Agriculture, also called farming or husbandry, is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi, and other life forms for food, fiber, biofuel and other products used to sustain human life. Agriculture in India has a significant history. Today, India ranks second worldwide in farm output. Agriculture and allied sectors like forestry andfisheries accounted for 16.6% of the GDP in 2009, about 50% of the total workforce. The economic contribution of agriculture to India's GDP is steadily declining with the country's broad-based economic growth. Still, agriculture is demographically the broadest economic sector and plays a significant role in the overall socio-economic fabric of India.
Per 2010 FAO world agriculture statistics, India is the world's largest producer of many fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, major spices, select fresh meats, select fibrous crops such as jute, several staples such as millets and castor oil seed. India is the second largest producer of wheat and rice, the world's major food staples. India is also the world's second or third largest producer of several dry fruits, agriculture-based textile raw materials, rootsand tuber crops, pulses, farmed fish, eggs, coconut, sugarcane and numerous vegetables. India ranked within the world's five largest producers of over 80% of agricultural produce items, including many cash crops such as coffee and cotton, in 2010. India is also one of the world's five largest producers of livestock and poultry meat, with one of the fastest growth rates, as of 2011. One report from 2008 claimed India's population is growing faster than its ability to produce rice and wheat. Other recent studies claim India can easily feed its growing population, plus produce wheat and rice for global exports, if it can reduce food staple spoilage, improve its infrastructure and raise its farm productivity to those achieved by other developing countries such as Brazil and China. In fiscal year ending June 2011, with a normal monsoon season, Indian agriculture accomplished an all time record production of 85.9 million tons of wheat, a 6.3 percent increase from a year earlier. Rice output in India also hit a new record at 95.3 million tons, a 7% increase from the year earlier. Lentils and many other food staples production also increased year over year. Indian farmers, thus produced about 71 kilograms of wheat and 80 kilograms of rice for every member of Indian population in 2011. The per capita supply of rice every year in India is now higher than the per capita consumption of rice every year in Japan. India exported about 2 billion kilograms each of wheat and rice in 2011 to Africa, Nepal, Bangladesh and other regions of the world. Aquaculture and catch fishery is amongst the fastest growing industries in India. Between 1990 and 2010, Indian fish capture harvest doubled, while aquaculture harvest tripled. In 2008, India was the world's sixth largest producer of marine and freshwater capture fisheries, and the second largest aquaculture farmed fish producer. India exported 600,000 metric tonnes of fish products to nearly half of all the world's countries. India has shown a steady average nationwide annual increase in the kilograms produced per hectare for various agricultural items, over the last 60 years. These gains have come mainly from India's green revolution, improving road and power generation infrastructure, knowledge of gains and reforms. Despite these recent accomplishments, agriculture in India has the potential for major productivity and total output gains, because crop yields in India are still just 30% to 60% of the best sustainable crop yields achievable in the farms of developed as well as other developing countries. Additionally, losses after harvest due to poor infrastructure and unorganized retail cause India to experience some of the highest...