India has the second-largest arable land resources in the world. With 20 agri-climatic regions, all the 15 major climates in the world exist in India. The country also has 46 of the 60 soil types in the world. India is the largest producer of spices, pulses, milk, tea, cashew, and jute, and the second largest producer of wheat, rice, fruits and vegetables, sugarcane, cotton, and oilseeds. Further, India is second in the global production of fruits and vegetables and is the largest producer of mango and banana. During 2019-20 crop year, food grain production reached a record of 296.65 million tonnes. In 2020-21, Government of India is targeting food grain production of 298 MT. Consumer spending in India will return to growth in 2021 post the pandemic-led contraction, expanding by as much as 6.6%.
Total area sown with rabi crops was 34.8 million hectares by November 27, 2020, 4% more than the previous season, and 2% above the average of the last five years. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, 44% of wheat and other rabi crops were harvested out of a total of 97 lakh hectares sown area in the 2020-21 rabi season. As of June 26, 2021, the total kharif area stood at 20.2 million hectares compared with 25.8 million hectares last year. A total of 50.90 lakh hectares of kharif crops will be sown in the kharif season of 2021-22. In the rabi marketing season 2021-22, the government purchased a record 43.33 MT of wheat. In case of pulses and oilseeds, the government through nodal agencies has procured total 1.04 million tonne at MSP value of US$ 761.63 million (Rs. 5662.82 crores) so far in 2021.
Production of horticulture crops in India reached a record 326.6 million metric tonnes (MMT) in 2020-21 (an increase of 5.81 million metric tonnes over FY20. The production of fruits, flowers, spices and honey is expected to rise. India has the largest livestock population of around 535.78 million, which translates to around 31% of the world population. Milk production in the country is expected to increase to 208 MT in FY21 from 198 MT in FY20, registering a growth of 10% y-o-y.
India can be among the top five exporters of agro-commodities by shifting its focus on cultivation and effectively handholding farmers, according to the World Trade Centre. The total agricultural and allied products exports stood at US$ 41.25 billion in 2020-2021. The principal commodities that posted significant positive growth in exports between FY20 and FY21 were the following:
The Agriculture Export Policy, 2018 aimed to increase India’s agricultural export to Rs. 4,19,340 crore (US$ 60 billion) by 2022. Government aims to raise fishery export from India to Rs. 1 lakh crore (US$ 14.31 billion) by 2024-25.
In 2021, India witnessed growth in agriculture product exports:
According to Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Indian food processing industry attracted Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) equity inflow of about US$ 10.24 billion between April 2000 and December 2020.
Gross Value Added by agriculture, forestry, and fishing was estimated at Rs. 19.48 lakh crore (US$ 276.37 billion) in FY20. Share of agriculture and allied sectors in gross value added (GVA) of India at current prices stood at 17.8 % in FY20.
In November 2020, the agricultural ministry inaugurated the cooperative ‘Nafed’ programme to help in setting up “Honey Farmer Producers Organisations” for beekeepers in West Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan.
The Electronic National Agriculture Market (e-NAM), launched in April 2016 to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities by networking existing Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees (APMCs), had 16.6 million farmers and 131,000 traders registered on its platform until May 2020. As per the Union Budget 2021-22, government announced that through e-NAM (National Agriculture Market), ~1.68 crore farmers were registered and trade worth Rs. 1.14 lakh crore (US$ 15.63 billion) was carried out; 1,000 more mandis will be integrated to achieve transparency and bring competitiveness.
The Government of India has introduced several projects to assist the agriculture sector. Pradhan Mantri Gram Sinchai Yojana (PMGSY) aims to irrigate the field of every farmer and improve water use efficiency to achieve the motto, `Per Drop More Crop’. Overall, the scheme ensures improved access to irrigation. As per the Union Budget 2021-22, Rs. 11,588 crore (US$ 1.5 billion) was allocated to Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY). As per the Union Budget 2021-22, Rs. 1.33 lakh crore (US$ 18.41 billion) was allocated to the Ministry of Agriculture. The Indian Prime Minister launched the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana (PM-Kisan) and transferred Rs. 18,000 crore (US$ 2.45 billion) to bank accounts of >90 million beneficiaries on December 25, 2020. As per the Union Budget 2021-22, Rs. 65,000 crore (US$ 8.9 billion) was allocated to Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan). As per the Union Budget 2021-22, Rs. 8,514 crore (US$ 1.17 billion) was allocated to the Department of Agricultural Research and Education.
In April 2021, the Government of India approved a PLI scheme for the food processing sector with an incentive outlay of Rs 10,900 crore (US$ 1,484 million) over a period of six years starting from FY22.
To boost farmer incomes and growth of the agricultural economy, the Indian government released funds in June 2021 for farm mechanisation such as establishment of custom hiring centres, farm machinery bank and high-tech hubs in different states.
In November 2020, Netafim India, a leading smart irrigation solutions provider, launched FlexNet, a revolutionary mainline and sub-mainline piping for above and below-ground drip irrigation systems for Indian farmers.
In September 2020, the government launched the PM Matsya Sampada Yojana, e-Gopala App and several initiatives in fisheries production, dairy, animal husbandry and agriculture. Under this scheme, an investment of Rs. 20,000 crore (US$ 2.7 billion) will be made in the next 4-5 years in 21 states.
In June 2020, Government introduced Pradhan Mantri Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises (PM-FME) scheme. It is expected to generate total investment of Rs. 35,000 crore (US$ 4.97 billion), generate 9 lakh skilled and semi-skilled employment, and benefit 8 lakh units through access to information, training, better exposure, and formalization.
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