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The significance of Indian Agricultural sector is way beyond…

The significance of Indian Agricultural sector is way beyond than just providing national food security, it’s much more than that. In the light of the above statement highlight the significance of Indian Agriculture sector along with the issues that have been dragging it down.

Structure

  • Intro + Body (Part 1) – Significance of the Agricultural sector for the Indian Economy.
  • Body (Part 2)- Highlight the issues in the Agricultural sector.
  • Conclusion – What measures need to be taken in order to resolve the same.

Answer

  • Agricultural sector was the only sector in our Indian Economy which has shown positive growth even the the whole nation was under lockdown and had come to a standstill.
  • The significance of Indian Agriculture is way beyond its substantive mandate of national food security, on one side where it is the highest Employment Provider – employing around 48% directly or indirectly, it holds the direct key to reducing India’s malnutrition problem thus ensuring the mission of nutrition security of India and upon that it also has the potential to spur India’s overall GDP by augmenting the economic growth.
  • However, in the last few years the growth in the Agriculture sector has become stagnated even reaching to sub-zero levels in some of the quarters, which raises alarms over the dwindling issues looming in the agriculture sector such as-
    • Non substantive increase in Income – Since Independence, the income of every entity in every sector has increased manifold but Agriculture. The income level of Indian framers especially small and marginal farmers has increased marginally, thus forcing famers to either leave farming or go for suicides because of the amounting debts every agricultural season. According to NCRB Every day, 28 people dependent on farming die by suicide in India
    • Consumer Oriented Policies – Since food security is the paramount service of every Government, therefore the prices of the Agricultural products are kept under check moreover whenever there is a price rise in any agricultural commodity,, the Government imposes restrictions on exports to protect Indian customers, thus creating hindrances for farmers taking the benefit of higher price in domestic and foreign markets
      • Upon that Essentials Commodities Act, has meant lower private investment in export infrastructure such as warehouse and cold storage systems.
    • Flawed Agricultural Marketing Policies – Today the APMC acts passed by various states are marred by various lacunae and reforming them has proven to be a major task because of the politics involved, and upon that since Agriculture is a state subject thus causing Federalism issues when centre imposes any new set of laws. 4.Marginal Land holdings – Indian Agriculture is characterised by marginal and small farmers mainly who comprise 85% of the total land holing in the country.
  • In such a scenario, major reforms are needed in the Agricultural sector, both in the input and the output streams, recently brought Agricultural acts were the steps in the same direction, however seem to be failing in solving the purpose as they were brought without any consultation with the famers unions, had the top to bottom policy approach which should have been bottom to up and upon that the way these bills were passed in the Rajya Sabha raises contentious issues over the Constitutionality of these bills.
  • Today the need of the hour is to allow land leasing, increasing avenues for Non-farm income, addressing Subsidies problem, improving Agricultural Export Scenario, Agricultural marketing reforms and at last investing in Agriculture infrastructure, in order to double the Farmer’s income by 20202 come to reality.

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