The overall economy has been growing at a faster rate than the agriculture sector resulting in a decline of the share of agriculture and allied sector in the economy.
Agriculture sector, that puts food on the table of almost 60 per cent Indians, has been losing its share in the country’s economic growth. The sector grew just 2 per cent in Q1 FY20, slowing from 5.1 per cent growth in the same quarter previous year. However, the tailspin in agriculture is not new. The latest RBI annual report shows that the contribution of agriculture in the last five years has halved, compared to the preceding five years. The sector’s contribution to the economic growth during 2011-14 was 14.6 per cent, whereas it fell to a mere 6.1 per cent during 2014-19.
The overall economy has been growing at a faster rate than the agriculture sector resulting in a decline of the share of agriculture and allied sector in the economy, said Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Farmers and Agriculture Welfare in Rajya Sabha. However, the government has continuously underlined its intention to double farmers’ income.
Recognising agriculture as a value-led enterprise, the committee on doubling farmers’ income (DFI) has identified seven major sources of growth, which include improvement in crop productivity and improvement in real prices received by farmers, according to an answer given in Rajya Sabha. Crop productivity and the real prices received by the farmers have suffered over the years and the reasons can be attributed to climate change and decrease in cultivable land.
Analysis of impact of climate change under National Innovations in Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) project has found that climate change is expected to affect yields, particularly in crops like rice, wheat and maize. Adding to it, depending upon several factors including availability of cultivable land, vagaries of nature, agro-climatic conditions, availability of water in the reservoir, inter-crop relative profitability, etc, the area under cultivation of major food crops during the last three years has been fluctuating, said the agriculture minister in Rajya Sabha.
To increase the area under cultivation and production of major food crops, the government has been implementing various schemes such as National Food Security Mission (NFSM), Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India (BGREI), Soil Health Card (SHC) scheme, Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY), etc and has substantially increased Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for all mandated crops. However, the agriculture sector has yet to receive a sustainable solution for most of its problems so that it justifies the huge workforce deployed in the sector.