Agriculture in India is the means of livelihood of almost two thirds of the work force in the country. It has always been INDIA'S most important economic sector. The 1970s saw a huge increase in India's wheat production that heralded the Green Revolution in the country. The increase in post -independence agricultural production has been brought about by bringing additional area under cultivation, extension of irrigation facilities, use of better seeds, better techniques, water management, and plant protection. Dependence on India agricultural imports in the early 1960s convinced planners that India's growing population, as well as concerns about national independence, security, and political stability, required self-sufficiency in food production. This perception led to a program of agricultural improvement called the Green Revolution, to a public distribution system, and to price supports for farmers. The growth in food-grain production is a result of concentrated efforts to increase all the Green Revolution inputs needed for higher yields: better seed, more fertilizer, improved irrigation, and education of farmers. Although increased irrigation has helped to lessen year-to-year fluctuations in farm production resulting from the vagaries of the monsoons, it has not eliminated those fluctuations. Non traditional crops of India, such as summer mung (a variety of lentil, part of the pulse family), soyabeans, peanuts, and sunflowers, were gradually gaining

importance. Steps have been taken to ensure an increase in the supply of non-chemical fertilizers at reasonable prices. There are 53 fertilizer quality control laboratories in the country. Realizing the importance of Indian agricultural production for economic development, the central Government of India has played an active role in all aspects of agricultural development. Planning is centralized, and plan priorities, policies, and resource allocations are decided at the central level. Food and price policy also are decided by the central government. Thus, although agriculture in India is constitutionally the responsibility of the states rather than the central government, the latter plays a key role in formulating policy and providing financial resources for agriculture. Expansion in crop production, therefore, has to come almost entirely from increasing yields on lands already in some kind of agricultural use. The monsoons, however, play a critical role in Indian agriculture in determining whether the harvest will be bountiful, average, or poor in any given year. One of the objectives of government policy in the early 1990s was to find methods of reducing this dependence on the monsoons.

y India has the largest area in the world under pulse crops .

y India is the first in the world to evolve a cotton hybrid. y India has the world's highest percentage of arable land to the total geographical area, in the world. y About 50% of India's geographical area is used for agricultural activity. With the spread of irrigation facilities, the introduction of high yielding variety of seeds and farm mechanization, the vulnerability of the Indian agricultural sector to the vagaries of the monsoons has declined, compared to earlier. y About 80 percent of India's farmland is used to grow India's main foods--grains and pulses, the seeds of various pod vegetables, such as beans, chickpeas, and pigeon peas. y India has the world's largest cattle and buffalo population. These animals are not butchered for meat, but farmers keep cattle and water buffaloes for plowing and for milk. Most commercial milk production comes from water buffaloes. Hides from cattle and water buffaloes are used for leather after the animals have died. Sheep are raised mostly for wool and sheepskin. y Dairy accounts for nearly 26% of the total value of agricultural output. India has the world's second highest production of milk. India possesses 26 good breeds of cattle and six breeds of buffaloes. India's cattle is renowned the world over for its quality of endurance and resistance to tropical diseases. y India grows more than half of the world's mangoes and leads all countries in the production of cashews, millet, peanuts, pulses, sesame seeds, and tea. y The nation ranks second in the production of cauliflowers, jute, onions, rice, sorghum, and sugar

cane. y India is a major producer of apples, bananas, coconuts, coffee, cotton, eggplants, oranges, potatoes, rapeseeds, rubber, tobacco, and wheat. y India is also the world's largest grower of betel nuts, which are palm nuts chewed as a stimulant by many people in tropical Asia. It is also a leading producer of such spices as cardamom, ginger, pepper, and turmeric. y In terms of gross fertilizer consumption, India ranks fourth in the world, after the USA, the erstwhile USSR and China. y India lives mainly in its villages, 600,000 of them. y Agriculture provides livelihood to about 65% of India's labour force y Agriculture contributes nearly 33% to India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) y Agriculture exports.







The farmers and their families use most of their crops. Half of all Indian farms are less than 2.5 acres (1 hectare) in area. Only 4 percent cover more than 25 acres (10 hectares). About two-thirds of the farmers in India own their own land. Most of their farms become smaller and smaller with each generation because of inheritance customs.

