When India attained freedom in 1946, the newly formed planning commission advised investment in agriculture to revive the economy that was crippling after the 200 years of colonial rule. The importance of agriculture can be attributed to the fact that it made our economy stand back on its feet. Will agriculture in India be able to perform it’s revival magic again on the economy destroyed by COVID-19? Let’s explore the possibility.
The service sector is the highest contributor to the GDP of India and is the sector hit worst by the lockdown caused due to the pandemic. Even though the service is the largest contributor to the economy, the agricultural sector remains the highest employer. The employment in agriculture is expected to grow further due to the layoffs in the blue-collar jobs in the service sector. With more people involved in agriculture, the sector will be able to produce more with low investment in technology. More production could mean increased availability and more exports.
Increase in the number of exports can bring in a lot of foreign currency into the country helping it generate more revenue. If this plan works out smoothly, the likelihood of India getting back to its old GDP growth is high.
However, achieving higher GDP through agriculture needs conscious efforts and planning by the government. If a proper plan isn’t set up to ripe more benefits of agriculture, it could backfire. As more employment in agriculture could also result in low efficiency and overproduction. To overcome these downfalls the government needs to allocate a plan to motivate farmers to indulge in the farming of uncommon and highly profitable crops. Another step that the government must take to ensure the health of Agriculture in India, would be easy loans. The plan to protect SMEs is already in action, but the farmers will need protection too after all the losses incurred during the past few months.
Bottom line, agriculture has the power to save the economy just like it did in the past. The sector can make India Atma Nirbhar and can also make other economies rely on our products, but this is only possible when a carefully calculated plan is put into place to lift agriculture.