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Agricultural growth, key to inclusive economic progress

india agricultural growth

Agriculture growth is the key factor to inclusive growth and helps in raising rural incomes and purchasing power in rural India. Agriculture is one of the most important sectors of country’s economy. According to the data of 2005, agriculture and its sub-sectors such as forestry, logging and fishing accounted for 18.6% of the GDP and employed 60 per cent of the India’s population.

Agriculture accounts for 8.56% of country’s exports and more than 40 per cent of India’s geographical area is used for agricultural purpose. It is still playing noteworthy role in the country’s socio-economic development.

Data says that India has shown tremendous growth in almost every sector accept agriculture and benefits of high growth rate is not reaching to the poor people living in thousands of villages in the country. Evenhanded and comprehensive growth will be possible if the people living in rural parts would get their share in growth. Concentrating on agricultural growth is the best probable way to inclusive growth in the country.

Agriculture is a living heritage and our policy makers should protect and promote it for the betterment of country’s economic health.

Rather singing the success story of first green revolution we should look at the structural weaknesses coming in the way of further growth in this sector including low public investment, fatigue of yield potential of new high-yielding varieties of crops, poor use of fertilizer, low frequency of seed replacement and low productivity per unit area in all crops.

The government should think positive to take initiative to revive agriculture with the better use of water resources and seeds, management of agricultural lands, frequent supply of quality seeds and fertilizers, boosting the credit policy for farmers at affordable interest rates, post-harvest management in rural areas. The government should encourage rural youths to join agri business.

The much-needed agricultural growth would develop the rural areas and increase the rural household incomes that would further boost the country’s purchasing power at large. The development of agricultural land and irrigation are some of the necessary steps to be taken within due course of time.

Improvement of crops quality and restoring soil health through organic farming techniques should be the next step. We should remember what Mahatma Gandhi had said –

Trading in soil fertility for the sake of quick returns could prove to be a disastrous, short-sighted policy. It would result in virtual depletion of the soil.

Indian government should work hard to build an alternate irrigation system because the farming cannot be much dependent on monsoon. Former President APJ Abdul Kalam’s idea of interlinking the rivers should be promoted and implemented soon to supply the irrigation water to those areas where it needs most.

A well-planned crop diversification strategy concentrating on crops, horticulture, livestock, poultry, fishery and other on-farm and off-farm enterprises is also need of the time for production as well as consumption both. Apart from technological advancements, we should respect and encourage the traditional wisdom of farmers and promote the traditional farming culture.

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