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  • 19 February, 2021

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Data on Agriculture

Data on Agriculture

Contribution to GDP

  • The share of agriculture in GDP increased to 19.9 per cent in 2020-21 from 17.8 per cent in 2019-20. -ECONOMIC SURVEY(ES).
  • While COVID-induced lockdowns adversely affected the performance of the non-agricultural sectors, the agriculture sector came up with a robust growth rate of 3.4 per cent at constant prices during 2020-21.
  • During 2020-21, while the GVA for the entire economy contracted by 7.2 per cent, Growth in GVA for agriculture maintained a positive growth of 3.4 per cent.
  • 54.6 per cent of the total workforce in the country is still engaged in agricultural and allied sector activities.
  • Within the agriculture sector, the share of crops has fallen from 11.2 per cent in 2014-15 to 9.4 Per cent in 2018-19. The decline in the share of crops has been made up by an increase in the Share of livestock and fisheries sector.


  • The livestock sector contributed 4.2% of total GVA in 2018-19.
  • With the livestock sector growing at a CAGR of nearly 8.4% over the last five years, it assumes an important role in income, employment and nutritional security. As per the estimates of National Accounts Statistics (NAS) 2020.
  • The total Livestock population is 535.78 million in the country showing an increase of 4.6% over the Livestock Census2012
  • With the livestock sector growing at a CAGR of nearly 8.4% over the last five years, it assumes an important role in income, employment and nutritional security. As per the estimates of National Accounts Statistics (NAS) 2020.
  • FAOSTAT production data (2019), India ranks 5th in meat production in the World. The annual growth rate of meat production was 5.98 per cent in 2019-20.
  • The Contribution of Livestock in Total Agriculture and allied sector GVA(at constant prices) has increased from 24.32 per cent (2014-15) to 28.63 per cent (2018-19).


  • India’s Cattle Inventory amounted to over 303 million in 2020 which is about 56.7% of the total livestock population of India.
  • India continues to be the largest producer of milk in the world. Milk production in the country was 198.4 million tonnes in 2019-20 and registered a growth rate of 6.5% over the previous year.
  • While the global cattle population stood at over 987 million, India had the highest cattle population followed by Brazil, the United States, and China.
  • There is a Decline of 6% in the total Indigenous (both descript and non-descript) Cattle population over the previous census. However, the pace of decline of the Indigenous Cattle population during 2012-2019 is much lesser as compared to 2007-12 which was about 9%.


  • FAOSTAT production data (2019), India ranks 3rd in egg production in the world.
  • The annual Growth rate of egg production was 4.99% in 2014-15, thereafter, there has been a significant improvement in egg production with 10.19% growth in 2019-20 over the previous year.


  • In 2018-19, 71% of marine Fisheries Potential and 58% of inland Fisheries Potential had been harnessed.
  • Although fishing is carried on in almost all parts of the country, about 97% of India’s marine fish and about 75% of the country’s inland fish are caught in the littoral states like Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Gujarat, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra.
  • The Share of Marine Products in Total Agricultural Export Value has remained the largest over the period. Its share in total agricultural export value increased from 14.5% in 2015-16 to close to 19% in 2019-20.
  • India is the 2nd largest fish-producing country in the world and accounts for 7.58 per cent of the global production. The fisheries sector contributes 1.24 per cent to the GVA and 7.28 per cent to the agricultural GVA.

Monsoon dependence.

  • Close to 53% of cropped area is water stressed.

Agri diversity

  • Staple crops occupy 77% of the total GCA, and contribute 41% output of the crop sector. High-value crops on the other hand contribute an almost similar amount to total output as staples do, but they occupy only 19% of GCA.
  • The committee on Doubling the farmer's income has identified that diversification to the fruits and vegetable segment is likely to benefit small and medium farmers more than the large ones.
  • The predominance of food grains- more than 85% of the net sown area is under food grains.
  • Use of Hybrid Technology in vegetables: Shift to using hybrid varieties for vegetables. At present, 10 per cent of the cropped area under vegetables is under hybrids. Shifting to hybrids has the potential to increase yields by 1.5 to 3 times and provide a significant increase in income.
  • To protect agrobiodiversity, 17 Agro Biodiversity Hotspots have been identified Jointly by the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmer’s Rights Authority (PPVFRA) and the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA).
  • The National Biodiversity Authority has issued Guidelines to states for identifying biodiversity Heritage. Under Section 37 of the Biodiversity Act, 2002, the state may declare as biodiversity Hotspot areas that contain significant domesticated Biodiversity components and/or representative agro-Eco-systems with ongoing agricultural practices that Sustain this diversity.

Land holdings

  • Agriculture is characterised by an extremely fragmented Landholding structure with an average farm size of 1.15 hectares and the predominance of small and marginal farmers, with those holding less than 2 hectares (accounting for 85 per cent of agricultural households). This makes it difficult for them to access credit or new technology, severely affecting farm productivity and hence, farmers' incomes.


