about 70%
where as cooperative sector and RRBs contribute 20% and 10 % respectively.Kisan Credit
Card (KCC) scheme was introduced to provide adequate and timely support from the
banking system to the farmers for their cultivation needs. This scheme has made rapid
progress and more than645 lakh cards issued up to October 2006.
The ‘Farm Credit Package’ announced by the Government of India in June 2004 stipulated
doubling the flow of institutional credit for agriculture in ensuing three years. Annual targets
for this package are being surpassed in the two consecutive years from its introduction and
it is likely to surpass in the third year also.
Insurance: Insurance is a prime necessity to mitigate uncertainty that persists in
agriculture. In India, agriculture is still affected by such factors, which are beyond control of
human being. So, there is a great need for agricultural insurance in India. Keeping this in
mind, Government of India in coordination with the General Insurance Corporation of India
(GIC), had introduced National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS) from rabi 1999-2000
season. The main objective of this scheme is to protect the farmers against losses suffered
by them due to crop failure on account of natural calamities. Agricultural Insurance
Company of India (AICIL) which was incorporated in December 2002 took over the
According to the basic features of furniture industry, in the view of the present situation of its logistics agement, applying SCM model is analyzed in the article. In this way, it will raise the level of logistics management of furniture industry, strengthen the competition ability of furniture industry and improve the efficiency of the whole trade. The article analyzes Chinese undergraduates! ...
implementation of NAIS.
AICIL introduced Rainfall Insurance Scheme called ‘Varsha Bima’ during 2004 southwest
monsoon period. Varsha Bima provided for five different options suiting varied requirements
of farming community:
Seasonal rainfall insurance based on aggregate rainfall from June to September.
Sowing failure insurance based on rainfall between June 15 and August 15.
Rainfall distribution insurance with the weight assigned to different weeks June and
Agronomic index constructed on the basis of water requirements of crops.
A catastrophe option covering extremely adverse deviation of 50% and above in
rainfall during the season.
During kharif 2006, this Varsha Bima scheme is being implemented in around 150 districts
covering 16 states across the country. AICIL is also piloting another weather related
insurance product for mango and coffee.
Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF): RIDF was announced by the
Government of India in 1995-96 to boost public sector investment in agriculture and rural
infrastructure. The Fund is raised from the commercial banks to the extent of their short fall
in agricultural lending as priority sector. The activities, which have been made eligible for
loans from RIDF, include rural roads and bridges, irrigation, mini and small hydel projects,
community irrigation wells, soil conservation, watershed development and reclamation of
waterlogged areas, flood protection, drainage, forest development, market yard, godowns,
apna mandi, rural haats and other marketing infrastructure, cold storages,
seed/agriculture/horticulture farms, plantation and horticulture, grading and certifying
mechanisms such as testing and certifying laboratories, fishing harbors/jetties, reverine
fisheries, animal husbandry, modern abattoir, drinking water supply, infrastructure for rural
educational institutions, public health institutions, construction of toilet blocks in existing
Under both tsarist and communist rule there was a small level of success, however, ultimately, they showed consistent failure either by the peasants resisting or the lack of improvement in agricultural production. The reason behind the failure and resistance was mainly due to poor organisation, centralisation and overall there was no significant improvements for the peasant's lifestyle. An area ...
schools and ‘pay and use’ toilets in rural areas, village knowledge centers, desalination
plants in coastal areas, infrastructure for information technology in rural areas, and
construction of anganwari centers.
Micro Finance: Micro finance scheme has been introduced by National Bank for Agriculture
and Rural Development (NABARD), the apex bank for agriculture and rural development in
India, to improve the access of the rural poor to formal institutional credit and other
financial products. In all 547 banks, which include 47 commercial banks, 158 RRBs, 342
cooperative banks are now actively involved in the operation of Self Help Group (SHG)Bank Linkage Programme to spread the facility of micro finance to the needy small and
marginal farmers and tiny entrepreneurs. The programme has enabled nearly 329 lakh poor
families in the country to gain access to micro finance facilities from the formal banking
Capital Formation in Agriculture: The share of the agriculture sector’s capital formation
in G.D.P. declined from 2.2% in the late 1990s to 1.9% in 2005-06. Stagnation or fall in the
public investment in irrigation is partly responsible for this fall. However there is indication
of a reversal of this trend with public sector investment in agriculture accelerating since
2002-03.The share of public investment in gross investment in agriculture increased by 6.5
percentage points from 1999-2000 to reach 24.2% in 2005-06.
