Agriculture in India: Before and After Independence Essay

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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.
Before independence:
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,
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In the next decade, this figure soared due to the 2 severe drought years of 1965 – 66 to 7%.
In 1966 imports were over 10 million against domestic production of 72 million. The continued shortages in the 1960s and the consequent crises convinced policy makers that raising agricultural output, especially food grains, was essential for political stability and independence from foreign food aid. The government realized the need for dramatic improvement in food grain production without large imports. This perception led to the Green Revolution.
The Green Revolution is referred to the period from 1967 to 1978. This resulted in the Green Revolution. The Green Revolution concentrated on:
• Continuous Increase Of Farming Areas
• Double Cropping Existing Farmland
• Using genetically modified seeds (High Yielding Variety or HYV seeds)
Imports aimed to be reduced. The Green Revolution was successful in meeting the goals of self-sufficiency in food-grain production and adequate buffer stocks by the end of the 1970s. Production was more than 100 million tons in 1978 and 1979. Imports were negligible, and the year-end buffer stocks from 1976-79 averaged more than 17 million tons. Buffer stocks rarely fell below 10 million. Buffer stock: A stock of materials held in reserve.
Foodgrains production rose from 50.82 million tonnes in 1950-51 to 244.78 million tonnes in 2010-11. The 1990s saw a gradual decline in investments towards irrigation and other infrastructure