India¶s position in world Agriculture
RANK Total Area Irrigated Area Population Economically Active population Total Cereals Wheat Rice Coarse grains Total Pulses Oil Seeds Fruits and Vegetables Implements (Tractors) Milk Live Stock (castles, Buffaloes) Seventh First Second Second Third Second Second fourth First Second Second Third First First



The agro industry is regarded as an extended arm of agriculture. The development of the agro industry can help stabilise and make agriculture more lucrative and create employment opportunities both at the production and marketing stages. The broad-based development of the agro-products industry will improve both the social and physical infrastructure of India. Since it would cause diversification and commercialization of agriculture, it will thus enhance the incomes of farmers and create food surpluses.

The agro-industry mainly comprises of the postharvest activities of processing and preserving agricultural products for intermediate or final consumption. It is a wellrecognized fact across the world, particularly in the

context of industrial development that the importance of agro-industries is relative to agriculture increases as economies develop. It should be emphasized that µfood¶ is not just produce. Food also encompasses a wide variety of processed products. It is in this sense that the agroindustry is an important and vital part of the manufacturing sector in developing countries and the means for building industrial capacities.

Indian Jute Industry
The Indian jute industry is an integral part of the Indian Textile Industry. India jute industry is an old industry and it is predominant in the eastern part of India. The jute industry in India engages around 2.6 lakh workers directly and around 1.4 lakh workers indirectly in the allied sectors. Further, India jute industry contributes to the national exchequer from exports and through taxes and levies. The central government owns 6 jute mills, the state government owns 4, 2 are under cooperatives, and 64 jute mills are under private ownerships. India has around 78 jute mills and the eastern state of West Bengal alone has around 61 jute mills. 7 jute mills are located in Andhra Pradesh, 3 each in Utter Pradesh and Bihar and 1 each in Orissa, Assam, Tripura, and Madhya Pradesh. In the financial year 2006-07 (April9

September) exports of total jute goods was at 104.3 thousand M.T valued at Rs. 583.55 crore. Organizations which control the Jute Industry in India are as follows y y y y y y


Jute Manufacturers Development Council, Kolkata National Centre for Jute diversification, Kolkata Jute Corporation of India Ltd., Kolkata National Jute Manufacturers Corporation Birds jute & Exports Ltd. Indian Jute Industries Research Association, Kolkata Institute of Jute technology, Kolkata

The different Acts and Rules which governs the Jute Industry in India are as follows y

y y y

Jute Packaging Materials (Compulsory use in Packing Commodities), Act, 1987 Jute & Jute Textiles Control Order, 2000 Jute Manufactures Development Council Act, 1983 Jute Manufactures Cess Act, 1983

Strengths of Indian Jute Industry are as follows y y y y y y y y

Huge production capacity Environment friendly packaging material Efficient raw material manufacturing capacity Large pool of skilled and cheap labor Entrepreneurial skills Huge export potential Large domestic market Very low import content


Flexible textile manufacturing systems

Weaknesses of Indian Jute Industry are as follows y

y y y y

Imports of cheap and alternative textiles from other Asian neighbors Use of outdated manufacturing technology Poor supply chain management Huge unorganized and decentralized sector High production cost

Indian Textile Industry
Until the economic liberalization of Indian economy, the Indian Textile Industrywas predominantly unorganized industry. The opening up of Indian economy post 1990s led to a stupendous growth of this industry. India Textile Industry is one of the largest textile industries in the world. Today, Indian economy is largely dependent on textile manufacturing and exports. India earns around 27% of the foreign exchange from exports of textiles. Further, India Textile Industry contributes about 14% of the total industrial production of India. Furthermore, its contribution to the gross domestic product of India is around 3% and the numbers are steadily increasing. India Textile Industry involves around 35 million workers directly and it accounts for 21% of the total employment generated in



Strengths of Indian Textile Industry are as follows y Huge textile production capacity y Efficient multi-fiber raw material manufacturing capacity y Large pool of skilled and cheap work force y Entrepreneurial skills y Huge export potential y Large domestic market y Very low import content y Flexible textile manufacturing systems Weaknesses of Indian Textile Industry are as follows y


y y y y

Increased global competition in the post 2005 trade regime under WTO Imports of cheap textiles from other Asian neighbors Use of outdated manufacturing technology Poor supply chain management Huge unorganized and decentralized sector High production cost with respect to other Asian competitors

The Ministry of Textiles under the Government of India has taken some significant steps to arrest these problems. It has framed "The National Textile Policy 2000" to address the aforesaid issues. This policy aims at negating these problems and increasing the foreign exchange earnings to the tune of US$ 50 billion by the year 2010. It includes rational road-maps for the

development and promotion of all the sectors involved directly or indirectly with the textile industry of India. Further, the policy also envisages to bring the unorganized decentralized textile sector (which accounts for 76% of textile production) at par with the organized mill sector. Furthermore, the policy also aims at introducing modern and efficient manufacturing machineries and techniques in the Indian textile sector.

