According to the World Development Report: Agriculture for Development 2008, www.worldbank.org
• Diversification of Indian agriculture towards high-value crops such as horticulture and floriculture is needed so as to promote income-generation among the small and marginal farmers. Markets for higher value products such as horticulture are growing at 6 percent a year in India. Horticulture, livestock, and other high-value activities offer considerable potential for employment generation and productivity growth.
• Tenancy restrictions in India reduce productivity and equity. Lack of efficient land markets in China or and restrictions on land rental in India inhibited labor mobility. Land rental activity in India has declined sharply, from 26 percent in 1971 to less than 12 percent in 2001, contrary to trends in other countries. However, renting continues to be an important means of accessing land. More number of households rented land in 2001 than the total number that benefited from land reforms Land sales and purchases contributed more than land reform to equalize India’s land ownership.
• The average landholding size went down from 2.6 hectares in 1960 to 1.4 hectares in 2000, and it is still declining in India.
• Adoption of new technologies, especially information and communication technologies—ICTs (e-government), can reduce the scope for corruption, as with computerizing land records in Karnataka.
• In Punjab, extensive use of nitrogen fertilizer and pesticides has increased concentration of nitrates and pesticide residues in water, food, and feed, often above tolerance limits. Therefore, it is justified to adopt more diversified systems that can reduce the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides (for example, mixed legume-cereal systems). Power, fertilizer, and output subsidies, which are provided to appease large farmers, discourage a shift to alternative cropping patterns. In the Punjab region, overexploitation of groundwater takes place thanks to the huge subsidies given on electricity. Moreover, minimum support prices (MSP) for rice increase the financial attractiveness of rice relative to less water-intensive crops, which makes depletion of ground water table more obvious.
• R&D expenditure as a percentage of agricultural gross domestic product (GDP) has increased from 0.18 percent in 1981 to 0.34 percent in 2000. China’s (US$ 3,150 million) public agricultural R&D spending was almost twice as compared to that of India (US$ 1,858 million) in the year 2000.
According to a paper by Prof. Utsa Patnaik titled Agrarian Crisis and Distress in Rural India, June 10, 2003, http://www.macroscan.net/fet/jun03/fet100603Agrarian%20Cri
According to a presentation by Priya Deshingkar titled Migration of Labour in India: Distress, Accumulation and Policy Lessons, August 29, 2003, http://www.odi.org.uk
A study titled The Dragon and the Elephant: Agricultural and Rural Reforms in China and India by Shenggen Fan, http://www.adb.org/Documents/events/2005/atd/paper2-fan.pdf, finds: