In our country, agricultural and industrial development are equally necessary. Agriculture is the base of our economy. If cultivated properly, our lands can give us food grains like wheat, rice, maize and barley much above our needs. We grow cotton of the first quality. We can grow jute and perhaps tea in some parts of the country.
Firstly, our requirements of food are increasing fast. With a rise in our population every year, we need more food. Then, with a rise in living standards, the people buy greater quantities of good.
Secondly, most of our people, above 70 per cent, earn their living from agriculture. Most of our villagers are farmers or workers on the farms. If we develop our agriculture, they will be prosperous (rich and happy) and their standards of living will improve.
Thirdly, a good deal of our industry and commerce depend upon agriculture. The cotton factories use raw cotton and the sugar factories the sugar cane grown on farms. The cigarette factories use raw tobacco. The paper mills use wood pulp and other raw materials. Then there are hundreds of biscuit factories using flour. The factories producing medicines use different forms of raw materials grown on farms or found in forests. The factories producing vegetable ghee use different kinds of oil-seeds, Thus, agriculture is the base of our industry.
Fourthly, commerce and business in the country depend a lot on agriculture. Traders are engaged in bringing agricultural goods from farms and villages to markets and commercial centers. Shopkeepers are busy selling food grain, flour, pulses etc. The trade in raw materials sold to the factories is expanding.
Fifthly, agriculture is the base of our foreign trade. About 75 per cent of the goods exported to other countries are agricultural raw materials. Thus cotton, rice, tobacco, salt, vegetables, and fruits are exported in large quantities bringing us a lot of foreign exchange.
We should provide water to the farms that are dry during the greater part of the year. This can be done by building dams, digging.canals and sinking tube-wells. At the same time, efforts should be made to remove-water logging and salinity. (Water logging is there when the underground water level rises and makes land unsuitable for cultivation. Salinity is there when the salts of the earth collect around the roots of plants owing to the absence of water.
Our farmers should use better seeds and fertilizers and medicines to kill insects. They should mechanize farming by using tractors, harvesters, bulldozers, tube-well engines, power-pumps, and so on a large scale.
We should reform our agricultural system and remove its faults. We should try to make our farmers independent owners of big pieces of land that will make them work more efficiently.
We should improve our system of road and rail communications, telephone, telegraph and bank facilities (the infrastructure) to expand our agriculture. There should be well-constructed roads between villages and cities and better arrangements to bring agricultural produce from villages to markets on trucks and trains.
We should learn effective techniques of agriculture from the advanced countries in order to modernize it.