Indian sugar industry
India has been known as the original home of sugar and sugarcane. Indian mythology supports the above fact as it contains legends showing the origin of sugarcane. India is the second largest producer of sugarcane next to Brazil. Presently, about 4 million hectares of land is under sugarcane with an average yield of 70 tonnes per hectare. India is the largest single producer of sugar including traditional cane sugar sweeteners, khandsari and Gur equivalent to 26 million tonnes raw value followed by Brazil in the second place at 18.5 million tonnes. Even in respect of white crystal sugar, India has ranked No.1 position in 7 out of last 10 years. Traditional sweeteners Gur & Khandsari are consumed mostly by the rural population in India. In the early 1930¶s nearly 2/3rd of sugarcane production was utilised

for production of alternate sweeteners, Gur & Khandsari. With better standard of living and higher incomes, the sweetener demand has shifted to white sugar. Currently, about 1/3rd sugarcane production is utilised by the Gur & Khandsari sectors. Being in the small scale sector, these two sectors are completely free from controls and taxes which are applicable to the sugar sector. The advent of modern sugar processing industry in India began in 1930 with grant of tariff protection to the Indian sugar industry. The number of sugar mills increased from 30 in the year 1930 - 31 to 135 in the year 1935-36 and the production during the same period increased from 1.20 lakh tonnes to 9.34 lakh tonnes under the dynamic leadership of the private sector. The era of planning for industrial development began in 1950-51 and Government laid down targets of sugar production and consumption, licensed and installed capacity, sugarcane production during each of the Five Year Plan periods. The targets and achievements during various plan periods are given below.

Indian Fertilizer Industry

India is primarily an agriculture based economy. The agricultural sector and its other associated spheres provide employment to a large section of the country's population and contribute about 25% to the GDP. The Indian Fertilizer Industry is one of the allied

sectors of the agricultural sphere. India has emerged as the third largest producer of nitrogenous fertilizers. The adoption of back to back Five Year plans has paved the way for self sufficiency in the production of food grains. In fact production has gone up to an extent that there is scope for the export of food grains. This surplus has been facilitated by the use of chemical fertilizers. The large scale use of chemical fertilizers has been instrumental in bringing about the green revolution in India. The fertilizer industry in India began its journey way back in 1906. During this period the first Single Super Phosphate (SSP) factory was established in Ranipet in Chennai. It had a capacity of producing 6000 MT annually. In the pre and post independence era a couple of large scale fertilizer units were established namely the Fertilizer Corporation of India in Sindri, Bihar and the Fertilizer & Chemicals Travancore of India Ltd in Cochin, Kerala.

The Indian government has devised policies conducive to the manufacture and consumption of fertilizers. Numerous committees have been formed by the Indian government to formulate and determine fertilizer policies. The dramatic development of the fertilizer industry and the rise in its production capacity has largely been attributed to the favorable policies. This has resulted in large scale investments in all three sectors viz. public, private and co-operative. At present there are 57 large scale fertilizer units. These

manufacture an extensive range of phosphatic, nitrogenous and complex fertilizers. 29 of these 57 units are engaged in the manufacturing of urea, while 13 of them produce Calcium Ammonium Nitrate and Ammonium Sulphate. The remaining 20 fertilizer plants manufacture complex fertilizers and DAP. There are also a number of medium and small scale industries in operation, about 72 of them. The following table elucidates the installed capacity of each sector.

