At 157.35 million hectares, India holds the second largest agricultural land globally. All the 15 major climates are found in India and the country also possess 45 of the 60 soil types in the world. India is the largest producer of pulses, milk, tea, cashew and jute, and the second largest producer of wheat, rice, fruits and vegetables, sugarcane, cotton and oilseeds.
Agriculture is the primary source of livelihood for 58 per cent of the country's population. Total food grains production in India reached an all-time high of 259 million tonnes (MT) in FY13. The country is among the 10 leading exporters of agricultural products in the world, with total agricultural exports expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.3 per cent to US$ 42.37 billion over FY07-13.
The Government of India has planned outlay for various schemes under the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC) which has been fixed at US$ 11.8 billion. Allocation to the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) in the FY14 budget was increased to US$ 2.1 billion, a rise of about nine per cent from the previous financial year.
Agricultural exports are expected to rise to US$ 45 billion this financial year. With government aid, there is scope for an increased use of hybrid seeds and improved farm machinery to better the yield of crops. Huge opportunities exist in introducing contract farming to agriculture as well as increasing cold storage capacity from the present level of 24 MT.