Agriculture is the primary source of livelihood for about 58% of India’s population. Gross Value Added by agriculture, forestry, and fishing was estimated at Rs. 19.48 lakh crore (US$ 276.37 billion) in FY20. Share of agriculture and allied sectors in gross value added (GVA) of India at current prices stood at 17.8 % in FY20. Consumer spending in India will return to growth in 2021 post the pandemic-led contraction, expanding by as much as 6.6%.
The Indian food industry is poised for huge growth, increasing its contribution to world food trade every year due to its immense potential for value addition, particularly within the food processing industry. Indian food and grocery market is the world’s sixth largest, with retail contributing 70% of the sales. The Indian food processing industry accounts for 32% of the country’s total food market, one of the largest industries in India and is ranked fifth in terms of production, consumption, export and expected growth.
Principal agricultural commodities export for April 2020 – January 2021 was US$ 32.12 billion.
During 2019-20 crop year, food grain production reached a record of 296.65 million tonnes. In 2020-21, Government of India is targeting food grain production of 298 million tonnes.
Production of horticulture crops in India was estimated at a record 326.6 million metric tonnes (MMT) in FY20 as per third advance estimates, an increase of 5.81 million metric tonnes over FY20. India has the largest livestock population of around 535.78 million, which translates to around 31% of the world population. Milk production in the country is expected to increase to 208 MT in FY21 from 198 MT in FY20, registering a growth of 10% y-o-y. Area under horticulture is projected to rise by 2.7% in FY21.
Sugar production in India reached 26.46 MT between October 2019 and May 2020 sugar season according to Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA).
India is among the 15 leading exporters of agricultural products in the world. Agricultural export from India reached US$ 38.54 billion in FY19 and US$ 35.09 billion in FY20.
The organic food segment in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10% during 2015-25 and is estimated to reach Rs. 75,000 crore (US$ 10.73 billion) by 2025 from Rs. 2,700 crore (US$ 386.32 million) in 2015.
The Indian food processing industry is expected to reach US$ 535 billion by 2025-26 on the back of government initiatives such as planned infrastructure worth US$ 1 trillion and Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojna. The food processing industry employs about 1.77 million people. The sector allows 100% FDI under the automatic route.
According to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), the Indian food processing industry has cumulatively attracted Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) equity inflow of about US$ 10.24 billion between April 2000 and December 2020.
Some major investments and developments in agriculture are as follows:
- In March 2020, Fact, the oldest large‑scale fertiliser manufacturer in the country, crossed one million production and sales mark.
- Nestle India will invest Rs. 700 crore (US$ 100.16 million) in construction of its ninth factory in Gujarat.
- In November 2019, Haldiram entered into an agreement for Amazon’s global selling program to E-tail its delicacies in the United States.
- In November 2019, Coca-Cola launched ‘Rani Float’ fruit juices to step out of its trademark fizzy drinks.
- Two diagnostic kits developed by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) – Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) and the Japanese Encephalitis lgM ELISA were launched in October 2019.
- Investment worth Rs. 8,500 crore (US$ 1.19 billion) have been announced in India for ethanol production.
Some of the recent major Government initiatives in the sector are as follows:
- As per Union Budget 2021-22, Rs. 4,000 crore (US$ 551.08 million) was allocated towards implementing Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY-PDMC).
- The Ministry of Food Processing has been allocated Rs. 1,308.66 crore (US$ 180.26 million) in the Union Budget 2021-22.
- In November 2020, the government inaugurated a mega food park in Punjab worth Rs. 107.83 crores (US$ 14.6 million) that will be spread across over 55 acres of land.
- In October 2020, the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) included 100 new Forest Fresh Organic Products sourced from tribes across India on its e-marketplace (tribesindia.com).
- In October 2020, Agri-lender Nabard (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) proposed plans to set up a subsidiary to provide guarantee for loans under agriculture and rural development.
- In October 2020, the government announced that it is putting up a common data infrastructure for farmers in the country. PMFBY (Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana), PM-Kisan and the Soil Health Card will be integrated through a common database, along with land record details.
