Rajasthan Board RBSE Class 9 Social Science Notes Chapter 17 Agriculture in Indian Economy
Importance of Agriculture
Importance and contribution of agriculture in Indian economy could be understood by the
- Contribution in National Income: According to central statistics department the contribution of agriculture and its allied activities like forestry, wood cutting, animal rearing, pisciculture, mines and poultry, etc. was 59.2% which in 2012-13 decreased up to 13.7% (at stable rate, in 2004-05). Though its contribution in G.D.P is still more compared to other developed nations.
- Availability of Employment: It provides both direct and indirect employment while 70% of population of India was engaged in agriculture in 1950-51. It is 48.9% according to census of 2011. Farming and its related activity fall under direct agriculture while fishery, poultry, forestry, animal rearing, horticulture, manufacturing of organic manure etc. fall in indirect employment.
- During economic plan period its contribution in employment generation was very high while in G.D.P. it is decreasing which can be increased by adopting new methods of agriculture.
- Contribution in International trade: We export and import many agricultural products. Agricultural goods exported from India are tea, spices, coffee, rice, tobacco, cashewnut, fruits and vegetables, sugar, meat, etc. It is approximately 12.5% of total export from agriculture and its allied activity.
- Contribution in Industrial Development: Agriculture provides raw materials to industries as well as market for manufactured products from industries. Industries of Jute, Sugar, Cloth, horticulture, edible oils, etc. depend on agriculture for raw materials and likewise tractors agricultural equipment’s, chemical fertilizers, pesticides etc. are purchased by the agricultural sector.
- Supply of Food grains and Fodder: Agriculture provides food grains to more than 130 crore people and fodder to around 47.08 crore cattle.
- Contribution to Poverty Alleviation: Agriculture plays a great role in eliminating poverty from the country by generating income, providing employment etc.
- Contribution to Revenue: State government of India receives income from land revenue annually.
- Contribution in other fields: Agriculture has an important place in the development of other sectors of the economy i.e. transport, communication banking, insurance, internal trade and other subsidiary sectors.
- Basis of development of animal/cattle wealth: World’s most cattle wealth is found in India. Still farming activities are done with the help of animals. Animal rearing is the main occupation of farmers. Dairy farming, wool production, meat, milk and milk products, animal breeding are the activities done by farmers.
New trend in agriculture:
Due to colonial rule Indian agriculture declined. The situation of farmers and farming was poor at the time of independence. Due to development policies implemented through planned economy many reforms are introduced in the field of agriculture has improved the position of agriculture and its production which can be understood as follows:
Production of grains:
India is a nation of diversities. Here variations are found in climates, soil, land, water level, geographical structures. Hence, multi-crops are grown here which can be done under two heads.
On the basis of seasons: They are of three types
- Rabi crops sown in October-November and harvested in March-April- wheat, barley, gram, mustard, potatoes, peas, etc.
- Kharif crops sown in June – July and harvested in October November- millet, jawar, maize, rice, moong, groundnut, til, etc.
- Zaid crops grown during March to July- watermelon, melon, cucumber, vegetables, etc.
On the basis of use of crops:
- Food grain crops: Wheat, rice, barley, millet, maize, jawar, pulses etc.
- Commercial crops: Sugarcane, cotton, oil seeds, tea, coffee, coconut, jute, tobacco etc.
- At present there is a drastic change in the crop area and their production in the past years increase in the food grains. From 1950-51 to 2012 -13 in 62 years 4.2 times, in oil seeds 5.3 times in sugarcane 5.13 times, cotton 3.9 times and in jute approx 2.5%.
Trends of Production under major crops
- Increase in the production of food grains 4.2 times, in Oil seeds 4.8 times and in sugarcane 4 times during the period from 1950-1951 to 2003-2004.
- Drastic changes in the production of wheat, rice, coarse cereals and pulses during 1950-1951 to 2003-2004. Rice production increased initially, production of wheat increased more than three times, not much progress in the production of coarse cereals and pulses.
- As compared to other countries, agriculture productivity per hectare and per labor is low.
Factors responsible for Low Productivity
- Dependence of monsoon
- Lack of irrigation facilities
- Degradation of land (fertility)
- Great western desert of Rajasthan
- Problem of weeds
- Natural calamities (drought, flood, famine and cyclones)
- Barren land and wasteland.
