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Farm Truths: Here’s what makes us optimistic about Indian agriculture

January 6th, 2018 | APTSO EXPORTS™ | Tags:

It

was Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann, a German political scientist, who framed the spiral of silence theory, which holds that when a wide majority starts to believe in a certain viewpoint, the remaining — howsoever well informed — tend to fall silent. It, then, allows for the predominant view to gain further ground and emerge as the norm.
The spiral of silence theory probably explains the general public opinion about Indian agriculture — as primitive, backward, un-enterprising, crisis-prone, and a major drag on economic growth. Strong and vocal vested interests, both within and outside the country, have so aggressively articulated this perception that it has got etched in people’s minds.
The truth is just the opposite: Indian agriculture today is structurally different and more robust compared to even the Green Revolution era. Between the early-1970s and the late-nineties, India’s annual farm gross domestic product (GDP) expanded from about $25 billion to over $100 billion. Not only was growth sluggish over three decades from a low base, it was also largely cereals-centric, limited to wheat and rice.
However, between 2000 and 2014, the country’s agricultural production has surged from $101 billion to $367 billion, driven mainly by high-value segments such as horticulture, dairy, poultry and inland fisheries. No other country grows as many food and non-food crops as India. Moreover, our small-sized family farms practice a unique kind of mixed agri-horti-livestock farming. It is, indeed, common to see agri farmers doubling up as milk producers, goat rearers, poultry keepers or even aqua-culturists.
The growth of a domestic industry that produces high-yielding seeds, fertilisers, pesticides, farm equipment and other modern inputs for our farmers, and improved roads and communication systems, have also contributed immensely to India becoming a global leader in agriculture. In 2014, India ranked second in agricultural output (after China), with an eight per cent global share. In the much-hyped services sector, India’s rank was 11th with a two per cent share of the global pie. It was even worse in manufacturing, where India’s global rank is 12th.

Source: Indian express

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