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Essay on the Development of Indian Agriculture

Here is your essay on the development of Indian Agriculture!

The agriculture sector continues to be the backbone of Indian economy contributing approximately 27.4% to the gross domestic product (GDP), and accounts for about 18% share, of total value of country’s export. The agricultural production has kept pace with the popular growth rate of 21 % per annum.

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Today we are second largest producer of wheat, rice, fruits, vegetables, and fresh water aquaculture; and largest exporter of spices and cashew.

Samatebe(2005) confirmed that agricultural development was impeded by reductions in agricultural investments and lack of proper credit for income generating enterprises by and from various stakeholders such as microcredit providing institutions, among many other factors, while CPAP(2011) found that limited access to credit by smallholder farmers, low budgetary allocations resulting in weak institutional capacities at central and local government levels, high interest rates and borrowing rates, and high inefficiencies in public expenditure management, were among the factors interfering with agricultural development. UNDP Zambia (2011) acknowledged that increased access to financial services as well as agricultural inputs, to small and medium scale farmers (to be indicated by % of support groups such as agricultural co-operatives, associated with or affiliated to the district business associations in the targeted districts), through government and partners or other stakeholders enabling of vulnerable populations to attain food security, thereby contribute to poverty eradication and attainment of MDGs, by 2015.

The late sixties and seventies were the years of Green Revolution. During Yellow Revolution oilseeds production reached up to 24.4 million tonnes.

Per capita availability of food grains went up to 528.77 g per day in 1996-97 when compared to 395 g in early fifties. Fertilizers consumption has also increased and India has become fourth in the world after USA, USSR and China.

In rural societies, the poorest people often have such weak or unprotected tenure rights that they risk losing land they depend on to more powerful neighbours, to private companies (domestic or foreign), or to members of their own families. Women are particularly vulnerable in that their land rights may be obtained through such kinship relationships with men or marriage that if those links were severed, women could lose their rights. Sufficient attention should be paid to secure access by small-scale food producers and processors to land tenure issues, to spearhead development projects therein. For instance, when irrigation is introduced into previously rain-fed farmland or roads are built to link farmers to markets, the new economic potential of the land makes it more attractive, and small-scale producers can lose out to more affluent or powerful settlers. Tenure security or rights also allows people to diversify their livelihoods by using their land as collateral, renting it out or selling it. It also influences the everyday choices of poor rural farmers, such as which crops to grow and whether crops are grown for subsistence or commercial purposes, and the extent to which farmers are prepared to invest in the long-term wellbeing of their land or to adopt new technologies and innovations. Lack of secure land tenure exacerbates poverty and has contributed to social instability and conflict in many parts of the world.

Pulse crops are grown on the largest Indian area in the world and India is the first to evolve a cotton hybrid.

Cropping pattern is changing and commercial crops and non-traditional (moong, soya bean, summer groundnut, sunflower etc) are gradually growing more importance in line with domestic demands and export requirements.

Diao (2012) found that better market access and opportunities, which fetched higher agricultural product prices and hence higher returns, among many other factors, determined agricultural growth, following better performance such as in terms of productiveness of the targeted agricultural subsector, for instance the agricultural co-operatives. It was further established that domestic and export market opportunities (and import-substitution opportunities) are determined by the development of agro-processing industries, domestic and international trade policies, and market-access conditions (for example, regulations and information flows).

Short duration varieties have been introduced to use the residual moisture available from post-kharif and post-rabi cultivation.

The index of agricultural production base T E 1981-82 = 100, recorded following trend

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A fall of 2%: 1991-92

An increase of 4. 1 %: 1992-93

An increase of 3.8%: 1993-94

An increase of 4.9%: 1994-95

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A fall of 0.4%: 1995-96

Food grain production was quite low after Independence because high-yielding area of Punjab went to Pakistan after division of India.

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In 1950-51 the food grain production was 51 million tonnes but it was 193.01 million tonnes during 1999-2000 resulting in a buffer stock of 35 million tonnes.

Land:

Land utilization statistics revealed that net sown area increased from 1,187.5 lakh in 1950-51 to 1,424.2 ha in 1998-99. The relative share of food grains and non-food grains in gross increased from 404.

Timberlake and Lawrence, Hansen and the world bank(1986), showed that agricultural production and productivity had reduced in that last score due to various reasons including population increase, pressure on marginal land, dependence on unreliable and poor rainfall, environmental degradation, government policies (favouring the urban while neglecting the rural population), deteriorating international conditions such as aid and its implications on the dependent economic sectors, and shifts in the government policies, and added that to strike a balance and hope for improvement and solutions to such, government agricultural policy reforms were introduced as economic and environmental conditions were difficult to control and influence effectively for the government.

