Agriculture vs. Industry – Which is more important?
The main point of contrast between agriculture and manufacturing industries is that though both are amenable to large-scale production, the scope of such operations is very much smaller in agriculture than in manufacture.
Firstly, the Law of Diminishing Returns operates much earlier in the case of agriculture. However, in the case of manufacturing industries application of successive doses of labor and capital, with increasing returns, may be pushed to and far greater extent.
Secondly, as agricultural activities cannot be easily subjected to a fixed routine, supervision is very complex. Hence, large-scale production cannot be carried to the same extent in agriculture as in industries. In agriculture, so much of the task depends on individual skill and efficiency.
Thirdly, in comparison to industries, the scope of using machineries is also much smaller in agriculture.
Fourth, there is an element of uncertainty in agriculture, as agricultural production depends so much on timely and adequate rainfall and other climatic factors over which man has no control.
Fifth, agriculturists are as a rule conservative, and hence the standard of intelligence and education among them is low.
Sixth, because industrial operations can ‘be concentrated in a small place, supervision is easier and there is much scope for managerial skill and industrial leadership.
Seventh, industrial operations are dynamic in character. The industrial classes are, therefore, also more virile and energetic.
Eighth, development of industries within a country provides a more balanced national economy by absorbing the surplus population not required for agricultural operations.
Which is more important?
Agriculture is the mainstay of India’s prosperity. Agriculture, no doubt, has always been the most important factor for Indian economy.
However, at the same time, the importance of industries and manufacturing units in shaping the future economy of India cannot be denied.