Indian Agriculture sector is changing the social-economic environments of population due to liberalization and globalization. About 75% people are living in rural areas and are still dependent on Agriculture. About 43% of India’s geographical area is used for agricultural activity. It provides about 65% of the livelihood, accounts for 27% of GDP, contributes 21% of total exports, and supplies raw materials to Industries; with growth rate in production at 5.7% and food grains production at 211.17 m.
There was a time when small plots of land, cultivated by individual farmers who followed age-old methods, summed up the position of Indian agricultural system. Today, India is adopting state-of-the-art techniques and agriculture technologies,which has brought about a Green Revolution, resulting not only in self-sufficiency but also surplus production of food. Some technologies that are being used for Sustainable Agriculture Development in India include Biotechnology, Pre & post harvesting technology, Energy saving technology, Environment protection technology, Information and Communication technology, GIS & RS technology and Internet/Intranet Technology.Because of these enhanced farming practices, India now has a huge buffer stock of foodstuffs and she is in a position to export food grains.
In a country such as India, 64% of cultivated land is dependent on monsoons. The economic significance of irrigation in India is namely, to reduce over dependence on monsoons, advance agricultural productivity, bring more land under cultivation, reduce instability in output levels, creation of job opportunities, electricity and transport facilities, control of floods and prevention of droughts.
The critical issues that plague Indian farming industry at present are knowledge deficit and infrastructure deficit, especially in the rural areas. Problems related to irrigation infrastructure, market infrastructure and transport infrastructure add significant cost to farmers’ operations. Another issue that prevails is lack of delivery mechanisms. We don’t have effective delivery mechanisms that can translate into effective facilitation at the ground level, in terms of increasing productivity or decreasing cost or increasing price realization.
Inadequate government support exacerbates these issues. Government failure is a major concern in agriculture because the high risks involved make help and facilitation necessary. Like any other business enterprise, agriculture is subjected to high risks because of the volatile nature of the factors involved. For instance, weather is often a problem – you have droughts in one year and heavy rains in the next. In both cases, farmers lose out, hence they have to look for a normal period to make money. Government, therefore, has to play a major role in providing support to farmers. This is true all over the world and there is hardly any country where government intervention is not present. There may, of course, be variations in the extent of intervention; but if you check the situation in most countries or regions, including developed ones like the US, Canada and the European Union, you see substantial intervention by the government. Thus government facilitation is essential for sound Indian agriculture development.