India's recent performance in agriculture has been favorable, with agricultural production growing over the past 30 years. Yet there is widespread consensus that, relative to the rest of the economy, agriculture is lagging and that it can and must do much better to support india's overall high economic growth and dynamism.
This book explores the future and presents the audacious question: what could the agricultural sector in India look like 30 years from now and how should it look if it is to successfully meet the needs of the country's affluent society?
In order to address this question, this book proposes a set of recommendations that should be implemented on a priority basis. These recommendations are as follows: (i) make public programs much more focused and effective; (ii) recognize water as a critical, long-term constraint to India's agricultural growth and give top priority to significantly improving the efficiency of water use; (iii) promote new high-yield seeds and related technologies, including mechanization, to improve yields and productivity; (iv) improve the effectiveness of agricultural research and extension; (v) support further improvements of the farm-to-market value chain and reduce spoilage; and (vi) improve markets and incentives related to agriculture through reforms of prices, trade, and subsidies.
The vision of what India's economy in 2040 should and can look like, with an affluent and modern agricultural sector, will require fundamental changes in both the demand and supply sides of Indian agriculture. The vision is based not on projections but on how India's agricultural sector needs to adapt to match the economy's progress as a whole. This vision is plausible but it is by no means certain.