Agro Industries in India & their Development in Jharkhand
Dr. KSS Kanhaiya
BE, DCPA, MBA, MA (App. Psy.), PhD (Mgmt.)C.Eng. (I), FIE (I), MIMA, LMCSI, LMISCA
email@example.com(Views expressed are personal to the author)
Agriculture in India has a long history. Indian agriculture began by 9000 BC. Doublemonsoons led to two harvests being reaped in one year. Settled life soon followed withimplements and techniques being developed for agriculture.Today, India ranks second worldwide in farm output. Agriculture and allied sectorsaccounted for 16.6% of the GDP in 2007, and employed 60% of the total workforce.Despite a steady decline of its share in the GDP, it is still the largest economic sectorand plays a significant role in the overall socio-economic development of India.India is the largest producer in the world of milk, cashew nut, coconut, tea, ginger,turmeric and black pepper. It also has the world's largest cattle population (281 million).It is the second largest producer of wheat, rice, sugar, groundnut and inland fish. It isthe third largest producer of tobacco. India accounts for 10% of the world fruitproduction with first rank in the production of banana.Slow growth in agricultural sector is a concern as some two-thirds of India’s peopledepend on rural employment for a living.Jharkhand remains among the most food-insecure states in the country. Close to half ofthe state GDP comes from industry. Forestry contributes only about 1.3% as its hugepotential is yet to unfold. Its varied agricultural economy also supports a host of agro-based industries that includes food processing.It is with this backdrop that we shall discuss about relevance, policies, potentials, andfactors for Agro Industrial Development of India in general and Jharkhand in particularand shall try to identify areas of concern that need to be pondered upon for achievingthe desired development.
An Overview of Agro Industrial Policies in India
Agro-industry is an omnibus expression. It can generally be defined as “industrieswhich have direct or indirect links with agriculture.” It covers a variety of industrial,manufacturing and processing activities based on agricultural raw materials as alsoactivities and services that go as inputs to agriculture. In 1944, Famine EnquiryCommission defined Agro-based industries as “those, which are involved in supplyingthe farm with agricultural inputs besides handling the farm products”. James E Austinavered in 1981 in a UK publication on Agro-industrial Project Analysis that “An agro-industry is an enterprise that processes raw materials, including ground and tree cropsas well as livestock. The degree of processing can vary tremendously, ranging from thecleaning and grading of apples to the milling of rice, to the cooking, mixing, andchemical alteration that create a texturized vegetable food”.Processing of agricultural produce is a well-known agro-industrial activity. Besides thetwo-way linkage to agriculture, one would need additional criteria to classify agro-industries.