Agri Business

A 360-degree analysis of India’s agricultural economy

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on February 27, 2020

The BusinessLine Handbook of Indian Agriculture 2020, which was released in New Delhi on Thursday, offers a comprehensive 360-degree analysis of India’s agricultural economy, with forward-looking ideas to resolve the farming crisis.

The book marshals some of the keenest minds in the domain of the agricultural economy, and stakeholders across the agricultural value chain — scientists, established policy experts, technocrats, corporate leaders, agricultural scholars, farmers’ collective activists, and grassroots-level practitioners. Many of them have worked — or are working — in government and have signally contributed to policymaking.

Others complement these efforts from within the private sector, which is a critical partner in the cause of improved agricultural productivity. BusinessLine’s in-house team of senior editors, correspondents, and analysts, too, contributed with boots-on-the-ground coverage.

With the weight of their distinctive experience, the contributors — among them Prof MS Swaminathan, Dr Yoginder K Alagh, Dr Ashok Dalwai — have mapped out the terrain, laid bare the complexities of the problem, given a view from the grassroots, critiqued some of the failings in earlier policy efforts, and charted out active strategies, including the policy interventions needed to lift the sector and realise the vision of doubling farmers’ income.

In its breadth, the BusinessLine Handbook of Indian Agriculture 2020 covers every area of agricultural endeavour and every link in the agri value chain: the need to de-risk farming (through, for instance, effective crop insurance, contract farming initiatives, diversification through animal husbandry/fishery and horticulture, and ‘monsoon-proofing’ the sector); optimising agricultural inputs (by harnessing technology and channelling innovation); water management (through, for instance, drip irrigation); easing farm credit flows, and using it to incentivise behavioural change in farmers; opening up farmers’ access to the markets (while giving them appropriate hedging tools); modernising agricultural practices, while simultaneously reviving traditional, sustainable practices); and strategies to enhance exports, and to doubling farmers’ incomes. It also offers a glimpse of what the future of farming might be like: talk of space-age farming, and robots as farmhands!

In addition to extensive analyses, the BusinessLine Handbook of Indian Agriculture 2020 offers an in-depth Statistical Appendix: Over 100 pages of authoritative data covering the entire universe of agricultural activities.

Offered with the intention of deepening and widening the policy discourse on this vital sphere of economic activity, the 352-page book, priced at ₹1,500, can be purchased online at



at a 20 per cent discount.

Published on February 27, 2020

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