Gujarat Growth of Agriculture
Is agriculture in Gujarat on a different growth trajectory? “Agriculture is the locomotive of our economy and a prosperous rural economy based on agriculture will ultimately make the nation prosperous” Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Gujarat has consistently attracted a substantial slice of India’s private investment, primarily in its industrial sector. This has resulted in the state accounting for about 16 percent of industrial production of India. Almost 50 percent of the country’s refined petroleum products and 45 percent of the drugs and pharmaceuticals are also accounted by the state.
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The state’s exports stood at 14 percent of India’s total exports, exhibiting a strong global orientation of its products. Thus, the state is often pitched as the growth engine of the country. But, how has agriculture fared as a component of this great growth story? Well, till the recent past, it had not received the attention of researchers, policy makers and writers. However, in the recent past, a spate of articles on the subject area stating the buoyancy of the agriculture sector since the year 2000, has hustled away the attention to this less researched subject.
These reports suggest that agriculture sector in the state has recorded towering growth rates, virtually unchallenged by the rest of the country. Between the period 2000-01 and 2007-08, agriculture grew by a phenomenal 9. 6% per year in Gujarat, despite predominantly being arid / semi-arid. The reasons for this phenomenal agriculture growth recorded by IFPRI & IWMI1 in its report are many viz; technology supported agriculture, state initiated water conservation measures, farm extension measures etc.
There are many other arguments put forward by other writers and thinkers on the subject viz; Gujarat agriculture and its cropping is less traditional and more commercial in nature, and Gujarat farmers are more commercially vigilant and have a better appreciation of the options and the prospects in the longer term. Yet others observe that the growth in agriculture is powered by dairy sector and its cooperatives for which the state is very profoundly known.
There are also views opined that the state was the first to amend the laws governing the marketing of agricultural produce and it also opened up contract farming, thus bringing into direct play the private buyers. There are many who suggest that the state has been fortunate and is supported by factors such as good monsoon for most of the decade, increasing minimum support prices from the Centre and the spread of Bt cotton, a lucrative cash crop. But some of these benefits listed were available to other parts of the country as well and no other state could record these rates of growth consistently2.
A few critics also argue that the data sourced is not reliable and yet some experts have even questioned the approach to the analysis by IFPRI3. Gulati et al (2009): Agriculture performance in Gujarat since 2000- can it be a divadandi (lighthouse) for other statesan IFPRI, Washington & IWMI, Colombo, publication 2 Ref: http://www. moneycontrol. com/news/economy/how-did-gujarat-becomefarming-paradise_447382-2. html 3 As the reference points ie; start and end years of the analysis have been abnormally bad or very good respectively making the sample biased for a fair analysis. 1 Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn. com/abstract=2080876 Before getting into facts and figures, it’s important to appreciate the context of this setting; the state’s agriculture is predominantly rainfed with a cropping intensity of 115 %. 60 % of its 226 development blocks are classified as droughtprone and 9 blocks are affected by desertification. Given these facts how has the state consistently clocked such massive growth rates? This paper attempts to decipher some of these issues. The paper is divided into two parts.
The first part looks at the review of the agriculture sector, its sub-sectoral growth, looking at the facts and figures while the later part attempts to identify key factors for growth in agriculture sector, its key drivers and also the processes that enabled that growth if any. Some facts about Gujarat agriculture The state has a total geographical area of 198 lakh ha, of which 98 lakh ha is utilized for agricultural purposes. There has not been much changes in the land area under cultivation in the recent past, though some marginal changes have been seen in the gross cultivated area.
About two third of the area of the state is under semi arid or arid region. This tract receives low and uneven rainfall and is also prone to climatic hazards. The TCA (Total cropped area) in the state in 2000-01 was 98 lakh ha and the latest available statistics suggest that the TCA is 103 lakh Ha showing a marginal increase in the cultivated area. The present irrigated area is about 38 %. The state has a unique mix of crops; food grains form a mere 30 percent of the cultivated area as against the 62 % at the national level.
Oilseeds and cotton, two major crops occupy 26 % and 16 % of the TCA as of 2002-03. Pulses occupied about 10 % of the cropped area, while spices, fruits and vegetables accounted for 2 % of the cropped area of the state. The average operational holdings in Gujarat is about 2. 34 ha, which was higher than the national level averages. The number of operational holdings has actually increased from 35. 2 lakh (1990-91) to 41. 5 lakh holdings. The state also has certain unique advantages in agriculture, as there are 8 agro-climatic zones that provide suitable environment for growing a wide variety of crops.
High value non-food grain crops, offering opportunities for value addition, dominate agriculture in Gujarat. Of the total workforce in the state agriculture labour constituted 69 % in 1981 ,which significantly came down to 52 %. State GSDP and agriculture The total GSDP for the state has been clocking sound growth rates, the secondary and tertiary sector, has recorded higher growth rates, when compared with agriculture. The performance of the agriculture is also higher when compared to other states but formed 14. 5 % of the total GSDP in 1999-00.