- Backward irrigation facilities
- Lack of power supply
- Lack of rich manure, quality seeds and tools
- Lack of transport, communication and financial facilities
- High cost of storage facilities for grains
- Lack of market facility
- Defective land distribution system
- Small size of land holdings
- Excessive dependence on agriculture of population
- Fragmentation of land holdings
Land Reform Program
Stress was given by the Indian government after independence to increase agricultural production as well as to uplift economic status of farmer. Abolition of zamidari system was main among land reforms.
To upgrade land the following measures were taken:
- End of mediators
- Regulation of tax (Lagaan)
- To give right as owner of land to tenant.
- Limits of crop growing pattern.
- Cooperative farming.
- Distribution of land to landless.
- Ban on the transfer of the land of the S.C. and S.T.
- Computerization of land record.
- General factors: lack of education, knowledge are responsible for not getting benefits of such reforms.
- In India agriculture is considered ‘flash of monsoon’ due uncertainly and unstability of monsoon. Hence more notice is given on irrigation facility in India after independence. The main sources of irrigation in India are canal, wells, pond etc.
- During plan period in India different irrigation projects are introduced which can be divided into three categories
Minor Irrigation Projects – 2000 hectares.
Medium Irrigation Projects – 2000 to 10000 hectares
Major Irrigation Projects – 10000 and more.
Reorganization of holdings
Land holdings in India are small in size beside they are fragmented. The main cause is succession rights which is called subdivision of land. Land is scattered as every successor wants his share from all types of land. According to first agricultural census the size of holding in 1970-71 was 2.28 hectare which decreased into 1.33 in 2000-2001. Greatest part of holding is in form of marginal holdings i.e 62.88%.
According to size of holdings they are categorised as:
- Marginal- Less than 1 hectare.
- Small- 1 to 2 hectare.
- Semi medium- 2 to 4 hectare.
- Medium- 4 to 10 hectare.
- Large- 10 and more hectare.
The two main measures to check the size of holdings are: Consolidation of land and co-operative farming.
Manure, fertilizers and Insecticides:
- To maintain the fertility of land the agriculturists use the traditional manure in the form of cow-dung, bones and biological manure.
- Due to green revolution after 1965-66 increase in the use of chemical fertilizers- as Nitrogen, phosphate and potassium fertilizers. Punjab at the top in the use of per hectare fertilizer consumption, while Odisha has the minimum use of fertilizers.
- Insecticides are used to protect crops from diseases and insects.
- At present use of fertilizers has reached up to 239.59 tons.
- Use of chemical fertilizers is mostly used in growing rice, wheat, sugarcane, groundnut, cotton. Rice and sugarcane are greatly affected by viruses and bacteria as well as vegetables and fruits are also attacked by insects. It has increased the use of insecticides and fertilizers but nowadays organic manure is in great use.
Use of HYV Seeds:
- Use of high quality seeds is must to increase agricultural productivity and production. 10-20% production can be increased by the use of high quality seeds. To encourage production and distribution of improved quality seeds in 1963 Indian Government established National Seed Corporation and National State Farm Corporation in 1969.
- 13 states seed corporations were also established.
- In India three types of seed production are accepted they are: Prajnak, Aadhari, Standard
Mechanisation of Agriculture:
- Tools and machines used by Indian farmers in agriculture are old and without techniques. During plan period development in agriculture has allowed Indian farmers to use new machines like tractors, harvesters, threshers, pump sets etc. Use of machines have increased the productivity and made the farming easy.
- India is producing tractors within the country and become self dependent. Mechanization in agriculture is highly progressed in Punjab and Haryana. On one hand mechanization increases the productivity and production on the other hand it makes the task related to agriculture easy like transportation, harvesting, digging etc.
- It increases the gap between the large and marginal farmers, cause of pollution. Beside * such merits and demerits of mechanization it is important to fulfill the growing demands of food of great Indian population. It should be controlled and firm.
Minimum Support Price for Agricultural Products
To provide farmers right price of their produce and encouraging them for farming Indian government has declared minimum support price or levy prices at which the government purchases agricultural products from the market to support farmers. It is made twice in a year at the season of Rabi crop and Kharif crop. For this government had established Agriculture Price Commission in 1965 which is later known as Agriculture Cost or Price commission. This price is declared by the government before sowing of crops.
Presently goods included in minimum support price are:
- 7 types of cerals- Grain, wheat, jawar, bajra, maize, ragi and barley.
- Pulses- Gram, arhar, moong, urad and masoor.
