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Abstract

With a population of about 1.1 billion, India is expected to overtake China as the world's most populous country by 2030. India's economy ranks as Asia's third largest, after Japan and China, and is now one of the world's fastest growing. While growth has led to significant reductions in poverty, India still ranks among the world's low income countries in terms of income per capita. Nevertheless, economic growth has resulted in a burgeoning middle-class. India's agriculture sector accounts for 18% of GDP, and employs around 60% of the workforce. Rice, wheat, cotton, oilseeds, jute, tea, sugarcane, milk and potatoes are India's major agricultural commodities. With its growing urban middle-class and increasing influence in global affairs, India's policies have important implications not only for its own economic development but also for global agricultural markets and trade. This note first reviews India's macro reforms, followed by discussion of the competitiveness of Indian agriculture. The evolution of India's major agricultural policies is then described, and new policy directions and emerging challenges are discussed. The note closes with some of the prospects for India's agri-food.

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