Can India's rural economy change due to revival in agriculture and cottage industry?

so what comes to your mind when you hear the words economy ,agriculture and industries ,they are somewhere linked right ?we do have a basic idea that agriculture does contribute to our country’s economy and so do these industries but how do they?

India is known as an agricultural country, as most of the population of villages depends on agriculture. Agriculture forms the backbone of the country’s economy. The agricul­tural sector contributes most to the overall economic development of the country.

Did you know that historically, India was the  largest economy of the world for most of two millennia from the 1st until the 19th century .Since the start of the 21st century, annual average GDP growth has been 6% to 7%,and from 2013 to 2018, India was the world’s fastest major growing economy, surpassing China. . The economy slowed in 2017, due to shocks of “Demonetisation” in 2016 and the introduction of the goods and service tax in 2017.In 2020, pandemic has affected trade and India was the world’s 14th largest importer and the 21st largest exporter.

For a continuous duration of nearly 1700 years from the year 1 AD, India was the top-most economy, constituting 35 to 40% of the world GDP .Under British rule, India’s share of the world economy declined from 24.4% in 1700 down to 4.2% in 1950. India’s GDP (PPP) per capita was stagnant during the mughal empire and began to decline prior to the onset of British rule .India’s share of global industrial output declined from 25% in 1750 down to 2% in 1900. At the same time, the United Kingdom’s share of the world economy rose from 2.9% in 1700 up to 9% in 1870.

There is no doubt that our grievances against the British Empire had a sound basis. As the painstaking statistical work of the Cambridge historian Angus Maddison has shown, India’s share of world income collapsed from 22.6% in 1700, almost equal to Europe’s share of 23.3% at that time, to as low as 3.8% in 1952. Indeed, at the beginning of the 20th century, “the brightest jewel in the British Crown” was the poorest country in the world in terms of per capita income. -MANMOHAN SINGH

In the 1980s and early 1990s the tides began to change. Liberalisation came to India and a growing belief contrary to what Nehru believed, began to rise . By the turn of the 21st century, India had progressed towards a free-market economy, with a substantial reduction in state control of the economy and increased financial liberalisation .

 India experienced high growth rates, averaging 9% from 2003 to 2007. Growth then moderated in 2008 due to the global financial crisis. In 2003, Goldman Sachs predicted that India’s GDP in current prices would overtake France and Italy by 2020, Germany, UK and Russia by 2025 and Japan by 2035, making it the third-largest economy of the world, behind the US and China. India is often seen by most economists as a rising economic superpower which will play a major role in the 21st-century global economy.

India started recovery in 2013–14 when the GDP growth rate accelerated to 6.4% from the previous year’s 5.5%. The acceleration continued through 2014–15 and 2015–16 with growth rates of 7.5% and 8.0% respectively. For the first time since 1990, India grew faster than China which registered 6.9% growth in 2015. However the growth rate subsequently decelerated, to 7.1% and 6.6% in 2016–17 and 2017–18 respectively, partly because of the disruptive effects of 2016 Indian banknote demonetisation and to goods and service tax India. India’s GDP growth has been slowing rapidly, from a high of 8.3% in 2016 to just 4.2% in 2019.

Historically, India has classified and tracked its economy and GDP in three sectors: agriculture, industry, and services.

Agriculture and allied sectors like forestry, logging and fishing accounted for 17% of the GDP, the sector employed 49% of its total workforce in 2014.Agriculture accounted for 23% of GDP, and employed 59% of the country’s total workforce in 2016. As the Indian economy has diversified and grown, agriculture’s contribution to GDP has steadily declined from 1951 to 2011, yet it is still the country’s largest employment source and a significant piece of its overall socio-economic development. Crop-yield-per-unit-area of all crops has grown since 1950, due to the special emphasis placed on agriculture in the five-year plans and steady improvements in irrigation, technology, application of modern agricultural practices and provision of agricultural credit and subsidies since the Green Revolution in India. However, international comparisons reveal the average yield in India is generally 30% to 50% of the highest average yield in the world. The states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Madya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar, West Bengal, Gujarat and Maharashtra are key contributors to Indian agriculture.

At around 1,530,000 square kilometres (590,000 sq mi), India has the second-largest amount of arable land, after the US, with 52% of total land under cultivation.

Agriculture farming in India is a century-old activity, and is currently the highest contributor to the GDP of India. Agriculture remains the largest contributor to the country’s GDP and farmers constitute 58% of India’s population .Farming is one of the oldest economic activity in our country.

As per 2018, agriculture employed more than 50% of the Indian work force and contributed 17–18% to country’s GDP.

