WASHINGTON: Agricultural population of India grew by a whopping 50 percent between 1980 and 2011, the highest for any country during this period, followed by China with 33 per cent, while that of the United States dropped by 37 percent as a result of large scale mechanisation, a latest report has said.
“Between 1980 and 2011, the economically active agricultural populations of China and India grew by 33 and 50 percent, respectively, due to overall population growth,” the Worldwatch Institute said in its report.
“The economically active agricultural population of the United States, on the other hand, declined by 37 percent as a result of large-scale mechanisation, improved crop varieties, fertilisers, pesticides, and federal subsidies–all of which contributed to economies of scale and consolidation in US agriculture,” it said.
The global agricultural population–defined as individuals dependent on agriculture, hunting, fishing, and forestry for their livelihood–accounted for over 37 percent of the world’s population in 2011, the most recent year for which data are available. —PTI