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Agriculture in India - statistics & facts

The history of agriculture in India dates back to the Indus Valley civilization era and even before that in some parts of southern India. The agriculture sector is one of the most important industries in the Indian economy, which means it is also a huge employer. Approximately 60 percent of the Indian population works in the industry, contributing about 18 percent to India's GDP. This share decreases gradually with each year, with development in other areas of the country's economy.

The share of gross value added by crops in the agricultural sector in India in fiscal year 2019 amounted to about 56 percent. A decreasing trend in this value can be attributed to decreasing agricultural prices, with most of them below the minimum support prices, along with an increase in urbanization and the expansion of the country's services and manufacturing industries. The growth rate of GVA in the agricultural sector including forestry and fishing increased marginally from fiscal year 2018 to 2019.

Production of cereals is one of the primary contributions of the agricultural sector to India. Cereals account for almost 46 percent of the Indian agricultural market. The annual yield of coarse cereals was about 1,976 kilograms per hectare in fiscal year 2020. There has been a constant increase in annual yield of cereals across the country. The arable land area in the country is the second largest in the world after United States. The total cultivated land area in India in fiscal year 2016 was approximately 1.5 million hectares. According to the World Bank, as of 2015, approximately 38 percent of the land area in India is suitable for agriculture. This value is decreasing continuously due to urbanization.

Organic farming has a huge potential in the country. It started mostly as trial operations on farms less than one acre in size. The total organic area is about 5.71 million hectares. Sugar crops are mainly cultivated using this method. Rice and wheat are the two main food staples for Indians. India is the second largest producer of both rice and wheat across the world. Even though farming makes up a large share of agriculture in the country, livestock rearing along with fishing also contribute significantly to feeding India's population as well its economy.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the agricultural sector continues to see a steady growth in the economy. At the same time, the government of India has made several initiatives to support farmers such as increased investments in the sector, better conditions for institutional credit to farmers and establishing effective Agri-tech funds to afford competition and higher profits.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 26 most important statistics relating to "Agriculture in India".

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