Agriculture has always been one of the most crucial employment criteria when it comes to India’s economy. However, this had fallen out of the picture for a few years when people wanted to shift to manufacturing as the agricultural laborers were just believed to be poor and in bad condition.

However, as mankind understood the importance and profits of this sector, India’s workforce started shifting back to agriculture from manufacturing.

People are reverting to the low-productivity farm sector as manufacturing employment becomes scarce.

Returning to a higher development path will necessitate pulling individuals out of this disguised unemployment and into more rewarding productive employment—a long and challenging journey. Agricultural employment has increased from 42% in 2018-19 to 45% in 2019-20.

Importance of agricultural labor:

Agriculture and agricultural labor is no doubt an important factor in the Indian economy, these point show the major importance and benefits of agricultural labor:

  1. Indian population is constantly rising and it seems like there is no stop to that. Growing populations increase the need for employment and job vacancies for freshers. Agriculture, being probably the most practiced profession in India, the people are looking forward to achieving a stable income and permanent employment opportunity in this segment.
  2. Labor is a vital component of agriculture, although it is often overlooked. A major component of agricultural output is landless agricultural labor. The productivity and income of these workers determine the economic progress vigorously. With growing time, the number of landless agricultural laborers has grown rapidly. According to the 2001 Census, there were 106.7 million landless agricultural laborers. In 2011, this number climbed to 144.3 million.
  3. In the case of landless agricultural laborers, labor-power and farm tool kits are the most valuable assets.
  4. Cultivation covers a large percentage of the reporting area in India: crops and pastures cover roughly 55% of the total reporting area. When compared to approximately 4% in Canada, 12% in China, and 15% in Japan, this is a significant increase.

History of Indian agriculture:

Agriculture is not new in the Indian civilization. It has been followed since the very beginning and is carried forward thereafter. Here are certain important points to know regarding the history of Indian agriculture:

Stands in the world:

India basically stands as the second-largest food producer among all the countries in the world. Agriculture employed over half of the Indian workforce.

India as a crucial part:

With the increased experience, the productivity rates have increased too as the same land that used to produce about 0.8 tonnes of wheat in 1948, started producing about 4.7 tonnes of wheat by 1975.

Agricultural revolution:

Before the mid-1960s, it is a fact that India used to rely on other countries and used to import food items to aid its domestic needs. But, after two years of severe drought, India realized its need to alter and change its agricultural strategies and management and that relying on other countries for its food isn’t an option anymore. Punjab was at the forefront of India’s green revolution and was known as the country’s breadbasket.

How does agriculture help the Indian economy?

Since we know how crucial is agriculture in the Indian economy, it is important to note how well does it help our economy in different aspects such as GDP or the revenue generation of this industry.

Contribution to the GDP:

Agriculture’s contribution to GDP fell from 43 percent to 16 percent between 1970 and 2011. This is mostly owing to India’s significant economic expansion in services, industrial output, and non-agricultural sectors between 2000 and 2010, not because of the lessened importance of agriculture or as a result of agricultural policy.

As of now, it contributes about 17-18% to the GDP.

Revenue generation:

Agriculture employs over 70% of the country’s total population, either directly or indirectly.

Food security index:

In terms of food security, India ranks 74th out of 113 large countries.

How are Indians benefitted from agriculture?

As one of the biggest parts of Indian lives, especially for the people with agricultural families and backgrounds, it is important to know how the employment in this sector helps the citizens of our country.

Growth of the agricultural sector:

India’s economy is booming, and so is the country’s use of technology in emerging industries. Since independence, India has been at odds with its agricultural infrastructure, traditions, and communities.

Development of service-based models:

Farmers have been able to boost their output and overcome a few weak points thanks to the service-based models developed by entrepreneurs in consultation with farmers. Farmers’ incomes have increased as a result, improving their socioeconomic situation.

Increasing productivity of working women:

Women of our country work the hardest, often working three shifts. They work in the fields, at home, caring for children and the elderly, and managing the household. We would have preferred that these women work in manufacturing, where production is much higher, or in the service sector, where productivity is equally high. Along with their husbands, women can go about doing regular agricultural labor, earning a little extra.

Regular income:

Being one of the most practiced professions, agriculture has the most opportunities for labor and employment. Even if someone loses their job on one farm, be it any issue, he can easily find a job in the field next to it. As it is such a well-reputed segment of employment, you can easily get regular income from if not one, more than one job.

Returning back from the new job:

Be it a manufacturing job, consider the distinction between farmers and agricultural laborers. Farmers working in factories as clerks or security guards have increased significantly. Shut down the factory or corporation where you are now employed. The farmers lost their jobs and returned to their villages to resume what they were doing before they came to the factory, which was hauling firewood or shoveling mud, or other low-productivity activities. When you ask if they are employed, they will respond, “Yes, I am employed as a farmer in my fields.” This is actually termed disguised unemployment. This basically means that even if your major job is not in your hand, you still have got a side income coming.

The End Line

Food is the one thing that people will always want to enjoy, no matter where future generations go. It is not just a means of survival, but it is also a means of enjoyment. This necessitates the agriculture sector’s continuous operation. This means that agriculture as an industry will never go out of style. Even if certain generations turn their backs on the agriculture industry, they will soon discover how crucial and profitable it is. As more people become aware, more individuals join the agricultural workforce, and more opportunities arise. Agriculture will eventually take over India’s economic growth due to its widespread popularity.