Economic Viability of Indian Agriculture

By Prof. Ramphul Ohlan   |   Institute of Management Studies and Research, Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak
Learners enrolled: 9894

Economic viability of agriculture is its ability to cover the cost of production and to provide an additional rate of return over the capital invested. It depends on several economic factors like prices and quality of input and output, sales revenue, cost of cultivation, productivity, investment, farm size, and competitiveness. The government of India announces minimum support price (MSP) for some crops by ensuring a return of fifty per cent over the cost of cultivation. However, the cost of cultivation used to determine MSP is yet to consider the rental value of the land. Even, a large number of farmers are deprived of MSP announced by the government. The agitation of Indian farmers for an assurance of remunerative prices for their crops has become the world's largest agitation. According to media reports, over seven hundred fifty farmers have lost their lives in this historical agitation. The extent and severity of farmers agitation give a reflection on their poor economic conditions. Recently, the Government of India (GOI) has taken several new policy initiatives to improve the economic viability of agriculture, and to increase farmers welfare. The objective of this course is to enhance the knowledge of the participants on the current state of the economic sense of Indian agriculture. After completion of this course, the learners would be aware of the way to improve the profitability of the farming business. It would also help them in starting new farming business in demanding areas.
This course starts by describing the economic forces affecting the profitability of agriculture in a labour surplus economy. It looks at the growth and transformation that occurred in the agriculture business during the last decades. Across the modules, we discuss agricultural diversification opportunities. It also explores the trends in terms of trade between agriculture and industry. Special attention is paid to an analysis of agricultural trade performance, competitiveness and outlook.

It employs innovative graphics and multi-media techniques. The information used in this course is adapted mainly from research papers published in top-tier journals, working papers of NITI Aayog, Economic Survey of Government of India (GOI), Handbook of Statistics on Indian Economy, an annual publication of Reserve Bank of India. The latest data are taken mainly from the Agricultural Statistics at a Glance, and Annual Reports of Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Annual Reports of Ministry of Food Processing Industries, GOI, Reports of National Sample Survey (NSS), and that of Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA). The information is also retrieved from Reports on Price Policy from Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha official debates, and several publications of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Rome.


Course Status : Upcoming
Course Type : Core
Duration : Self Paced
Category :
  • Multidisciplinary
Credit Points : 4
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate

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Course layout

Module 1        State of Indian Agriculture
Module 2       Growth and Structural Transformation of Agriculture
Module 3       Regional Variations in Agricultural Growth 
Module 4        National and State Level Agricultural Policies
Module 5       Implications of Legal Surety of MSP for Farmers and Consumers
Module 6       Diversification Opportunities in Agriculture
Module 7       Productivity Trends in Agriculture 
Module 8       Terms of Trade between Agriculture and Industry
Module 9       Farm Size and Input Use Efficiency
Module 10      Cost of Production in Farming
Module 11      Interstate Variations in Cost of Agricultural Production
Module 12      Government Intervention and Role in Agricultural Marketing
Module 13      Market Intervention Schemes
Module 14      Market Efficiency and Price Spread
Module 15      Government Procurement Operation of Farm Produce
Module 16      Profitability in Farming
Module 17      Agricultural Marketing and Warehousing
Module 18      Marketing of Agricultural Inputs
Module 19      E-Marketing of Agricultural Products
Module 20      Public and Private Investment in Agriculture
Module 21      Farmers Producers Companies and Farmer Producer Organizations
Module 22      Agricultural Export Policy  2018
Module 23      WTO and Viability of Agriculture
Module 24      Impact of Subsidies and Taxes on Economic Viability of Agriculture
Module 25      Trade Performance of Agriculture
Module 26      Self-Reliance in Food Grains and Commercial Crops
Module 27      Competitiveness of Indian Agriculture
Module 28      Small Farm Economic Viability
Module 29      Organic Farming
Module 30      International Comparison of Doses of Fertilizers and Pesticides
Module 31      Economic Viability of Organic Farming
Module 32      Increasing Welfare of Indian Farmers
Module 33      Doubling Farmers Income
Module 34      Sustainability of Indian Agriculture
Module 35      COVID-19 and Indian Agriculture
Module 36      Do Farmers Really Like Farming?
Module 37      Dairy Economy of India
Module 38      Marketing of Milk
Module 39      Future of Indian Agriculture
Module 40      The Way Forward 

