India is an agrarian country. This is perhaps the first thing anyone studying the country learns about it. But is India still agrarian? Of late, the issue has been seriously debated.
Agriculture still employs half of India’s population. Ensuring self-sufficiency in food is still a national goal. But the country is in the throes of a long and unsettling agrarian crisis, and there is a clear exodus of cultivators from the farming sector. In the coming years, those who persist with the vocation might not earn enough to continue for long. Given that food production is a fundamental need, a matter of survival for any nation, where is India’s agriculture headed?
This book profiles the sector at this crossroads. Using three decades of reportage from Down To Earth magazine, it analyses the state of India’s farms and farmers, its agrarian economy, and the affiliation of rural youth to farming. Most importantly, the book tries to decipher if India remains an agrarian country, just half a century after it employed the might of the world’s most marginal farmers to attain self-sufficiency in food during the Green Revolution.