  • 70% of growth in agriculture production can be attributed to increased fertilizer application.
  • India is the third largest producer of fertilizers after China and the USA and the second largest consumer after China in the world
  • Ideal application Ratio of N:P: K fertilizers 4:2:1.


  • Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) aims to expand irrigation coverage whilst promoting water use efficiency, Area under micro irrigation has grown 2.5 times in the last four years.
  • Sustainable water use in agriculture: About 83% of water is used in agriculture. The solution to resolving India's imminent water crisis lies in conserving water in agriculture. Therefore more efficient irrigation technologies, water harvesting and better crop selection must be encouraged.
  • It is estimated that yields of irrigated crops are 50 to 100 per cent higher than those of unirrigated crops under similar geographical conditions.
  • Irrigated area accounts for nearly 48.8% of the 140 million hectares (mha) of agricultural land in India. The remaining 51.2 per cent is rainfed.
  • The overall Irrigation Efficiency of the major and medium irrigation projects is estimated to be around 38 per cent, that is., “The efficiency of surface irrigation system can be improved from about 35-40 per cent to around 50-60 per cent and that of groundwater from about 65-70 per cent to 72-75 per cent.

Storage facilities

  • Parse Committee estimated the Post-Harvest Losses at 9.3% of which nearly 6.6% occurred due to poor storage conditions alone.

Agriculture Marketing

  • The expected returns to the farmers over their cost of production are estimated to be highest in the case of bajra (83 per cent) followed by urad (64 per cent), tur (58per cent) and maize (53 per cent). For the rest of the crops, the return to farmers over their cost of production is estimated to be at least 50 per cent.
  • 85% of wheat in UP 90% of jute in WB, and 70% of oil seeds in Punjab is sold by farmers in the village itself. Indicates the absence of an organised marketing structure and the dominance of private traders and middlemen.


  • During the last 5 years ending 2018-19, Food processing industries (FPI) has been growing at an Average Annual Growth Rate of around 9.99 per cent as compared to around 3.12 per cent in agriculture and 8.25 per cent in manufacturing from 2011-12 prices.


  • The major export destinations were the USA, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Nepal and Bangladesh.
  • The top agriculture and related products exported from India were marine products, Basmati rice, buffalo meat, spices, non-basmati rice, cotton raw, oil meals, sugar, castor oil and Tea. While India occupies a leading position in the global trade of aforementioned agri- products, its Total agri-export basket accounts for a little over 2.5 per cent of world agri-trade.


  • All India Rural Credit Survey Committee shows that the share of money lenders in 1950-51 stood at as high as 68.6 % of total rural credit and after 25 years, in 1975-76 declined to 43% of credit needs of the farmers. Due to farmland by a cooperative, rural and commercial banks.
  • The share of the southern region in agricultural credit was more than 40 per cent while it was less than 2 per cent for the north-eastern region (NER). This low coverage of the agricultural credit in NER is because the Total Cultivable Area in the North Eastern States is only about 2.74 % of the total GCA of the country.

Farm Income

  • The country took 22 years to double farmers' income at an annual growth rate of 3.31 per cent during 1993-1994 to 2015-16; doubling farmers' income between 2015-16 and 2022-23 will require an annual growth rate of 10.4 per cent in farmers' real income -Economic Survey.


  • The survey says that micro-irrigation is a proven technology which has gained immense popularity amongst farmers. Farmers have been able to save irrigation water from 20 to 48 per cent; energy saving from 10 to 17 per cent; saving of labour costs from 30 to 40 per cent; saving of fertilizers from 11 to 19 per cent and increase in crop production from 20 to 38 per cent


  • Agri research spending is currently at 0.3 %. Ashok Debroy committee recommends it to be increased to at least 1% of agricultural GDP.

Government Plans

  • The government has taken several steps to improve private investment in agriculture. 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) was allowed in 2016-17. Similarly, the SAMPADA scheme targets the creation of food processing infrastructure. The budget allocation to the food processing sector was doubled in the Union Budget 2018-19


  • Cropping intensity(CI) is the indicator of the efficiency of land use. The higher the index of intensity of cropping, the higher is the efficiency of land use. CI of the country as a whole is calculated to be 142.2 per cent. States like HR,WB,SK,PN cropping intensity is higher than the country's average. States with low cropping intensity GJ,CG,JH,TN.

Climate change and Agriculture

  • Agriculture is an important source of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and 17.6 per cent Of the annual emissions were from agriculture. In India in 2007 (INCCA, 2010). The major sources of emission in the agriculture sector are enteric fermentation (63.4%), rice cultivation (20.9%), agricultural soils (13.0%), manure management (2.4%) and on-field burning of crop residues (2.0%).

Source: Economic survey, State of agriculture report, livestock census

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