UP emerges as biggest contributor to India’s agriculture sector: Assocham study

LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh has emerged as biggest contributor to India’s agriculture and allied sector as of 2013-14 with a share of about 13%, according to a recent Assocham study.

“Agriculture and allied sector contributes just over 22% to UP’s gross state domestic product (GSDP) as of 2013-14,” highlighted the study titled ‘States Emergence: A comparative analysis of growth & development,’ conducted by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).

“UP has acquired 15th position amid top 20 states in India with a mere 3.2 per cent compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) in agriculture and allied sector during the decadal period of 2004-05 and 2013-14,” noted the study prepared by the Assocham Economic Research Bureau (AERB).

“UP government needs to take corrective measures to revive agriculture production as it is chiefly an agrarian state and holds tremendous potential to attract significant investments in agri-infrastructure like wholesale and retail trading, storage, distribution and irrigation sectors,” said Mr D.S. Rawat, national secretary general of Assocham while releasing the findings of the chamber’s study.

Assocham has given following recommendations to UP government to perk up state’s agriculture scenario.
1: Disconnect between farmers and consumers or market is a major cause of farmers not able to benefit fully from modern scientific developments in farm industry. “This disconnect should be corrected through programs like E-Choupal (an experiment of ITC).
2: Old mandi system should be replaced with modern competitive supply chains that would synergize agriculture and farm economy.
3: Information related to monsoon, agriculture price of crop should be provided to farmers as per their convenience so that it could fetch maximum benefits for them. Information through mobile and Internet should be extended in order to provide better service.
4: Farming should be encouraged and promoted through providing best price of crop to the farmers. Trade fairs should be organized especially in rural areas with the participation of farmers through public-private partnership (PPP) model.
5: New commercial crops should be sought for and promoted to break the monotonous and risky dependence on single crop in the hinterland.

6: Contract farming concept should be implemented on a bigger scale and large farms should be promoted either through consolidation or outright purchases.
7: Better seeds, top-quality farm equipment, fertilizers and others should be provided to farmers. Besides, better water conservation and proper irrigation management should be implemented in rural areas by creating awareness of its respective benefits amid farmers.
 8: Government should provide agriculture insurance schemes to farmers who are involved in large scale farming and a PPP model could be developed for providing comprehensive insurance for agri-crops in the Rabi and Kharif season especially for sugar, pulses, wheat, rice and other prominent crops.

Source: The Times of India. Date: May 22, 2015