Indian Pesticides Industry
Agriculture is the lynchpin of the Indian economy. Ensuring food security for more than 1 bn Indian population with diminishing cultivable land resource is a herculean task. This necessitates use of high yielding variety of seeds, balance use of fertilisers, judicious use of quality pesticides along with education to farmers and the use of modern farming techniques. It is estimated that India approximately loses 18% of the crop yield valued at Rs.900 bn due to pest attack each year. The use of pesticides help to reduce the crop losses, provide economic benefits to farmers, reduce soil erosion and help in ensuring food safety & security for the nation. The Indian pesticide industry with 85,000 MT of production during FY 07 is ranked second in Asia (behind China) and twelfth globally. In value terms, the size of the Indian pesticide industry was estimated at Rs.74 bn








globally, due to consolidation in the industry, the top five global MNCs control almost 78% of the market. In India, the industry is very fragmented with about 30-40 large manufacturers and about 400 formulators. The per hectare consumption of pesticide is low in India at 381 grams when compared to the world average of 500 grams. Low consumption can be attributed to fragmented land holdings, low level of irrigation, dependence on monsoons, low awareness among farmers about the benefits of usage of pesticides etc. India, being a tropical country, the consumption pattern is also more skewed towards insecticides which accounted for 64% of the total pesticide consumption in FY07.

1. GREEN REVOLUTION (1968): Green Revolution refers to the transformation of agriculture that began in 1945. One significant factor in this revolution was the Mexican government's request to establish an agricultural research station to develop more varieties of that could be used to feed the rapidly growing population of the country.The associated transformation has continued as the result of programs of agricultural research, extension, and infrastructural development. These programs were instigated and largely funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, along with the Ford

Foundation and among other major agencies. The Green Revolution allowed food production to keep pace with worldwide population growth. The Green Revolution has had major social and ecological impacts, making it a popular topic of study among sociologists. 2. EVER-GREEN REVOLUTION (1996): In India, farming is part of our culture. Seventy per cent of our population--700 million people--are engaged in farming. Half the world's farmers live in India or China: every fourth farmer is Indian. Famines were recurrent in India before Independence. Between 1870 and 1900, according to British records, 30 million people died of hunger and starvation. Nearly three million people died in the great Bengal famine--in what is now Bangladesh and India--at the time of Independence. After Independence, both Nehru and Indira Gandhi laid great emphasis on bringing more land under irrigation, in order to insulate our farming from being `a gamble. 3. BLUE REVOLUTION (WATER,FISH): During 2oth century, due to the more focus towards water revolution and fishery, there was sharp rise in the praduction of agriculture sector. New types of fertilizer and seeds was used and every resource was fully utilized. 4. WHITE REVOLUTION: Operation Flood was a rural development programme started by India's National Dairy Development Board(NDDB) in 1970. One of the largest of its kind, the programme objective was to create a nationwide milk grid. It resulted in making India

the largest producer of milk and milk products, and hence is also called the White Revolution of India. It also helped reduce malpractices by milk traders and merchants. This revolution followed the Indian green revolution and helped in alleviating poverty and famine levels from their dangerous proportions in India during the era. 5. YELLOW REVOLUTION: INDIA recorded a spectacular increase both in area under oilseeds as well as its output, with production doubling from 11 million tonnes in 1986-87 to 22 million tonnes in 1994-95, thereby justifying the term ``yellow revolution''. The near self-sufficie ncy of edible oils was, however, not palatable to the economic pundits and the so-called market forces. But this was not palatable to the World Bank. While acknowledging that oilseeds had demonstrated a rate of growth that exceeds the national trend, it actually called for discarding the policies that had brought about the positive change. What the World Bank, however, did not say was the selling price of India's oilseeds per tonne was equivalent to the production cost of one tonne of oilseeds in the US. Moreover, the production cost in the US would have been still higher if the massive amounts of subsidies that it doles out to its farmers were to be withdrawn. In fact, it is the US which actually suffers from a ``comparative disadvantage'', given the fact that its subsidies distort the price. The US and, more important, the EU should, th erefore, be importing edible oil from India every year given its cheap cost of

production. 6. BIOTECHNOLOGY REVOLUTION: Biotechnology processes are fundamentally changing the nature of the products being produced in the industry. Since 1990 when the commercialization of a variety of genetically modified (GM) tobacco first appeared in the agri-food system, a host of other GM crops including corn, cotton, soybeans, canola and flax have been released. This book reviews the global canola sector in order to identify fundamental trends resulting from the adoption of biotechnology. It examines the sector over an extended periods, looking at its local origins, regional growth and international expansion, analyzes public policy affecting commercialization and estimates the costs and benefits of changes. It is essential reading for government and industry researchers and students involved in the areas of agricultural economics, plant biotechnology and crop science. 7. ICT REVOLUTION: In view of technology/extension gaps in Indian agriculture and to exploit ICT revolution, International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad, A.P., India had developed eSagu model of extension system and implemented it for the cotton crop in three villages of Oorugonda, Gudeppad and Oglapur covering 749 farmers and 1041 farms during 2004-05 crop season. The main objective is to build a cost effective and scalable agricultural expert advice dissemination system to all the farmers. The three-tier system consists of farmers as end users, coordinators as intermediaries to obtain crop status through digital

photographs and text and communicate the advice to the farmers. The scientists with knowledge system prepare farm advices.