Marketing of Agricultural Products
Form of Markets exists in India: Agricultural markets in India are dominated by
the existence of unorganized and unregulated agricultural mandies with the presence
of a large number of middlemen and widespread prevalence of malpractices. Absence
of proper warehousing facilities in the villages, lack of proper transportation facilities
and infrastructure such as rails and good quality all weather roads and ignorance
about the market prices of their products are some of the important factors for
exploitation of farmers from middle men. They are forced to sell their products to
these middlemen at the farm gate at throwaway prices.
Agricultural Market Reforms in India: Ministry of Agriculture had formulated a
model law on agricultural marketing in consultation with State/Union territory
Governments to bring about marketing reforms in line with emerging trends. This
model act enables establishment of private markets/yards, direct purchase centers,
consumers/farmers markets for direct sale, and promotion of public-private
partnership (PPP) in the management and development of agricultural markets in the
country. It also provides for exclusive markets for onion, fruits, vegetables, and
flowers. Regulation and promotion of contract farming arrangement has also been
made a part of this legislation. A provision has also been made for constitution of
State Agricultural Produce Standard Bureau for promotion of grading,
standardization, and quality certification of agricultural produce. So far, 15 States
and 5 Union Territories have amended their Agricultural Produce Marketing
Committee (APMC) Act to derive the benefits of market reforms.
E-Chaupal: E-Chaupal is a business platform consisting of a set of organizational
subsystems and interfaces connecting farmers to global markets. It has been initiated
by International Tobacco Company (ITC) who are quite active in agricultural sector in
India. This e-chaupal business platform consists of three layers each of different level
of geographic aggregation. Each of the three layers is characterized by three key
1. the infrastructure(physical or organizational)through which transaction takes
the entity( person or organization) orchestrating the transactions , and
the geographical coverage of the layer.
The first layer consists of the village level kiosks with internet access
(e-chaupals), managed by an ITC trained local farmer and within walking distance(I5 kilometers) of each target farmer. Each cluster of five villages gets an e-chaupal,
which is justified by sparse population in rural India. The second layer consists of a
brick and mortar infrastructure called hubs managed by the traditional intermediary
who has local knowledge/skills called a Samayojak and within tractorable distance
(25-30 kilometer) of then target farmer.
Agricultural Commodities Exchanges: To introduce future trading in agricultural
commodities in India, two commodity exchanges have been introduced in 2003 for
future trading. They are, National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Limited
(NCDEX) and Multi Commodity Exchange of India Limited (MCX).
are majorly dealing in agricultural commodities. They are involved in forward trading
to mitigate price risks of the farmers.
International Trade & Indian Agriculture:
Agricultural Export: India’s total exports of agricultural and allied products at $10.5 billion
in 2005-06 constitute 10.2% of its export share. Developed country markets account for
nearly 35% of India’s agri-exports. In agricultural exports there are varied performances
across commodities. Contribution of various agricultural commodities in world exports has
been listed below.
Percentage share in World Export
Lac, gums, resins, vegetable products
Vegetable planting materials, vegetable products
Coffee, tea, mate & spices
Residues, waste of food industry, animal fodder
Fruits & nuts
*Source: NCTI based on UN-ITC Trade Map Data.
Export of Marine products, which after a decline in 2003-04 had picked up in subsequent
years, grew by 6.3% in April- October-2006.In terms of export earnings, among marine
products, frozen shrimp contributed to be the largest export item, followed by frozen fish,
cuttlefish, squid, and dried items. European Union accounted for the largest share of India’s
export of marine products, followed by US and Japan. This sector, however, faced a number
of hurdles in the major export destinations. Indian shrimp imports to USA have been
subject to anti dumping duty of 10.17% from August 2004. In European markets, India’s
marine products have been facing problem due to multiplicity of standards-in addition to the
EU’s own standards, the standards of each of the own member states.
Agricultural import contributes about 3% in total merchandise import to India. Major
imports during April-October 2005 included vegetable oils (US$ 1237.3 million), raw cashew
nut (US$ 287.8 million), pulses (US$ 281.8 million) and sugar (US$ 138.7 million).
Vegetable oils and pulses are largely imported to augment domestic supplies and raw
cashew is imported for processing and re-exports, as domestic production is not adequate
to meet the demand of processing capacity installed in the country.
Agri Export Zones: In the Export Import (EXIM) Policy 2001-02, the Government of
India announced the proposal to set up Agri-Export Zones for the purpose of
developing and sourcing raw materials and their processing/packaging leading to final
exports. The concept essentially embodies a cluster approach of identifying the
potential products and the geographical region in which such products are grown and
adoption of an end to end approach of integration of the entire process, right from
the stage of production to consumption.
