Agriculture

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Social Science Project work

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Agriculture

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Introduction to Agriculture Agriculture is a primary activity. It include growing crops, fruits, vegetables and rearing of livestock in the world. Favourable topography of soil and climate are vital for agricultural activity. The land on which the crops are grown is known as arable land.

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Agriculture in India Agriculture in India has a long history, dating back to ten thousand years. Today, India ranks second worldwide in farm output. Agriculture and allied sectors like forestry and logging accounted for 16.6% of the GDP in 2007, employed 52% of the total workforce and despite a steady decline of its share in the GDP, is still the largest economic sector and plays a significant role in the overall social-economic development of India. India is the largest producer in the world of fresh fruit, anise, fennel, badian, coriander, tropical fresh fruit, jute, pigeon, peas, pulses, spices, millets, castor oil seed, sesame seeds, safflower seeds, lemons, limes, cow's milk, dry chillies and peppers, chick peas, cashew nuts, okra, ginger, turmeric guavas, mangoes, goat milk and milk and meat. India is also the largest producer of millets like Jowar Bajra and Ragi. It is second only to China in the production of rice. India is the 6th largest coffee producer in the world It also has the world's largest cattle population (281 million). It is the second largest producer of cashews, cabbages, seed and lint, fresh vegetables, garlic, egg plant, goat meat, silk, nutmeg. mace, cardamom, onions, wheat, rice, sugarcane, lentil, dry beans, groundnut, tea, green peas, cauliflowers, potatoes, pumpkins, squashes, gourds and inland fish. ] It is the third largest producer of tobacco, sorghum, rapeseed, coconuts, hen's eggs and tomatoes. India accounts for 10% of the world fruit production with first rank in the production of mangoes, papaya, banana and sapota.

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Initiatives The required level of investment for the development of marketing, storage and cold storage infrastructure is estimated to be huge. The government has not been able to implement various schemes to raise investment in marketing infrastructure. Among these schemes are Construction of Rural Go downs, Market Research and Information Network, and Development / Strengthening of Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure, Grading and Standardization. The Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), established in 1905, was responsible for the research leading to the " Indian Green Revolution " of the 1970s. The Indian Council Of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is the apex body in agriculture and related allied fields, including research and education. The Union Minister of Agriculture is the President of the ICAR. The Indian Agricultural Statics Research Institute develops new techniques for the design of agricultural experiments, analyses data in agriculture, and specializes in statistical techniques for animal and plant breeding.

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Indian agriculture policy is aimed essentially at improving food self sufficiency and alleviating hunger through food distribution. Aside from investing in ( agricultural infrastructure) , the government supports agriculture through measures including minimum support prices (MSP) for the major agricultural crops, farm input subsidies and preferential credit schemes. Under the price support policy, MSPs are set annually for basic staples to protect producers from sharp price falls, to stabilise prices and to ensure adequate food stocks for public distribution. In the past guaranteed prices have been below the prevailing market prices, according to the ( International Food Policy Research Institute) (IFPRI) in 2007.At the same time subsidies on farm inputs including ( fertilisers , electrical power) and irrigation water have led to inefficient use of inputs and indirectly subsidise income. IFPRI concluded that “support for agriculture (from 1985-2002) has been largely counter cyclical to world prices”. Indian Agricultural Policy

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Cotton flower in India. This is the main cash crop in Vidarbha region. Slow agricultural growth is a concern for policymakers as some two-thirds of India’s people depend on rural employment for a living. Current agricultural practices are neither economically nor environmentally sustainable and India's yields for many agricultural commodities are low. Poorly maintained irrigation systems and almost universal lack of good extension services are among the factors responsible. Farmers' access to markets is hampered by poor roads, rudimentary market infrastructure, and excessive regulation. —World Bank “ India Country Overview 2008” Problems

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The low productivity in India is a result of the following factors:- According to World Bank, Indian Branch: Priorities for Agriculture and Rural Development", India's large agricultural subsidies are hampering productivity-enhancing investment. Overregulation of agriculture has increased costs, price risks and uncertainty. Government intervenes in labour , land, and credit markets. India has inadequate infrastructure and services. World Bank also says that the allocation of water is inefficient, unsustainable and inequitable. The irrigation infrastructure is deteriorating. The overuse of water is currently being covered by over pumping aquifers, but as these are falling by foot of groundwater each year, this is a limited resource. Illiteracy, general socio-economic backwardness, slow progress in implementing land reforms and inadequate or inefficient finance and marketing services for farm produce. Inconsistent government policy. Agricultural subsidies and taxes often changed without notice for short term political ends. The average size of land holdings is very small (less than 20,000 m²) and is subject to fragmentation due to land ceiling acts, and in some cases, family disputes. Such small holdings are often over-manned, resulting in disguised unemployment and low productivity of labour.

