Narendra Singh Tomar, the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare shared the contribution of the agriculture sector towards the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country.
As per the provisional estimates of Annual of National Income, released by National Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation on May 31, 2021, the share of agriculture and allied sectors in Gross Value Added (GVA) of the country has increased during the last three years at current prices from 17.6% (2018-19) to 18.4% (2019-20) to 20.2% in 2020-21.
Agriculture and allied activities
As per the first revised estimates of national income for 2019-20 released on January 29, 2021, the Gross Capital Formation (GCF) in agriculture and allied sectors (forestry and fisheries) at current prices also increased during the last three years. In 2017-18, the GCF was Rs 3,62,702 crore, which increased to Rs 4,07,842 crore in 2018-19. This rose to Rs 4,46,044 crore in 2019-20.
According to the estimates of National Accounts Statistics (NAS) 2020 for sector-wise GVA of Agriculture and allied sector, the contribution of livestock sector in total agriculture and allied sector-wise (at constant prices) increased from 24.32% (2014-15) to 28.63%in 2018-19. The livestock sector contributed 4.19% of total GVA in 2018-19.
Fish production in India, an allied agricultural activity, according to the Economic Survey, reached an all-time high of 14.16 million metric tons during 2019-20. Further, the GVA by the fisheries sector to the national economy stood at Rs 2,12,915 crores constituting 1.24% of the total national GVA and 7.28% of the agricultural GVA.
What led to the growth?
Agriculture is a State activity, and the State Government is primarily responsible for the development and growth of the sector. However, the Government of India supplements the efforts of the State Governments through various schemes or programmes.
Addressing the issues of farmers has resulted in benefitting the agriculture sector. The Government addressed the risk of crop damage by providing crop insurance to farmers under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. It also ensured money for hard work by fixing MSP, addressed irrigation issues, took measures to boost export of agricultural products. Recently, the consignment of exotic dragon fruit was sent to London and Bahrain, which is a boost to farmers growing it. Similarly, Nagaland’s Raja Mircha was flown for the first time to London.
It has ensured a holistic development of agriculture and allied sectors by allowing States to choose their own development activities as per district and State agriculture plans by way of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana.
Some of the other measures which helped the agriculture sector are:
Budget allocation: The Ministry of Finance allocated Rs 1,31,531 crore in 2021-22, a 14% annual increase over 2019-20. This includes funds for agriculture, cooperation and farmers’ welfare, and agricultural research and education.
Fixing of MSP: The MSP regime has undergone a sea change. The MSP has been fixed at a price that is at least 1.5 times the cost of production across all commodities. Fixation of MSP helped 2,10,07,563 farmers in 2020-21, an increase from 1,71,50,873 farmers in 2018-19.
The procurement has also continued to increase at a steady pace which has led to an increase in payment of farmers substantially.
Government Schemes: The Government of India has initiated a number of schemes for the support of farmers, agriculture, and allied activities such as the PM KISAN, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), National Bee and Honey Mission (NBHM), Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) among several others. These schemes not only support the income of farmers but also address the problems of agriculture.
The Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana has met the claims of farmers amounting to Rs 97,719 crore. During the Covid-19 lockdown period, nearly 70 lakh farmers benefitted and claims worth Rs. 8741.30 crores were transferred to the beneficiaries.
Increase in investment: The Government has taken several steps for increasing investment in the agriculture sector such as enhanced institutional credit to farmers; promotion of scientific warehousing infrastructure for increasing the shelf life of agricultural produce; setting up of agri-tech infrastructure fund; development of commercial organic farming etc.
The Government also recently took steps to increase investment and growth in the agriculture sector namely, the creation of the Long Term Irrigation Fund (LTIF), Micro Irrigation Fund for water use efficiency, promotion of commercial organic farming, etc. These investment schemes helped to check the drawbacks and strengthen them.
Building agriculture infrastructure: The Government of India launched the Central Sector Scheme of financing facility under the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF) to boost agriculture infrastructure relating to post-harvest management and community farming assets. This benefits farmers, agri-entrepreneurs, starts up, Central/ State agency or local body-sponsored public-private partnership projects to set up eligible infrastructure projects.
The Government of India’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan (ABA) also strengthens infrastructure, logistics, capacity building, governance, and administrative reforms for agriculture.