The Indian agriculture sector is among the most diverse and biggest in the world. The country has a natural advantage in agriculture with more than 161 million hectares of arable land (about a third of it is irrigated) and has diverse agro-climatic zones which support the production of foodgrains, vegetables, fruits, spices, etc. India is the second biggest producer of key foodgrains such as rice and wheat in the world. Only China (rice) and the USA (wheat) are ahead of India in terms of production.
Besides, India is also the second biggest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world. Agriculture along with allied sectors such as forestry, fisheries and livestock accounts for around 16% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country and employs over 50% of the total workforce of the country. According to Census 2001, 234.1 million people were engaged in agriculture and this figure would have increased significantly during the last one decade.
Though India is one of the leading producers of many major crops such as paddy, wheat, pulses, sugarcane, spices and plantation crops, when it comes to yield per acre, the story is not so enviable for several crops. Further, studies indicate that there are wide yield gaps among various crops grown across the country. Another challenge is how to maximise agricultural income while adopting a more sustainable agricultural strategy.
This website (www.indianagribusiness.com) has been developed and managed by a group of experts from the field of agriculture and allied sectors. The advisors of this portal have vast experience in agriculture and allied sectors. One of the key purposes of this portal is to develop a repository of information on Indian agriculture and allied sector. Besides generating debate on various issues impacting the Indian agri-business sector, the portal seeks to emerge as a credible source of information on agricultural data, government policies and innovations which would help the sector to grow in the next few decades.
Board of Advisors:
DR PK JOSHI:
Well-known agricultural economist Dr Pramod Kumar Joshi is director, South Asia. International Food Policy Research Institute (Ifpri). He has a Master’s degree and a PhD in agricultural economics from G. B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar. He has earlier held the positions of director, National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NARM), Hyderabad and director, National Centre for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research (NCAP), New Delhi. Both the institutes are affiliated to Indian Council for Agricultural Research under the Ministry of Agriculture. He has also occupied the position of senior economist at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Patancheru, Andhra Pradesh. He has received numerous awards throughout his career, including an Indian National Academy of Agricultural Sciences fellowship.
Alok Sinha, a 1973 batch IAS officer from the Uttar Pradesh cadre, held the post of Chairman and Managing Director of Food Corporation of India (FCI) from December 2006 till his retirement on October 31, 2008. During his tenure, FCI’s wheat procurement rose to a record 22.6 million tonnes in 2008-09 from a meagre 11.1 million tonnes in 2006-07. This massive increase in procurement rescued the Government and the country from having to depend on wheat imports. Sinha was able to increase rice procurement by FCI from 25 million tonnes of 2006-07 to more than 28.5 million tonnes in 2007-08.
As Additional Secretary with the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Sinha helped in the creation and setting up of the National Rainfed Area Authority in 2006.
AJAY VIR JAKHAR:
Ajay Vir Jakhar is a farmer from village Maujgarh, Abohar, Punjab. He is on the board of several rural agriculture organisations. He is also the chairman of Bharat Krishak Samaj (BKS), a non-political, non-sectarian association of farmers formed in 1955 which advocates the crucial need for India to focus on farmer prosperity and choices.
DR BC BARAH:
Dr BC Barah holds the position of NABARD Chair Professor, Indian Agricultural Research Institute (ICAR), New Delhi. Dr Barah was earlier Director and Principal Economist, National Centre for Agricultural Economists and Policy Research (NCAP) under ICAR, New Delhi. He holds a Ph.D in agriculture economics and was Fulbright fellow at Cornell University New York and Duke University, North Carolina, USA. He has a teaching experience of more than 20 years and has been involved in agricultural research for more than 40 years. He specialises in food security, natural resource management, risk mitigation and climate change, institutional reform and agricultural policy.
DR TK ADHYA
Dr TK Adhya is a former director of Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI), a Cuttack based premier institute under Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR), Ministry of Agriculture. Dr Adhya had initiated research on microbiology of tropical rice soils as the model ecosystem with special emphasis on plant productivity and environmental aspects. His research on greenhouse gas emission from tropical rice ecosystem indicates that Indian paddy contributes around 4-6 Tg methane per annum, a value which is almost 1/10th of the US-EPA estimate and has now been registered in the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) database. He has published over 130 research articles and has contributed to several books on bio-technology and its usage in agriculture. He has guided more than 20 MSc and 14 PhD students. At present, Dr Adhya is Professor, School of Biotechnology, KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, Orissa.