8 lakh ha to 682.8 lakh ha in the same duration.

Crops:

The 3 main crop seasons are - kharif, rabi and jayad. Major crops are rice, jowar, bajra, maize, cotton, sesame, soya bean and groundnut. Major rabi crops are wheat, jowar, barley, gram, linseed, rapeseed and mustard.

According to Saasa (2003), smallholder farmers, who then depended on the government to handle the marketing and pricing of their products, had difficulty in the marketing and pricing of their agricultural products following the liberalisation of the agricultural sector, including the marketing and pricing of agricultural products. It was found that the farmers instead, disposed of their produce to unscrupulous traders, reduced production, diversified in other crops or lost their harvest while in storage.

Rice, maize and groundnlit are grown in the summer also.

Seeds:

Three types of seeds, namely, breeder, foundation and certified, are recognized by the system. Indian seed programme include central and state ICAR, SAU system, Public sector, co-operate sector and private sector institutions.

Lack of sufficient proper storage facilities, coupled with storage pests and diseases, causes significantly higher wastages in storage than on farm losses. Overdependence, on rainfall and external assistance, by smallholder farmers, such as government and other institutional or organisational support. There is little, if any rainfall supplementation through such methods as irrigation, posing a danger for poor harvests in times of poor rainfalls. Farmers rely on the government and donors for agricultural inputs. There is the risk of little and untimely availability of agricultural inputs, which in turn has implications for production and productivity. Besides, there is poor education and training among the farmers; generally, the levels of education and training among smallholder farmers are low. This is escalated by lack of specialisation in various sections of the agricultural sector, as well as inadequate extension services attributed to the high extension worker to farmer ratio. The sector also suffers low prices of produce and inefficient market systems, to mention but a few.

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National Seeds Corporation (NSC), State Farms Corporation of India (SFCI), 13 state seed corporation (SSC) and about 100 major private sector seed companies are the main components of Indian Seed, State Seed Certification Agencies (SSCAs) and 19 State Seed Testing Laboratories (SSTLs) looks after quality control and certification.

Modern techniques of agronomy, plant breeding, better strains of seeds that are pest resistant, fertilizers all have helped mankind to achieve more from the land. Today agriculture isn’t only a practice, in fact it has taken the form of a science where new and new researches are coming up everyday. This has helped us to produce agricultural products in any climate and season desired. Green houses are made for this purpose. In winter, they enable you to grow a vegetable, which usually grows in summer.

The Seeds Act, 1966, provides

(1) Legislative framework for regulation of quality of seeds sold in the country.

(2) System of certification of seeds sold in India.

(3) Notification of varieties, a pre-requisite certification Administration of the Act and quality control of seeds to look after by control solved committee and its various sub-committees and Central Seed Certification Board.

Seed has been declared an essential commodity under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.

Now India ranks first in the world in the production of tea and groundnuts. It ranks second in the world in the production of rice, sugarcane, jute and oil seeds. Till recent past before independence our agriculture depended on rains. As a result our agriculture produce was very small. In case the monsoons were good, we got a good harvest and in case the monsoons were not good, the crops failed and there was famine in some parts of the country. After the independence our Government made plans for the development of its agriculture.

The Seed (Control) Order 1983, was promulgated to control and regulate the seed production and distribution. The new seed policy on seed development has been in operation since 1988.

The main aim of seed policy is to makes available the best quality seed planting material “to farmer” anywhere in the world.

Our farmers were using the primitive methods of agriculture. -For years they have been sowing the seeds produced by themselves. These seeds were not quality seeds and the yield was low. Now high yielding varities from Government farms are being supplied to the farmers. These improved and better seeds have considerably raised our farm produce.

Plants, fruits and seeds (Regulation of import into India) Order, 1989, regulates the plant quarantine clearance. Export of seeds is liberally allowed, only certain categories of seeds and planting material are in list of restricted climate for which a license is required.
Apart from those who are directly involved in the agrarian sector, a large number of the population is also engaged in agro-based activities. Agriculture meets the foods requirements of large population of India. It ensures food security for the country. Substantial increase in the production of food grain like-rice, wheat etc. and non-food grains like-tea, coffee, spices, fruits and vegetables, sugar, cotton etc. has made India self-sufficient. Agriculture also contributes to the national income of our country. It accounts for 26 percent of the gross domestic product. The growth of most of the industries depends on agriculture. It produces several materials for industries. It forms the basis of many industries of India like-cotton, textile, jute, sugar industries etc by providing cotton, sugarcane, oilseeds etc. People engaged in agriculture also buy the products of industries like-tractors, pesticides, fertilizers, pump-set etc. Agriculture contributes in foreign exchange of our country. India exports agricultural products like tea, coffee, sugar, tobacco, spices etc and earns foreign currency. Exports from the agricultural sector have helped India in earning valuable foreign exchange and thereby boosting economic development. From above mentioned facts it is very clear that in spite of industrial development still agriculture is the backbone of the Indian economy.