Books and references

Ohlan, Ramphul (2010) WTO and Indian Agriculture, Global Research Publications, New Delhi.        https://www.researchgate.net/publication/254558407_WTO_and_Indian_Agriculture

Ohlan, Ramphul (2014) Globalization  and Dairy Industry, Studium Press India Pvt Ltd, New Delhi.  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/260135852_Globalization_and_Dairy_Indus      try.

Ohlan, Ramphul (2006) India's Comparative Advantage in Farm Trade in the  Emerging Trade Order. Foreign Trade Review, 41(2), 35-61.https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0015732515060202?journalCode=ftra

Ohlan, Ramphul (2006) WTO and India’s Agricultural Trade, Indian Journal of Commerce, 59 (4), 62-72.        https://www.researchgate.net/publication/254558377_WTO_and_India's_Agricultural_Trade

Ohlan, Ramphul (2007) WTO and Developed Countries Farm Policies, Indian Journal of Commerce, 60 (2), 60-77.             https://www.researchgate.net/publication/254558562_WTO_and_Developed_Countres_Farm_Policies
Ohlan, Ramphul (2008) 
Liberalization of Wheat: Production, Prices and Trade. Foreign Trade Review43(2), 55-85. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0015732515080203

Ohlan, Ramphul (2010) WTO and Sri Lanka’s Farm Trade, Journal of Indian School of Political Economy, 22 (1), 49-92. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/254558075_WTO_and_Sri_Lankaas_Farm_Trade

Ohlan, Ramphul (2012) Productivity and Efficiency Analysis of Haryana’s Dairy Industry, Productivity, 52 (1), 42-50. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/254312840_Productivity_and_Efficiency_Analysis_of_Haryana's_Dairy_Industry

Ohlan, Ramphul (2012) Performance and Suitability of Growing Crops in Haryana: District- level Analysis, Agricultural Situation in India, 59 (1), 27-32. https://eands.dacnet.nic.in/Publication12-12-2012/2314agr-apri12/2314-1.pdf

Ohlan, Ramphul (2013) WTO Agreement on Agriculture and South Asia's Farm Trade, South  Asian Survey 18 (1), 27-62. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/254258973_WTO_Agreement_on_Agriculture_and_South_Asia's_Farm_Trade

Ohlan, Ramphul (2013) Agricultural exports and the growth of agriculture in India. Agricultural Economics, 59 (5): 211–218.           https://www.agriculturejournals.cz/publicFiles/118_2012-AGRICECON.pdf

Ohlan, R. (2013). Pattern of regional disparities in socio-economic development in India: District level analysis. Social Indicators Research114 (3), 841-873. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11205-012-0176-8

Ohlan, Ramphul (2014) Economic Viability of Organic Farming in Haryana. Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), Project Report No. 2-152/2010-RP, ICSSR, New Delhi. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/274062933_Economic_Viability_of_Organic_Farming_in_Haryana#:~:text=The%20study%20assessed%20the%20economic%20viability%20of%20organic%20farming%20in%20Haryana.&text=The%20analysis%20indicates%20that%20organic,state%2C%20is%20economically%20not%20viable.

Ohlan, Ramphul (2014) Competitiveness and Trade Performance of India's Dairy Industry, Asian Journal of Agriculture and Development, 11 (2), 17-37. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/b083/1b1713d56d9cf88b23f26164f6555420538e.pdf?_ga=2.202406740.417882253.1616284209-1229102515.1610297927

Ohlan, Ramphul (2014). Growth and Instability in Dairy Production and Trade: A Global   Analysis. International Journal of Trade and Global Markets, 7(2), 145-172. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/254258889_Growth_and_Instability_in_Dairy_Production_and_Trade_A_Global_Analysis#:~:text=The%20study%20investigates%20the%20pattern,regression%20model%2C%20decomposition%20analysis%20and

Ohlan, Ramphul (2016). Dairy Economy of India: Structural Changes in Consumption and roduction. South Asia Research, 36(2), 241-260. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/305249856_Dairy_Economy_of_India_Structural_Changes_in_Consumption_and_Production

Ohlan, Ramphul (2019) Economic Viability of Indian Agriculture: Global and National Concerns, Maharshi Dayanand University, Digital Learning Centre, Learning Management System Portal.  http://dms.mdu.ac.in/stumodule3.aspx?id=20059

Ohlan, Ramphul (2021) Managing Quality of Cereal Grains, Economic and Political Weekly, 56(16), 4-5. https://www.epw.in/journal/2021/16/letters/managing-quality-cereal-grains.html

Ohlan, Ramphul (2021) Economic Viability of Destroying Crops, Economic and Political Weekly, 56(10), 5. https://www.epw.in/journal/2021/10/letters/economic-viability-destroying-crops.html

Ohlan, Ramphul (2021) Tajamul Haque (1947-2021), Economic and Political Weekly, 56 (20), 5. https://www.epw.in/journal/2021/20/letters/tajamul-haque-1947%E2%80%932021.html

Ohlan, Ramphul (2021) Farm Reforms, Protests and By-election in Haryana, Economic and Political Weekly, 56 (21), 21-23.https://www.epw.in/journal/2021/21/commentary/farm-reforms-protests-and-election-haryana.html

Ohlan, R., & Ohlan, A. (2022). Scholarly Research in Food Security: A Bibliometric Analysis of Global Food Security. Science & Technology Libraries, 1-17https://doi.org/10.1080/0194262X.2022.2029728
Ohlan R. (2022): Sir Chhotu Ram: writings and speeches, Asian Ethnicity, https://doi.org/10.1080/14631369.2022.2160965

Instructor bio

Prof. Ramphul Ohlan

Institute of Management Studies and Research, Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak
Prof. Ramphul Ohlan is an independent scholar of Economics. He has a Ph.D. on “WTO and Indian Agriculture: Implications and Strategies” attained from Department of Economics, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra, Haryana, India. He has successfully and independently completed six post-doctoral research projects in the field of agriculture business sponsored by national and international funding agencies. Prof. Ohlan has published his theoretical as well as applied research work independently in international journals of repute such as Energy Sources, Part B: Economics, Planning, and Policy (Taylor and Francis), Crime Law and Social Change (Springer), Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs (Taylor and Francis), Strategic Planning for Energy and the Environment, (Taylor and Francis), OPEC Energy Review (John Wiley and Sons), Natural Hazards (Springer), Social Indicators Research (Springer), Future Business Journal (Elsevier), South Asia Research (Sage), South Asian Survey (Sage), Foreign Trade Review (Sage), Journal of Land and Rural Studies (Sage), International Journal of Trade and Global Markets (Inderscience). Prof. Ohlan is an active external reviewer for many good quality research journals. His sole authored books include: (1) “WTO and Indian Agriculture”, Global Research Publications, New Delhi, India, and (2) “Globalization and Dairy Industry”, Printed by Thomson Press, and (3) Generalizations of Fuzzy Information Measures, Springer (with Anshu Ohlan). His research work is cited widely in numerous high quality well-known academic journals rated in terms of Journal Citation Reports (JCR) Impact Factor. His scholarship as a published author in the knowledge domain of agricultural business is supported by four decades of field practice. He has successfully guided two PhD scholars. He has participated in policy formulation in the area of agricultural business. He has successfully completed a self-paced Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge.

Course certificate

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