Agriculture%20in%20India%20-%20Part%20I - MBA Education...

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Unformatted text preview: MBA Education & Careers LEARNING CORNER Agriculture in India Part - I: Important Determinants T he Indian economy is made up of three major sectors: Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary. The Primary sector is made up of agriculture and allied activities; the Secondary sectory can also be called manufacturing or industrial sector, while the Tertiary sector of the economy represents the services sector. Agriculture represents the backbone of the Indian economy. It plays a vital role in the overall economic and social well-being of our country. Agriculture contributes approx. 22 per cent to India’s GDP while it engages nearly 62-67 per cent of the total labour force in the country. India’s total food grain production in 2003-04 was 210 million tonnes. Today, our country is self-sufficient in food grain production and this has led to a sense of food security. However, agriculture in India is heavily dependent on monsoon. It has often been said that agriculture in India is a gamble in monsoon. The dependency is so high that the amount of agricultural output is more or less decided by the amount of rainfall. Determinants of agriculture Agricultural productivity is influenced by a number of determinants like physical, institutional, and technological factors. Physical factors relate to topography (surface features), climate, soil conditions, etc. While institutional factors may include credit extension, size of land holdings, and social fabric in rural areas, technological factors would refer to use of high yielding varieties of seeds, pesticide usage, irrigation facilities, etc. Physical factors Climate : What makes agriculture a risky proposition is its heavy dependence on climate. As climate and agriculture go hand in hand, agricultural productivity would directly depend upon the climatic conditions. To repeat, agriculture in India is a gamble in monsoon. The vagaries of climate directly affect the output, crop pattern and intensity, irrigation facilities, harvest, and every other operational aspect of agriculture. While rainfall is very important, an excess or a deficiency of the same spell consequences of their own (floods and droughts). Excessive rainfall would lead to soil erosion, water logging, and stunted growth. On the other hand, drought conditions arising out of scanty or inadequate rainfall would lead to soil drought, which destroys crops because the amount of transpiration exceeds the amount of moisture available in the soil. Temperature is another major determinant of agricultural productivity. This is because different crop types require different temperatures - maximum and minimum - during the many stages of crop cycle. Here, we should also look at some other climate-linked factors like amount of sunshine, frosts (as also other forms of precipitation), and air conditions. A combination of all these climatic factors play a crucial role in determining agricultural output. Soil: Among all physical factors, soil is probably the single most important determinant of agricultural productivity. Cropping patterns, March 2006 23 MBA Education & Careers L EARNING CORNER cropping intensity, and final output would, to a large extent, depend on soil fertility. However, if soil is not properly taken care of, then it could lead to serious consequences like soil erosion, soil alkanity, and salinity. Physiography: I ndia is home to immense geological diversity with the Himalayas in the north to the Indo-Gangetic Plain to the Deccan Plateau in peninsualr India. We find alluvial plains in the Indo-Gangetic Plain fed by the melting-snows of the Himalayan river system. In the south, we find varied physiographic factors (Karnataka Maidan, Deccan Plateau), which give to different crop varieties. This diversity of physiographic features has led to a diversity in agricultural cropping patterns and practices. In addition to this, we find slash and burn and other forms of agriculture practices in mountainous terrains. Institutional factors These factors relate to social institutions, credit extension, size of land holdings, land ownership, tenancy rights, etc. These institutional factors March 2006 24 play a significant role as most agricultural activities take place in rural areas. These factors also assume considerable importance in light of the fact that these determine the cropping patterns, types of crops sowed, as well as adoption of new technologies. Technological factors Technology plays a very important part in generation of agricultural output. From the ancient times to the present, man has employed various technological tools, right from the wheel to sophisticated machinery used in extensive agriculture. Technology not only helps overcome various obstacles like environmental constraints, but also helps improving efficiency thereby enhance productivity. While mechanisation of agriculture does not help in small land holdings, it does come in handy when it comes to operations on large farm lands. Technology bring many advantages like crop intensity, improved soil usage, water management, and modern farm tools. ...
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This note was uploaded on 04/11/2010 for the course ECONOMICS HU-203 taught by Professor Hitashi during the Spring '10 term at Punjab Engineering College.

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