Agriculture was a prime source of livelihood for millions of Indians since ages. Even now approximately 70% of Indian are farmers or involved in agriculture related busyness for their livelihood. Even the Father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi considered agriculture to be the best and ethical source of livelihood.
The economy and markets of India are largely dependent on agriculture sector. If farmers are well-doing in terms of farm yields and financial soundness, the markets and companies are also happy as the buying power of average Indian rises.
Importance of Agriculture in India:
1. Primary source of livelihood: Agriculture is the source of income and job for millions of people directly. Further there are different sets of people who are dependent on agriculture for livelihood indirectly like whole sale and retailers, commission agents, wage workers etc.
2. Supports the food supplies of India: India is not a country dependent on food and other basic needs on other countries. Agriculture has made independent in terms of food supplies. Further India exports the excess food reserves to the needy countries.
3. Helps in medicine manufacture. There are many medicines which are directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture products. Plants like Turmeric, Awagandha, Eucalyptus, Isapghol etc. cultivated on large-scale to meet the market demands. Further there are various flavoring agents needed to mask the odour and bitter taste of drugs. These flavoring agents and other adjuvants used in making medicine are widely produced by farming.
See the list of medicinal plants in India..
4. Produces essentials like condiments, fragrance oils for cosmetics. Many cosmetics like toothpastes, shampoos, deodorants hair oils and creams etc are made using some condiments like Clove, turmeric, Aloe,menthol (pippermint) etc. These condiments are produced by farming. Fragrance used in scents, sprays are obtained by cultivation.
5. Provides cloth fiber to meed the market demands of cloth. India is a biggest supplier of fibers like cotton, silk, jute, wool etc. used in clothing. These are also termed cash crops and helps to rise the financial condition of farmers.
6. Helps in money circulation between rural and urban regions.
7. Supports industries like sugar, cloth, paints, beverages etc. Some industries are directly dependent on agricultural products for their economic progress.
8. Help in maintenance of per capita and gross income of the nation. The nations percapita income, GDP etc are maintained to some extent by agriculture.
Risks or hazards to agriculture industry.
a) The dependency on artificial fertilizers and seeds from corporate companies by farmer.
b) Fear of extinction of some varieties of crops due to infiltration of hybrid and modified varities.
c) Lack of interest among farmers to further continue to farm due to lack of support from the govt. in terms of sale price of yield and financial support.
d) Growing of cities, industrialisation and deforestation reducing the agriculture land area drastically.