Agriculture, Food Security and Livelihoods in India: Performance, Issues and Challenges

  • S. Mahendra Dev


Agriculture plays a pivotal role in the Indian economy. Although its contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) is now around one-sixth, it provides employment to 56 % of the Indian workforce. Thus agriculture not only contributes to overall growth of the economy but also reduces poverty by providing livelihoods and food security to the majority of the population in the country and thus it is the most inclusive growth sector of the Indian economy. The global experience of growth and poverty reduction shows that GDP growth originating in agriculture is at least twice as effective in reducing poverty as GDP growth originating outside agriculture (WDR 2008). The 12th Five-Year Plan’s (2012–2017) approach paper also indicates that agricultural development is an important component of a faster, more inclusive sustainable growth approach. This chapter examines the performance, issues and challenges in agriculture and food security in India. It is organised as follows. Section 2 presents the performance in agriculture, while Sect. 3 looks at performance in food security. Section 4 examines issues and future challenges for achieving higher growth in agriculture and enhanced food security in India.


Food Security Gross Domestic Product Total Factor Productivity Total Factor Productivity Growth Gross Domestic Product Growth 
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Copyright information

© Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indira Gandhi Institute of Development ResearchMumbaiIndia

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