India is an emerging economy with roughly half its population engaged in traditional economic activity of farming.
Having experienced two major droughts in the last century and being a net importer of food the agriculture in India went through a drastic change in policy in the decade of 1960s. Agriculture in India has been heavily rain-dependant. Starting with a focus on wheat production, superior quality of seeds, a better knowledge of farming technology and provision of high technology equipment were made available. Farming was made intensive rather that extensive to improve the yield per hectare of land. Ground water harvesting, tube wells etc. were explored to meet irrigation needs. This was known as the ‘Green Revolution’. Later this was extended to other crops like rice and millets.
Today India is a net exporter of food, with fresh fruits being the biggest export. The food grain production is growing faster than the population.
Information about crop, weather, and any kind of expert consultation is now available far more easily by special cells set up by the government.
Agricultural credit and insurance
Credit facilities have been made easy for the farmers for meeting all their credit requirements. Crop insurance protects farmers from any crop failure due to weather or other natural or other failures.
The farmer today has access to the best possible technology and also aid from the government to protect and grow the crop.
The best quality machinery, tractors, harvester, threshers and irrigation equipment can be made available with good credit facilities and government aids.
For protecting the post-harvest quality of crops till they reach the markets and the sellers, many cold storage and warehousing facilities have been set up across the country to prevent spoilage and wastage of these crops.
Improved linkages to the market so that the farmer can get the best prices and not be a victim to the usurious middlemen, have been made available to the farmers.
Productivity and growth
Steps have been continually been taken to ensure that the crop productivity is maintained and improve to maintain the competitiveness with the world.
Agriculture production has improved tremendously over the past decades. However a large part of the population dependent on agriculture needs to be reoriented to other occupations so that the per capita productivity is more justly reflected in the statistics