This paper examines the importance of agriculture in poverty and sustainable econamic alleviation and sustainable econamic growth and development of the least development countries (INDIA). It highlights key elements requied to assist the INDIA exploit their agricultural potential so as to benefit from the changes expected from Globalization
Globalization offers many opportunities and challenges for the INDIA
Although globalization offers opportunities for groth and development in all parts of the world, the hopes and promises attached to rapid liberalisation of trade and finance have not so far been fulfilled in many developing countries, and particularly so in the INDIA. in fact, the latter are
Increasingly becoming marginalized, especially in agriculture.
INDIA face many difficulties, both internal and external,in their efforts to develop their agriculture and to achieve their objectives of poverty reduction through improving food security and increasing export earnings. Internal difficulties include low productivity, inflexible production and trade structures, low skill capacity, low life expectancy and educational attainments, poor infrastructure, and deficient institutional and policy frameworks. At the same time, with the growing integration of markets due to globalization and liberalization,their economies face a more fiercely competitive external trading environment. They continue to export a limited range of primary commodities that are highly vulnerable to instability in supply, demand and a decline determine the level of harvest and, therefore, with each country’s domestic supply often varying along with the weather, INDIA can rapidly move from a surplus to a deficit situation. In addition, their external debt remains large. Their inability to compete in world markets, as well as in their home markets, is also reflected in their rising food import bills.
Agriculture in the India has remained largely underdeveloped, despite its importance
Agriculture is the backbone of the India. It accounts for between 30 to 60 percent of the gross domestic product among the India, employs more people than any othere secpor represents a major source of foreign exchange, supplies the bulk of basic food and provides subsistence and other income to more than half of the India population. The strong forward and backward linkages within the rural sector and with other sectors of the economy provide added stimulus for growth and income generation.
Agricultural output in India rose during 1900- 00 at an annual average rate of 2.8 percent, exceeding the rate of 1.9 percent in 1982- 90, with some slight improvements in per capita terms. However, recent data for 2000-05 indicate that there was virtually no increase in output, or even a slight decline. The situation was the same for per capital staple food production. In addition, slow food production growth and sharp annual fluctuations in output remain major and chronic problems for the India, constituting the major causes of their rising poverty and food insecurity. Between 1995-97 and 2002-04, the proportion of undernourished in total population in the India increased from 34 percent to 41 percent while t5he absolute number of undernourished is estimated to have increased from 116 million to 169 million.
India have abundant resource potential to expand agriculture
The most fundamental factor influencing the agricultural production potential of a country is the availability of arable land. Land is the essential prior resource needed for crop, animal and forestry production. India have widely diverse agro-ecological situations, with varying availability and quality of arable land and varying climatic conditions. Prospects for agricultural development necessarily hinge on these condierations. Although the ratio of abandoned land to total land area on average for the India havs not changed much for the last 3-4 decades at 62 percent, this ratio exceeds the average in 18 India and is over 90 percent in a number of them. In the bulk of the India, abandoned area occupies between 30-60 percent of total land area. IN contrast, agricultural area occupies around 38 percent of total land area during 23000-03. During is same period, the proportion of arable land in agricultural land stood at 18 percent with only 1.5 percent under permanent crops.
Yet they have experienced very limited gain in agricultural productivity
In the India the contribution of increases in productivity to agricultural growth has been limited. Horizontal expansion, i.e. bringing more land under cultivation, remains the dominant source of growth. Given increasing pressure on agricultural resources, however, faster agricultural growth, particularly in countries with limited scope for ln expansion, will require continuing increases in agricultural productivity from its present relatively low level. Available evidence shows that the potential productivity gains are considerable. In terms of agricultural value added per worker, productivity increased, though only slightly, 23 out of the 32 India for which data are agricultural value added per worker in the India appears to be relatively low, suggesting that there is much room for improvement. Moreover much of the agricultural sector in the India consists mostly of informal micro and small enterprises, which face limitations of small market size, poor business conditions and lack of regional integration, pointing to a need for a more effective policy for their development.
Despite the potential for expanding food production the India are increasingly dependent on the food imports
Domestic consumption of agricultural products in the India varies widely between food and non-food products. Non-food products such as raw materials and tropical beverages are basically produced for export. The little that goes to the domestic market is destined essentially for local processing industries, which in turn export the bulk of their produce. In contrast, the domestic consumption of food products is a large and growing proportion equaling the growth rate of population but more recently by 3.5 percent during 2000-03. For many commodities, production has not, and perhaps will not, keep up with import growth for maize and poultry are driving the import growth.
In sum, trends in production, consumption and trade amply demonstrate the increasing import dependence of the India of food.
The role of women in agriculture needs to be fully appreciated in development policy and planning:
Rural women play an important role in producing the world staple crops and providing labour for post-harvest activities. There role is particularly prominent in the India Wars, increasing rural-to-urban migration of men search of paid employment, together with rising mortality attributed to HIV/AIDS, have led to an increase in the number of female-headed households in the developing world. This feminization of agriculture has placed a considerable burden on women’s capacity to produce, provide, and prepare food in the face of already considerable obstacles. However, women’s full potential in agriculture must be realized if the goal of promoting agricultural and rural development is to be achieved.
The situation facing the India and their today may be more difficult that of developing countries that achieved sustained agricultural growth in the last three decades. The new and emerging challenges confronting them can be identified under three decades. The new and emerging challenges confronting then can be identified under three broad heading overcoming their marginalization resulting from integration of markets due to environment .Policy makes be swinging back to a more balanced and nuanced understanding of the importance of agriculture and of the potential roles of state support.