Answer :

India is predominantly an agricultural country. Different forms of agriculture are practiced in the country which depends upon a variety of physical, environmental and socio-economic conditions. Continued efforts have been made to develop agriculture in the country since independence. The importance of agriculture in Indian economy has been discussed under the following heads –


• Contribution in national income – Agriculture contributes a significant amount to the national income of the country. it was around 59% in 1950-51 which decreased to around 14% in 2012 -13 due to rapid industrial development. This is still a significant amount when compared to the rest of the world.


• Employment opportunities – according to Census 2011, agriculture and its allied areas like animal husbandry, fisheries etc provide employment to 48.9% of the total working population. This makes agriculture the main source of employment in India.


• Contribution to international trade – India exports a variety of agricultural products and the share of agriculture produce in our exports is about 12.5% in recent times. This makes it an important source of foreign exchange.


• Contribution in industrial development – Agriculture not only provides the raw materials to agro-based industries, it also acts as a market for various industrial products like tractors, pesticides etc.


• Contribution in food grains and fodder – The population of this country is dependent on agriculture for supply of food grains and fodder for animals.


• Contribution in poverty elimination – being one of the most important sectors of the Indian economy, it benefits in poverty alleviation by generating employment opportunities.


• Contribution in revenue – given its important contribution to national income, the government is dependent on agriculture for a large part of revenues collected as land taxes etc.


• Contribution in development of other sectors in economy – Agriculture is a primary sector activity which influences other sectors directly or indirectly. Improvement in agriculture, improves rural life, by promoting development, transport and communication facilities, banking and various agro-based industries.


• Contribution to animal husbandry – The economic, social and cultural roles or functions as played by the livestock is thus enabled because of agricultural activities making it important for the development of cattle wealth.


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