Cooperatives and Rationalisation of Indian Agriculture
Indian economy is still predominantly agrarian and over 70 per cent of the workforce is still engaged in agriculture. Small and marginal farmers predominate the agricultural scenario in India. However, relative neglect of agriculture in the recent past has resulted in its dwindling share in net national product (NDP). This decline has been the result of declining productivity of agricultural inputs. Investment in agriculture (as is evident from gross capital fomation (GCF) in agriculture) has also declined considerable during the 80s. Added to this is the adverse terms of trade and the growing unemployment in agriculture. Further, share of agriculture in total export earnings has also been going down. However, production and productivity requirements are going to be of a high order by 2000 A.D. In such a deterirating situation, rationalization of Indian agriculture becomes very important. An attempt is made in this paper to examine as to how cooperatives can arrest this trend and bring prosperity to farmers besides accelerating the pace of economic development.
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