Agricultural sector in India - Statistics & Facts

The history of agriculture in India dates back to 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 real gross value added by agricultural sector in India in fiscal year 2018 amounted to about 20.7 trillion Indian rupees. The gross value added (GVA) for agriculture and allied activities recorded a huge slump in the fiscal year of 2018. It decreased from about nine percent in fiscal year 2017 to about 2.8 percent in fiscal year 2018. This slump can be attributed to decreasing agricultural prices, with most of them below the minimum support prices (MSP's). The growth rate of GVA in the agricultural sector has decreased to about two percent in fiscal year 2018 from about five percent in fiscal year 2017.

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 1,784 kilograms per hectare in fiscal year 2017. 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. The total area of cultivation of rice across India was approximately 43 million hectares in fiscal year 2017. The annual yield of wheat in India was approximately 3,216 kilograms per hectare, whereas the annual yield of rice is about 2,550 kilogram per hectare.

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Agriculture in India

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