At present, agriculture in India as elsewhere has evolved itself through the ages. Earlier India was a pastoral country before the introduction of agriculture; however development of agriculture and rearing of animals came into existence concurrently leading to different types of farming system that we can see everywhere in India.

In Vedic ages (1000-500 B.C) there are reference of cultivation of cereals, vegetables, fruits and use of iron implements. Besides, some cropping sequence, fallow land, use of plough are also mentioned. In addition to these, some post harvest processing and irrigation are also referred.

Excavation in Indus valley and Harappan civilization has revealed many crops like wheat, sesame, barley, lentils, cotton etc. during 1750 B.C.

Some of the crops of which native is India and other country are mentioned here:

AGRICULTURE IN INDIA: Landmarks, Development & Present Scenario




(A) Cereals




South west Asia




Ethiopia (Africa)







South west Asia

Field Pea

Mediterranean Region








Central Africa

(C) Oilseeds


Mexico & Central America






India & Pakistan




South west Africa

















India’s most important contribution to world agriculture is rice, vegetables, fruits and many other crops.

Some Important Landmarks in History of Indian Agriculture

  • In 1870, joint department of agriculture, revenue and commerce was established.

  • In 1880, on the recommendation of Famine Commission, a separate department of agriculture was started with aim to increase overall food production.

  • In 1903, Imperial council of Agriculture research Institute was started in Pusa, Bihar that led to agricultural research in India. Due to earthquake of 1936 this institute was shifted to New Delhi and known as Indian Agricultural Research Institute.

  • Second landmark was when Imperial council of agricultural Research was established on 16th july 1929 on the recommendation of Royal Commission report of 1928. In March 1946, imperial was changed to Indian and since then it is called Indian Council of Agricultural Research” (ICAR).

  • In 1966 ICAR was reconstituted into full autonomous body. Dr. B.P. Pal was first Director General of ICAR. Subsequently several agricultural research stations and agricultural universities were started in 1929 and onwards.

  • Based on the recommendation of first Education commission (1949) headed by late Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, first  agriculture university was established at Pantnagar, Uttarakhand in 1960.

Green Revolution in India

In 1963, government of India imported 100 kg of Mexican wheat varieties Sonora 64, Sonora 63 and Lerma Rojo with the help of Rockfeller foundation. Besides, five varieties by IARI- Lerma Rojo 64A, S63, Sonoro 64, Mayo 64 & S 227 are imported. After extensive tests, large quantities of Lerma Rojo 64A and Sonoro 64 were imported from CIMMYT (CIMMYT is Mexican word denotes International Centre for Maize & Wheat improvement at Mexico) in 1965-1966. In 1965 both varieties were released for general cultivation everywhere in India and brought Green Revolution.

Dr. M.S Swaminathan is known as father of green revolution in India. However main credit for green revolution worldwide goes to Dr. Norman E. Borloug, Nobel laureate in 1961-62 at CIMMYT, Mexico. And he is therefore, known as father of Green Revolution. He developed many wheat varieties that led to green revolution.

Present Scenario of Agriculture in India

Indian agriculture is predominantly of the subsistence type, however commercialization has took place very much during last decades; but it is not all over the country and still commercial cultivation is demanding.

Though, Sustainable agriculture has become now very important keeping in view of ecological balance in which quantity of input is low while output is high. It maintains the natural equilibrium and productivity of life supporting system.

As per report in 2019 about 50% of the Indian workforce is employed in agriculture and its contribution is about 16-17 % only to GDP. During the recent years government of India has started many schemes for the growth and development of farmers as government is committed for doubling the farmers’ income by 2022.

One of the great initiative is issuance of soil health card to all the all farm holders. The production of all the crops has been increased during the years but looking to huge population and low productivity there are many challenges which has to be overcome.

Current production scenario is hereunder: 

The 2nd Advance Estimates of production of major crops for 2019-20 have been released by the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare. The cumulative rainfall in the country during the monsoon season (June to September, 2019) has been 10% higher than Long Period Average (LPA). Accordingly, the production of most of the crops for the agricultural year 2019-20 has been estimated higher than their normal production.

 As per 2nd Advance Estimates, the estimated production of major crops during 2019-20 is as under:

Foodgrains –  291.95 million tonnes. (record)

  •  Rice  –  117.47  million tonnes. (record)

  •  Wheat  –  106.21  million tonnes. (record)

  •  Nutri / Coarse Cereals  –  45.24 million tonnes

  •  Maize  –  28.08 million tonnes.

  •  Pulses  –  23.02 million tonnes.

  •  Tur  –  3.69 million tonnes.

  • Gram – 11.22 million tonnes.


Oilseeds –  34.19 million tonnes.

