Agriculture is the primary source of livelihood for about 58 per cent of India’s population. Gross Value Added by agriculture, forestry and fishing is estimated at Rs 17.67 trillion in FY18.
The Indian food industry is poised for huge growth, increasing its contribution to world food trade every year due to its immense potential for value addition, particularly within the food processing industry. The Indian food and grocery market is the world’s sixth largest, with retail contributing 70 per cent of the sales. The Indian food processing industry accounts for 32 per cent of the country’s total food market, one of the largest industries in India and is ranked fifth in terms of production, consumption, export and expected growth. It contributes around 8.80 and 8.39 per cent of Gross Value Added (GVA) in Manufacturing and Agriculture respectively
During 2017-18* crop year, food grain production is estimated at record 284.83 million tonnes. In 2018-19, Government of India is targeting foodgrain production of 285.2 million tonnes. Milk production was estimated at 165.4 million tonnes during FY17, while meat production was 7.4 million tonnes. As of September 2018, total area sown with kharif crops in India reached 105.78 million hectares.
India is the second largest fruit producer in the world. Production of horticulture crops is estimated at record 306.82 million tonnes (mt) in 2017-18 as per third advance estimates.
*Total agricultural exports from India grew at a CAGR of 16.45 per cent over FY10-18 to reach US$ 38.21 billion* in FY18. Between Apr-Oct 2018 agriculture exports were US$ 21.61 billion. India is also the largest producer, consumer and exporter of spices and spice products. Spice exports from India reached US$ 3.1 billion in 2017-18.
According to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), the Indian food processing industry has cumulatively attracted Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) equity inflow of about US$ 8.57 billion between April 2000 and June 2018.
*Some major investments and developments in agriculture are as follows:*
By early 2019, India will start exporting sugar to China.The first mega food park in Rajasthan was inaugurated in March 2018.Agrifood start-ups in India received funding of US$ 1,66 billion between 2013-17 in 558 deals.In 2017, agriculture sector in India witnessed 18 M&A deals worth US$ 251 million.Government Initiatives
Some of the recent major government initiatives in the sector are as follows:
The Agriculture Export Policy, 2018 was approved by Government of India in December 2018. *The new policy aims to increase India’s agricultural exports to US$ 60 billion by 2022 and US$ 100 billion in the next few years* with a stable trade policy regime.In September 2018, the Government of India announced Rs 15,053 crore (US$ 2.25 billion) procurement policy named ‘Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan’ (PM-AASHA), under which states can decide the compensation scheme and can also partner with private agencies to ensure fair prices for farmers in the country.In September 2018, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved a Rs 5,500 crore assistance package for the sugar industry in India.The Government of India is going to provide Rs 2,000 crore for computerisation of Primary Agricultural Credit Society (PACS) to ensure cooperatives are benefitted through digital technology.With an aim to boost innovation and entrepreneurship in agriculture, the Government of India is introducing a new AGRI-UDAAN programme to mentor start-ups and to enable them to connect with potential investors.The Government of India has launched the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) with an investment of Rs 50,000 crore aimed at development of irrigation sources for providing a permanent solution from drought.The Government of India plans to triple the capacity of food processing sector in India from the current 10 per cent of agriculture produce and has also committed Rs 6,000 crore as investments for mega food parks in the country, as a part of the Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters (SAMPADA).The Government of India has allowed 100 per cent FDI in marketing of food products and in food product e-commerce under the automatic route.Achievements in the sectorThe Electronic National Agriculture Market (eNAM) was launched in April 2016 to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities by networking existing APMCs. Up to May 2018, *9.87 million farmers, 109,725 traders were registered on the e-NAM* platform. 585 mandis in India have been linked while 415 additional mandis will be linked in 2018-19 and 2019-20. *Agriculture storage capacity in India increased at 4 per cent CAGR between 2014-17 to reach 131.8 million metric tonnes* .
Coffee exports reached record 395,000 tonnes in 2017-18.Between 2014-18, 10,000 clusters were approved under the Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY).Between *2014-15 and 2017-18 (up to December 2017), capacity of 2.3 million metric tonnes was added in godowns while steel silos with a capacity of 625,000 were also created* during the same *period.Around 100 million Soil Health Cards (SHCs) have been distributed* in the country during 2015-17 and a soil health mobile app has been launched to help Indian farmers.Road Ahead
The agriculture sector in India is expected to generate better momentum in the next few years due to increased investments in agricultural infrastructure such as irrigation facilities, warehousing and cold storage. Furthermore, the growing use of genetically modified crops will likely improve the yield for Indian farmers. India is expected to be self-sufficient in pulses in the coming few years due to concerted efforts of scientists to get early-maturing varieties of pulses and the increase in minimum support price.
The government of India targets to increase the average income of a farmer household at current prices to Rs 219,724 by 2022-23 from Rs 96,703 in 2015-16.This achievement is grossly impossible, keeping in view the last three years income data of the farmers.
However, India’s agriculture growth is poised to fly in coming years due to the increase in awareness and also brain storming discussions between various sections of farmers and real agri experts and also a major chunk of pseudo agri experts,but their rumor mongering may also lead to the ground realities and may lead to force the govt to generate agriculture real time data, so that india is bound to be most super agricultural ly productive and highly competitive quality wise and quantity wise in every respect in the international agri market.
DR N K ARORA