ri    lt re and ood        ana ement           8.3
                                                                             private sector too. It is the only profession
        IntroductIon                                                         which still carries no burden of individual
     Agriculture remains the most important sector                           income tax.
     of the Indian economy, whether it be the pre-                    (iv)   This is the biggest unorganised sector of
     independence or the post-independence periods.                          the economy accounting for more than
     This fact is emphatically proved by the large                           90 per cent share in the total unorganised
     number of people who depend on it for their                             labour-force (93.4 per cent of the total
     livelihood. Before starting any discussion on                           labour force of the economy, i.e., 39.8
     Indian agriculture, we must look into its special                       crores is employed in the unorganised
     features:                                                               sector).3
           (i) From the monetary point of view the                     (v)   India has emerged as a significant agri-
                share of the agriculture sector in the                       exporter in few crops, namely—cotton,
                economy remains at 17.4 per cent of the                      rice, meat, oil meals, spice, guar gum
                GDP.1 In the fiscal 1950–51 agriculture                      meal and sugar. As per4 the WTO’s Trade
                accounted for 55.4 per cent of the GDP.                      Statistics, the share of India’s agricultural
          (ii) The share of agriculture has been falling                     exports and imports in the world trade
                in the country’s gross income, while                         in 2016 were 2.40 per cent and 1.40 per
                industrial and services sectors’ shares                      cent, respectively. Agricultural exports
                have been on a rise constantly. But from                     as a percentage of agricultural GDP
                the livelihood point of view still 49 per                    increased from 7.95 per cent in 2009–10
                cent of the people of India depend on the                    to 12.5 per cent in 2016–17. During
                agriculture2 sector. This makes it a more                    the same period, agricultural imports as
                important sector than the industry and                       a percentage of agricultural GDP also
                the services (for Nepal and Tanzania the                     increased from 4.90 per cent to 6.1 per
                dependency for livelihood on agriculture                     cent.
                is still higher at 93 per cent and 81 per             (vi)   According to the export figures, agriculture
                cent, respectively). It means that 49 per                    is deeply related to industrial growth and
                cent of the population lives with only
                                                                             the national income in India—1 per cent
                17.4 per cent of the total income of
                                                                             increase in the agricultural growth leads
                the Indian economy—this fact clearly
                                                                             to 0.5 per cent increase in industrial
                substantiates the reason why the people
                                                                             output (growth) and 0.7 per cent increase
                who depend on agriculture are poor.
                                                                             in the national income of India.5
                In the developed economies such as
                the USA, France, Norway, the UK and                  (vii)   The industrial sector was selected as the
                Japan, agriculture contributes only 2 per                    ‘prime moving force’ of the economy in
                cent of their GDP with only 2 per cent of            3.    Labour Bureau, Ministry of Labour and Employment,
                the people dependent on this sector for                    Government of India, N. Delhi, February 2018.
                their livelihood.                                    4.    Trade Statistics, WTO, Geneva, Switzerland, February
         (iii) Agriculture is not only the biggest sector
                                                                     5.    This corelation has been pointed out by many great
                of the economy, but also the biggest                       economists in India since 1960s, for example, by
                                                                           Raj Krishna (1976), S. Chakravarty (1974–79) and
        1.    Ministry of Agriculture, GoI, N. Delhi, February 2018.       C. Rangarajan (1982) to quote some of the most
        2.    Ministry of Finance, GoI, N. Delhi, February 2017.           important names.