National Seeds Project III (NSP III) aimed at overall important in seed quality programme. Since 1969, the Central Seed Committee has verified 2,385 varieties of agricultural and horticultural crops.

Fertilizer:

The consumption of chemical fertilizer during 1999-2000 is estimated to be more than 14.93 million tonnes. Sharp increase in prices and introduction of bio fertilizers result in its lower consumption.

Dams were constructed across many of the main rivers and canals were dug out to provide water for the irrigation of the land. Tube-wells and pump-sets were provided to the farmers to irrigate the fields, where canal water could not reach. The use of better seeds, fertilizers and new techniques in agriculture, has brought about a revolution called the Green Revolution in agriculture. Our agriculture produce has increased manifolds, but the progress is still hot sufficient. Our population is growing at a fast rate. Every year we have" millions of new mouths to be feeded. We must check this fast growing population.

The Government of India is implementing two Sponsored schemes: (i) balanced and use of fertilizers to popularize the use of organic sources of nutrients (compost, green manure, bio fertilizers; etc, and (ii) National Project and Technology Mission on Development and Use of Bio fertilizers - to give adequate thrust to bio fertilizer production and promotion under Essential Commodities Act, 1955.

The government has issued Fertilizer Control Order, 1985.

The soil has been loosing its fertility by the sowing of the same crops year after year. The rotation of crops is a good method to get better yield from the land. By changing the crop pattern the land remains fertile and produces better crops. The farmers have been taken up crop rotation.

The government has been implementing a Central Sector Scheme on strengthening of Central Fertilizer Quality Control and Training Institute since Fourth Plan.

Soil and Water Conservation:

Soil and water conservation measures were launched in First Five-Year Plan. Till the end of 1995- 96, 15.22% of the treatable area had been treated in the area catchment of River Valley Project. Under Flood Prone River Scheme 10.25% area of the total treatable area had been treated till the end of 1995- 96.

Under the Seventh Five-Year Plan, a centrally-sponsored scheme of reclamation of alkali user soils was initiated in Haryana, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh.

Mucavele .F. G (2009), found that about 97.4% of rural households were engaged in smallholder agriculture, that these constituted the 74% of the estimated 600,000 farmers, countrywide, 26% of which are commercial farmers, and that agriculture in general contributed about 18% towards the national GDP over the last decade. He added that according to the world fact-book (2002), more rural based people were increasingly venturing into smallholder agriculture as the means of survival, following increased unemployment levels.

It was extended to Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

During 8th Plan Watershed Development Project in Shifting Cultivation Areas (V/DPSCA) has been initiated in north-eastern states. It was in accordance with the guideline of the on-going centrally scheme of National Watershed Development Project Rainfed Area (NWDPRA).

The latest technique used by farmers is lying of water pipes under the soil. When a crop is sowed in the field, these pipes release water and some mineral nutrients periodically. Our Write My Essay Company professionals know that this way the roots of the plant absorbs most of the water and mineral which leads to it best growth. This way we are able to increase productivity.

Agricultural Implements and Machinery:

Farmers have been provided assistance for owning agricultural machinery including tractors. Besides this farm machines are exhausted for their characteristics and betterment.

Write My Essay Company experts suggest you to keep in mind this essay on agriculture explains how agriculture has evolved over the period of time, and how industrialization of society has helped farmers to yield more crops from the same area of land. If we go on tracking the roots of agriculture, we will find that the development of agriculture has developed and redefined itself over time. There were times when every process from ploughing to cultivating was done by hand. Today machines have taken over to do the same process more effectively. It helps not only in doing the given job quickly but also in increasing the productivity per hector of land.

Five states agricultural universities are being aided for farm machinery testing, training and human resources development. In spite of the efforts the improvement in farm machinery use has been mainly northern states and in few areas where irrigation facilities have been developed.
Our farmers have been using old methods and old implements for farming. Our farmers have been using wooden plough for centuries. It could not plough the land quite deep. Now iron ploughs are being used. These ploughs can till the land deeper and prepare the field for sowing in lesser time. Banks and cooperative societies have given loans to farmers at low rate of interest. The farmers have bought new implements, fertilizers, improved seeds and farm machinery with these loans. A large number of farmers now use tractors for ploughing, sowing and reaping the crops. They have bought new implements for farming. The farming has become more easy and convenient. This has given a forward push to the agriculture production in our country.

Sale of tractors (220937) and power-tillers (11,000) touched the all time high work in 1996-97, and because of this at farm available power in 1.10 hp/ha in 1996 compared to 0.35 hp/ha in early 70’s. During the Ninth Plan, the main emphasis was on improving and popularizing animal/power driven implements and small farms.

