Essay on agriculture and Industrial Growth

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There was a time when agriculture in the country was largely a gamble on monsoon, when our farmers had to depend almost wholly on rainwater for irrigation, his bullock-driven plough for tilling the soil and on organic fertilisers like cow-dung and garbage for manuring the soil. Modern agriculture in the Western countries is highly mechanised, and if we are to triumph over the vagaries of Nature, we have to supply the farmer with all the mechanical means of cultivation.

In order that we may ensure a rapid transition from primitive to modern agriculture, certain basic industries have to be developed on a high priority basis.

The high level agricultural production Western countries reached has come only after the Industrial Revolution of the last century. Formerly, it was believed that the rate of population growth would far exceed the agricultural produce. It was regarded almost as a law of nature. But scientific agriculture has disproved this theory.

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The setting up of these industries is a costly affair, and has to be met by deficit financing and other artificial means. This leads to inflation. The condition will prevail as long as production does not increase enough to bring down the price-level. The period of industrial growth is, therefore, one of unusual stress for a country like India. The transformation of primitive agriculture into a scientific agricul­ture is therefore achieved at a high cost, entailing enormous sacrifice on the part of the common man.

We are now on the threshold of an agricultural revolution. Of course, India’s major Steel Plants (at Villai, Rourkella, Bokharo and Durgapur) are largely meeting India’s steel needs. Our River Valley projects are now irrigating a large percentage of our arable land. Others like the Narmoda and Koshi dams are on their way to completion. Fertiliser plants at Sindhri and other places are helping the farmers with chemical manures and insecticides. The major problem now is the preservation of the environment.

The sudden rise in the price of crude oil has hit our fertiliser industry. The enormous cost of all these is proving a well-high burden. We have to tighten our belt and face the challenge. There is no doubt that once our industrial complexes gets going, the road to prosperity will be fairly smooth, and agricultural and industrial progress will supplement each other.

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