- Oil seeds- Soyabean, mustard, sunflower, groundnut, kusumbh, torid, copra, sesame, ramtil.
- Other crops- Sugarcane, cotton, pulson (Jute), coconut.
- Benefits: Farmers feel secure and they get fixed income. The government can maintain buffer stock for the smooth functioning of the Public Distribution system. Consumers interests are protected. Presently, crops included in Minimum support prices system are Seven types of cereals, seven types of oil seeds, sugarcane, cotton, jute, tobacco etc.
Lack of credit is one of the causes of backwardness of agriculture. Farmers need credit for fertilizers, seeds, insecticides, manure, machines, wages, etc.
On the basis of term three types of loan is needed:
- Short term credit- For less than 15 months for seeds, manure, fodder, home needs etc.
- Mid term credit- For more than 15 months and less than 5 years for purchasing cattle, dig wells, agricultural tools etc.
- Long term credit- For more than 5 years for purchasing new lands, small irrigation, convert barren land into fertile land, electrification, digging tube well.
Above mentioned credit are provided in two ways: Institutional and Non institutional sources.
- Institutional sources: To expand facility of credits in rural areas at national level “NABARD” Bank was established on 12th July 1982 to develop agriculture and village. It is the top most source of getting credit at rural level.
- Non-lnstitutional sources: Landlords, money-lenders, mahajans, commission agents and farmers’ relatives.
Farmers’ Credit Card Scheme: For short term productive loan of Rs 5000 or more introduced in 1998-1999. Through the use of credit card farmers can withdraw money to be repaid within one year, subject to increase in period. Credit Card is valid for three years, amount withdrawn within the term have to repay within 12 month. For good consumers credit time could be increased.
In 2001-02 Kisan credit card holders in case of accident 50,000 and for permanent handicap insurance was arranged. Kisan credit card are issued by commercial bank, co-operative bank and regional rural banks and highest credit cards are issued by commercial banks. Currently no tax is taken on credit process in being taken up to June 2012. 11.39 crore kisan credit are issued so far. In this Kisan credit card plan is playing important role in fulfilling farmer’s credit needs.
To protect farmers from natural calamities as floods, drought, famine etc. up to a limit. Government has introduced different insurance schemes for this purpose. Under this scheme farmers are financed against loss of crops due to natural calamities, disease etc. At the time of providing financial help size of holdings are not kept in mind. It is run at present in 25 states and 2 union territories. There is a need of extension of this scheme in future because all farmers are not getting benefit of this scheme.
Problems of Agriculture:
- Natural causes: The Indian agriculture depends upon monsoons which are often irregular and uncertain. Hence floods and droughts cause a great loss to crops. Besides insects, worms, grasshoppers, termite also cause a great damage to crops. Other Natural factors injurious to agricultural production are soil erosion, lack of fertility etc.
- Position and size of Land Holdings: Size of land holdings is very small due to division and sub-division of the land resulting from the population explosion. Moreover the ploughable holdings of a farmer are scattered and as such improved techniques can not be used.
- Faulty implementation and land reforms: Though zamindari and zagirdari systems have been abolished yet the tenancy system, still continues to exist. The land is still cultivated by the peasants who are paid in cash or kind. Besides the progress of land reforms is very slow.
- Lack of credit facilities: Farmers lack finances, because of which they cannot use improved seeds, chemical fertilizers, latest techniques and machinerys. They fall prey to the money lenders who charge very high rate of interest which the farmers can hardly pay back in their life time. They are not much benefited by the cooperative credit societies either because of ignorance or complex nature of the system.
- Lack of resources as better fertilizer, improved seeds, better agricultural tools, irrigation sources etc. Although after green revolution these inputs have increased yet they are beyond the reach of a common farmer.
- Lack of irrigation facilities: In some of the places surface water level has gone down and available irrigation capacity is not being used due to lack of canals in the fields, drainage system and level of land.
- Problems related to marketing and prices: Production is increasing but the farmers are not getting fair price due to lack of proper marketing system and pricing policy.
- Superstitions of farmers: Farmers are fatalists and they believe in superstitions and social customs. They prefer spending money on marriage or death, feasts and rites and ceremonies rather than spending on the development of agriculture.
- Degradation of fertility of the land: Excess use of chemical fertilizers has degraded the land which is resulting in low productivity as land is becoming infertile day by day. In the absence of many promising job opportunities, the growing population depends upon agriculture for employment. Consequently land holdings become small in size due to division and subdivision and it becomes difficult to use the improved techniques, seeds, machinerys etc.
