Agriculture in India: Before and After Independence

1101 Words Nov 13th, 2012 5 Pages
Agriculture In India – Introduction
Agriculture has been an integral part of the Indian Economy, before and after Independence, despite its decline in share of GDP (17.2% as of 2011). Half of India’s population depends on Agriculture as a livelihood. India is 2nd in farm output. It the largest producer of coriander, spices, millets and many more; second in fruits such as mangoes and papaya; and third in rapeseed, tomatoes and coconuts. Yet 1/3rd of Indian population is under poverty line.
Before independence:
The British colonial government of India did not pursue an active policy of agricultural development despite modest efforts to formulate one. Indian exports, at the latter part of British Raj mainly comprised of foodgrains,
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The Partition created further imbalance. A major part of India’s population was under the poverty line.
So the govt. was to initiate a growth process in agriculture and was faced with a challenge. It laid out a set of goals to be implemented by adopting a package approach. Throughout the late 1940s and entire of 1950s, Campaigns focusing on food and cash crops were observed. The National Five Year Plans initiated growth in agriculture after 1950.
Land reforms and technological developments took place simultaneously. Most of the national goals included land reclamation, land development, consolidation, control of prices and forward thinking, mechanization and industry development. Chemical fertilizers were widely created. Diversification of crops was also observed and non-traditional crops such as soybeans and peanuts gradually gained importance.
The growth strategy of Indian Agriculture evolved with time in several stages. In the early stages, aims were to eradicate socioeconomic constraints through land reform, change in the village power structure, reorganization of the rural poor into cooperatives, and better citizen participation in planning. The Land Tenure System was aimed to be abandoned (by removing Zamindari system). Area-specific intensive programmes were implemented.
Production was increasing, but India’s population was rapidly