- In September 2020, the government launched the PM Matsya Sampada Yojana, e-Gopala App and several initiatives in fisheries production, dairy, animal husbandry and agriculture. Under this scheme, an investment of Rs. 20,000 crore (US$ 2.7 billion) will be made in the next 4-5 years in 21 states.
- In May 2020, Government announced the launch of animal husbandry infrastructure development fund of Rs. 15,000 crore (US$ 2.13 billion).
- In September 2019, Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi launched National Animal Disease Control Programme (NADCP), expected to eradicate foot and mouth disease (FMD) and brucellosis in livestock. In May 2020, Rs. 13,343 crore (US$ 1.89 billion) was allocated to the scheme.
- The Government of India came out with Transport and Marketing Assistance (TMA) scheme to provide financial assistance for transport and marketing of agriculture products in order to boost agriculture exports.
- The Agriculture Export Policy, 2018 was approved by the Government of India in December 2018. The new policy aimed to increase India’s agricultural export to US$ 60 billion by 2022 and US$ 100 billion in the next few years with a stable trade policy regime.
- The Government of India is going to provide Rs. 2,000 crore (US$ 306.29 million) for computerization of Primary Agricultural Credit Society (PACS) to ensure cooperatives are benefitted through digital technology.
- The Government of India launched the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) with an investment of Rs. 50,000 crore (US$ 7.7 billion) aimed at development of irrigation sources for providing a permanent solution from drought.
- Government plans to triple the capacity of food processing sector in India from the current 10% of agriculture produce and has also committed Rs. 6,000 crore (US$ 936.38 billion) as investments for mega food parks in the country, as a part of the Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters (SAMPADA).
- The Government of India has allowed 100% FDI in marketing of food products and in food product E-commerce under the automatic route.
Achievements in the sector
- Paddy procurement in Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2020-21 until January 10, 2020, reached over 534.44 lakh metric tonnes (LMT), an increase of 26.24% against the last year corresponding purchase of 423.35 LMT.
- In November 2020, the planting of winter crops exceeded by 10% compared with the last year and witnessed 28% increase in area under pulses. The total area acreage under pulses increased to 8.25 million hectares from 6.45 million hectares last year.
- Out of the total 37 mega food parks that were sanctioned, 22 mega food parks are operational, as of January 2021.
- In November 2020, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Mr. Piyush Goyal announced that the Food Cooperation of India and state agencies are set to procure a record quantity of 742 LMT (lakh metric tonnes) paddy during the ongoing Kharif crop season as against 627 LMT paddy last year.
- The Electronic National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) was launched in April 2016 to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities by networking existing APMCs. It had 16.9 million farmers and 157,778 traders registered on its platform until February 2021. Over 1,000 mandis in India are already linked to e-NAM and 22,000 additional mandis are expected to be linked by 2021-22.
- Sale of tractors in the country stood at 880,048 units in 2020 with the export of 77,378 units.
- During FY20 (till February 2020), tea export stood at US$ 709.28 million.
- Coffee export stood at US$ 742.05 million in FY20.
India is expected to achieve the ambitious goal of doubling farm income by 2022. The agriculture sector in India is expected to generate better momentum in the next few years due to increased investment in agricultural infrastructure such as irrigation facilities, warehousing and cold storage. Furthermore, the growing use of genetically modified crops will likely improve the yield for Indian farmers. India is expected to be self-sufficient in pulses in the coming few years due to concerted effort of scientists to get early maturing varieties of pulses and the increase in minimum support price.
In the next five years, the central government will aim US$ 9 billion in investments in the fisheries sector under PM Matsya Sampada Yojana. The government is targeting to raise fish production to 220 lakh tonnes by 2024-25.
Going forward, the adoption of food safety and quality assurance mechanisms such as Total Quality Management (TQM) including ISO 9000, ISO 22000, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Good Hygienic Practices (GHP) by the food processing industry will offer several benefits. The agri export from India is likely to reach the target of US$ 60 billion by the year 2022.
References: Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), Department of Commerce and Industry, Union Budget 2021-22, Press Information Bureau, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Press Releases, Media Reports, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Crisil
*as per 3rd advance estimates, PE- Provisional Estimates
Note: Conversion rate used in February 2021, Rs. 1 = US$ 0.01357