Role and Importance of Agriculture in India
India is an agriculture based country. Agriculture is the single most important contributor of Indian economy.
More than half of country’s total workforce are working in agriculture and it’s supporting sectors like fisheries, forestry, etc.
Agriculture plays a significant role in the overall economic development and its contributions to the Indian GDP were at around 16.6% in the year 2009. That’s reason India secured 2nd position worldwide in terms of farm output.
India’s agriculture includes rice, wheat, pulses, tea, coffee, fresh vegetable, fresh fruits, dry fruits, coconuts, major spices, milk, millets, cotton, Jute, castor oil seed, etc.
India ranks among the top five producers of many agricultural items like coffee, cotton, etc.
India ranks 2nd largest producer of wheat and rice in the world. Items like milk, many fresh fruits, spices, jute, millets, etc. where India is the largest producer. India is one the largest producer of Sugarcane in the world.
India is also a major exporter of rice and wheat to countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, Africa and others.
In 2011, 2 million MT of wheat and 2.1 million MT of rice had exported to these countries by India. India is currently growing fast in the field of Fishery and Aquaculture. There are 6 lakh Metric Ton (MT) of different varieties of fish, exported to over half of total countries of the world.
The sugarcane was discovered in India before 25000 years. Later the farming of sugar was confined within India only and few traders exported Sugar to Europe where it was an expensive and luxury spice till 18th century.
Until 1960-70, India used to import several food item to meet its domestic demand. Then Indian government reformed the agriculture policy. This was called the “Green Revolution” which helped in increasing Farm output significantly in the states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and later in West Bengal & Orissa. At that time in 1970, the share of agriculture in Indian GDP was at 43%.
Besides agriculture India is also focused in the other areas like Aviation, Services sector, Technology and manufacturing sectors.