Water saving devices like sprinkles and drip irrigation were given main importance.

There are many reasons responsible for the low productivity of agriculture. About one-third of land holdings are very small less than one hectare in size. Due to small size of land holdings we cannot use modern way of cultivation. Even today the farmers are using very old methods, tools and implements for fanning. Farmers are not using artificial ways of cultivation. Inputs like-better quality of seeds, fertilizers and pesticides are also not used by most of the farmers. Exploitation of marginal farmers is also responsible. There is also low productivity because of increasing pressure on land and absence of bank credit.

During Eighth plan, centrally-sponsored scheme, promotion of agricultural mechanization, small farmers was launched and under it 30% subsidy limited to Rs. 30,000 was given to farmers, then groups, etc.

During Ninth plan two schemes, viz.

Land revenue, excise duty on agro-based goods, taxes on production and sale of agricultural machinery forms a goods part of sources of Govt. Revenue.

(a) promoting/popularization of agricultural equipments in north- eastern states, (b) conducting studies and formulating long-term mechanization strategies for each agro-climatic zone, were started. State Agro-Industries Corporation (SAICSs) act as catalyst for providing to the farmers access to various industrial inputs for agriculture.
Low technology; Unsustainable and poor farming techniques such as chitemene and fundikila systems, as well as simple tools including axes, hoes and, etc, coupled with poor on-farm crop management contribute to low agricultural production and productivity per farmer or per farm.

Power threshers has been brought under Dangerous Machines (Regulation) Act because of increasing awareness on safety measure among users.

Plant Protection:

Integrated Pest Management (IPM), in eco-friendly approach, was adopted as a major thrust area of crop protection during 8th plan. IPM aims at minimal use of hazardous chemical pesticides by using alternate pest control methods and technique.

Insects and diseases cause great harm to the crops. The crops must be protected against pests and insects to get proper yield. The Government is supplying pesticides and insecticides to the farmers at subsidized rates. The use of pesticides and insecticides has increased the quantity and quality of agriculture produce.

The surveillance for pests and diseases on economically important crop was carried out and about 1,603 million bio-agents were released.

Bacillus neem-based bio-pesticides are being granted regular registration status under the Insecticides Act, 1968.

Our agriculture remained under developed for a long time. We did not produce enough food for our people. Our country had to buy food-grains from other countries, but the things are changing now. India is producing more food-grains than its needs. Some food-grains are being sent to other countries. Great improvements have been made in. agriculture through our five year plans. Green Revolution has been brought about in the agricultural field. Now our country is self-sufficient in food-grains. It is now in a position to export surplus food-grains and some other agricultural products to other countries.

BHC, Aldirin, cheorclane, Heptachlor were banned with effect from April 1997 and 20 September, 1996, respectively.

The plant guarantee activities aim at presenting introduction of exotic pests and diseases into the country by adopting domestic plant qurantine regulation.

They prepare plans, stating the finances required and where it will come from to finance the planned activities.

It also works for controlling / containing of those exotic diseases/pests already introduced in the country.

Destructive Insecticides and Pests Act (DIP Act) and Plants, Fruits and Seeds (Regulation of Import into India) Order, 1989 (PFS order) are implanted under this scheme.

Our land was loosing its fertility being put to cultivation continuously for years together. Cattle dung which is the best form of manure, was being used as fuel. The use of manures and fertilizers helps to restore the fertility of the soil. Our Govern­ment has set up fertilizer plants at Nangal, Sindri, Trombay, Gorakhpur, Kamrup and Neyveli. Many new fertilizer factories are being built. Some chemical fertilizers are being imported from other countries. The Government is supplying sufficient fertilizers to the farmers. The use of these "chemical fertilizers has increased our agriculture produce manifolds.

Phytosanitary certificate (PC) as per provisions of International Protection Convention (IPC), 1951 of FAO, is also supplied under these activities.

The post-entry quarantine stations located at 10 international airports, seaports, and 7 land frontiers.

In the past irrigation facilities were not sufficient. Farmers depended mainly on rain water for irrigation. Canals and tube-wells were very few. Under the five year plans our Government has built dams on many of the rivers. Bhakra-Nangal Project, Damodar Valley Project, Hirakud Dam, Nagarjuna Sagar Dam, Krishna Sagar Dam and Mettur Dam are some of these dams. Water is stored in big lakes and reservoirs for generating electricity for our industries and agriculture. Water of the dams is being taken by canals to distant lands for irrigation. Tube-wells and pumping sets have been supplied to the farmers. Now more land is irrigated and better crops are produced.

