India has relied on agriculture as a source of income and sustenance for centuries. Its fertile soil, varied climate, wet seasons (monsoons) and willing farmers have meant an abundance of crops that have flourished under these conditions. Today, it continues to support up to two thirds of the workforce. However, this was not always the case. During the middle of the 20th century, agriculture did not make enough money to make it a worthwhile endeavour. Since the 1970’s, though, an increased focus on responsible farming, better quality seeds and fertilisers, improved irrigation systems and an awareness on the importance of protecting the plants has meant far more success and an increased revenue as a result.
As technology improves and demand increases, India places more and more focus on the importance of agriculture. Various initiatives have been put in place to ensure the environmental, economic and political sustainability of agriculture. The National Agriculture Policy was implemented in 2000 and was the first of its kind. This policy is designed to tap into the real potential of the agricultural industry in India, develop the rural infrastructure so that the farming industry is better supported, create employment, create an industry that allows its foundation members (the farmers) to have a better
India is currently the world’s largest producer of:
It is the second largest producer of:
In addition, it is the third largest producer of tobacco and produces 10% of the planet’s bananas and sapota.
Despite these high levels of demand, India still faces several problems in the sphere of agriculture. These include:
1. Overregulation of agriculture – this is expensive and has resulted in time and money being spent on unnecessary protocol rather than on the space and equipment required for farming.
2. A lack of clean water for the crops.
3. Illiteracy – this prevents the farmers from grasping new products or methods as information distribution is halted somewhat.
4. Lack of infrastructure.
5. Poor roads, limiting the transport of fresh fruit and vegetables from isolated farms.
6. Small plot sizes available to farmers.
7. Use of antiquated and ineffective equipment due to a lack of knowledge and / or money to upgrade.
However, as tourism increases and India develops at an alarming rate, it is the sincere hope that agriculture will remain a priority and get the environmental, economic and political interest and investment that it requires for it to boom into one of the world’s most prosperous industries.