Agriculture in India dates back to the ancient times, when the early inhabitants of this land relied upon farming as the primary means of livelihood. In those days, vast stretches of cultivable land along the fertile plains of the great rivers like the Ganges had phenomenal yield corresponding to a variety of cereals like rice, wheat, maize among others. Farming in itself was aided by the skilful deployment of cattle along with a host of ingenious equipments made out of wood and metal. The farmers relied on seasonal rainfall as the chief of source of water for harvest. With the passage of time, newer sources of water like canal-based irrigation came into existence.
The green revolution in the early 70s revolutionized the farming trends in a big way with the government having initiated several innovative schemes to improvise upon the standards of farming in the country. In the present day, India continues to depend on agriculture as one of the important sources of revenue generation, wherein the proportion of agricultural income forms a substantial part of the GDP of the country. While the production of rice, wheat, sugar, spices, coconuts, cashew, tobacco in India rank among that of the top countries, niche elements like fruits and vegetables are continuously making headway into this sector. Add to this, the huge population of cattle figuring among the top League of Nations in the world and we get a salient picture of how much of national importance has been attached to this ancient profession for long.
When it comes to the harvest of various crops, Orissa in the east and the southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka lead the pack in rice production, while the northern region consisting of Punjab, Haryana, UP, Bihar is ahead in the production of wheat. UP has the highest share in sugarcane production, while Gujarat and Rajasthan excel in the production of Bajra and Jowar. An exclusive notation of Rabi is used to refer to the seasonal (winter) production of wheat, barley, potato, oat etc while the term Kharif is used to indicate the summer crops comprising rice, maize, jowar, and pulses among others.
Technology has sneaked into this sector in a palpable way with the modern day farmers increasingly using advanced farming equipments like tractors, pesticide sprinklers, sprayers, power tillers, mowers etc. Farmers in Punjab and Haryana take centre-stage having implemented the best-of-breed farming techniques. The construction of dams and irrigation channels in the regions concerning Rajasthan has literally morphed parts of the arid desert into fertile valleys.
We are a large cultivating country, where we have the largest number of farm labourers in the world. Unfortunately, they have been ignored since a long time now with corruption and bureaucracy having stripped them of the basic privileges of farming. The economic and social conditions of the farmers are shockingly severe, in terms of monetary benefits all they receive is peanuts, while the rest of the share goes to the retailers and distributors who adopt unscrupulous means to alter the MRPs of the food stock to garner profits.
Reason why, why India is the place where grains, milk and other foodstuffs are mixed with artificial fibers and alienated foreign agents, exposing the lives of hundreds of people to sheer gastronomic disaster. Farmers are in the worst of conditions having been deprived of food and shelter; while the non-descript management in the administrative divisions of our governments, continues to play a hideous blame game invariably showcasing lack of responsibility and management.