This paper discusses the trends and patterns in agricultural growth at the national and sub-national levels in India
This working paper by Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) discusses the trends and patterns in agricultural growth at the national and sub-national levels in India. The paper by using econometric method to estimate the crop output growth aims to contribute to the existing knowledge base on Indian agriculture. In the beginning it states that despite the decline in the share of agriculture in the gross domestic product its importance has not diminished due to the following reasons:
- High prevalence of malnourished children and high incidence of rural poverty
- Dependence of the rural workforce on agriculture for employment
In the background section the authors state that sustained agricultural growth is facilitated through constant policy and institutional support. The agriculture led industrialisation was splendid in 1980’s, which however declined during the 1990’s due to reduction in the public expenditure on agricultural infrastructure. However since mid 2000 the government has renewed policy to revive agricultural growth through programmes such as interest subvention on crop loans, the National Food Security Mission, the National Agriculture Development Programme (Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana) and the Pulses Development Programme.
The paper in the second section spells out the sources of data used in the study. The authors have relied on secondary data published various government bodies. The paper provides statistical data in each section on various aspects of agricultural growth and performance of crop production in different decades. Further the study is divided into four phases: early green revolution (1967-68 to 1979-80), mature green revolution (1980-81 to 1989-90), early economic reforms (1990-91 to 1999-00), economic reforms (2000-01 to 2007-08) and overall period (1967-68 to 2007-08).
In the third section the paper discusses about the changes in the cropping pattern and crop output at national level. It sheds light on the increasing demand for food has led to crop intensification and substitution of food crops with commercial crops.
The fourth section of the paper discusses about the growth performance of major crops at national level. The authors argue that growth in production was an outcome of better irrigation facilities, government procurement system, guaranteed support price and input subsidies. The section then goes on to elaborate the increase and decrease of growth of various crops under different decades.
In the fifth section the determinants of aggregate growth of crop output at the national level is discussed through the neo-classical growth model.
The sixth section sheds light on the growth performance of major crops across major states/regions in India. A comprehensive table of per cent share of various crops in gross cropped area across regions is provided in the section.
The final section concludes with the following: there has been significant shift in cropping pattern from cultivation of food grains to commercial crops and performance of pulses in terms of area and output was not impressive during the study period. The use of modern varieties, irrigation and fertilisers were important aspects of higher growth in crop production in the country. There is a potential for enhancing yield of major crops through better soil and water management, profitable crop rotation, innovative marketing, genetic engineering and investment in farm education and rural infrastructure.
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