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Library Republic of India : Accelerating Agricultural Productivity Growth

Republic of India : Accelerating Agricultural Productivity Growth

Republic of India : Accelerating Agricultural Productivity Growth

Resource information

Date of publication
February 2015
Resource Language
ISBN / Resource ID

In the past 50 years, Indian agriculture
has undergone a major transformation, from dependence on
food aid to becoming a consistent net food exporter. The
gradual reforms in the agricultural sector (following the
broader macro-reforms of the early 1990s) spurred some
unprecedented innovations and changes in the food sector
driven by private investment. These impressive achievements
must now be viewed in light of the policy and investment
imperatives that lie ahead. Agricultural growth has improved
in recent years (averaging about 3.5 percent since 2004-05),
but at a long-term trend rate of growth of 3 percent,
agriculture has underperformed relative to its potential.
The pockets of post-reform dynamism that have emerged
evidently have not reached a sufficiently large scale to
influence the sector's performance. For the vast
population that still derives a living directly or
indirectly from agriculture, achieving "faster, more
inclusive, and sustainable growth', the objectives at
the heart of the Twelfth five year plan, depends critically
on simultaneous efforts to improve agriculture's
performance and develop new sources of employment for the
disproportionately large share of the labor force still on
the farm. The scope of this study is broad in the sense that
it marshals considerable empirical evidence and analyses to
address those issues. Yet the scope is restricted in the
sense that the study does not address all of the issues. A
wealth of knowledge exists (and continuing analytical work
proceeds) on other major strategic issues, water and
irrigation management, food grain management, and public
expenditures on agriculture, for example, and the findings
of this study must be seen in that context. The lack of
sufficient quality data, and often the lack of access to
such data, also prevents some issues from being explored in
greater depth. Finally, some important issues require more
focused and dedicated analysis, such as food safety and
quality standards, agricultural trade, and food price
increases. This relationship between longer-term strategic
issues and contemporary concerns, such as water resource
management and food prices, are highlighted in this study
through the prism of productivity, but they too require
further analysis to fully address the underlying issues.

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