Agriculture in India: Before and After Independence
1101 WordsNov 13th, 20125 Pages
Agriculture In India – Introduction
Agriculture has been an integral part of the Indian Economy, before and after Independence, despite its decline in share of GDP (17.2% as of 2011). Half of India’s population depends on Agriculture as a livelihood. India is 2nd in farm output. It the largest producer of coriander, spices, millets and many more; second in fruits such as mangoes and papaya; and third in rapeseed, tomatoes and coconuts. Yet 1/3rd of Indian population is under poverty line.
The British colonial government of India did not pursue an active policy of agricultural development despite modest efforts to formulate one. Indian exports, at the latter part of British Raj mainly comprised of foodgrains,…show more content…
The Partition created further imbalance. A major part of India’s population was under the poverty line.
So the govt. was to initiate a growth process in agriculture and was faced with a challenge. It laid out a set of goals to be implemented by adopting a package approach. Throughout the late 1940s and entire of 1950s, Campaigns focusing on food and cash crops were observed. The National Five Year Plans initiated growth in agriculture after 1950.
Land reforms and technological developments took place simultaneously. Most of the national goals included land reclamation, land development, consolidation, control of prices and forward thinking, mechanization and industry development. Chemical fertilizers were widely created. Diversification of crops was also observed and non-traditional crops such as soybeans and peanuts gradually gained importance.
The growth strategy of Indian Agriculture evolved with time in several stages. In the early stages, aims were to eradicate socioeconomic constraints through land reform, change in the village power structure, reorganization of the rural poor into cooperatives, and better citizen participation in planning. The Land Tenure System was aimed to be abandoned (by removing Zamindari system). Area-specific intensive programmes were implemented.
Production was increasing, but India’s population was rapidly
The 67-years of independence have seen many changes in the socio-economic landscape of Asia's third largest economy.
During the decades that followed the colonial rule, India's economy, in absolute terms, has expanded to Rs 57 lakh crore from mere Rs 2.7 lakh crore and the nation's foreign exchange reserves have crossed $300 billion, giving the economy firepower to fight external shocks.
Even as the country has progressed in laying out the basic framework to take the economy to high growth path by building roads and ports and ramping up the food grain production, a fast growing population and infrastructure woes demand more work to be done on multiple fronts.
Here is a look at the key macro indicators of the nation's economy fromindependence till now:
India's GDP, in absolute numbers, has grown from a mere Rs2.7 lakh crore to Rs57 lakh crore in 67 years of indpendence.
Annual growth of GDP (In %)
Economic growth surged to near double-digit levels between 2005-06 to 2007-08 compared with anaemic growth in the early years post indpendence. The growth has slowed to sub-5 percent levels in the last two financial years hit by slowdown in global and domestic economies and in the absence of much needed growth oriented reforms.
Gross domestic savings as % of GDP
Gross domestic savings of Indians, as a percentage of GDP, has grown over the decades to touch a high of 36.8 percent of GDP in fiscal year 2008, but the ratio has steadily declined after that to 30 percent in fiscal year 2013, causing concern to the policymakers.
India's food grain production has more than doubled over the decades that followed colonial rule to a record 264 million tonnes in the fiscal year 2014. But, to feed the fast growing population, with more than a quarter of them still estimated to be below the poverty line, the country needs to produce more.
Post independence, the country has progressed significantly in building roads to connect its cities with its hinterland, but given that poor infrastructure is a major concern for India, the country needs a wider road network to carry the fruits of growth to far-flung villages.
The nation's foreign exchange reserves have grown to over $ 300 billions from a mere $ 2 billion at the time of independence. Strong foreign exchange reserves have given the economy more fire power to withstand external shocks compared. In January 1991, India had to pledge 67 tonnes of gold to International Monetary Fund after the country's forex reserves plunged to a mere $ 1.2 billion, just enough to finance three weeks of essential imports.
India's imports have shot up at a faster pace than exports over the decades resulting in a widening gap in the trade balance. India's current account deficit widened to a record 4.8 percent of the GDP in the fisal year 2013, before falling to 1.7 percent in fiscal year 2014 after the government clamped down on gold imports.
India's external debt
The country's external debt has surged to $440 billion in the fiscal year ending March 2014. The external debt, which comprises of government and non-government borrowings, has risen mainly because of increase in the non-government debt. At end March, 2014, total government debt stood at $82 billion and that of non-government debt at $359 billion.
Published Date: Aug 15, 2014 10:40 AM | Updated Date: Aug 15, 2014 10:40 AM
Tags :#Agriculture#Debt#Economy#Food Production#GDP#Grain#Growth#Independence#India#Reserve Bank Of India