Indian Agriculture @ 75

Past achievements and future challenges




India has experienced significant transformation in its economy since independence, especially agriculture. From a severely food-deficit nation during mid-1960s to a self-sufficient one, and becoming the largest exporter of rice and the largest producer of milk in 2020-21 is not a small achievement. Similar break-throughs have been achieved in poultry, fishery, fruits and vegetables, and cotton. All this was made possible with liberal infusion of modern technology, institutional innovations that made small holders part of this change, and enabling right incentives to cultivators. This holds lessons for many developing countries in south and south-east Asia as well as in African continent. But India still faces many challenges on food security front. Malnutrition rates amongst children remain high, and agricultural production begs the question of sustainability as water table in most parts of the country is falling rapidly. Also, the food system needs to move from ‘tonnage centric to farmer centric’ as incomes of agri-households remain pretty low, largely because of small holding sizes. It is high time that India opens up land lease markets, build efficient supply chains with Farmer Producer Organisations by infusing digital technologies to unleash next technological revolution that promotes efficiency, inclusiveness, and sustainability in agriculture through precision agriculture.


Agricultural productivity, Food Security, Sustainability, Agricultural Reforms, Farmers Income

Authors Bio

Ritika Juneja, ICRIER

Ritika Juneja is working as a Consultant at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), New Delhi. She has previously worked with the Quality Council of India, DIPP, Ministry of Commerce on high priority government initiatives with Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances. 

Ranjana Roy, ICRIER

Ranjana Roy is a fellow at ICRIER. Her research areas include agriculture, poverty, nutrition, and food security. At ICRIER, she has worked on issues related to the sources and drivers of agricultural growth and linkages between agriculture and malnutrition in India. Currently, she is focusing on the role of Agricultural R&D in improving productivity, sustainability, and nutritional security.

Ashok Gulati, ICRIER

Ashok Gulati is currently Infosys Chair Professor for Agriculture at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER).