While India has seen impressive economic growth in recent years, the country still struggles with widespread poverty and hunger. India’s poor population amounts to more than 300 million people, with almost 30 percent of India’s rural population living in poverty. The good news is, poverty has been on the decline in recent years. According to official government of India estimates, poverty declined from 37.2% in 2004-05 to 29.8% in 2009-10. Rural poverty declined by 8 percentage points from 41.8% to 33.8% and urban poverty by 4.8 percentage points from 25.7% to 20.9% over the same period (World Bank 2012).

India is home to 25 percent of the world’s hungry population. An estimated 43 per cent of children under the age of five years are malnourished (WFP 2012). India remains an important global agricultural player, despite the fact that agriculture’s share in the country’s economy is declining. It has the world’s largest area under cultivation for wheat, rice, and cotton, and is the world’s largest producer of milk, pulses, and spices (World Bank 2012). Nearly three-quarters of India’s households are dependent on rural incomes. Agricultural productivity in the country’s semi-arid tropical region is impeded by water shortages and recurrent drought, while environmental degradation and vulnerability to weather-related disasters pose challenges to the country as a whole.

Poor populations also face a lack of access to productive assets, financial resources, education, health care, and basic social services. The government has recently begun to focus on microenterprise development as a way to address these challenges, as well as initiatives to bring basic services to the rural poor. With the country’s population and economy continuing to grow, huge demands will be placed on critical infrastructure in the coming years. It is estimated that US$1 trillion will be needed to meet India’s infrastructure needs in the next five years (World Bank 2012).

Agricultural Production
Agricultural Production2013201420152016
Rice Production
FAO 2016
159,200,000 MT157,200,000 MT156,540,000 MT158,756,871 MT
Wheat Production
FAO 2016
93,510,000 MT95,850,000 MT86,530,000 MT93,500,000 MT
Maize Production
FAO 2016
24,259,510 MT24,170,000 MT22,570,000 MT26,260,000 MT
Soybean Production
FAO 2016
11,861,000 MT10,374,000 MT8,570,000 MT14,008,000 MT
Agricultural Exports
Agricultural Exports2013201420152016
Rice Exports
FAO 2016
11,300,105 MT11,092,730 MT10,953,469 MT9,869,281 MT
Wheat Exports
FAO 2016
6,503,635 MT3,950,910 MT602,900 MT198,965 MT
Maize Exports
FAO 2016
4,749,727 MT3,571,037 MT913,831 MT482,848 MT
Soybean Exports
FAO 2016
138,609 MT204,365 MT212,015 MT149,832 MT
Agricultural Imports
Agricultural Imports2010201120122013
Rice Imports
FAO 2013
95.00 MT1,093 MT539.00 MT1,323 MT
Wheat Imports
FAO 2012
185,255 MT25.00 MT1,569 MT11,644 MT
Maize Imports
FAO 2016
7,050 MT12,261 MT2,426 MT11,628 MT
Soybean Imports
FAO 2016
5.00 MT121.00 MT837.00 MT750.00 MT