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September, 2011

India constitutes one of the largest agrarian economies in the world. India’s agriculture sector contributed approximately 14.2 per cent to India’s gross domestic product (GDP (at 2004-05 prices)) during 2009-10. Agriculture sector is vital for the nation and is the principal source of livelihood for more than 58 per cent of the population. Agriculture sector has touched a growth rate of 4.4 per cent in the second quarter of 2010-11 thereby achieving an overall growth rate of 3.8 per cent during the first half of 2010-11.

The growth of the agriculture and allied sectors would be around 5.4 per cent during 2010-11 contributed by a good monsoon, according to the Economic Survey 2010-11. The need for a second Green Revolution has become imperative, with focus on growing more of nutritious fruits, vegetables and pulses which were never considered in the initial Green Revolution, as per the Economic Survey.

India targets to achieve 9.5 per cent average economic growth in the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17), on back of an estimated agriculture growth rate of 4.2 per cent. The growth target for agriculture for the 12th Five Year Plan was announced by Abhijit Sen, a member of the Planning Commission.

"The Planning Commission has emphasised on a minimum 4 per cent growth in agriculture as it provides broad based income benefits to the rural population and also because it is necessary to avoid inflationary pressure, which could arise if high levels of growth are attempted without corresponding growth in domestic food production capabilities," according to Dr Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister. The Government has earmarked US$ 40.66 billion for various programmes in 2011-12, he added.

The Indian Agriculture and food industry can be categorised into five broad segments, namely:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Floriculture, comprising fruit and vegetable seeds and flowers
  • Processed fruits and vegetables and other processed foods
  • Animal products, including meat, poultry, dairy and honey
  • Cereals such as rice and wheat


Food grain production in India has maintained an upward trend, it increased from 108.4 million tonne (MT) in 1970-71 to 230.8 MT to reach a record production of 235 MT in 2010-11. The Planning Commission maintains a projected demand of 247 MT in 2020.

The Government expects to achieve a record rice production of 102 MT in the 2011-12 crop year, as per a top official of the Agriculture Ministry.

India's cotton output is likely to rise by nine per cent in 2011-12. Total production is forecasted at 35.5 million bales (170 kg each) for the cotton year 2011-12 (October-September), as compared to 32.5 million bales in the comparative period last year.

India’s organic food production has more than doubled to 3.8 MT in 2010-11. In 2009-10, the output of organic products was 1.70 MT, while the average was 4.55 million hectares, as per the data presented in the Rajya Sabha last week by minister of state for agriculture Harish Rawat.

An integrated development plan would help Chhattisgarh to achieve a projected six per cent growth target in agriculture, according to Mr Raman Singh, Chief Minister, Chhattisgarh.

Tractor sales continue to post sturdy growth numbers on the back of favourable monsoons and increased use of farm equipment for construction work. As many as 482,256 tractors were sold in the domestic market in 2010-11. The sales are expected to increase by 15 per cent to 554,594 in 2011-12.


India's exports of agricultural and floricultural products, fruits and vegetables, livestock products, cereals and other processed food products was recorded worth US$ 858.90 million in April 2011, up 23.55 per cent from last year as per Government's agri-trade promotion body, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).

India's agri-export turnover is expected to rise to nearly US$ 18 billion by 2014, according to APEDA.

India is among the 15 leading exporters of agricultural products in the world. Fruits and vegetables together constitute about 92.3 per cent of the total horticultural production in the country.

India is the second largest producer of fruits in the world; it is the largest producer of fruits like mango, banana, papaya, sapota, pomegranate and Aonla. About 40 per cent of the world’s mangoes and 30 per cent of the world’s bananas and papayas are produced in India. In terms of productivity of grapes, India ranks first in the world, as per the Annual Report 2010-11 released by Department of Agriculture and Cooperation.

India is the second largest producer of vegetables and is a leader in the production of peas and okra. Besides, India occupies the second position in the production of brinjal, cabbage, cauliflower and onion and third position in potato and tomato in the world, added the report.