Perspectives from the Asia-Pacific
Edited by Matthew Tonts and M. A.B. Siddique
Chapter 6: Globalisation, India’s Evolving Food Economy and Trade Prospects for Australia and New Zealand
Srikanta Chatterjee, Allan Rae and Ranjan Ray INTRODUCTION Since the early 1990s, the Indian economy has been growing rapidly, both by its own historical standards and relative to many other economies, developed and developing. This has engendered several structural changes both within the economy and in its relationship to the rest of the world. While in many areas these changes are policy-induced – and desirable – some are more like ‘side-effects’ that need deeper analysis and may call for policies to deal with them. The Indian economy is still largely dependent on agriculture; this dependence is not so much in terms of agriculture’s share in the gross domestic product (GDP) – 17 per cent in 2008, and steadily declining, as the share of services increases. In terms of labour employment and absorption, however, agriculture still accounts for around 60 per cent of all employment in the economy (Chatterjee 2008). Agriculture is also significant because of its obvious connection with food security and human nutrition – an issue of national priority since planned economic development began in India in the 1950s. This chapter has three interrelated aims. First, to examine how India’s recent economic reforms have impacted on its agricultural sector, with particular reference to its food production and distribution. Second, how India’s economic growth of recent years has impacted on the patterns of food consumption in urban and rural sectors, and how these changes together have impacted on India’s trade patterns involving cereal and non-cereal food products. A special focus of this objective is...
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