:Agriculture is described as the backbone of Indian economy, mainly becauseof three reasons.(1) Agriculture constitutes largest share of country's national incomethough the share has declined from 55 percent in early 1950s to about 25percent by the turn of the Century.(2) More than half of India¶s workforce is employed in its agriculturesector.(3) Growth of other sectors and overall economy depends onperformance of agriculture to a considerable extent.Besides, agriculture is a source of livelihood and food security for largemajority of vast population of India. Agriculture has special significance forlow income, poor and vulnerable sections of rural society. Because of thesereasons agriculture is at the core of socio economic development andprogress of Indian society, and proper policy for agriculture sector is crucialto improve living standards and to improve welfare of masses.Agriculture has played a dominant role in the Indian economy. Itprovides employment to about 65% of the working population. Theperformance of this sector depends on numerous factors or agriculturalinputs such as farm mechanisation, land reforms, organized markets, creditsupply, irrigation, pesticides, fertilizers and financing industries. Cotton andJute textile industries, sugar, vanaspati and plantation-all these depend onagriculture directly. Agricultural products like tea, sugar, oil seeds, tobacco,spices, etc. constitute major part of exports. Broadly speaking, theproportion of agricultural goods, which are exported, may amount to 50% of exports.
1 BROAD CHARACTERISTICS OF AGRICULTURE
Agriculture in India is in the hands of millions of peasant households, abulk of which comprise tiny land holdings with preponderance of ownercultivation. There is hardly any direct government intervention in theproduction and investment decisions of the farmers but the governmentdoes influence the legal, material and economic environment in whichfarmers operate.