ABSTRACT

During the past six decades, India’s agricultural sector has shown an impressive long-term record of taking the country out of serious food shortages, despite rapid population increase. Foodgrain production increased from 82 million tonnes in 1950-1 to 250 million tonnes in 2011-12. The production of oilseeds, sugarcane and cotton also increased more than fourfold in the same period. The main source of this long run growth was technology-led yield improvement. In order to meet the increasing demands for food due to increasing population and income, food production in India needs to be increased further. However, in recent years there are indications of slowdown in the growth rate of cultivated area, production and yield of principal crops in the country (Table 12.1).