Home / News / India /  Farm sector growth robust, contributed significantly to food security

New Delhi: India’s agriculture sector has witnessed a robust average annual growth rate of 4.6 % over the last six years. This enabled agriculture to contribute significantly towards country’s overall growth, development and food security, said the Economic Survey 2022-23 tabled in the Parliament on Tuesday.

In recent years, India has also emerged as the net exporter of agricultural products, with exports in 2021-22 touching a record $50.2 billion.

According to the survey, the sector saw buoyant growth because of the measures taken by the government to augment crop and livestock productivity, ensure certainty of returns to the farmers through price minimum support price, promote crop diversification and, focused interventions to enhance credit availability, facilitate mechanization and boost horticulture and organic farming.

These interventions are in line with the recommendations of the Committee on Doubling of Farmers’ Income. Around 11.3 crore farmers are covered under the PM KISAN in its April-July 2022-23 payment cycle, it said.

India’s foodgrains production touched a record 315.7 million tonne in 2021-22 despite climate change challenges. The survey adds that as per the First Advance Estimates for 2022-23 (Kharif only), total foodgrains production in the country is estimated at 149.9 million tonne which is higher than the average Kharif foodgrain production of the previous five years (2016-17 to 2020-21).

The production of pulses has also been notably higher than the average of 23.8 million tonne in the last five years.

The food management programme in India comprises procurement of food grains from farmers at remunerative prices, distribution of food grains to consumers, particularly the vulnerable sections of society, at affordable prices and maintenance of food buffer stock for food security and price stability.

The union government, in a recent decision, decided to provide free foodgrains to about 81.35 crore beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 for one year from 1 January 2023.

The survey said that to further remove the financial burden of the poor, the government will spend more than Rs. 2 lakh crore in this period on food subsidies under NFSA and other welfare schemes.

The National Agriculture Marketing Scheme (e-NAM) covers 1.74 crore farmers and 2.39 lakh traders. As on 31 December 2022, more than 1.7 crore farmers and 2.3 lakh traders have been registered on e-NAM portal. The scheme was launched to create an online transparent, competitive bidding system to ensure farmers get remunerative prices for their produce.

Under the scheme, the Government provides free software and assistance of 75 lakh per APMC mandi for related hardware, including quality assaying equipment and the creation of infrastructure like cleaning, grading, sorting, packaging, compost unit, etc. The survey observes that the performance of the agriculture sector remains critical to growth and employment in the country.

India currently stands at the forefront to promote millets after the United Nations General Assembly, in its 75th session during March 2021, declared 2023 the International Year of Millets (IYM).

Swati Luthra
Swati Luthra writes on climate change, water, environment and forest issues for Mint. A graduate in Psychology, Swati has been mapping India’s policy initiatives to help meet the pledges made at CoP-26 including achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2070.
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