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Abstract

Growth rates of State Domestic products from agriculture were high for many states during the 1990’s. However, growth decelerated in all the states except Madhya Pradesh during the period 2000’s. The deceleration is the highest in the states with greater proportion of rain-fed areas (Gujarat, Rajasthan, M.P., Karnataka and Maharashtra). Recent experience, however, shows that Gujarat recorded the highest growth of around 9 per cent during 2000/01 to 2007/08. During this period, six states viz., Gujarat, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Bihar recoded more than 4 per cent growth per annum. Public investment in infrastructure like irrigation, power, roads, watersheds, check dams,technology like BT cotton and diversification in agriculture played crucial roles in raising agricultural growth in Gujarat. Other states can learn from the experience of Gujarat. There is a need to shift rice cultivation to Eastern region from Punjab and Haryana for growth, equity and environment reasons. In order to encourage the States to invest more towards agriculture and allied sectors and to achieve 4 per cent growth in agriculture, the government launched the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) in 2007-08 with an outlay of Rs.25, 000 crores for the 11th Five Year Plan. The scheme requires the States to prepare District agriculture plans and provides adequate flexibility and autonomy to State governments. The States should make use of this scheme to improve the agriculture sector.

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