Agriculture is the backbone of the Indian Economy. However, statistics show that the rural population and arable land per person is declining. This is an ominous development for a country with a population of more than one billion, with over sixty-six percent living in rural area
Further the COVID-19 crisis has exposed the vulnerability of India’s Agri food system and accentuated the need for agricultural market reforms and digital solutions to connect farmers to markets, to create safety nets and ensure reasonable working conditions, and to decentralize Agri food systems to make them more resilient.The vulnerabilities in agricultural supply chains and depleted workforces caused by the COVID-19 crisis have hurt farms of all sizes in India, especially high-value farm enterprises. Most affected have been dairy farming, floriculture, fruit production, fisheries, and poultry farms. Food availability in rural parts of India during the lockdown became a problem for administrators, researchers, and civil society as poor people’s resilience reached a breaking point in the face of prolonged unemployment.

Agriculture experts say that millions of India's small-scale farmers have lost their incomes due to falling prices of their crops and rising transportation and storage costs.
More than half of India's farmers are reportedly in debt, with 20,638 committing suicide in 2018 and 2019, according to India's National Crime Records Bureau.
After Modi came to power in 2014, he promised to double farmers' income by 2022, however, the situation hasn't improved. The government is under pressure to bring private investments to the agriculture sector that has stagnated over the past decades.
The three bills – the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Service Bill 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020 – became laws
While ,Amitabh Kant, the CEO of NITI Aayog, a government institution for catalyzing economic development, wrote in an article that the reforms would usher in an era of modernization and prosperity for Indian farmers, Opposition parties, however, dubbed these laws "anti-farmer."Farmers' associations say the legislation does not guarantee acquisition of farm produce at the minimum support price (MSP), thus leaving them at the mercy of corporations that are now expected to enter the country's troubled farming sector.
Three agriculture sector challenges will be important to India’s overall development and the improved welfare of its rural poor:
1. Raising agricultural productivity per unit of land: Raising productivity per unit of land will need to be the main engine of agricultural growth as virtually all cultivable land is farmed. Water resources are also limited and water for irrigation must contend with increasing industrial and urban needs. All measures to increase productivity will need exploiting, amongst them: increasing yields, diversification to higher value crops, and developing value chains to reduce marketing costs.
2. Reducing rural poverty through a socially inclusive strategy that comprises both agriculture as well as non-farm employment: Rural development must also benefit the poor, landless, women, scheduled castes and tribes. Moreover, there are strong regional disparities: the majority of India’s poor are in rain-fed areas or in the Eastern Indo-Gangetic plains. Reaching such groups has not been easy. While progress has been made - the rural population classified as poor fell from nearly 40% in the early 1990s to below 30% by the mid-2000s (about a 1% fall per year) – there is a clear need for a faster reduction. Hence, poverty alleviation is a central pillar of the rural development efforts of the Government and the World Bank.
3. Ensuring that agricultural growth responds to food security needs: The sharp rise in food-grain production during India’s Green Revolution of the 1970s enabled the country to achieve self-sufficiency in food-grains and stave off the threat of famine. Agricultural intensification in the 1970s to 1980s saw an increased demand for rural labor that raised rural wages and, together with declining food prices, reduced rural poverty. However agricultural growth in the 1990s and 2000s slowed down, averaging about 3.5% per annum, and cereal yields have increased by only 1.4% per annum in the 2000s. The slow-down in agricultural growth has become a major cause for concern. India’s rice yields are one-third of China’s and about half of those in Vietnam and Indonesia. The same is true for most other agricultural commodities