The below mentioned article provides quick notes on Indian agriculture in post-reform period.
There has occurred a distinct fall in the average growth of agricultural crop production in the post-reform period (since July 1991).
The fall in overall agricultural production growth in 1992 is largely due to the fall in the non-food-grains segment growth in non-food-grains production has declined to 2.5% in the post-liberalisation period as against 4.8% during the 1980s. The production of oilseeds fell sharply in 1990s. The average growth rate of food-grains production has fallen marginally from 2.9% to 2.7%.
Overall, the agricultural production pattern has changed substantially in favour of the non- food-grains sectors during 1981-95. Non- food-grains are now as important as, if not more important than, food-grains in revenue of farmers.
An important change in the structure of production relates to changes in the composition of kharif and rabi output. Output of rabi crops has become as important as kharif output by the late 1990s. For example, of the total grain output of 209 million tones in 1999-00, rabi accounted for 104 million tones.
The growth rate in the total agricultural production index has ranged between -5.3 to 9.3% in 1990s while it remained between -4 to 21.4% in 1980s. As Manoj Panda has commented, “The production possibility frontier sums to be having limited upward flexibility in the 1990s to give a big push to agricultural growth in a good year. The might be an indication of slowdown in the pace of adoption of new technology in agriculture.”
Since agriculture is a State subject the State Governments should be fully committed to develop agriculture in the states by initiating policy and programmes so as to ensure that crop productivity per unit areas shows remarkable improvement under dry and irrigated area.
Investment in agriculture by the State governments also needs to be increased year after year through proper planning for resource mobilisation and deployment.
To make agriculture vibrant and viable, there is urgent need to reduce pressure on land, on the one hand, and put a stop to disguised employment on the farm, on the other, by exploiting the full potential of development of secondary and tertiary sectors in villages.
Over a period, the size of the individual farm is being reduced and, in the process, the number of small and marginal farmers has not only been increasing considerably every year, the size of farm is also becoming uneconomic.
Thus, prevention of fragmentation of land beyond the economic size of holding, on the one hand, and the consolidation of the already-fragmented holdings, on the other, should be undertaken systematically on a priority basis.
The number of agricultural labourers has also been increasing every year for their benefit allied and non-farm activities may have to be planned and implemented through proper policy.
The provision of insurance in agriculture and allied activities should be considered. There is need to devise a comprehensive agricultural insurance scheme covering all activities coming within the purview of agriculture and allied activities.