When the census of India 2001 came out with its population totals it had also dwelt on indices on growth of population, GDP and foodgrains production from 1951 to 2001. The impact of reforms in agriculture was very much visible from these indices. Despite an absolute increase of whopping 180.6 million people during the decade 1991-2001, both the GDP and foodgrains production indices had shown substantial increase. In comparative terms India added the estimated population of Brazil, the fifth most populous country in the worlds yet it continued to be self-reliant in foodgrains production.
Contribution of Agriculture to National Economy
The share of agriculture in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has declined from 52% in 1950s to 26 per cent in 2001. This decline is not an account of decline in agricultural produce but overall industrialisation of the country The growth rate of agriculture is around 3.3 per cent for the last decade. The contribution of – agriculture to national economy is chiefly four fold — (i) employment (ii) to provide foodgrains to growing population (iii) to contribute to export trade and (iv) to provide raw materials to industries. In the first case, agriculture continues to provide employment to about 64 per cent of the labour force. In the second case, despite the whooping rise in population per capita net availability of foodgrains has gone up from 395 grams per day in 1950s to 467 grams per day in 1999-2000. The total foodgrains production (rice, wheat coarse cereals and pulses) has risen from 168 million (1680 lakh) tonnes in 1991-92 to about 200 (2000 lakh) million tonnes in 2000-01.