National Plant Protection Training Institute, Hyderabad, provides training in various airports of Plant Protection.

Dry land/Rainfed Farming:

Total net sown area in the country is about 142 million ha and out of it 92.6 million ha is rainfed. Production has wide fluctuation due to variation in rainfall as whole farming depends upon rainfall which is often erratic and unpredictable.

Agricultural co-operatives have the potential to overcome agricultural barriers to assets, information services and markets for agricultural commodities, to stand on behalf of small farmers and transact out the business in a cost effective manner, to create the ability for the supply of required agricultural inputs so that production of commodities is done timely to enhance productivity, to provide an assured market for commodities produced by isolated small farmers in the rural areas, with collective, to capture the benefits of value added, because of bulking and take advantages of introducing grades and standards allowing agro processing value addition for the members. Besides, they are responsible for stimulating poor farmers to make entry into markets, enhancing demand for standards and grades, even for perishable commodities such as bananas, onions and tomatoes. All co-operatives are affiliated with the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA), which has the opportunity to navigate global co-operative trade. Such initiative would involve connecting the African co-operatives, with for example fair trade organizations in Europe and America. The ICA also, has an opportunity of innovative work of linking African co-operatives, with technologically advanced agricultural co-operative systems in Asia and Latin America ( Ortman et al, 2006, Holloway, 2000 etal, Chambo, 2009)

Jowar, bajra other millets pulses, oilseeds and cotton are grown.

Increase and stability in their productivity is of crucial importance. In the 8th plan holistic approach was adopted under the National Watershed Development Project for Rainfed Area (N WDPRA).

From the very beginning of human race, the field of agriculture has had remained at the epicenter of human survival. For many centuries before industrialization of economies took place, agriculture wasn’t only seen as a process of growing things to eat, but in fact it was also considered to be one of the major ways of exchange of goods. This was the time when the societies were agriculture based and every family owned a farm or two where they grew whatever they consumed. People of the society were self sustaining and they didn’t depend on others for their survival as it happens today.

It aimed at development of integrated farming system on watershed basin in shifted areas.

The NWDPRA was launched in 1990-91, with the objective of restoration of ecological balances in rainfed areas and sustainable bio-mass production.

The area of the land under cultivation has been decreasing year after year. More and more land is required for building houses, factories, roads and other buildings. Therefore the area of the land under cultivation is decreasing. To meet this shortage more and more barren, waste and kullar land should be reclaimed and brought under plough. Our Government is reclaiming more waste land and it is-being brought under cultivation, by using proper chemicals and irrigation facilities.

It also works for generating employment opportunities for rural manner in rainfed areas by developing self-help groups.

Under this project the target is of treating 28 million ha area. The Integrated Watershed Development Project (Hills) and Integrated Watershed Development Project (Plains) are underway and their main aim is slow down and reverse degradation of natural environment and improve potential of the areas.

Zambia’s population stands at over 13 million, with 60% of the population depending on agriculture for their livelihoods, with 83% of this % living in estimated poverty (World Bank, 2009 and CPAP, 2011). It was noted that the majority of smallholder farmers had low formal education, though were exposed to various forms of informal education and training through extension service provisions, and that low labour productivity and low quality of human capital also contributed to poor agricultural production and poverty eradication (CPAP, 2011).

Agricultural Development Projects (ADPs) with the assistance of World Bank are being implemented to (i) enhance long-time sustainability in agriculture, and (ii) create infrastructure in rural area.

DANIDAG (Government of Denmark), EEC (European Economic Community) and SDC (Swiss Development Corporation) are playing vital role in aided agricultural development programmes.

Now the Government is trying to educate the farmers. Agriculture colleges and universities have been set up. They give all type of knowledge regarding agricultural science to the young farm students. These colleges and universities organize orientation courses for the farmers. These courses train the people in modern techniques and methods of farming. The Doordarshan and Aakashvani are also educating the farmers regarding the new techniques in farming. They have started special programmers like Krishl Darshan and Kheti Ki Baten exclusively for the farmers.

Technology Mission:

The Technology Mission on oilseeds provided the necessary breakthrough in oilseeds production. Oilseeds sector has now become to major foreign exchange earner. The oilseed production was doubled in decade (126 mt in 1987-88 to 24.4 mt 1996-97).

The country on an average, has enough in stock to meet the food requirements of its citizens. India has emerged as the largest producer of coconut, ginger, cashew nut, black-peeper and as the second largest producers of fruits and vegetables. The productivity of the land has increased through the years, but has not reached international productivity levels. Indian agriculture has diversified into various sectors and contributes significantly to the nation’s economy. But this situation is not likely to remain so easy in the years to come. The population of India is likely to be around 1300 million. This would require a huge amount of food grains along with non-food grains. India has to use its vast potential of agriculture in a systematic and planned manner. We have to develops some of the techniques which the developed countries have been using.

