Income Enhancement, Improved Health and Nutrition through Agriculture & Allied Services
Agriculture is a dominant economic activity in India, today India ranks second worldwide in farm activities. Over 58 per cent of the rural households depend on agriculture as their principal means of livelihood. Women account for more than 47% of agriculture labor and dominate the small scale food processing sector. It is assumed that an increased income from agriculture related activities is used to purchase high quality nutritious food that improves nutrition level of rural poor population. Despite major progress, serious concerns remain about the nutrition and health situation throughout the developing world. According to the annual report by the Food and Agriculture organization of the United Nations, around 194 million people are undernourished in India, the highest in the world. Agricultural growth has the potential to greatly reduce poverty and also presents opportunities for improving health and nutrition.
Agriculture and allied activities constitute the single largest contributor to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), accounting for almost 33% of the total. They are vital to the national well-being as, besides providing the basic needs of the society and the raw materials for some of the important segments of Indian industry, they provide livelihood for almost two thirds of the work force. The share of the agricultural products in the total export earnings, both in primary and processed forms, is very significant.
Over the last four decades, agriculture has made important strides in our country. It has been able to meet the growing demand of the increasing population for their essential ion but also acceleration of agricultural production gains are critical for meeting the increasing demands due to the increase in population as well as due to Improvements in incomes, particularly of the poor sections of the society. At the same time, it is necessary to ensure that the process of development is sustainable.
EDUCATION & TRAINING
Agricultural trends are changing everyday with the development of new techniques. To make the best of emerging technologies, it is vital that agriculturalists receive continuous education and training. This training is provided on topics such as pesticide management, use of better seeds, irrigation and use of fertilizers among many others. Equally important is the process of agricultural research and development to create cheaper and better farm practices. The Central and State Governments have made major contributions in this area.
Farmers' training is provided at the local level through Kailash Foundation for Development, vocational agricultural schools and field demonstrations. These training classes may be conducted on specific topics like the use of urea or vast topics like packages of practice. The new information that farmers gain through these training sessions makes their daily farming activities much easier. It also leads to an increase in productivity and bigger profits in the long run.