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Adoption of modern agricultural practices and use of technology is inadequate, hampered by ignorance of such practices, high costs and impracticality in the case of small land holdings. Irrigation facilities are inadequate, as revealed by the fact that only 52.6% of the land was irrigated in 2003–04, which result in farmers still being dependent on rainfall, specifically the Monsoon season. A good monsoon results in a robust growth for the economy as a whole, while a poor monsoon leads to a sluggish growth. Farm credit is regulated by NABARD, which is the statutory apex agent for rural development in the subcontinent. At the same time over pumping made possible by subsidized electric power is leading to an alarming drop in aquifer levels.

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Grand Anicut dam on river Kaveri (1st-2nd Century CE) is one of the oldest water-regulation structures in the world still in use. Indian agriculture began by 9000 BCE as a result of early cultivation of plants, and domestication of crops and animals. Settled life soon followed with implements and techniques being developed for agriculture. Double monsoons led to two harvests being reaped in one year. Indian products soon via existing trading networks and foreign crops were reached the world introduced to India. Plants and animals—considered essential to their survival by the Indians—came to be worshiped and venerated. The middle ages saw irrigation channels reach a new level of sophistication in India and Indian crops affecting the economies of other regions of the world under Islamic patronage. Land and water management systems were developed with an aim of providing uniform growth. Despite some stagnation during the later modern era the independent Republic of India was able to develop a comprehensive agricultural program. History of agriculture in India

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Republic of India (1947 CE onwards) Bhakra Dam (completed 1963) is the largest dam in India. Special programs were undertaken to improve food and cash crops supply. The Grow More Food Campaign (1940s) and the Integrated Production Programme (1950s) focused on food and cash crops supply respectively. Five-year plans of India—oriented towards agricultural development—soon followed. Land reclamation, land development, mechanization, electrification, use of chemicals—fertilizers in particular, and development of agriculture oriented 'package approach' of taking a set of actions instead of promoting single aspect soon followed under government supervision. The many 'production revolutions' initiated from 1960s onwards included Green Revolution in India, Yellow Revolution (oilseed: 1986-1990), Operation Flood (dairy: 1970-1996), and Blue Revolution (fishing: 1973-2002) etc. Following the economic reforms of 1991, significant growth was registered in the agricultural sector, which was by now benefiting from the earlier reforms and the newer innovations of Agro-processing and Biotechnology. .

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Due to the growth and prosperity that followed India's economic reforms a strong middle class emerged as the main consumer of fruits, dairy, fish, meat and vegetables—a marked shift from the earlier staple based consumption. Since 1991, changing consumption patterns led to a 'revolution' in 'high value' agriculture while the need for cereals is experienced a decline. The per capita consumption of cereals declined from 192 to 152 kilograms from 1977 to 1999 while the consumption of fruits increased by 553%, vegetables by 167%, dairy products by 105%, and non-vegetarian products by 85% in India's rural areas alone. Urban areas experienced a similar increase

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Since independence, India has become one of the largest producers of wheat, edible oil, potato, spices, rubber, tea, fishing, fruits, and vegetables in the world . The Ministry of Agriculture oversees activities relating to agriculture in India. Various institutions for agriculture related research in India were organized under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (est. 1929). Other organizations such as the National Dairy Development Board (est. 1965), and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (est. 1982) aided the formation of cooperatives and improved financing. Agricultural exports continued to grow at well over 10.1% annually through the 1990s. Contract farming—which requires the farmers to produce crops for a company under contract—and high value agricultural product increased. Contract farming led to a decrease in transaction costs while the contract farmers made more profit compared to the non-contract workforce. However, small landholding continued to create problems for India's farmers as the limited land resulted in limited produce and limited profits. Some Indian farmers.

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The contribution of agriculture in employing India's male workforce declined from 75.9% in 1961 to 60% in 1999–2000. Dev (2006) holds that 'there were about 45 million agricultural labor households in the country in 1999–2000. These households recorded the highest incidence of poverty in India from 1993 to 2000. The green revolution introduced high yielding varieties of crops which also increased the usage of fertilizers and pesticides. About 90% of the pesticide usage in India is accounted for by DDT and Lindane (BHC/HCH). There has been a shift to organic agriculture particularly for exported commodities. During 2003-04, agriculture accounted for 22 % of India's GDP and employed 58 per cent of the country's workforce. India is the world's largest producer of milk, fruits, cashew nuts, coconuts, ginger, turmeric, banana, sapota, pulses, and black pepper. India is the second largest producer of groundnut, wheat, vegetables, sugar and fish in the world. India is also the third largest producer of tobacco and rice, the fourth largest producer of coarse grains, the fifth largest producer of eggs, and the seventh largest producer of meat.

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Made By :- Dipendra Singh “IX” ‘B’ 24