n his recent visit to India, the US President George Bush famously remarked, "The US is looking forward to eating Indian mangoes." The comment isn’t simply about the world-renowned Indian mangoes. It also represents the huge opportunity knocking on our door—to make India the food basket of the world. Since liberalisation, we have done wonders with our economy and achieved a lot. Indian manufacturing and services sectors are world-class today. India’s telecom industry is feted the world over. The emergence of IT and ITES industries has put India on the world map. Hundreds of thousands of new jobs have been created for a vast pool of skilled manpower and this, in turn, is driving demand within the economy.
While this is one side of economic development, our agriculture sector seems to be getting left behind. When the Green Revolution began in the late 1970s, it brought about a quantum leap in agricultural production in the country, making us self-sufficient for meeting our food requirements. However, the growth and productivity of the...