Development of Indian Agriculture :basic issues
1. Revitalization of Cooperative Institution: Agriculture development program during the decades of 1970s and 1980s aimed at boosting food crop production and productivity. The successful effort was due to the massive use of agriculture technology, supported with specially designed supporting

institutions such as extension institutions, seed producer institutions controlled by the state, and various cooperative providing credits from national banks and distributing agriculture inputs, as well as orchestrated operations at the field level. In the marketing side, the Board of Logistics (BULOG), with its operating organizations at the field level (Depot of Logistics or DOLOG) helped farmer to market their commodity to further be distributed to the consumers. 2. Improving Rural Credits: The prospect of a mandatory system has brought strong objections from small farmers, who say its cost would be too much for them, but Vilsack said he had also ³heard small producers say this is a good thing.´ He said the suggestion of subsidies for small farmers to join the system is ³still up in the air,´ awaiting conclusion of the listening sessions. Vilsack and his audience appeared to agree most about the need to educate people outside

rural areas about their connections to agriculture. 3. Research, Education & Extension: Since 1988, the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program has helped advance farming systems that are profitable, environmentally sound and good for communities through a nationwide research and education grants program. The national outreach office of the SARE program is supported by the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extention, U.S. Department of Agriculture. It operates under cooperative agreements with the University of Maryland and the University of Vermont to develop and disseminate information about sustainable agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 4. Human Resources Development: Human Resource Development is an important factor in capacity building and improving the overall efficiency of functionaries involved in implementation, monitoring, evaluation, research and extension programmes. Training is a major component of Human Resource Development. Systematic training, planning, management and its implementation by making best utilization of resources available within the country helps in bringing about desirable changes in knowledge and upgrade skills of extension functionaries associated with the process of agriculture development. The training infrastructure has been created to meet out

the training requirements of all levels of extension functionaries, farm youth and farmwomen. Looking into the importance of training in capacity building of extension experts and farmers, this scheme is selected for the strengthening of extension services and dissemination of agricultural technology to the farming community. 5. Trade & Export Promotion: There has been decline in agricultural imports. The agricultural imports decreased from Rs 22057.49 crore in 2004-05, to Rs 21025.54 crore in 2005-06. The share of agricultural imports to the country¶s total imports has remained steady around 3.33 per cent. Imports have registered a relative decline during April-September 2006, when it was only 2.88 per cent of the country¶s total import. The import of vegetable oils fixed (edible), pulses, cashewnuts, cotton (raw and waste) and wood products dominate our agricultural imports. 12.3 Agricultural exports, on the other hand, have an increasing trend. India¶s agricultural exports have increased from Rs 39863.31 crore in 2004-05, to Rs 49802.92 crore in 2005-06. During the current year (April±September 2006), the value of agricultural exports was worth Rs 28157.52 crore compared to Rs 21673.25 crore for the corresponding period of last year, registering a growth of 29.91 per cent. The export of marine products, oil meals, rice, wheat, tea, coffee, cashew and sugar dominate our agricultural exports. 6. Land Reforms: Pre-independent India had a feudal

agrarian structure. A small group of large landowners, including absentee landlords had land rights. The vast majority of cultivators did not have any right or had limited rights as tenants or sub-tenants. The poor mostly leased-in land for subsistence. If the tenants used improved seeds, manure or extra labour, they had to share half of the increased produce with the landlords. When India became independent, policy makers felt the system of cultivation by tenants had to be overhauled as it was highly exploitative. The result was tenancy reforms which aimed to either abolish tenancy or regulate tenancy to ensure fixed tenure, fair rent etc. The whole point of tenancy reforms was to enable the poor tenants to cultivate their land more efficiently and improve their incomes. However the impact of tenancy reforms varied from state to state and from region to region. During the past two decades or so, the state of Karnataka in southern India tried to confer occupancy rights to tenants.

