Information on Indian Agriculture

Agriculture is the mainstay of the Indian Economy. Agriculture and Allied sectors contribute nearly 25 per cent of Gross Domestic Production (GDP), while about 65-70 per cent of the population is dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. The agricultural output, however, depends on monsoon, as nearly 60 per cent of area sown is dependent on rainfall.
Harvesting Season :
There are three main crop seasons, namely, kharif, rabi and summer. Major kharif crops are rice, jowar, bajra, maize, cotton, sugarcane, soyabean and groundnut. Major rabi crops are wheat, barley, gram, linseed, rapeseed and mustard. Rice, maize and groundnut are grown in summer season also.
Land Utilisation :
Land utilisation statistics are available for 93.1 per cent of total geographical area of 3,287.3 lakh hectares.
According to Land Use Statistics available from States, area under forest had increased from 404.8 lakh hectares in 1950 - 51 to 694.1 lakh hectares in 2000 - 2001.
Net sown area increased from 1,187.5 lakh hectares to 1411.0 lakh hectares during the same period. Broad cropping pattern indicates that though food grains have a preponderance in gross cropped area as compared to non - food grains, their relative share came down from 76.7 per cent during 1950 - 51 to 65 per cent during 2000 - 2001.
According to the Agriculture Census, the area operated by large holdings (10 hectares and above) has declined to 14.8 per cent in 1995 - 96 compared to 17.3 per cent in 1990 - 91.
Similarly, the area operated under marginal holdings (less than one hectare) has increased to 17.2 per cent in 1995 - 96 from 15.0 per cent in 1990 - 91. This indicates that land is getting fragmented.
Crop Production Programme :
For increasing production and productivity of various crops in the country, the State Governments submit Work Plan proposal under Macro Management Scheme. The individual crop - wise schemes, viz.,
  • Integrated Cereal Development Programme in Wheat - based Cropping Systems Area (ICDP - Wheat);
  • Integrated Cereals Development Programme in Rice-based Cropping Systems Area (ICDP - Rice);
  • Integrated Cereal Development Programme on Coarse Cereal - based Cropping Systems Area (ICDP - Coarse Cereals);
  • Sustainable Development of Sugarcane - based cropping System (SUBACS); and
  • Special Jute Development Programme (SJDP) have been subsumed under Macro Management Mode since October 2001 to give more flexibility to the State Governments.
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