India - Agriculture overview
- According to the World Bank National Accounts Data, in 2019, agriculture and associated activities (Forestry and Fishing) contributed 15.9% to the GDP of India.
- According to Human Development Reports 2019, 43.9% of the total employment in India is in agricultural and associated sector activities.
- Gross Value Added (GVA) by agriculture and associated activities to the Indian economy was estimated at Rs 19.48 lakh crore (372.33 billion AUD) in 2019-2020.
Policies and initiatives
- The Government of India passed three major Farm laws in 2020, two of which were the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 aiming to create an ecosystem where the farmers and traders can enjoy the freedom of choice and provide the platforms to do so. The third Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 aims to ensure the ongoing delivery of essential commodities and products.
- E-Nam provides an e-marketing platform at the national level. Other initiatives like E-Sagu, Community Radio and Kisan Call centres provide agricultural information and data digitally.
- To promote sustainable agriculture and water conservation, the Government of India has launched schemes which include Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM KUSUM) (Solarisation of Grid-Connected Agricultural Pumps), National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) and Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) (Water Conservation and Management).
- In order to support small and marginal farmers the government launched the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan-Dhan Yojana (PMKMY) in 2019 which provides pensions post retirement, and the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana (PMKisan) which provides income support.
- Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) (Farmers’ Welfare) accompanied by other agricultural insurance schemes have been introduced to support farmers and associated workers in agriculture.
- The Government of India has recently set an ambitious target to double the income of farmers by 2022-23, which corresponds to targeted annual agricultural growth of more than 14% a year.
- The Government of India announced Minimum Support Prices (MSP), under the Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan (PM-AASHA), aiming to enhance agricultural productivity, reduce cost of cultivation and secure farmers’ income in the long term, for 25 major agricultural commodities each year. MSP was first introduced in 1966-67.
In India while agriculture and associated sectors come under the purview of states, the central government has been instrumental in framing overarching policies through special provisions. The Ministry of Agriculture Cooperation, and Farmers’ Welfare, is the apex body for formulation and administration of the rules, regulations and laws related to agriculture in India. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is an autonomous body responsible for coordinating agricultural education and research in India.