Agriculture and Sustainable Development in India
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The Approach Paper to Twelfth Five Year Plan (2012-17) released by the Planning Commission in October 2011 expressed concern at the slow growth of agriculture and allied activities in recent years. The Approach Paper attributed current increase in food prices to below target growth of the agricultural sector and stressed the need to "redouble efforts to achieve at least 4 percent average growth rate in the farm sector in the coming years". Though agriculture has now shrunk as a proportion of GDP to 13.9 percent, it is a vital sector and provider of livelihood for 2/3rd of Indias working population. Unfortunately, Indian economy is witnessing loss of dynamism in the agriculture and allied sectors in recent years. The sector, as a whole, has showed poor performance in the recent years. Signs of agrarian distress are visible in some years. The spate of suicides by farmers in many areas is the most disconcerting manifestation of this distress. Marginal and small farmers have borne the brunt of the adverse circumstances in agriculture.
The Government of India has launched the National Food Security Mission and the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana to rejuvenate agriculture and improve farm income. Accelerating the growth rate of agricultural production is seen as central to a more inclusive growth. The present work traces developments in Indian agriculture during the post-Independence period. It explains the key reform measures undertaken for the modernisation of agriculture. The book contains 26 chapters which provide a detailed description of the various aspects of agriculture in India. In addition, there are 4 appendices to the book. Appendix 1 reproduces text of the National Policy for Farmers, 2007. Appendix 2 provides year-wise review of agricultural developments in India, covering the period 1947-48 to 2011-12. Appendix 3 contains edited extracts from Indias Five Year Plans on Agriculture and Allied Activities (I to XII Plan). Appendix 4 comprises glossary of agricultural terms. A section on time-series data (1950-51 to 2010-11) on Indian agriculture also forms part of the book.
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