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AGRICULTURE SECTOR AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT IN INDIA: AN EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS

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The present research paper has focused on the role of the agriculture sector in rural development of India. The secondary data were used and it was obtained from various sources like annual reports of agriculture and farmers welfare department, ministry of rural development, census reports, and NSSO data. Agriculture sector significantly contributes to the positive improvement of the economy generally and rural development particularly. India is an agricultural country with 195 million hectares is gross cropped area, 141 million hectares of land as net sown area, the highest percentage of land under cultivation in the world. The country accounts for 17.7 percent of the world's population and ranks in the second largest populated country. The country has about 68.8 percent of the population living in its rural areas and the only source of their livelihood is agriculture and allied activities. The total production of food grains was increased from 259.29 million tonnes in 2011-12 to 284.95 million tonnes in 2018-19. The contribution of agriculture in gross value added at basic prices has continuously fallen in India from 17.72 percent in 2012-13 to 14.09 percent in 2019-20. The share of agriculture in employment declined from about 69.7 percent in 1951 to about 54.6 percent by 2011. The amount of agricultural credits are very much insufficient and the private non-institutional sources still remained a significant contribution in supplying credit to the farmers and rural peoples. To achieve sustainable rural International Research Journal of Human Resource and Social Sciences ISSN(O): (2349-4085) ISSN(P): (2394-4218) Impact Factor 5. development through agricultural practices, it needed the more than four percent growth rate in agriculture, provision of quality and adequate quantum of inputs such as quality seeds, fertilisers, and their timely supply besides electricity, socioeconomic inclusion policy and participation of the rural people in development strategies are the key concerns of the policy.

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