  • Soyabean  –  13.63 million tonnes

  • Rapeseed and Mustard – 9.11 million tonnes

  • Groundnut  –  8.24 million tonnes

  • Cotton –  34.89 million bales (of 170 kg each)

  • Jute  & Mesta – 9.81 million bales (of 180 kg each)

  • Sugarcane – 353.85 million tones

(Source: PIB New Delhi)


Some Major Investment & Development

Some major investments and developments in agriculture are as follows:

  • In November 2019, Popular brand Haldiram entered into an agreement for Amazon’s global selling program to e-tail its delicacies in the United States.

  • In November 2019, Coca-Cola launched ‘Rani Float’, fruit juices to step out of its trademark fizzy drinks.

  • Two diagnostic kits developed by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) – Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) and the Japanese Encephalitis lgM ELISA launched in October 2019.

  • Investments worth Rs 8,500 crore have been announced in India for ethanol production.

  • Agrifood start-ups in India received funding of US$ 1.66 billion between 2013-17 in 558 deals.

  • Nestle India to invest Rs 700 crore (US$ 100.16 million) in construction of its ninth factory in Gujarat.


Government Initiatives & Achievements in Agricultutre sector

Some of the recent major government initiatives in the agriculture sector are as follows:

  • In September 2019, Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi launched the National Animal Disease Control Programme (NADCP), expected to eradicate foot and mouth disease (FMD) and brucellosis in livestock.

  • In May 2019, NABARD announced an investment of Rs. 700 crore venture capital fund for equity investments in agriculture and rural-focused start-ups.

  • The Ministry of Agriculture, during 2019-20, Rs 1.50 crore has been allocated to state of Andaman and Nicobar as a central share for implementation of per drop more crop component of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY).

  • Under Budget 2019-20, Pradhan Mantri Samman Nidhi Yojana was introduced under which a minimum fixed pension of Rs 3000/- to be provided to the eligible small and marginal farmers, subject to certain exclusion clauses, on attaining the age of 60 years.

  • As per the Union Budget 2019-20, government will work with State Governments to allow farmers to benefit from e-NAM. The Electronic National Agriculture Market (eNAM) was launched in April 2016 to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities by networking existing APMCs. Up to May 2018, 9.87 million farmers, 109,725 traders were registered on the e-NAM platform. 585 mandis in India have been linked with eNAM and government is planning to link 22,000 mandis across the country.

  • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana (PM-Kisan) and transferred Rs 2,021 crore to the bank accounts of more than 10 million beneficiaries on February 24, 2019.

  • The Government of India has come out with the Transport and Marketing Assistance (TMA) scheme to provide financial assistance for transport and marketing of agricultural products in order to boost agriculture exports.

  • The Agriculture Export Policy, 2018 was approved by Government of India in December 2018. The new policy aims to increase India’s agricultural exports to US$ 60 billion by 2022 and US$ 100 billion in the next few years with a stable trade policy regime.

  • In September 2018, the Government of India announced Rs 15,053 crore procurement policy named ‘Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan’ (PM-AASHA), under which states can decide the compensation scheme and can also partner with private agencies to ensure fair prices for farmers in the country.

  • In September 2018, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved a Rs 5,500 crore assistance package for the sugar industry in India.

  • The Government of India is going to provide Rs 2,000 crore for computerization of Primary Agricultural Credit Society (PACS) to ensure cooperatives are benefited through digital technology.

  • With an aim to boost innovation and entrepreneurship in agriculture, the Government of India is introducing a new AGRI-UDAAN programme to mentor start-ups and to enable them to connect with potential investors.

  • The Government of India has launched the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) with an investment of Rs 50,000 crore aimed at development of irrigation sources for providing a permanent solution from drought.

  • The Government of India plans to triple the capacity of food processing sector in India from the current 10 percent of agriculture produce and has also committed Rs 6,000 crore as investments for mega food parks in the country, as a part of the Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters (SAMPADA).

  • The Government of India has allowed 100 percent FDI in marketing of food products and in food product e-commerce under the automatic route.


Constraints in Indian Agriculture

  1. Agro Ecological Factors– :
  1. Technological Factors-:
  • Lack of improved farm implements
  • Lack of good post harvest technology etc.
  1. Management Constraints-:
  • Inadequate arrangement for distribution and production of quality seeds.
  • Untimely supply of required inputs, credits
  • Lack of transfer of improved technology
  • Lack of storage, grading and marketing facilities, wide fluctuation in prices
  • Research constraints etc.
  1. Socio-economic constraints– like poor crop management, tradition, education and belief.
  2. Faulty marketing system– Marketing system is not convenient, appropriate and stable, prevalence of middleman.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

Who is known as father of green revolution in India?

Dr. M.S Swaminathan is known as father of green revolution in India.

Who is known as father of green revolution worldwide?

Dr. Norman E. Borloug is known as father of Green Revolution.

Who was the first Director General of ICAR?

Dr. B.P. Pal was first Director General of ICAR.

Read more Post…..
What is Agriculture & History of Agriculture




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