Today, urbanization has made people from rural areas to shift to cities and towns, for better opportunities and facilities. Despite this huge population shift from rural to urban centers, agriculture has remained a significant source of income and livelihood for one-third of the world population. Nearly 70-80% of the total world’s poor people rely on agriculture for livelihood, including the farmers. Hence, the role that agriculture plays in Rural Development is significant.
Long and Short Essay on Agriculture and Rural Development
Essay - 1 (250 Words)
Agriculture plays a significant role in rural development by way of employment creation, food production, and livelihood. Almost 60% of the world’s population i.e. 450 Crores (roughly) depends directly on agriculture and its allied sectors for their living. Agriculture plays a significant role in rural development by making the village's self-sustainable. With better agriculture yield and growth prospects in a village, development is evidently the next natural thing to happen.
World Statistics of Agriculture
Agriculture is an industry that has the potential to end poverty and misery around the world. A little more than half of the world’s population i.e. 450 Crores depends on agriculture for livelihood. Studies reveal that agriculture is the prime source of income for 65% of the world’s poor adult population. Also, agriculture contributes to 6.4% of the world’s total economic production, which roughly sums up to $5,084,800 million.
On the contrary, despite such a huge potential of agriculture in improving the economy and eliminating poverty, the rural population in most parts of the world faces slow social and economic development. The farmers, who provide food for almost the entire world population has very low or no access to modern amenities as in urban centers. They considerably lag behind in education, health, and other sectors.
Nearly 80% of the population in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa also supports the livelihood of 2.5 billion people face economic and social marginalization.
Agriculture and Rural Development are two different aspects, yet they are also co-related. While agriculture hugely contributes to sustaining rural economy and strengthening its social structure, reducing poverty, etc; rural development, on the other hand, includes the developments in the agriculture sector as well as other sectors like health, education, roads, industrialization, and others. The agriculture sector is obviously benefited by infrastructure development, because of better access to markets and urban trade centers.
Essay - 2 (400 Words)
The agriculture sector has a huge potential for transforming the rural economy by making it, self-sustainable. Growth in agriculture produces consequently leads to economic development and poverty eradication. It makes the village economy self-sustainable; however, the overall development of a rural area depends on a wide number of factors other than agriculture. The two, however, are closely co-related in some aspects as we will know in the following essay.
Facts and Figures
Approximately 45% of the World’s population lives in rural areas, which is in terms of numbers of 3.4 billion people. Also, nearly 2 billion people have agriculture as their primary source of income. The agriculture sector also employs nearly 866 million people across the globe. Out of which, approx 75% (656 million) are in south-East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Around 80% of world food is produced by over 500 million farms run by a family.
Agriculture and Rural Economy
Agriculture is an integral part of many world economies, especially the developing ones, and hence plays a significant role in rural development. It helps the villages to be self-reliant by creating new job opportunities, eradicating poverty and improving rural society.
The economic development of a rural area primarily depends on the state of agriculture in that particular area. A decline in agriculture produce will adversely affect the economy. However, the over-dependence of rural areas on agriculture and allied sectors for employment generation is also a challenge for the rural economy.
Though agriculture is self-reliable, it is also vulnerable to natural calamities like drought, flood, storms, and pollution. A year of unexpected less rain or drought could put the whole village economy on the back foot in terms of economy.
The challenge is, therefore, to make the rural economy more independent of agriculture, by introducing sectors like fish farming, honey bee farming, etc.
Agriculture plays a great role in the overall development of rural areas; though, it is not the only factor in which rural development depends. Overall rural development includes development in agriculture along with other sectors, like development in education, health facilities, transportation, basic amenities like water and electricity, proper infrastructure, etc. There is no doubt that the development in terms of infrastructure, water and electricity will support the agriculture sector and hence the village economy.
Essay - 3 (500 Words)
The agriculture sector around the world is a major player in sustaining rural economy and development. It is the largest employer in rural areas and hugely contributes to its overall development. Nearly 80% of the world population depends on agriculture for its livelihood by supplying food to the rest of the world. Rural development and agriculture are also co-related in more than one way, as we will find out in the following essay.
Significance of Agriculture
The contribution of agriculture in improving the rural economy is immense. It sustains the village economy by generating food, employment and other related means of livelihood. The agriculture sector is the huge employment provider in rural areas. It provides employment to daily wage labors as well as a skilled workforce in fields as well as other agriculture-related activities.
The agriculture sector is also a mass producer of food, necessary for sustaining human nutritional needs. With low yield or declining agricultural activities, signs of hunger and malnutrition start showing up within no time.