Technologies for sustainable agriculture development
1. BIO-TECHNOLOGY: Genetic engineering can be used to modify the genetic compositions of plants, animals, and microorganisms. The number of genes that have been isolated and are available for transfer is growing daily. Currently, the technology is used primarily to modify crops, although a number of other applications are in the wings. Like other products, genetically engineered products undergo a period of research and

development before they are ready for commercial release. Many products never emerge from the research and development pipeline. While this is true for almost any technology, genetic engineering is turning out to be more difficult and more expensive than early proponents expected. Although in the early 1980s biotechnology was touted as a miracle technology that was going to usher in a new era of agricultural abundance with minimal harm to the environment, the initial set of products has proved modest. Some of the most important commercial applications of biotechnology are discussed below. 2. PRE & POST HARVESTING TECHNOLOGY: the commercial production of mushroom started during late sixties on an experimental basis by Dr.E.F.K.Mantel, an Agricultural Scientist under FAO Programme. The College of Agriculture, Solan took the lead and provided initial research facilities. Amarinder Singh was the pioneer grower to venture in the field. The raw materials used were wheat straw, spent brewer's grain from Solan distillery, wheat bran, super phosphate, murate of potash and urea. The spawn was provided by agriculture college, Solan, and spent mushroom compost, sand, saw dust and loamy soil formed the casings. Around early seventies some growers of Chail and Kasauli produced few hundred kgs. of mushroom per day which was canned by TEGS Mushroom. 3. ENERGY SAVING TECHNOLOGY: The western region is an important strategic base of energy in China. The average per capita possession of fossil energy in the

west is twice that in China. On the basis of the analysis of the mechanism how industrial structure adjustment affects energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product (GDP), the energy input-output table of western China was designed and compiled. Combining multiobjective planning techniques, setting energysaving, economic growth, and laborer's income growth as the goals, setting basic input-output relations, production capacity, and labor as the constraints, the multiobjective optimization model of western energy input-output was constructed. The results of industrial structure optimization of western China show that: with technology and product price remaining unchanged, the adjustment of the industrial structure can reduce energy consumption per unit GDP by 2.7%, at the same time ensuring the average annual increase of GDP and laborer's income of western region in excess of 8%. It indicates that industrial structure adjustment is an effective method in accomplishing the aim of energy saving. Finally, policy suggestions from four angles, such as industrial chain and financial policies, were put forward. 4. ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION TECHNOLOGY: One of this century s major challenges is to intensify food production as environmentally friendly and sustainable as possible. The concept of sustainability also includes recycling of waste. Complex problems particularly arise on the periphery of densely populated areas where competing forms of land use have to be balanced (e.g. settlement, recreation, waste disposal). In attempts to handle these problems we not only have to

consider: scientific, technical, socio-economic, political and legal aspects. 5. INFORMATION AND COMM. TECHNOLOGY: The Indian agricultural sector is leveraging the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to disseminate the right information at the right time. The cost factor in face-to-face information dissemination and the difficulties in reaching the target audiences have necessitated the introduction of ICT in agriculture. This article discusses the different models related to ICT in Indian agriculture like, Kisan call centers, The Gyandoot project, Bhoomi project, Village knowledge centers, and AGMARKNET. In the end, the article discusses the barriers and the outlook of ICT in Indian agriculture. 6. INTERNET/INTRANET TECHNOLOGY: The Internet was officially inaugurated in Vietnam in November 1997. After three years of official linking to Internet, the country now has 40,000 Internet subscribers. The average monthly number of new subscribers is 1,5001,600. In the beginning there were only three access points; now Vietnam has nine direct access points. In addition, it has 37 remote access points allowing subscribers indirect access to the Internet through the telephone network with the highest modem speed of 56Kbit/s. The country now has two international gates in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City with five international linking channels, including two channels to the U.S.A, one to Japan, one to Hong Kong and one to Australia. In

general, the growth rate of Internet subscribers is quite high.

