In 2010, India was one of the world’s largest producers of wheat, rice, fish, eggs, coconuts and sugarcane. At that time, India was also among the largest producers of several types of dry fruits and vegetables.
Economic reforms in 1991 contributed greatly to growth in India’s agricultural sector. These reforms also led to a change in consumption patterns. Growth in the middle class led to a decreased demand for cereals and increased production of fruits, vegetables and dairy products.
The change in production patterns has impacted India’s agricultural workforce. Since the 1960s, the percentage of the Indian workforce employed in agriculture has been on the decline. While the country has seen higher yields resulting from innovations in biotechnology and processing, it has paid an environmental price in the increased usage of fertilizers and pesticides.
There is great diversity in the agricultural sector of India. While the number of developed farms that use modern technology is on the rise, impoverished villages that farm using antiquated methods are still found in abundance.
As of 2014, increased development in irrigation is important to the future of crop production in India. Access to irrigation will decrease the Indian dependence on Monsoons lead to more predictable levels of output. There is also a need for more reliable electric production and for improved highways to transport agricultural goods.