Agriculture, an enduring cornerstone of India’s economy for centuries, continues to play an integral role in shaping the nation’s growth trajectory. In the year 2022-2023, this sector’s contribution to the Gross Value Added (GVA) stands at a substantial 18.3%, underscoring its pivotal role in India’s economic landscape.
Additionally, agricultural exports reached an all-time high of US$ 50.2 billion during 2021-22. As per the Economic Survey 2022-23, the Agriculture and Allied activities Sector significantly contributed to the country’s overall growth and development by ensuring food security.
Growth of India’s agriculture sector recently
India’s agricultural exports have witnessed remarkable growth across multiple categories. Notably, fresh fruit exports reached $1,121 million during April-December 2022-23, while processed fruits and vegetables exports surged to $1,472 million during the same period.
India is the largest producer of mango, banana, coconut, cashew, spices, papaya, pomegranate, pulses, milk, and jute. It is also the second largest global producer of fruits and vegetables, rice, wheat, groundnuts, cashew, and tea, with a cold chain capacity of 374.25 lakh metric tonnes for fruits and vegetables.
India is also the largest global milk producer (24% of milk production). It leads in millet cultivation (15.48 million hectares) and is prominent in sugar production for both domestic and international demand. Additionally, it ranks 4th globally for organic farming area, catering to health-conscious consumers with sustainable practices.
India has 44.3 lakh organic farmers and 59.1 lakh hectares dedicated to organic farming.
The country’s position as the largest producer and exporter of cereal products has also been strengthened, with Basmati Rice exports registering a growth of 40.26 percent, reaching $3,337 million, and non-Basmati rice exports growing by 4 percent, reaching $4,663 million during the same nine months. Additionally, the export of pulses experienced an impressive 80.38 percent increase, with lentil exports reaching $436 million.
Innovations Transforming the Landscape:
The industry has embraced innovative methods to enhance productivity. One prime example is the rise of e-NAM, linking over 1200 mandis, revolutionizing trading practices and boosting efficiency. Furthermore, incorporating sustainable practices, like organic farming, reflects a commitment to ecological balance.
Let’s explore the growth drivers of India’s agriculture industry—population and income growth foster innovation. Urbanization sparks demand and innovation, while exports enhance competitiveness. Supply-side drivers include hybrid seeds, favorable climate, and advanced irrigation. Policy support involves credit, MSP, and schemes like Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana. Logistics and digital transformation, like e-NAM, enhance efficiency. Changing consumer preferences boost demand for organic and local produce, aiding small-scale farmers.
Ongoing Industry Challenges:
Amidst its growth, the agriculture sector grapples with formidable challenges. The lack of control over demand and supply chains often leads to market instability. Additionally, decreased agricultural land availability and water scarcity pose significant threats to sustainability.
India’s agricultural saga continues to evolve, favored by innovation, dedication, and challenges alike. As the sector remains pivotal in shaping the nation’s prosperity, concerted efforts towards sustainable practices and addressing the pressing challenges will determine its enduring success on the global stage.
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