Trends in India's Agricultural Growth and Its Determinants
The present study discusses the trends in crop sector growth at national and sub-national levels in India. Data on important variables such as area, production, input use, and value of output were compiled for the periods 1967-1968 to 2007-2008 from published sources. The analysis reveals that the cropping pattern in India has changed significantly over time, with a marked shift from the cultivation of foodgrains to commercial crops. Among foodgrains, the area planted to coarse cereals that is generally cultivated in dry regions declined by 13.3 percent between triennium ending (TE) 1970-1971 and TE 2007-2008. Similarly, the performance of pulses in terms of area and output was not impressive during the study period and the technological breakthrough witnessed in other crops was not conspicuous in pulses. Nevertheless, increase in crop yield has been a major factor in accelerating crop production in the country since the late 1960s. Modern varieties, irrigation, and fertilizers were the important contributors of higher growth in crop production. However, technology and institutional support for a few crops such as rice and wheat have changed crop area and output composition significantly in some regions. The results of the crop output growth model indicate that enhanced capital formation, better irrigation facilities, normal rainfall, and improved fertilizer consumption will help increase crop output in the country.
- December 2011