Aug 242012

Ravindra H. Dholakia (Economics Professor) and Samar K. Datta (Professor at the Centre for Management in Agriculture) recently praised the agricultural growth in Gujarat. Below is what they said in just one paragraph:-

The amazing growth in Gujarat agriculture during the last decade has attracted a lot of attention in the national and international agricultural policy related bodies. A near double digit annual real growth rate of agriculture over a span of more than a decade in Gujarat has become a phenomenon most have chosen to call a miracle. The agricultural growth story of Gujarat deserves better description than miraculous, magical, or incredible. The present volume contains 8 chapters and an appendix analyzing rigorously the phenomenon from various angles. It begins by investigating through state of the art statistical techniques the growth story of Gujarat agriculture over the five decades since the state’s inception. It is established in the subsequent chapters that the high trajectory of growth is accompanied by major structural changes in the state agriculture. The phenomenon of high agricultural growth in Gujarat is not confined only to Bt cotton but is widely experienced in several sub-sectors including animal husbandry, milk and egg production; fruit and vegetable production; and high value commercial crops, etc. All this in the last decade or so has been achieved through massive effort on rain water harvesting through check dams, farm ponds, recharging of wells, etc; providing stable electricity for agriculture on regular basis to all villages; market oriented reforms; opening of agricultural exports; provision of supportive infrastructure like ports, linking roads, storage, internet and telecom facilities at village level; and, significant effort on agricultural extension by covering a large number of farmers with soil health cards, advice on nutrients, pesticides, crop selection, etc. Thus, the spectacular agricultural growth in Gujarat in recent times has been a result of well thought out strategy, meticulously planned and coordinated scheme of action, sheer hard work and sincere implementation of programmes, political will to take bold decisions and commitment to economic policy reforms by the state government. As such, there is nothing magical or incredible about this growth story. It is reasonably replicable in other states and regions if firm determination exists. The motivation for the present volume is to document the interesting story of growth and structural changes in agriculture and allied activities in Gujarat, analyzing factors responsible for the growth performance of the state in recent times. Contributions in this volume are from academicians engaged in agricultural research and policy advice. Views from Government officials, practitioners and policy makers are avoided to enable more dispassionate and neutral analysis and documentation of the whole phenomenon.

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