Skip to main content

Study for Skoch Foundation debunks claim that Gujarat agriculture growth intensified during last decade

Counterview Desk
A recent study, titled “Are Disparities In Indian Agriculture Growing?”, by Gursharan Singh Kainth, Director, Guru Arjan Dev Institute of Development Studies, hsas glaringly exposed the “high growth” story of Gujarat agriculture. The senior academic has found that growth rate in productivity of agriculture, at constant prices of 2004-05, has actually gone down in the state over the two decades. It was 4.7 per cent in 1990-91 to 1999-2000. But it went down to 3.4 per cent in the next decade, 2000-01 to 2009-10. Kainth has further said that the growth rate per hectare agricultural productivity at constant prices (2004-05), too, went down from 5.07 per cent in 1999-2000 to 2.09 per cent in 2009-10.
The study, prepared for the prestigious Skoch Development Foundation’s Thinkers and Writers Forum, significantly adds that the per capita rural productivity in Gujarat went down from 4.8 per cent during the period between 1990-91 and 1999-2000 to a mere 1.3 per cent in the next decade, between 2000-01 and 2009-10.
These data come against the backdrop of latest Government of India data for the 11th Five Year Plan (2007-12), put out in “State of Indian Agriculture”, which show that the Gross State Domestic Product for Gujarat agriculture dipped to half – exactly 4.8 per cent per annum – of what it was from the previous period, 9.6 per ent. Worse, it was less than several other states, including Madhya Pradesh (7.6 per cent), Chhattisgarh (7.6 per cent), Rajasthan (7.4 per cent), Jharkhand (6 per cent), Karnataka (5.6 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (4.9 per cent) and Assam (4.9 per cent).
Year-wise figures, released by the Gujarat government in the Socio-Economic Review also suggest that volatility in agriculture had set in during the 11th five year plan. In 2007-08, Gujarat’s agriculture and allied sector grew by 7.48 per cent, but in the next year, 2008-09, it dipped into negative, minus ( — ) 7.41 per cent, and further into negative in 2009-10, minus ( — ) 0.51 per cent. For the two next year, it jumped into plus, and grew by 18.12 per cent and 5.70 per cent for 2010-11 and 2011-12 respectively.
While latest figures for 2012-13 have not been officially released, it is estimated the growth rate would further slip into a huge negative of more than minus ( — ) 13 per cent. There is reason to believe that volatility had set in despite good rainfall in all these years, with the exception of 2012-13.
The 11th Five Year Plan’s coefficient variation (CV, through which assesses the risk agriculture faces in high growth rate) was estimated at 2.4 per cent, higher than what it was in the previous five years. It is higher than all Indian states except for Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh , Uttarakhand and Bihar. Kerala’s risk factor for agriculture, calculated as CV, is in the negative, minus ( — ) 2.7 per cent, and all other states’ CV hovers between 1 and 2 per cent, suggesting their agriculture is less at risk from vagaries of nature than that of Gujarat. According to the document, anything higher than two per cent CV is risky.
These facts, say observers, should come as a shocker to some experts who had been praising Gujarat agriculture model as something that other states should follow. Writing in in 2009, three experts, Ashok Gulati, Tushaar Shah and Ganga Shreedhar, published a study, “Agriculture performance in Gujarat since 2000: Can it be a divadandi (lighthouse) for other states?” for the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), both world-renowned institutes, which argued out how Gujarat could achieve a growth rate that nearly touched double digit in the tenth five year plan period, thanks to massive infrastructure help from the state government.
The study does not seek to hide the fact that it was prepared after taking complete help from the Gujarat government. The authors have jotted down their specially gratefulness to Gujarat CM Narendra Modi’s water resources advisor BN Navlawala, and a well-known pro-Modi agriculturist at that time, ex-vice-chancellor of the Anand Agriculture University, NC Varsheneya, for their valuable “insights”.
The study pointed towards how, from 2000-01 to 2006-07, GSDP for agriculture grew by 9.6 percent per annum, when during the same period the corresponding Gross Domestic Product for agriculture at the all-India level grew by only 2.9 percent. “Thus Gujarat has grown more than 1.5 times above its Eleventh Plan growth target, and three times the all India figure”, the study declared, wondering, “This stellar performance of Gujarat in agriculture raises the question: Can Gujarat be a divadandi (lighthouse) for other states to follow?”
Calling it a “success story” for other states to emulate, the authors further argued that Gujarat’s high volatility or risk rate – calculated as CV – had gone down considerably. CV during 1980-81, the academicsI said, was very high, 7.4 per cent. In 1992-93 to 1999-2000, the risk factor went down to 4.3 per cent. And finally, between 2000-01 and 2006-07, it further went down to 2.2 per cent. The authors argued, whatever volatility that remained was “partly due to Gujarat’s high dependence on rainfall – 64 per cent of the area was rain fed, which was marginally higher than the all-India figure, i.e., 60 per cent. The authors argued, whatever volatility that remained was “partly due to Gujarat’s high dependence on rainfall – 64 per cent of the area was rain fed, which was marginally higher than the all-India figure, i.e., 60 per cent.
With fresh facts coming it, especially on VC, it would be interesting to know what these scholars would have to say.