Time is popularly famous as Yellow Revolution. Pulses and maize were also brought under the ambit of Technology Mission. Centrally-sponsored Oilseeds Production Programme (OPP), National Pulses Development Project (NPDP), and Accelerated Maize Development Programme (AMDP) are being continued in 9th Plan also.

Thus we see that every effort is being made to develop our agriculture and boost the agriculture production. We should not rest here. We should continue our efforts to develop our agriculture still further.

Horticulture:

The production of fruits and vegetables was 38.3 and 67.24 million tonnes respectively. India attained second position in coconut production. Above 10% of coconut production is from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka.

Agriculture provides food for Nation. Before 1947, we had acute food shortage but after 1969 Green Revolution in agriculture has made us self sufficient in food production. In 2003-04, production of rice was 870 lakh metric tonnes and of wheat 721 lakh metric tonnes.

India is the worlds, leading producer and exporter of cashew accounting for nearly world’s 50% demand.

Animal Husbandry:

The gross value of output from livestock sector, at current price, was about Rs. 827 billion in 1995- 96 about 26% of value of total output agricultural sector excluding animal draught buffaloes, 50.8 million sheep, 115.3 million goats, 12.8 million pigs, 3 million pack animals and 307 million poultry.

The Operation Flood Programme, the world’s, largest integrated dairy development programmes, completed its III phase in 1996.

Chambo(2009) established that agricultural co-operatives in Africa were still at the drawing board, that more design work needed to be done with the participation of members to arrive at an appropriate size of agricultural co-operatives which could respond to the needs of members. He emphasised that design work had to be part of the policy agenda for governments so that policy makers were not fixed to static traditional models of the co-operative enterprise, that policy and legal framework for co-operatives needed more design and constant review work, guided by the members. It was identified that explicit adjustment and reduction of government controls in the co-operative movement were necessary so that the members would be free to mobilize resources for expansion of the agricultural enterprises in their regions, that member education for empowerment and entrepreneurship needed a new and drastic review so that members education and training, could be directed to problem solving but at the same time, introduce the members to programs of bringing about change and trained to become entrepreneurs on their own right. Getting new generation co-operatives would cultivate the required risk taking by the members and would not allow free riding while on the other hand, the co-operators will get the right incentives to sustain the co-operative enterprise attracting qualified leadership and management capacity expected in agricultural co-operatives.

By September 1990, about 73,300 dairy cooperatives were organized including about 9.4 million farmers.

The average milk procurement in July 1997 was 107.3 lakh litre milk/day and average milk marketed per day was 112 lakh litre milk per day. More than 62% milk procurement was from marginal, small and landless farmers.

Plants and animals, the backbone of agriculture have been a part of the human experience since the beginning of our time on earth, it is held that our earliest ancestors lived as nomads, but as their population grew, providing everyone with food became increasingly difficult and their movement slowed by the growing group, they chose to settle and the earliest societies were formed. Agriculture was created by these our early ancestors as the means of providing for themselves, the main thing they could not do as nomads.

The milk production was almost stagnant between 1947 and 1978 with an annual growth rate of merely 1%, but after that Operation Flood Programme a growth rate 4.5% per annum was observed.

In 1996-97, the milk production was 69 million ml tonnes.

The Five-year Plans accorded priority to the agricultural sector. In the past 50 years the food grain production in the country increased substantially from 51 million tonnes in 1950-51 to 209 million tonnes in 1999-2000. Inspite of the constant rise of population, we have been able to built a food stock of 44.7 million tonnes in 2001. This is because of the technological and institutional reforms in our country. The Indian government took several steps to improve the agricultural condition in the country. The government has encouraged consolidation of land holdings to promote use of modern farm machines. Land reforms were introduced. The government took lands of big land owners away and redistributed to landless labourers. The government abolished the Zamindari System. Modern methods of cultivation were introduced in the country. The government provided better infrastructure facilities such as— irrigation, electricity and transportation. Agricultural equipments such as— tractors, pump harvesters, fertilizers, pesticides were made available to farmers. Getting finance from banks was made easier for the farmers. The crop insurance was another step to protect the farmers against losses caused by crop failure on account of natural calamities like drought, flood cyclone etc. High-yielding varieties of seeds, fertilizers and irrigation gave birth to Green Revolution. All these led to tremendous increase in the production of crops.

In 1969-70 the milk availability per capita was only 107 ml/day which increased to 202 ml/day in 1996-97, which is still under the recommended nutritional requirement of 220 ml/day as per Indian Council of Medical Research.
Literally speaking agriculture means the production of crops and live stock on a farm. Generally speaking, agriculture is cultivation of crops. In Economics, agriculture means cultivation of crops along with animal husbandry, poultry, dairy farming, fishing and even forestry.

