ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Agricultural Transformation in Aspirational Districts of India

NITI Aayog is presently anchoring a programme to help develop 115 “aspirational” districts which can potentially catch up with the best district within the same state and subsequently become one of the best in the country. The composite index for identification of districts is problematic thereby excluding many relatively underdeveloped districts and including several that are more developed than the “aspirational” category in terms of per capita district domestic product or per capita agricultural income or yield of principal crops. However, a comparative analysis of the aspirational, non-aspirational and frontier districts in Bihar reveals that strategies for bridging the inter-district gaps should be sector-, location- and enterprise-specific. While irrigation, education, farm and non-farm diversification hold the key for acceleration of agricultural development in both aspirational and undeveloped districts, urbanisation, energy consumption and development of location-specific infrastructure would be essential for overall economic development.

Price Deficiency Payments and Minimum Support Prices

There is an ongoing debate on whether minimum support prices for various agricultural commodities can be replaced by a system of price deficiency payments to farmers. The main objective of the intended policy shift is the improvement in farmers’ incomes as well as a reduction in farm subsidies. An analysis of this system suggests that price deficiency payments might be a better option for both farmers and the government. However, it should be properly designed so that it can improve farm incomes, national food security, fiscal prudence and sustainability of agriculture. Unlike the Price Loss Coverage programme in the United States, covering almost all crops, and the MSP in India covering as many as 23 crops, it should be limited to a few specific commodities. 

Reforms for Agricultural Growth and Rural Development

Land reform policies aimed to promote agricultural growth and alleviate rural poverty have had limited success. As a recent workshop on land reform suggested, the potential of new reform approaches such as contract farming, legalising procedures for land leasing, sanctioning homestead-cum-garden plots for the poor and landless need to be suitably examined and exploited.

Rice-Wheat Crop System in Indo-Gangetic Region-Issues Concerning Sustainability

T Haque Some agricultural experts have expressed the apprehension that the emergence of rice-wheat rotation crop system as a post-green revolution phenomenon has resulted in waterlogging, soil salinity and over-exploitation of the natural resource base. Moreover, it is argued that short time duration between rice-wheat crop rotation has ted to sub-optimal land preparation and sub-optimal use of other inputs, causing reduction in yield of rice and wheat. While refuting any plateauing or stagnation in yield of rice and wheat, this paper nevertheless suggests that besides technological improvement, strengthening infrastructural facilities and initiating better land and water management through participatory approach can go some way in addressing the problems confronting the rice-wheat system in the Indo-Gangetic region.

Sustainability of Rice-Wheat Crop System in Indo-Gangetic Region

in Indo-Gangetic Region Ramesh Chand T Haque There has been some apprehension that the high growth rates in the productivity and output of rice and wheat may not be sustainable. This paper looks at the growth trends and discusses the problems and issues related to this crop system especially in the Gangetic and trans-Gangetic plains, where rice-wheat farming is widely practised.

Productivity and Source of Growth for Rice in India-A Few Comments

Productivity and Source of Growth for Rice in India A Few Comments C C Maji T Haque IN a recent article Kumar and Rosegrant (1995) claimed that 'research' explained 57.2 per cent of total factor productivity (TFP) growth in rice followed by 'agricultural terms of trade' (18.9 per cent) 'markets' (14.4 per cent), 'PN ratio' (9.9 per cent) and 'canal irrigation' (-0.3 per cent). The study has ostensibly created some myths through its misleading and erroneous conclusions which need to be exploded.

Land Reform and Rural Development-Highlights of a National Seminar

Development Highlights of a National Seminar T Haque G Parthasarathy LAND reform no longer appears 10 be considered a live issue in development planning and policy, notwithstanding the rhetoric displayed periodically in policy documents. This is during a period when peasant struggles for land and naxalism have been growing in their intensity In vast parts of the country. Such contradictory trends called for a reassessment of the role of land reform and its impact on agricultural and rural development. The Centre' for Agrarian Studies, NIRD held a national seminar during December 16-18, 1991 for this purpose.

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