National Agriculture Policy Aims at above 4 per cent Growth

The Government on 28th July 2000 made public a National Agriculture Policy aimed at catapulting agricultural growth to over 4 per cent per annum by 2005. This growth is to be achieved through a combination of measures including structural, institutional, agronomics and tax reforms. Privatisation of agriculture and price protection of farmers in the post-QR regime would be part of the Government's strategy to synergise agricultural growth. The focus of the new policy is on efficient use of resources and technology, adequate avalilability of credit to farmers and, protecting them


from seasonal and price fluctuations. Over the next two decades the policy aims to attain a growth rate in excess of four percent per annum in the agriculture sector. Private sector participation would be promoted through contract farming and land leasing arrangements to allow accelerated technology transfer, capital inflow, assured markets for crop production, especially of oilseeds, cotton and horticultural crops. Private sector investment in agriculture would be encouraged, particularly in areas like agricultural research, human resource development, post harvest management and marketing. In view of dismantling of quantitative restrictions (QRS) on imports as per WTO agreement on agriculture, the policy has recommended formulation of commodity wise strategies and arrangements to protect farmers from adverse impact of undue price fluctuations in the world market and promote exports Government would enlarge coverage of futures markets to minimize the wide fluctuations in commodity prices as also for hedging their risks. The policy hoped to achieve sustainable development of agriculture, create gainful employment and raise standards of living.






The Policy envisages evolving a "National Livestock Breeding Strategy" to meet the requirement of milk, meat, egg and livestock products and to enhance the role of draught animals as a source of energy for farming operations. Plant varieties would be protected through a legislation to encourage research and breeding of new varieties. Development of animal husbandry, poultry, dairy and aquaculture would receive top priority. High priority would be accorded to evolve new location-specific and economically viable improved varieties of farm and horticulture crops, livestock species and aquaculture. Domestic agriculture market would be liberalized. The restrictions on the movement of agricultural commodities throughout the country would be progressively dismantled. The structure of taxes on foodgrains and other commercial crops would be reviewed. The excise duty on materials such as farm machinery and implements and fertilisers used as inputs in agricultural production, post harvest storage and processing would be reviewed.







Appropriate measures would be adopted to ensure that agriculturists, by and large, remained outside the regulatory and tax collection system. Rural electrification would be given high prioity as a prime mover for agricultural development. The use of new and renewable sources of energy for irrigation and other agricultural purposes would be encouraged.



Agricultural Growth in India since 1991

The period since 1991 has been a turning point for Indian agriculture when the growth in the sector resurgent from the middle sixties was arrested. An across the-board slowing of output and yield growth since 1991 for the two main groups (Food and Non-food) in Indian crop agriculture was witnessed. Shrinking farm size has been one of the reasons for a slowdown in the growth. Smaller holding-size makes it more difficult for the majority of Indian farms to access new technology and adopt more efficient forms of production. Thus capital intensive investment also called the 'land improvement factor' is very likely inconceivable for the




largest number of Indian farmers today not only due to their meager asset base but also due to small holding size. The slower growth of yield since 1991 may, at least to an extent, be related to this aspect.

Along with the shrinking farm size environmental/ecological stress is also reported for the agricultural sector which is reflected in loss of soil nutrients and declining water availability. This contributes directly to potential yield loss that can be compensated, if at all, only via greater expenditure which eventually increases cost of production which a smaller farm strapped for credit cannot handle. Capital formation in Indian agriculture is undertaken by both government and the private sector. However, there is an economic distinction between these. Almost all of the public investment is in the nature of a public good, i.e., it is non-excludable, and for that reason unlikely to be undertaken by the private sector. Hence, public investment is a vital input in the agricultural production but it has more or less remained stagnant since 1991. For agricultural production, irrigation is arguably the most important input after seed, and the most important element of public capital formation. However, growth in coverage of irrigated area in all the main crop categories has slowed in the nineties. Agricultural economists have long pointed to the importance of research and extension to the acceleration






of agricultural growth in the past which enhance productivity. Since acreage expansion is more or less infeasible the future growth has to come from a rise in productivity.

Hence, expenditure is imperative on research and extension front however, public support for expanding the knowledge base for agriculture is shrinking since 1991. Public expenditure on this item is low as a share of agricultural output in India by international standards.



Indian agriculture: SWOT ANALYSIS

STRENGTHS  Rich Bio-diversity

Arable land  Climate  Strong and well dispersed research and extension system OPPORTUNITIES  Bridgeable yield crops  Exports  Agro-based Industry  Horticulture  Untapped potential in the N.E WEAKNESS  Fragmentation of land  Low Technology Inputs  Unsustainable Water Management  Poor Infrastructure  Low value addition THREATS  Unsustainable Resource Use  Unsustainable Regional Development  Imports