India’s progress in economic and human development is one of the most significant global achievements of recent times. Between 2005 and 2010, India’s share of global gross domestic product (GDP) increased from 1.8 to 2.7 percent. Since 2005, 137 million people were lifted out of poverty (using the national poverty line as a metric), including 85 million who exited poverty in 2010-12. While India has made significant progress in reducing absolute poverty, it is still home to 270 million poor people who depend on agricultural activities for their livelihoods.
Agriculture contributes 18% to the Indian GDP and provides employment to approximately 58% of the workforce of the country. Per the Indian Council for Agricultural Research Vision 2030 document, the demand for food grains is projected to increase from 192 million tons in 2000 to 345 million tonnes in 2030. Hence, over 20 years, production of food grains needs to increase at the rate of 5.5 million tonnes annually.
The growth of the agricultural sector has been impacted by stressed natural resources, poor rural infrastructure, inadequate technology, limited access to credit, underdeveloped extension and marketing services, climate change, and insufficient agricultural planning at the local level. Hence India, and its agricultural community, needs to adopt newer methods and better technology to be able to strive towards greater self-reliance.