(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) Atma Nirbhar Villages through Agricultural Development

(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) Atma Nirbhar Villages through Agricultural Development


Atma Nirbhar Villages through Agricultural Development


In recent years, the concept of Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) has gained significant momentum, aiming to reduce dependency on foreign resources and foster self-sufficiency across diverse sectors. One of the most critical aspects of this initiative is the promotion of Aatmanirbhar Villages, where agriculture and allied sectors play a pivotal role in the process of economic development. Promoting self-sufficiency at the village level is imperative to achieving comprehensive and sustainable growth at the national level.

Need of Making Villages Aatmanirbhar

  • Strengthening the rural economy to attain self-sufficiency at the village level occupies significant
    importance in a country like India, where nearly two thirds of the total population and more than 70 per cent of the workforce reside in rural areas. 
  • The rural areas face formidable economic challenges, including poverty, unemployment, and inequality. Addressing these challenges is crucial not only to foster sustainable growth but also to stem the rural-urban drift. The concept of Aatmanirbhar Villages embodies the potential to create opportunities for livelihood and income generation in rural communities. 

The Significance of Agriculture in Rural India

  • The rural economy relies heavily on agriculture and allied sectors for Its development. The significance of agriculture in making villages self-reliant can hardly be overstated, as it forms the essential socio-economic fabric for these regions. 
  • A self-reliant nation must be self-sufficient in terms of domestic food grain production. Making villages self-reliant can enhance food security through higher agricultural production and productivity, ensuring a consistent supply of food grains and thus reducing dependence on external sources for essential commodities.

Employment Opportunities

  • Agriculture, not only makes the country secure in terms of food, fodder, and raw-material for
    industries, but also serves as the source of livelihood for a significant portion of the rural population. 
  • The proportion of the population depending directly or indirectly on agriculture for employment opportunities is the highest among all the sectors in India.
  •  Agricultural development in rural India has the potential to generate a plethora of employment opportunities, extending far beyond the farming sector. It also catalyses job creation in associated fields like agribusiness, food processing, and allied sectors. 
  • This diversification of the rural labour market not only empowers local rural communities but also plays a pivotal role in stemming the tide of rural to-urban migration which further alleviates the issues of urban overcrowding and unemployment, ultimately fostering a more balanced and sustainable socio-economic landscape.

Sustainable Development

  • The promotion of self-reliance in villages serves as a catalyst for eco-friendly practices. Villages can adopt eco-friendly and regionally appropriate solutions for water, energy, and waste management, thus making a significant contribution to environmental conservation.
  • Additionally, fostering local industries and small businesses in villages can lead to the promotion of diverse ventures such as micro- and small-scale manufacturing, artisanal crafts, agro-processing units, and more. 
  • This multifaceted approach not only bolsters rural self-sufficiency but also champions the principles of sustainability and ecological responsibility.

Role of Women

  • The empowerment of women is essential for attaining self-sufficiency at the village level and fostering comprehensive socio-economic national development, as women in rural areas are pivotal to agricultural and allied activities. 
  • Agricultural development initiatives should encompass measures promoting gender equality and provisions for women’s access to education, health, land, and credit, enabling them to actively participate in farming and decision-making, thereby enhancing the overall welfare of rural communities.

Infrastructure Development

  • Investments in infrastructure, including roads, electricity, irrigation, sanitation, and storage facilities, are the basic requirements to make villages self-reliant. 
  • These improvements not only enhance the overall quality of life in rural areas but also attract business and investment to these areas. Better infrastructure connects the villages to the market, thus making it easier for the farmers to sell their produce and access resources.

Technology Integration

  • The adoption of modern technology and information systems in agriculture has the potential to significantly boost productivity. Empowering rural India necessitates equipping farmers with the necessary tools and knowledge to embrace cutting-edge farming practices. This encompasses precision agriculture, data-driven decision-making, and the use of innovative equipment and tools.

Present Status

  • Currently, India has not only achieved self-sufficiency in food grains but has also emerged as a prominent net exporter of agricultural products, occupying seventh position in the world. This remarkable transformation began to gain momentum after 1970-71, but it experienced a substantial boost with effect from 1994-95, coinciding with the period of global trade reforms and progressive reductions in agricultural tariffs under the WTO regime.

Government initiatives

  • The Government of India has launched many schemes and programmes for ameliorating the economic situation of rural masses. 
  • The main focus has been on raising productivity, cutting costs, and diversifying towards high-value agriculture crops by introducing supply chain reforms, a streamlined and rational tax system, transparent and concise legal frameworks, a skilled and capable workforce, and a robust financial system.
  • Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, (Self-Reliant India Movement) was announced by the Government of India with a groundbreaking economic package of Rs. 20 lakh crores, primarily focusing on promoting local products. 
  • The mission is poised to synergise with the ‘Make in India’ initiative, which is designed to encourage manufacturing in India including the highly promising agricultural sector.

Conclusion and Way Forward

  • In a nutshell, a large number of schemes, and programmes have been initiated by the Government to make villages Aatmanirbhar (self-reliant) through agricultural development and promoting rural entrepreneurship. These programmes provide an excellent opportunity to the excluded sections to come forward at the forefront and actively participate in the process of Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. 
  • To attract unemployed educated youth into agribusiness and agri-preneurship, special impetus on creating scientific temper and fostering innovative spirit among the rural youth is required. An appropriate policy coupled with a strong strategy to strengthen the rural non-farm sector deserves to be at the top priority.
  • It is imperative to adopt a comprehensive strategy for strengthening rural infrastructure, supporting local entrepreneurs, establishing agro-based and cottage industries, ensuring easy access to finance, focusing on education and skill development, and promoting sustainable natural resource management. 
  • Additionally, expanding digital literacy, encouraging community participation, facilitating financial inclusion, and improving access to markets are crucial. Success in this endeavour requires a collaborative effort involving government, NGOs, the private sector, and local communities. 
  • The ultimate objective extends beyond mere self-sufficiency in villages; it encompasses the creation of flourishing and enduring rural communities that make substantial contributions to the overall economic growth, thus achieving the goals of Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.



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Courtesy: Kurukshetra