Agriculture in India has a long history. Since more than 10,000 years majority of Indians are dependent on the industry. As agriculture is counted the main business of most of the people, it plays a significant role in the overall socio economic development of the country. According to the Annual Report 2009-2010 of the Ministry of Agriculture the total geographical area of India is 328.7 million hectares of which 140.3 million hectares is net sown area, while 193.7 million hectares is the gross cropped area.
Among world nations, India is the largest producer of fresh fruits. It mainly produces Sesame seeds, fennel, badian, jute, cashew nuts, pulses, ginger turmeric, mangoes, chillies and peppers. India holds the second largest population of cattle. It has around 281million cattle.
It holds the second position in producing cashew, cabbage, cotton seed, fresh vegetables, garlic, cardamom, onions, wheat, rice sugarcane, tomatoes, coconut, ground nut, tea, green peas, cauliflower, potato and inland fish.
India is a country which produces tobacco, rapeseed, coconut and tomatoes in large amount. So, it is called the third largest producer of these produce. The Indian Agriculture Research Institute (INRI) was established in 1905. INRI was responsible for the research leading the Indian Green Revolution of the 1970s. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is the apex body in agriculture and related fields. They have to look after all researches and education of the related field. The union minister of Agriculture is the president of ICAR. The Indian Agriculture Statistics Research Institute looks after and develops new techniques, and they design the experiments, analyses data in agriculture and they develop the strategies to get maximum from animal and plant breed. However, Government of India has set up Farmers Commission to completely evaluate the agriculture program but still farmers are facing some problems.
According to World Bank : Indian Branch the allocation of water is insufficient and unsustainable. The irrigation infrastructure is deteriorating. At some places the overuse of water is currently being covered by pumping facility but as these are falling by foot of underground water each year, this is a limited resource. Secondary, farmers in India are mostly illiterate, socially economically backward or incapable of developing new ideas. They are inadequate or inefficient to implement fast and progressive actions. Farmers are facing the problems of finance and lack of marketing services for farm produce. Still as agriculture being the Indian business, future of agriculture in India is bright.
Government is taking active interest in agriculture and it is giving the highest priority to it. The Tenth Plan allocation was comparatively lower than 11th Plan. The 11th Plan is considerably higher over the 10th plan. An amount of US$19 billion has been allocated for the Ministry of Agriculture during the Eleventh Five Year Plan. Agriculture is one of the strongholds of the Indian economy and accounts for 14.6 percent of the countrys gross domestic product (GDP) in 2009-2010, and provisional percent of the total export is 10.23 percent. Moreover, the agriculture sector, provides employment of 52 to 55 percent of the work force.
As per the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) farm output will grow by 10 percent to 114 million ton (MT) in the Kharif season, while in winter season( Rabbi season) is expected to increase 2 percent that will be around 116.6 MT. According to Agricultural and processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) Indias exports of fruits, vegetables, cereals and processed food products was worth US$ 1.14billion during April May 2010-11. Middle East, Asia, Africa, and South America are developing countries in which 70 percent of the Indias agriculture and processed food is being exported.
This data makes it absolutely clear that Indian Economy is largely governed by the Industry, which is still largely dependent on the uncertainties of rainfall and other natural forces. We have a social responsibility to support the agricultural industry in every possible manner.