Comments

TRENDING

Top upper caste judges 'biased' towards Dalit colleagues: US Bar Association report

By Rajiv Shah  A high profile report prepared by the influential  American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights , taking note of the fact that “in the 70-year history of the Indian Republic, only six Dalit judges have been appointed to the Supreme Court”, has taken strong exception to what it calls “lack of representation of Dalits” in the legal profession and the judiciary.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Whither SDG goal? India's maternal mortality rate fall target 5.5% per yr, actual 4.5%

By Srinivas Goli, Parul Puri* The maternal mortality ratio (number of maternal deaths per one lakh live births) is a key and sensitive parameter used by health policymakers to monitor maternal health conditions in particular and women's status in general in a country.

Fresh efforts to subsume Buddhism within Hindu fold 'undermining' Ambedkar

By Aviral Anand*  From Yeola in 1935, when Dr Ambedkar announced that he would not die a Hindu, to Nagpur in 1956 when he converted to Buddhism, is a considerable distance in time. But, there was in him a need to make a public announcement in 1935 about moving away from Hinduism. 

Unlike other revolutionaries, Hindutva icon wrote 5 mercy petitions to British masters

By Shamsul Islam*  The Hindutva icon VD Savarkar of the RSS-BJP rulers of India submitted not one, two,or three but five mercy petitions to the British masters! Savarkarites argue: “There are no evidences to prove that Savarkar collaborated with the British for his release from jail. In fact, his appeal for release was a ruse. He was well aware of the political developments outside and wanted to be part of it. So he kept requesting for his release. But the British authorities did not trust him a bit” (YD Phadke, ‘A complex Hero’, "The Indian Expres"s, August 31, 2004)

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Reverse progress in fight against hunger? 15.3% of India undernourished: GHI

By Harchand Ram*  Every year October 16 is observed as World Food Day to celebrate the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. In the year 2021, the theme for World Food Day is “Our actions are our Future-Better Production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life”.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam* In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Global Hunger Index: Govt of India response pathetic, 'lacks' scientific empirical evidence

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* Come 16 October – and the world once again focused on the most basic need for a person’s survival: food! The first World Food Day was observed in 1994, to mark the launch of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Ever since, the day is marked to highlight the need and importance of food security across the world. The significance is accentuated especially in these difficult times like the C-19 povidandemic. The theme for 2021 is ‘Safe Food Now for a Healthier Tomorrow’, emphasising on the various immediate and long-term benefits of consuming safe and healthy food.

Failure of 'trickle down theory' behind India's poor Global Hunger Index rating

By Dr Gian Singh*  On October 14, 2021, two organisations, Concern Worldwide (An Irish aid agency) and WeltHungerHilfe (a German organization that researches the problem of global hunger), jointly published the Global Hunger Index (GHI) for 2021. These organizations have included 116 countries in the world hunger rankings.