Chandan Singh Ahirwar, Ravindra Nath
Agricultural sector is regarded as the key component of the economies of many developing nations, including India. Globally, agriculture accounts for a large share of GDP, it employs a significant proportion of the labour force, represents a major source of foreign exchange earnings, supplies bulk of basic food and provides subsistence and other income to the agriculture dependant growing population in the world. However, the country is facing decline in growth in agriculture relative to other sectors. The agricultural sector grew at a rate of 2.7%, relative to about 10% growth in both the service and industry sector, in the recent times. Agricultural incomes are lower and the rate of growth is slower than incomes in other sectors. This has resulted in persistence of unacceptable levels of hunger, poverty and malnutrition among large section of India’s population. The strong linkages that agriculture has with other economic sectors representing both forward and backward linkages provide significant stimulus for growth and income generation. It is therefore obvious that significant progress in promoting economic growth, reducing poverty and enhancing food security cannot be achieved without developing a sound, effective and vibrant agriculture system that pays concurrent attention to the human potential and productive capacity of the agriculture sector. These in turn will ensure enhanced contribution of agriculture to the overall economic and social development.
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