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IMPACT OF BUDGET ON AGRICULTURE-SUGGESTIONS In a country like India whose economy is predominantly agriculture in character the importance of accurate and timely wise agricultural planning and development is the need of the time. In the past the collection of agricultural statistics were mere incidental to the collection of land revenues which formed the principal source of income. But now the attitude and approach has to be changed. Jawaharlal Nehru referred to India’s tryst with destiny on the midnight of August 15, 1947 and urged that with the dawn of freedom we should work for a nation where every child, woman and man has opportunities for good health, nutrition, education and employment. Major achievements: _ * Foodgrain and major cereal production increased the beginning of this century * The net area under irrigation increased from about 21 million hectares in 1951-52 to over 60 million hectares now; gross irrigated area has also increased by over 300 percent. *Groundwater irrigation has played the lead role in bringing more area under irrigation, thanks to technological advances *Annual Milk production has gone up from about 20 million tonnes in 1950- 51 to nearly 100 million tonnes this year (2007), thereby taking India to the first position in the world in milk production. *Both marine and inland fisheries have registered impressive progress * Significant progress has been made in the development of affordable drugs for the eradication of various diseases * Many nutritional disorders like those arising from micronutrient deficiencies have now affordable remedies through a food-cum-fortification approach. *Rural drinking water supply has been made nearly universal through the design of simple water pumps and the application of remote sensing and hard rock drilling techniques * Rural energy systems have gained enormously from scientific work related to the harnessing of biogas, biomass, solar and wind and other forms of renewable energy. * Global leadership has been achieved in the field of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and it is now possible to bridge the
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urban-rural gap through Gyan Chaupals or Village Knowledge Centres under the Every Village a Knowledge Centre movement. Major challenges and suggestions: Inspite of all this progress, an atmosphere of gloom and doom on the farm front is prevailing during this 60th anniversary year of our independence. The contribution of agriculture to GDP has gone down below 20% although nearly two thirds of our population still depend upon agriculture for their livelihood. The agricultural growth rate for 2004/5 to 2005/6 has been only 3.9%. Nearly 80 % of the farm population operate small holdings, the average size of holding being 1.41 ha. Out of a total geographical area of 329 m ha, over 142 m ha constitute the net sown area. Nearly 63 percent of this area is rainfed. A recent study by the National
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