Import and Export
Since Independence, India has made a lot of progress in agriculture in terms of growth in output, yields and area under crops. It has gone through a Green Revolution (food grains), a White Revolution (milk), a Yellow Revolution (oilseeds) and a Blue Revolution (aquaculture). Today, India is one of the largest producers of milk, fruits, cashew nuts, coconuts and tea in the world. It is also well known for the production of wheat, vegetables, sugar, fish, tobacco and rice.
Certain types of agriculture such as horticulture, organic farming, floriculture, genetic engineering, packaging and food processing have the potential to see a surge in revenues through exports. Over the past few years, the government has stressed on the development of horticulture and floriculture by creating vital infrastructure for cold storage, refrigerated transportation, packaging, processing and quality control. If India wishes to optimize the production and export potential of these commodities, then it is essential to improve these facilities, marketing and export networks much further.
In recent years, the Central Government has offered different fiscal incentives for bettering storage facilities in rural areas. It also provides financial assistance to the State Governments for acquiring and distributing food grains at subsidized rates, especially to families with annual income below the poverty line. Today, the improved availability of bank credit through priority lending, favourable terms of trade and liberalized domestic and external trade for agricultural commodities have also encouraged private players to invest in agriculture.
The major thrust of the policies and programmes of the Government of India relating to livestock and fisheries is in the areas of rapid genetic upgradation of milch animals, improvement in the delivery mechanism of breeding inputs, control of animal diseases, creation of disease free zones, increased availability of nutritious feed, development of dairy activities and backyard poultry, development of processing and marketing facilities and enhancement of production and profitability of livestock.
Agricultural Exports(External website that opens in a new window)
Agricultural exports have shown an increase(External website that opens in a new window) from around Rs.60 billion in 1990 – 91 to Rs.398 billion in 2005-06. The Government’s special efforts to encourage export of food grains in recent years through grant of World Trade Organization(External website that opens in a new window) or WTO compatible subsidies has lead to India becoming one of the leading exporters of food grains in the international market
Agricultural Imports(External website that opens in a new window)
The imports of agricultural products(External website that opens in a new window) improved from Rs.12 billion in 1990 – 91 to Rs.220 billion in 2005- 06. The share of agri-imports to total merchandise imports in 2005-06 was 4.59 percent. Edible oil is the single largest agricultural product imported into the country and accounts foraround two-thirds of the total agricultural imports.