‘Agricultural imbalances should be removed’

November 17, 2012

VARANASI: The three-day 72nd annual conference of the Indian Society of Economics organised by the department of Agricultural Economics, Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, began at Swatantrata Bhawan on Saturday.

Addressing the inaugural function, member, Planning Commission, Government of India, Dr Narendra Jhadhav focused on the current status of XIIth Five Year Plan emphasizing especially on agriculture. He said the share of agriculture in GDP is only 14% but majority of the population relies on farming for their livelihood.

The Central government is targeting growth rate of 8.2% which can only be attained by reform processes initiated by the government. When the reform is implemented half heartedly, the growth rate can not be more than 6-6.5% and in the worst scenario, it could go below 5%.

He said, “the growth rate of agriculture was 2.2%, 2.4%, 3.3% in IX, X, and XI Five Year Plan respectively. The targeted growth rate for agriculture is 4% in the XII Five Year Plan.” He also spoke about the challenges before the Planning Commission in achieving these targets. The challenges are climatic challenges, state-wise performance, net fixed capital stock in agriculture, agricultural employment shrinking land base, and volatility in international market. He added that regional imbalances should be removed or minimized.

Speaking on the occasion, former vice-chancellor of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Prof C Ramasamy focused on the research works that will come out with some policy recommendations. He said more collaborative projects should be conducted for policy formulations. Investment in agricultural research accounts for 6% of GDP in which social science gets only 1%. The investment in agricultural research should be enhanced, he added.

Courtesy: The Times of India

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