Trade Liberalization and Indian Agriculture
By Seema Bathla
India's economic reforms and the Structural Adjustment Program of 1991 brought to the center stage of policy and analysis several important issues that the agricultural sector in India would face in a globalized world. The setting up of the WTO and developments in the multilateral trading rules, as per the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture, added new dimensions to this. That any policy change at the global level would have significant implications for trade, which in turn could impact the performance of agriculture, became apparent in manifold ways. Pertinently, how do trade liberalization, globalization measures, macro-economic, and sector-specific policies affect relative prices, investment, exports, imports, and hence producers' incentives for higher production and growth? What is the magnitude of response of agriculture to liberlization in these policies? To what extent is agriculture resilient to fluctuations in the global prices and other divergences? What measures can be initiated to neutralize the adverse effects of shocks that may arise in a free trade economy and maintain an incentive structure, output, and exports? Using empirical models, this study examines these issues and many more during the pre- and post-liberalization periods.
Publication Date: 12/31/2011