The Government of India launched Technology Mission on Dairy Development (TMDD) in August 1988 to accelerate the pace of Dairy Development in country and reached to first position in the world. Father of White Revolution is Prof.

From agricultural point of view, India is a unique country. It has vast expanse of level land, rich soils, wild climatic variations suited for various types of crops, ample sunshine and a long growing season. The net sown area in India today is about 143 million hectares. India has the highest percentage of land under cultivation in the world. In spite of the fact that large areas in India, after independence, have been brought under irrigation, only one-third of the cropped area is actually irrigated. The productivity of agriculture is very low. Farming depends mainly upon monsoon rain. Most of the production comprises food crops. About one-third of the land holdings are small, less than one hectare in size. Farmers own their own small prices of land and grow crops primarily for consumption. Even storage facilities for crops are inadequate. Now use of pesticides and fertilizers has increased and large areas have been brought under high yielding variety of seeds. This led to green revolution in several parts of India. This has helped in increasing yields per hectare as well as total production of different crops.

(Dr) V. Kurien.

Fisheries:

Blue Revolution by enhancing fish production from 0.75 million mt in 1951 to 5.4 million mt in 1997 put India as second largest fish producing country in the world in fresh water aquaculture. Fish production increased at an average rate of 4.4% 1 year during the five years of 8th Five-Year Plan.

Fish Farmers’ Development Agencies (FFDAs), an important programme, was launched by the government to improve overall production of inland fisheries in India.

The Government is trying to help the farmers in many ways. It has set up agencies like the Food Corporation of •India to purchase the farm produce directly from the farmers at Government rates so that the farmers may not be fleeced by the middlemen.

These agencies brought about 3.87 lakh ha water area under intensive fish culture.

There are 6 major fishing harbours viz. Cochin, Chennai, Vishakhapatnam, Roychowk and Paradip, and 41 minor fishing harbours and fish landing centres.

The agricultural industry is a key one in the development of any nation, it is the central industry of every developing nation as history shows, and almost all the developed nations today grew on the back of a solid agricultural industry. When enough is produced for the people it provides a strong and healthy human resource needed to work farms and create more products, eventually the supply becomes more than the demand and trade was created. Agriculture was an important influence in the creation of trade and money …….the backbone of civilization today.

Brackish-water Fish Fanners. Development agencies are trying to improve the country’s’ vast brackish-water area for shrimp culture.

Guidelines have also been issued for mitigating the adverse impact if any, of farming on the coastal eco-system.

Agriculture itself is a science, but science has influenced agriculture as much as agriculture has influenced science. Agriculture has provided materials and direction for many researchers, in turn researchers have discovered vital information about agriculture that have changed the scale and output of agriculture such as the invention of farming technology for mass production, the invention of pesticides and enriched fertilizers and more. Through agriculture we have learnt so much about our environment…. plants, animals, soil, climate, seasons and more. We are able to control and care for the food we eat and ensure it is properly cultivated and non lethal.

The government of India started two important schemes for the welfare of traditional fishermen. These are - (i) Group Accident Insurance Scheme, and (ii) Development of Model Fisherman Villages.

Agricultural Census:

As a part of the World United Nations Agricultural Census Programme in pursuance of the recommendation of the FAO, the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation has organized census on quinquennial basis since 1970-71 (1970-71, 1980-81, 1985-86, 1991-92, 2000-01). Sixth agricultural census with reference 1995-96 is in operation.

There are many challenging experiences faced by agricultural co-operatives, including stiff competition, sometimes without clear rules, controlling government policy and legislation and leadership, management and governance challenge, member participation and empowerment and the challenge of capital investment in co-operatives.

According to report of 1990-91, operational holdings in the country has increased from 972 million in 1985-86 to 1,066 million in 1990-91 and operated area has risen by 0.6%. The press of population on land with average size sure of holding decreased from 1. 69 ha in 1985-86 to 1.55 ha in 1990-91.

Holdings operated by scheduled castes has increased by 11. 5% and by scheduled tribes by 4.2% from 1985-86 to 1990-91. In 1901 the population in rural area was 89.2% while in 1991 it reduced 74.3%. In 1991 the total number of villages was 580,781 out which 1, 12,803 are in Uttar Pradesh only.

WTO (2002), established that 60% of the total national maize production was accounted for by small scale agriculture, which was vulnerable to rainfall swings, following dependence of small scale agriculture on rainfall, and stated that this posed a serious risk to national food security in times of droughts and floods, and suggested that small scaled agriculture turn to supplementation of rainfall with irrigation.