Under the Scheme, the State Government identifies products with export potential,
which have comparative advantage in local production. Agricultural and Processed
Food Products Development Authority (APEDA) is the nodal agency of the Central
Government to promote setting up of Agri Export Zones.
Till December 2005, 60 Agri Export Zones of different products had been set up in
different parts of the country.
W.T.O. & Indian agriculture:
India, and other developing countries have been insisting that special and differential
treatment for developing countries must be integral to all aspects, including to negotiated
outcome, on agriculture under the Doha Round in the WTO.
Mitigating the risk facing the low income, resource poor, and subsistence farmers
associated with price declines, price volatility, and predatory competition and other market
imperfections, including the huge amount of production and trade-distorting subsidies
provided by some developed countries to their agricultural sector, remains paramount.
Therefore, along with other developing countries, particularly it’s alliance partners in the G20 and G-33, India has been emphasizing that the Doha agricultural outcome must include
at its core:
Removal of distorting subsidies and protection by developed countries to level the
playing field, and
Appropriate provisions designed to safeguard food and/or livelihood security, and to
meet the rural development needs in developing countries.
India has also taken the stand that governments must able to foster stable and
remunerative prices for domestic producers in order to increase productivity and gradually
move away from dependence on low productivity agriculture. For these, meaningful and
effective instruments i.e. Special Products and the Special Safeguards Mechanism is
important for developing countries like India. At Hong Kong, where 6th ministerial meeting
of the WTO took place it has been argued that Special Products and Special Safeguard
Mechanism shall be an integral part of the modalities and the outcome of the negations in
agriculture. Moreover, developing countries shall have the right to self designate an
appropriate number of special products, guided by indicators based on the three
fundamental criteria of food security, livelihood security, and/or rural development needs.
These designated products will attract more flexible treatment. Developing country
members will also have the right to have recourse to a Special Safeguard Mechanism based
on import quantity and price triggers, with precise arrangements to be further defined.
National Commission on Farmers:
To improve the condition of Indian farmers, National Commission on Farmers have been set
up by the Government of India. It has been submitted five reports between December 2005
and October, 2006Key recommendations of the commission have been incorporated in the
Revised Draft National Policy for farmers. These include: asset reforms covering land,
livestock and bio reserves, farmer friendly support services covering extension, training and
knowledge, connectivity, credit and insurance, assured and remunerative marketing, inputs
and delivery systems, and curriculum reforms in the agricultural universities.
Recent government policies affecting Indian Agriculture:
In the recent Union Budget (2007-08), agriculture has got considerable attention with the
various policy initiatives from the side of finance ministry. Some of the imp0ortant policies
During 2006-07 (until December 2006), 53.37 lakh new farmers were brought into
the institutional credit system. A target of Rs. 225,000 crore as farm credit and an
addition of 50 lakh new farmers to the banking system have been fixed for the year
2007-08. The two per cent interest subvention scheme for short-term crop loans will
continue in 2007-08, and a provision of Rs.1,677 crore has been made for that
A special purpose tea fund has been launched for re-plantation and rejuvenation of
tea. Government soon plans to put in place similar financial mechanism for coffee,
rubber, spices, cashew and coconut.
Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) has been revamped in order to
complete more irrigation projects in the quickest possible time. As against an outlay
of Rs.7,121 crore in 2006-07, the outlay for 2007-08 has been increased to
Rs.17,253 crore had been budgeted for fertilizer subsidies in 2006-07. However,
according to the Revised Estimates, this will rise to Rs.22,452 crore.
The National Insurance Scheme (NAIS) will be continued for Kharif and Rabi crops
during the year 2007-08.
The two per cent interest subvention scheme will continue in 2007-08.
Rs. 100 crores have been allocated to new Rain fed Area Development Programme,
set up for coordinating all schemes for watershed development.
Research and Extension:
Government of India has created a widespread network of agricultural universities and
institutes all over India to facilitate research and extension works in Indian agriculture. The
Indian Council of Agricultural research (ICAR) is an apex body in India at the national level,
which promotes science and technology programmes in the area of agricultural research,
education, and extension education.
Agriculture and Employment:
About 65% of Indian population is dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. This sector
has strong forward and backward linkages and its performance affects each and every
sector of the country.
Sustainable Agriculture: Organic Farming:
In the recent decades, there is an increasing demand of organic foods in the developed
world. Organic farming is an important pillar of sustainable agriculture, which is beneficial
for producers and consumers both. India has a great potential for organic farming using
traditional wisdoms prevailing in the villages of India. In fact, a large section of Indian
agriculture uses more or less organic method of farming using minimum level of chemical
inputs. Promotion of organic farming in India could prove beneficial to increase share of
Indian agricultural export in the world export.