- Farmers have to cover long distances as mandis are located at, or places for selling their products. Proper go downs and storage’s are not facilitated due to this crops are spoilt by rats, insects, etc. Hence, deliberately they have to sell their crops either to mahajans or mediators.
- Indian farmers are not modern so they cannot utilize new techniques of agriculture. They are unable to get fair prices of their produce due to lack of education.
- Problem of getting fair price: Farmers have to sell their produce sometimes at such a lower price that they even could not get their cost price though government has declared minimum price for some crops but still they are not sufficient
Suggestions for the solution of problems of the agriculture in India:
- Effective Implementation of land reforms as land ceiling act, tenancy reforms, cooperative farming, consolidation of land holdings, etc. Appropriate policies to protect the interest of small farmers and agricultural laborers. Technical Development i.e. use of appropriate techniques to improve the productivity. The farmers must be linked with the programmes like agricultural development training, exhibition, agricultural extension programmes etc.
- Availability of basic resources to marginal farmer and tenants as electricity, irrigation, fertilizers, insecticides, manufacturing of agricultural tools, etc. continued. The support prices should be declared as well as subsidy should be given for the purchase of fertilizers, seeds, tools, cattle etc.
- Priority to use dry-farming technique: Looking at the uncertainties of monsoons in India, dry farming technique has become necessary in the areas where rainfall is scanty. Rain water should be collected in tanks to be used for irrigation. Drip-irrigation and sprinkler irrigation methods should be used so as to economies the use of water.
- Expansion of education: More emphasis should be given to educate the farmers. It can help in changing their attitude and behavior. Adult education and teaching¬training programmes should be encouraged.
- Encouragement to rural cottage industries: To decrease the population pressure on agriculture encouragement to cottage industries and agro-based industries should be given which will increase the income level of rural people as well as decrease the pressure of population on agriculture.
- Beside agriculture alternate employment opportunities should be encouraged: Poultry farming, agriculture, cattle rearing, fruits trees (horticulture) on the fencing of the field should be planted, it would work in two ways:
- Farmers income sources will increase.
- They will not need credit at the time of crop failure. It would increase productivity and economic status of farmer.
- Genetic Farming/ Bio technical farming: Traditional systems of farming should be replaced so that fertility of soil would increase as well as environment become healthy.
- Establishment of Agricultural warehouses or god owns.
Green Revolution and White Revolution
Green Revolution: The 8 years between 1961-1969 of third and fourth five year of plan were important in Agricultural History of India. This was the time when new strategy was used in the field of agriculture. In 7 districts Pilot Programme was launched which was later coordinated by the use of HYV Seeds. This policy of development was enlarged to extend in whole country. This strategy was the beginning of Green Revolution.
In place of traditional methods of farming new technique was used along with use of chemical fertilizers, insecticides, HYV seeds, modern equipment’s, extensive irrigation facilities in 1966 – 67 at the time of Kharif crop. It was a beginning of new era in the field of agriculture known as Green Revolution. The contribution of this goes to Prof. E. Norman Borlaug who is considered the Father of this revolution but in India Prof. M.S. Swaminathan is known as the father of Green Revolution.
The main objective of this revolution was to take out nation from food crises by increasing food production in short period and to keep it for a long period beside to adopt commercial view.
Main elements of Green Revolution:
- HYV Programme: This programme was launched in 1970-1971 on six crops such as Dhan (rice), wheat, maize, jowar, bajra and ragi. Mexican breed in wheat, rice and sugarcane were used while some breeds were developed in India. Beside HYV seeds, chemical fertilizers, insecticides were also used. It gives much production maximum success in wheat production was availed in the other states where this programme become successful were Haryana, U.P, Bihar, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal such as rice, maize, millet, Jawar etc.
- Multi Crops Programme: Under this such crops are grown which ripe in short duration. So, in a year on the same land more than one crop qould be sown hence production could be increased.
- Emphasis on small irrigation schemes like tubewells, small canals, wells, water harvesting, etc.
- Increased use of chemical fertilisers like urea, potash should be used so, production and productivity could be increased.
- Use of Hybrid Seeds: To increase production high quality of seeds were used.
- Encouragement to agricultural mechanization: So, all tasks related to farming like sowing of seeds to harvesting could be done easily and skillfully.
- Conservation of plants from disease: Spray of pesticides to kill insects in land and sky to protect crops.