The economic contribution of agriculture to India’s GDP is steadily declining with the country’s broad-based economic growth. Still, agriculture is demographically the broadest economic sector and plays a significant role in the overall socio-economic fabric of India.

The main pillar of the rural economy is based on agriculture. Agricultural land and livestock are the primary means of production for people of the rural areas in any society. Livestock farming consists of the major part of the economy of the majority of people. It relies typically on labor-intensive methods for raising crops and healthy livestock. Livestock feed is shipped all over the country, and land is frequently needed for cultivation, farrowing, watering, and other activities.

 The advent of modern technology has also revolutionized the agriculture sector. Farmers are adopting more sophisticated techniques to get more production from small pieces of land. So the use of advanced techniques is urging the farmers to focus on small land in order to get more production. But the farmers also need support from the government and also they need help in hard times like no enough rainfall or over rainfall etc. The government must extend a helping hand towards the farmers ,they are the ones who work selflessly and for the sake of the whole country’s population and they do not worry about in which season they are working in ,they put all their hard work and efforts into their work and they are the ones who worship their proffesion .

The rural economy mainly depends upon agriculture. Even though traditional farming still exists, the use of advanced technology has revolutionized the agriculture sector. It has proved a blessing for small-scale farmers. They can adopt modern agricultural techniques to get more produce from their small farms. Organic farming is another window of opportunity for farmers. They can grow more food to generate better revenue. 

The cottage industry or the small scale industry plays a vital role in the rural economy of India. Majority of the population of India lives in rural areas; it is where the real India resides. Apart from agriculture, the cottage industry is the primary source of livelihood in rural India. Cottage industry or the small scale industry are those where the business is carried on at home with small numbers of workforce or labours . the members may be of the same family, religious groups or the community. Most of the workers of the small scale industry are the traditional artisans who have inherited their work as art from their ancestors.

In India, more than 74 per cent of the total population lives in the villages where their lot is linked with agriculture. They have to live in the villages as they cannot leave their fields which give them their ‘living’. Side by side they must be provided with some kind of cottage industries upon which they can depend during that period in which they remain idle and unengaged’.

After independence, our country has been taking gigantic strides towards industrialisation. Cottage industries can become and alternative means of employment for the people living in the rural areas. Cottage industries will be of benefit for our villages, which form the back bone of the nation.

The place of cottage industries in the national economy in the country has been unique since time immemorial. India was famous, in the past, for the wealth of the land and for the high artistic skill of her craftsmen. India was exporting wonderful jewellery and superfine embroideries to Europe. European merchants were attracted towards India more by her craft and industry than by the rich raw material.

It must not be forgotten that cottage industries are the back-bone of our rural economy and no rural uplift is possible without the protection of and encouragement to these small-scale industries. Apart from all other considerations, small-scale or cottage-industries are essential for providing employment to our tillers of soil in their leisure time or when they remain idle.

To improve and encourage the cottage-industry in our country we have to change the views of the general public. The people should be made interested in patronizing home-made goods. A ready market is a further urgency in this direction.

Rural Co-operatives and Rural Banks should be established and stabilized by the Government for advancing short-term loans on nominal interest.

Lastly, adequate marketing facilities should be arranged for them, as sale of goods has now-a-days become as complicated an affair as production itself.

Hence, the artisans must be helped to get the best price of their goods. Frequent exhibitions should be organized to enable the artisans to show their art and industry and give them impetus and inspiration to create still better patterns of handicrafts.

Basically the agriculture and cottage industries are the main sources of livelihood in India and they contribute most to our economy , we all know that these both professions are being practiced from very long period of time ,like around some centuries in India ,they have been contributing to the country’s economy from very beginning. the rural economy’s most percentage is received from agriculture and cottage industry and without their contribution our country’s economy might destroy or decline very rapidly ,even a small change in their contribution percentage might affect the economy of country ,but its economy right and GDP ,it wont stay constant there are many ups and downs ,in a year our GDP might good where as in the other it might be bad we cannot predict that ,there might be various reasons for the decline of GDP, like in 2017 it was demonitisation and in 2020 the pandemic hit us and it affected the whole world’s economy , and India’s GDP has been declined by 23.9% by 2020.

Agriculture and cottage industry are major contribution of rural economy , and for these people if government is trying to extend a helping hand to them then probably our economy might go to better figures and it’s a fact that our rural economy can be developed by agriculture and cottage industries and the Rural Economy in India is wholly agriculture based and it is of tremendous importance because it has vital supply and demand links with the other Indian industries. Agriculture is the main stay of the Indian economy, as it constitutes the backbone of rural India which inhabitants more than 70% of total Indian population.

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