Saturday, October 01, 2022

Investing in Agriculture

By The Editorial Team Updated: Jul 22, 2020 8:00 pm

Report suggests that soon the Centre will announce modified disinvestment policy to fetch 2.1 lakh crore. As usual, opposition parties have objected to the sale of public sector undertakings (PSU), claiming these as national assets. The government on the other hand countered the argument by saying that the country’s economic growth would be back on the rails once the target is achieved. Opposition further argues that this is not the right time for disinvestment as the worldwide economy is in a slump and there will be no buyer. On the contrary, the government is confident that there will be no dearth of buyers and the earnings will be on expected lines. While the war of words is on between the government and the opposition, not much of discussion is taking place about agriculture, the backbone of the Indian economy. Many experts feel that India’s economy may soon regain its health if proper attention is given to this sector. Highlighting the fact that more than 50 per cent of India’s workforce is employed in agriculture and yet contribution from this sector to the country’s GDP is in single-digit, economists argue that statistics clearly show that agriculture in India has vastly been neglected. The dismal state of the country’s economy is due to the neglect, they suggest. According to them, Indian agriculture on many occasions has appeared as the savior of Indian economy, but never got its due. Experts strongly advocate that if India wants to revive its economy in a post-corona situation, it should put more stress on agriculture, rather than anything else.

Warnings from these experts should not be rejected, rather the opinions expressed by them should be studied carefully. It is quite a mystery that India’s agriculture sector does not contribute heavily to the country’s GDP. It clearly proves that the sector is performing below its potential. With fertile land, efficient and knowledgble farmers and a vast market, agriculture’s contribution to the GDP should be much more than just four to five per cent per annum at present. The pathetic condition of India’s agriculture can be judged from the fact that despite current efforts an increasing number of farmers commit suicide every year. The situation is such that agriculture is not attracting the youth any more. So, how can such an ailing sector act as rescuer of Indian economy? Many, who are not in favour of promoting agriculture, are asking this question. But the fact remains that notwithstanding monumental neglect, agriculture in India is still thriving and still provides maximum employment. As a matter of fact, Indian agriculture is gifted with a hidden power of resilience. It has faced many obstacles and every time it emerges victorious. Barring the first five-year plan, not enough stress has been put on agriculture in Independent India. But, agriculture is still alive and kicking in India, despite nature’s fury, man-made destruction and entry of middlemen. So, investing in agriculture is not a bad option. Rather, if investments are made with an aim to create proper and permanent infrastructure and use of scientific methods to enhance production, agriculture will definitely pay us a huge dividends, which will allow Indian economy to make a turnaround.

By The Editorial Team Updated: Jul 22, 2020 8:00:00 pm