- Education and Research on Agriculture: Implementation of agriculture as subject and research centres.
- Land Conservation Programme:
- Check on degradation of land.
- Converting barren land into fertile land.
- Establishment of institutions for Agricultural development: National seed corporation in 1963, Fertilizer corporation, NABARD (Bank) for rural development are established.
- Agricultural Price Commission was established to give guarantee to give fair prices to farmers.
- Insurance of Crops: Provision of insurance to protect farmers from loss from natural calamities.
Importance of Green Revolution
- Increase in total production and productivity. India become self sufficient in food production.
- It generated employment opportunities to landless laborers as multi-cropping and commercial farming needs more people.
- Decrease in rural poverty.
- Mechanization of agriculture.
- Hybrid crops (good quality) increased the production.
- Traditional attitude of farmers converted into commercial attitude.
- Modernization of agriculture improved the status of farmer.
- Facilities: Storage’s, credit facility helped the farmer to raise his status.
Limitations of Green Revolution:
- Limited to few crops: More emphasis was given on wheat so, sometimes it is called Wheat Revolution.
- Ignorance of backward agricultural sectors: Only irrigated areas got benefit.
- Bad effects of mechanization: It gave birth to un-employment.
- Disparity between rich and poor: As more capital was required for new techniques rich farmers took benefit and became more rich. It created an inequality in income generation among different states.
- Bad effect of over utilization of chemical fertilizers: Land become barren and environment polluted. Underground water level went down.
- HYV seeds need more water so, excess water was used. It decreased the level of under ground water. 7
- Encouragement to capital base agriculture: New technique required more capital which encouraged capitalist agriculture.
- Ignorance of institutional changes.
Five times increase in agricultural production, three and half-times increase in foodgrains, rapid growth in the production of commercial crops; rapid increase in the irrigated area, use of high-yielding seeds, modern machines, chemicals, fertilisers, insecticides, attention to soil-conservation, reform in agriculture marketing system, extension of Institutional credit facilities resulted in high production and productivity.
- Animal husbandry and agriculture are inter related and inter dependent they are completely essential for food security. The milk production is highest in India in the world but due to bad condition of cattle, productivity of milk is low while cost is high. To improve it government has launched a programme known as White Revolution.
- In the year 1964-65 an animal wealth Development programme was started to increase in milk production. Under this high breeds cows and buffaloes were given to farmers and they were also trained.
- To increase the good breeds of cattle, methods of artificial breeding were developed. Rapid increase in milk production is called White Revolution. It was started in 1970 by National Dairy Development Board from Anand Village of Gujarat which was named as Operation Flood.
- It’s father and convener is Varghese Kurien. Operation flood is the world’s greatest dairy development programme.
Importance of White Revolution:
- Increase in milk production: Today India is the largest producer of milk in the world. The total milk production in India in 2013-24 is 137.69 metric ton. Every year there is an increase in milk production and availability of milk is 307 gm per person per day.
- Farmer’s income: It is a secondary source of income for rural people. It has played an important role in providing job opportunities to women and people living at borders.
- Employment for rural unemployed people: For landless farmers and tenants it has become a stable self financed employment about 90 lakhs of farmers who are landless and live at borders are engaged in this field and have important contribution in the field of dairy.
- Balanced rural development: Due to dairy development infrastructure in villages like (road, * transport, communication, banking) are developed to make White Revolution successful.
- Availability of milk to urban people: Extra produced milk from villages is transported to cities which has made availability of milk and milk products like ghee, curd, paneer, butter easily to urban people.
Improvement in Cattle breed
- Cattle breed is improved due to implementation of breed improvement programmes such as caring of animal wealth, disease control, vaccination, etc.
- In this way white revolution has changed the economy of rural areas completely while green revolution has improved their main occupation. White revolution has given them secondary source of income.
- 1963 : National Seed Corporation was established.
- 1966 : Green Revolution started.
- 1969 : National State Farm Corporation was established.
- 1970 : White Revolution started.
- 1971 : High Yielding Varieties (HYV) seeds launched.
- 1999 : Farmers Credit land scheme introduced.
Pisciculture : The rearing or cultivation of fish.
Green Revolution : It means a large increase in the production of crops in developing countries achieved by the use of artificial fertilisers, HYV seeds and pesticides.
HYV seeds : These are the better quality seeds in order to obtain a healthy and surplus corp.
White Revolution : It means a large scale production of milk by introducing high breeds of cows and buffaloes.