India is the second-largest producer of food in the world and holds the potential of being the biggest on global food and agriculture canvas, according to a Corporate Catalyst India (CCI) survey. The food processing industry is one of the largest in India – ranking fifth in terms of production, consumption, export and expected growth. The Indian food industry is projected to reach US$ 300 billion by 2015.
Agriculture sector is vital for the nation and is the principal source of livelihood for more than 58 per cent of the population. The growth of the agriculture and allied sectors is expected to be around 5.4 per cent during 2010-11, according to the Economic Survey 2010-11. 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 Commission expected the growth in the Indian agriculture sector to touch 3.5 per cent during the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007-2012), as against 2 per cent in the previous Plan Period, according to Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission.
Food grain production has reached a record level of 241.6 million tonne (MT) in 2010-11. We have also achieved the highest ever production of wheat, pulses, oil seeds and cotton. Overall farm output has also achieved an impressive growth rate of 7.5 per cent during the last quarter of 2010-11 thus helping agriculture gross domestic product (GDP) to register a growth of 6.6 per cent during the year, as per Mr Sharad Pawar, Agriculture and Food Processing Industries Minister.
The Planning Commission maintains a projected demand of 247 MT by 2020. According to statistics 34,178,963 tonne rice has been procured by various Government agencies as on November 4, 2011.
India's sugar production could increase to 25 MT in the 2011-12 marketing season (October-September), brightening the export prospects of the sweetener, as per Mr K V Thomas, the Food Minister.
Favorable weather during the growing season in major potato producing states during 2010-11 resulted in about 13 per cent increase in production, from nearly 36 MT in 2009-10 to more than 40 MT in 2010-11.
Highlighting the virtues of protected cultivation to boost horticulture productivity, a Rs 30,000 crore (US$ 6.07 billion) outlay has been proposed for bringing at least 10 per cent of the horticulture crop area in India under this high tech cultivation practice in the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-2017). An area of 21 million hectares is under horticulture in India and contributes over 230 MT to the food basket of the country.
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.
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.
India is Burma’s fifth largest trading partner, and it exports more than 1 MT of beans annually. India is looking for ways to invest in Burma’s agriculture and energy sectors.
India has already begun exporting 300,000 tonnes of rice to Bangladesh on government-to-government account at Rs 20,000 (US$ 404.85) a tonne from September 2011. The exports will be from the 3,000,000 tonnes of non-basmati rice permitted by the Centre on the heels of record production in wheat and bulging buffer stocks.
India's coffee exports rose by 42 per cent to record 360,540 tonnes in the 2010-11 coffee year ended September 2011, according to a report by the International Coffee Organisation (ICO).
The agriculture services attracted foreign direct investment (FDI) worth US$ 1.42 billion between April 2000 to August 2011, according to data released by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).