Agriculture – Introduction To Agriculture
Agriculture forms the backbone of the Indian economy and despite concerted industrialisation in the last four decades, agriculture occupies a place of pride. Being the largest industry in the country, agriculture is the source of livelihood for a majority of the population in the country. The significance of agriculture in the national economy can be best explained by considering the role of agriculture under different heads.
Share of Agriculture in the National Income
At the time of the First World War, Agriculture contributed to 2/3rd of the national Income. From 53.1 per cent in 1950-51, the share of agriculture and allied activities (includes agriculture, forestry and logging and fishing) in GDP at factor cost declined to 29.6 per cent in 1990-91 and further to 14.0 per cent in 2011-12 (at 200405 prices).
Indian Agriculture and Pattern of Employment in the Country
Agriculture dominates the economy to such an extent that a very high proportion of the working population in India is engaged in agriculture. In 2010, agriculture employed 54.7 per cent of the workforce.
Importance of Agriculture for Industrial Development
Indian agriculture has been the source of supply of raw materials to our leading industries. Cotton and jute textile industries, sugar, vanaspati and plantations–all these depend on agriculture directly. Many other industries indirectly depend on agriculture. Many of our small-scale and cottage industries like handloom weaving, oil crushing, rice husking, etc., depend upon agriculture for their raw materials. Together they account for 50 per cent of income generated in the manufacturing sector in India.
Check out Economic development notes in detail.
Role of Agriculture in the Field of International Trade
For a number of years, cotton textiles jute and tea accounted for more than 50% of the export earnings of the country. With economic progress and consequent diversification of the production base, the share of agricultural goods in total exports has consistently fallen. In 2011-12 it was 12.3%.
Role of Agricultural Sector in Economic Planning
The importance of agriculture in the national economy is indicated by many facts. For example, agriculture is the main support for India’s transport system. (Railways and roadways secure the bulk of their business from the movement of agricultural goods). Internal trade is mostly in agricultural products. Further, good crops lead to large purchasing power with the farmers, hence there is a greater demand for manufactured goods and, therefore, better prices. In other words, the prosperity of the farmers is also the prosperity of industries. Likewise, bad crops lead to depression in business. Generally, it is the failure in the agricultural front that has led to the failure of economic planning. Finally, finances of the government, especially, of the State Governments, depend, to a large extent, upon the prosperity of agriculture.
Agricultural Situation before Independence
Available agricultural statistics for pre independence period, indicate that during the first half of this century, agricultural production rose only marginally, as compared to the growth of population. For instance, according to J.P. Bhattacharjee. India’s population rose by 38 per cent between 1901 and 1946, but the area of cultivated land rose only by 18 per cent, the average productivity of all crops rose by 13 per cent and of food crops by only 1 per cent.
Here are the notes for Cropping pattern In India.