NABARD:

National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) was launched on 12 July, 1982. It was established for promotion of agriculture, rural-side industries, village industries, handicrafts and other activities in rural areas to promote rural development.

India is an agricultural country. The Indian economy is basically agrarian. In spite of economic development and industrialization, agriculture is the backbone of the Indian economy. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “India lives in villages and agriculture is the soul of Indian economy”. Nearly two-thirds of its population depends directly on agriculture for its livelihood. Agriculture is the main stay of India’s economy. It contributes about 26 percent of the gross domestic product. Agriculture meets food requirements of the people and produces several raw materials for industries.

Social Security Group Scheme:

Landless Agriculture Labourers Group Insurance (LALGI) Scheme is in operation since 1987. It takes care of heads of families in the age group of 18-60 years and who are not land holders.

India ranks top position in production of groundnuts and sugarcane. It has second position in production of rice and staple cotton. It has third position in production of tobacco. Our agricultural universities are working as role model for other developing nations.

Under IRDP a Group Life Insurance Scheme is being separated for which entire premium is paid by the central government.

Farm and Home Programmes:

The average duration of farm and home broadcast 60-100 min. Farm schools as method of communicating distant education on fanning have been adopted by All India Radio stations located in different regions.

Agricultural cooperative organisations all over the world are facing the task of transforming and adjusting them-selves to a new economic and political environment, market oriented conditions and increasing member demands. This means a need to learn new production methods, new methods of organisation and management, and in particular, ways to help maintain or increase, member loyalty and commitment. This can be achieved through increased participation, communication and information provided the organisation’s core activities are efficient in meeting member’s needs. They, for instance, market surveys and studies to explore what kind, quality and quantity of produce customers want (FAO, 1998). They work out what and how customer’s needs could be identified, what are the possible outlets for sale of member’s produce, can long term contracts be made with such suppliers and customers and who the competitors for market are in their region.

Akashvani Annual Award is given away to best Farm and Home Programmes of the year.

Agricultural Extension:

The Directorate of Extension (DoE) undertake agricultural extension programme of the Government of India.

The National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE) at Hyderabad, looks after the human resource development activities of Directorate of Extension (DoE).

Contribution to national income from agriculture, forests and other primary activities is 24%. In 1950-51 contribution of agricultural sector to national income was 59% and in 2004-05, it came down to 24.4%. Contribution of agricultural sector in national income is considerable. In rich countries the agriculture is quite developed but contribution is very little. In USA agriculture contributes only 2%. In under-developed countries like India, contribution of agriculture is national income was 27%.

DANIDA is helping agricultural training.

Agricultural Research and Education:

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research is directly involved in undertaking fundamental as well as applied research in traditional and frontier areas to offer solution to problems relating to agriculture.

The research is carried out through a chain of 45 institutes and 4 national bureaux, 30 national research centres, 10 project directorates, 80 All India Coordinated Research Projects, 4 National Institutes and Deemed-to-be university status, 31 State Agricultural Universities and 200 zonal research stations.

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The whole country has been divided into 120 district agro-climatic zones. Large network of front-line ICAR-SAU extension system consists of 261 Krishi Vigyan Kendras, 8 Trainers., Training centres (TTC) and 42 Institutions Village-Linkage Programme (IVLP). The 1VLP was started for technology assessment and refinement.

Agriculture represents a very important development in human history, considering the benefits agriculture and its products have brought us since then, it is arguable that we would have developed to this stage without our involvement in and development of agriculture.

The ICAR has established Agricultural Information System (ARIS). A WAN connecting SAUs, ICAR institutes/headquarters has been established. Connectivity is provided through dial-up, leased line, RF links and VSAT (100).

Agriculture is the main occupation in India. Majority of people live in villages. So labour force in various sectors like police, defence and industries is provided by villages disguised unemployment present in agricultural sector can be used as source of supply for other sectors.

It allows E-mail, Internet browsing- file transfer etc.

National Agricultural Technology Project (NATP):

The NATP was jointly prepared by the ICAR and Department of Agricultural Cooperation (DOAC), and for this the World Bank assured assistance of Rs 200 million. Its main aim is technology generation and its transfer. Its three major components are - Agro-ecosystem Research, innovations in technology dissemination, organization and management system.

Future Plan:

The perspective plans Vision 2020 formulated up to 2020 AD for sustainable growth of Indian agriculture. The required per cent growth in production of various commodities over the 1994-96 average to meet the demand of by 2020 and is very high.

Means of transport are required for transporting food grains from farms to consumers and agricultural raw materials to markets and factories. Transport is also needed for taking chemical fertilizers, seeds, diesel and agricultural equipment from markets and factories to villages and farms.

ItemsGrowth Rate % over the 1994-96
Foodgrains55
Fruits142
Milk28
Meat57

Agriculture

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