Components of Rural Development
The social, economic and overall development of a rural area depends on a wide number of factors like agriculture, better planning, employment generation, etc. We will discuss in brief some of the chief components of rural development below-
1) Employment Generation
Employment Creation is the main component of rural development. Though, in rural areas, the agriculture sector is the largest employer. Therefore, to generate employment opportunities in villages, there is a need to strengthen the agriculture sector and also set up other industries.
2) Better Planning
Better planning must be done by the government, to boost up the local economy of a village by employing a development model conducive to its growth. A village economy largely depends on agriculture and hence any positive changes made in the latter will automatically improve the state of the former.
3) Better Roads
Better road connectivity is a major sign of rural development which also improves the agriculture sector. Better roads and connectivity to urban trade centers mean that the farm produces to reach the market early and fetch a good price, hence, aiding in the agricultural economy as well.
4) Modern Techniques
Introducing modern techniques in agriculture and allied industries will automatically improve the overall development of villages. Using genetically modified seeds and organic fertilizers for better yield will consequently lead to the overall development of rural areas.
5) Basic Amenities
The availability of basic amenities like water and electricity is also a major component of rural development. It also improves crop yield by ensuring that the field never runs dry even when the natural rain is scarce. Similarly, a continuous electricity supply is also beneficial for agriculture.
Agriculture and Rural Development are the backbones of the economy of a nation. This becomes more befitting in the case of developing and underdeveloped economies of the world. In an agrarian economy, the better the state of agriculture is the better will be the development around rural areas. On the other hand, rural development in terms of infrastructure and other sectors creates an environment conducive to the growth of the agriculture sector.
Essay - 4 (600 Words)
India is primarily an agriculture-based economy and a large portion of its population still resides in villages. Therefore, for developing rural India, it is imperative to develop the agriculture sector by introducing new reforms and policies. In the following essay, we will go through the state of agriculture and rural development in India, discussing the prospects of their improvement.
Agriculture Statistics – India
Nearly 75% of India’s total population (133 Crores) depends primarily on the agriculture sector for its livelihood, which roughly sums up to approximately 100.4 Crores people. The agriculture sector in India contributes around 16% of the total GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of India. It is only in third place preceded by the service sector and industrial sector at first and third place respectively. The Indian economy is the fastest-growing economy of the world and is expected to consistently improve.
Role of Agriculture in the Economy
The agriculture sector is one of the primary sectors of the Indian economy. Though the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) contribution of agriculture has consistently declined in the past six to seven decades, it still employs nearly 53% of the Indian population.
Agriculture also plays a significant role in making the village economy self-sustainable and independent. Rural India is still far away from industrialization and the prime source of employment for rural people in the agriculture sector.
The agriculture sector, therefore, is the main player in the Indian economy as it sustains not only farmers but also other small businesses and vendors who rely on it. Agricultural produces are transported to markets, in turn providing employment in the transport sector.
While the products breach markets, small vegetable vendors, shop keepers purchase the products for direct selling, thereby generating tremendous employment opportunities. Needless to say that the agriculture sector employs skilled and unskilled labors at all levels and in all allied sectors.
Initiatives for Rural Development
1) Five Year Plan
Beginning in 1951, the Government of India has been framing and implementing a five-year plan, after every five years, to improve the overall development of the country, primarily in rural areas. Under the five-year plan dams had been built, irrigation canals constructed, agricultural reforms introduced, etc.
2) Increased Budgetary Allocations for Agriculture
The government has in the subsequent years increased spending on agriculture and related sectors in a bid to make them independent and self-reliant. The money is spent on improving the agriculture sector right from the production stage to the marketing stage.
3) Road Connectivity
Good roads are the most significant symbols of rural development and also the most important one. They not only reduce the distance between villages and cities but also boost up the agricultural industry by providing fast and easy transportation.
4) Giving Agricultural Credit
Giving agricultural loans at reasonable rates to small and poor farmers will also aid in rural development. When a poor farmer is given credit to purchase fertilizers, farm equipment, etc, it will consequently improve the village economy and development.
5) Rural Job Guarantee Schemes
Rural job guarantee schemes like MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) which guarantees jobs on a daily basis to the rural population do a commendable job in improving the village economy. It provides a job not only in the agriculture sector but also in other fields such as road and building construction etc.
Indian economy is largely dependent on agriculture, while the latter depends on rural development. It is also true that the economic and social development of Indian villages is primarily dependent on the agriculture sector. Therefore, it wouldn’t be wrong to see agriculture and rural developments as two sides of one coin, where one depends on or is affected by changes in others.