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2020 MAR   28

Agriculture and Viksit Bharat

2024 APR 2

Mains   > Agriculture   >   Allied areas   >   National policies


GS 3> Agriculture  >   Allied areas


  • The vision for "Viksit Bharat 2047," articulated by the current government and an aspirational slogan given by the Prime Minister in his on-going election campaign, is a comprehensive roadmap aimed at propelling India into the echelon of developed nations by the year 2047, marking a century since its independence. Central to this ambitious vision is the agricultural sector, recognized not merely as an economic activity but as a fundamental driver of holistic national development.


  • Economic Contribution: 
    • Agriculture contributes around 18% to the country's GDP. The sector's growth impacts overall economic health significantly. For instance, during the COVID-19 pandemic, when other sectors suffered, agriculture showcased resilience and even growth, underlining its importance to the economy. Therefore, for "Viksit Bharat 2047," enhancing agricultural productivity and sustainability is crucial for economic growth.
  • Employment:
    • Agriculture is critical for India’s development as it still engages about 45.8% of the working population (2022–23, PLFS data). Transforming the sector with modern technologies and practices can improve livelihoods and reduce poverty, which are key objectives for a developed India.
  • Food Security:
    • Despite India reaching a record food grain production of 296.65 million tonnes in the 2019-2020 crop year, ensuring sustainable food security remains a critical challenge in the vision of Viksit Bharat 2047. The agricultural sector plays a pivotal role in this endeavour, necessitating advancements in farming techniques and systemic improvements in post-harvest and distribution channels to sustainably nourish the world's largest population.
  • Export Potential: 
    • Developing the agriculture sector can turn India into a global food basket, enhancing its export potential. This can lead to better trade balances, foreign exchange earnings, and a stronger position in international trade negotiations. For example, India is one of the largest exporters of spices, rice (particularly Basmati rice), and tea in the world.
  • Sustainability and Climate Change: 
    • In aiming for Viksit Bharat, prioritizing sustainable agriculture is crucial for climate resilience. As agriculture heavily uses groundwater and impacts greenhouse gas emissions and land degradation, shifting to sustainable practices is vital. This approach can help India manage resources, reduce its carbon footprint, and enhance biodiversity for a sustainable future.
  • Rural Development: 
    • Agriculture is central to rural development. Improving agricultural infrastructure, market access, and value chain efficiencies can drive rural prosperity, reducing the urban-rural divide and leading to a more equitable development model.
  • Innovation and Technology Adoption: 
    • Leveraging technology and innovation in agriculture—such as precision farming, biotechnology, and digital agriculture—can boost productivity, reduce waste, and make farming more resilient and efficient.
  • Cultural and Social Significance: 
    • Agriculture is deeply intertwined with the cultural and social fabric of India. Preserving this heritage while modernizing the sector is important for social cohesion and national identity.


  • Reduction in budgetary allocation: 
    • The allocation for agriculture in the union budget has been declining in recent years: from 3.78% of the total budget share in 2021-22 to 3.36% in 2022-23, and 2.78 % in 2023-24.
  •  Declining size of landholding:
    •  Around 86% of agrarian landholdings in India are of size less than two hectares. They have diverse farming practices and many lack title deeds (patta). So, a one-size-fits-all approach is not suited for these farmers.
  • Land degradation: 
    • According to ‘Desertification and Land Degradation of Selected Districts of India’, an atlas published by the ISRO, about 29.32% of the Total Geographic Area (TGA) of the country is undergoing degradation.
  • Groundwater depletion:
    • Monoculture of water intensive crops in the semi-arid Punjab plains has resulted in groundwater depletion and desertification.
  • Excessive use of chemicals: 
    • Indian farmers use fertilizers without taking into consideration the actual requirement of the crops and existing composition of soil nutrients. For instance, while the desirable ratio of N-P-K application is 4:2:1, it is 31.4:8:1 in Punjab.
  • Access to formal agricultural credit: 
    • As per the NABARD All India Rural Financial Inclusion Survey 2016-17, more than half the agricultural households in the country have outstanding debt. In this, a large share is indebted to informal sources such as moneylenders.
  • Uncertainties in agriculture:
    • Indian agriculture is vulnerable to various factors like erratic monsoon, MSP regime, buffer stock levels and government policies on imports. This, coupled with the rainfed and subsistence nature of farming, makes agriculture less attractive for the youth.
  • Limited level of mechanisation:
    • Mechanization continues to be limited in the late stages of agriculture, such as harvesting and threshing.
  • Fragmented supply chain:
    • Due to storage of storage facilities, cold storages and transportation system, the supply chain system in India remains highly fragmented. This has resulted in low price realization, poor quality and wastage of products.
  • Conflicts in WTO:
    • India's agricultural subsidy policies, particularly those falling under the WTO's restrictive "Amber Box" category, have been scrutinized, limiting the country's capacity to offer robust support to its farmers and traders within the global trade rules.
  • Political challenge:
    • Following the success of green revolution, agrarian unions have emerged as a major vote bank and pressure group in India. In this situation, initiating agrarian reforms, like the three farm acts, have proved to be challenging.


  • Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY): This scheme aims to extend the coverage of irrigation 'Har Khet ko Pani' and improve water use efficiency 'Per Drop More Crop' in a focused manner.
  • Soil Health Card Scheme: Launched to assist farmers in improving productivity by using appropriate nutrients or fertilizers.
  • Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY): A crop insurance scheme to mitigate the risk of crop loss due to natural calamities.
  • National Agriculture Market (e-NAM): An electronic trading portal linking agricultural produce market committees (APMCs) across India to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities.
  • Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY): Promotes organic farming through cluster approach and PGS certification.
  • Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH): Aims at the holistic growth of the horticulture sector covering fruits, vegetables, root & tuber crops, mushrooms, spices, flowers, aromatic plants, coconut, cashew, cocoa, and bamboo.
  • Agricultural Infrastructure Fund (AIF): A financing facility for building post-harvest infrastructure and community farming assets.
  • PM-KISAN (Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi): Provides financial support to farmers with a direct income support of ?6,000 per year in three equal installments.
  • Kisan Credit Card (KCC) scheme: Designed to provide farmers with timely access to credit at reasonable interest rates, this scheme has been expanded to cover all farmers.
  • Doubling Farmers' Income by 2022: A strategy to improve the income of farmers by focusing on improving productivity, reducing costs, ensuring better crop prices, and creating non-farm income opportunities.
  • Digital Agriculture: Initiatives under the Digital India program aim to integrate technology into agriculture, including the use of artificial intelligence, remote sensing, and mobile applications for farm management.


The agenda for agriculture in Viksit Bharat (Developed India) should encompass a comprehensive and forward-looking approach that targets the sustainable development of the agriculture sector. This involves a multi-faceted strategy aimed at enhancing productivity, profitability, and sustainability, while ensuring the welfare of farmers and addressing the challenges of climate change. 

  • Sustainable Farming Practices: Emphasize the adoption of environmentally sustainable agricultural practices that conserve natural resources, reduce carbon footprints, and ensure biodiversity.
  • Technology and Innovation: Leverage technology and innovation to increase productivity, enhance crop yields, and minimize waste. This includes the use of precision agriculture, biotechnology, and digital tools for farm management.
  • Farmer Education and Training: Provide comprehensive education and training programs for farmers on modern farming techniques, financial literacy, and market dynamics to improve their livelihoods and adaptability to market changes.
  • Infrastructure Development: Invest in agricultural infrastructure such as irrigation systems, storage facilities, and transportation networks to reduce post-harvest losses and improve market access for farmers.
  • Financial Support and Insurance: Implement financial support mechanisms and insurance schemes to protect farmers against market volatility, natural disasters, and crop failures, ensuring their economic stability.
  • Market Access and Fair Trade: Facilitate better access to local, national, and international markets for farmers. Promote fair trade practices to ensure farmers receive fair compensation for their produce.
  • Research and Development: Support research and development in agriculture to develop drought-resistant crops, improve soil health, and create sustainable farming solutions that can meet the challenges of climate change.
  • Food Security and Nutrition: Aim to achieve food security by increasing the availability, accessibility, and affordability of food. Encourage the production of nutritious and diverse food items to combat malnutrition and health issues.
  • Community Engagement and Cooperative Models: Encourage community engagement and the development of cooperative models to enable resource sharing, collective bargaining, and mutual support among farmers.
  • Policy and Regulatory Framework: Establish a supportive policy and regulatory framework that encourages sustainable growth in the agricultural sector, protects farmer interests, and promotes agro-based industries.

Case study:

A notable case study is the transformation observed in the Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh, which has become one of the largest producers of horticultural crops like pomegranate, papaya, and tomato through the adoption of integrated water management practices. This shift was facilitated by community-driven initiatives and government support, leading to enhanced water conservation, increased crop diversity, and improved livelihoods for farmers. Such a model highlights the potential of combining traditional knowledge with modern agricultural practices to achieve sustainable agricultural development, aligning with the goals of Viksit Bharat 2047.


Q. Explain why agriculture is critical to achieving the vision of 'Viksit Bharat 2047'. Discuss the challenges facing the agricultural sector in India and suggest measures to ensure the sustainable development of agriculture in India by 2047. (15 marks, 250 words)

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2020 MAR   28