However, there has been fluctuations in agriculture production over the years, the latest available figures for 2008-09 shows a decline in the agri share of 2 Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn. com/abstract=2080876 GSDP to 12. 5 % . The GSDP in quantum terms is presented in the following diagram: Contribution of Agri. to State GSDP (Rs. Lakh) 300000 250000 200000 150000 173654 100000 109861 140598 153079 189436 213092 228459 50000 25035 23222 28577 27815 32408 28506 15975 0 1999-2000 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09
Agriculture (including AH) Total GSDP The relative growth rates for primary, secondary and tertiary sector for the last 10 years recorded in the state of Gujarat is presented in the Annexure1. The average annual growth rate of agri GSDP for the state and all India is presented below in the following table. Agri Sector / year 1980-81- 1991-92 Rate of growth Average annual CV 1992-93– 1999-00 Average annual CV 2000-01- 2006-07 Average annual CV Source: Gulati et al (2009) ibid Gujarat 6. 6 7. 4 6. 9 4. 3 9. 6 2. 2 All India 3. 8 1. 5 3. 8 1. 5 2. 7 2. 1
The Co-efficient of variation (CV) recorded for agri GSDP growth rates in the state in the initial decades (1980-90) is rather high (pl see above Table), while it has shown a substantial fall in the 2000-01 to 2006-07 period. Thus, there is a clear indication of the volatility in agricultural production has been controlled significantly. In an independent study on Gujarat agriculture undertaken by IIM-A4 over a period of five decades has indicated that agriculture in Gujarat has been positive and consistent for the past two decades. However, a significant acceleration has been noticed during the last decade.
The statistically analyzed study states that agriculture that turned around first (in 2001-02) and then rest of the economy thereafter (in 2002-03). Study also quotes that the terms of trade for 4 Dholakia, R & Datta, S (2010); High growth trajectory and structural changes in Gujarat agriculture, IIM publication 3 agriculture in relation to non-agriculture sector played a major role in incentivising growth in agriculture. Irrigation Gujarat is a water deficit state with 70 percent of its geographical area classified as semi-arid and arid land types.
The ultimate irrigation potential of the State from Ground Water and surface water is assessed at 64. 88 lakhs ha, out of which the ultimate irrigation potential through surface water as per the latest estimate is assessed at 39. 40 lakh hectares, which includes 17. 92 lakh ha to be irrigated through Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP). Thus, of total gross irrigated area, about 17 percent is irrigated by canals and 82 percent by privately owned tube and other wells; thus agriculture ( irrigated) in Gujarat depends predominantly on ground water. Source of irrigation, 00′ Ha -Gujarat (2004) 27,364(80. %) 30,000 25,000 20,000 15,000 10,000 5,000 0 Canals Wells / Tubewells Tanks Other sources 5,997(17. 7) 262 (0. 7%) 252 (0. 7%) At present Gujarat has about 17 major irrigation projects and 169 medium irrigation schemes across various talukas; plan outlay for 2008/09 for major and medium irrigation projects was Rs. 1146 crores. The largest of all these is the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP). According to the corporation the main canal is about 458 km long up to the Gujarat-Rajasthan border and is almost complete with water running into Rajasthan. The designed discharge capacity is 40000 cusecs at the head reach.
The total Command Area of the SSP is 18 lakh ha, covering around 3112 villages in Gujarat, of which only 3 lakh ha is said to be complete. Another issue, which has been unique to Gujarat, has been the issue of salinity ingress (1. 2 lakh ha) affecting the coastal districts and Kutch, due to seepage of seawater. There are a few initiatives taken with the funding support of NABARD to address the issue and stop further salinity ingress. Thus, the scarcity of water was so profound, which had triggered people’s movements for water conservation. There are documented evidences of such 4 eople–led initiatives in the Saurashtra region. However, this was translated into a mass movement with the government announcing the Sardar Patel Participatory Water Conservation Project in 2000 for the construction of water harvesting and ground water recharge structures like check dams, boribunds, village and farm ponds (khet talavadis) under a 60:40 scheme in which government contributed 60% of the cost while the farming communities contributed 40%. However, the real push is said to have triggered after the drought of 2002, when this process gained momentum.
It has been a roaring success and stories abound of conversion of barren lands into fertile farms, rising yields and falling costs of cultivation across the state. The tangible result of this initiative is visible from the condition of the ground water development blocks in the state. Irrigation blocks 2002 Irrigation Blocks 2007 Over Exploited 14% Over Exploit ed 1 2% Crit ical 2% Critical 6% Safe 43% Semi crit ical 1 2% Saline 6% Saf e 68% Semi critical 31% Saline 6% These developments have increased water supply for agriculture either directly by supplying water for irrigation or indirectly by recharging ground water levels.
Before the start of this movement only about 43 percent of the blocks were considered as safe and 37 percent of the blocks were critical or semi-critical. However, after a span of 5 years, in 2007, the groundwater assessment indicated that percent share of safe blocks rose to 68 percent and critical and semi-critical blocks were a mere 18 percent. It’s also informally understood that ground water level has increased by 3-5 meters in Saurashtra and Kutch regions5. Independent assessments by other International agencies like IWMI6 have also shown very positive impact of this initiative.
But apart from increasing water supply, there have been other efforts by the state government to regulate water use for agriculture and also conserve the harvested water and minimize wastage and thus increase efficiency. Two such initiatives of the state government were introduction of micro irrigation systems like drip irrigation and ensure adequate propaganda for the same through an exclusive government promoted company GGRC (Gujarat Green Revolution Company). The other initiative has been 5 6 Discussions with Director of Agriculture, GOG Shah, T et al (2008): Secret of Gujarat’s agrarian miracle after 2000.
Economic and political weekly Vol: 44 Issue: 52 pp: 45-55 5 Joytigram project for provision of separate electricity feeder lines for agriculture purpose, thus regulating and monitoring its use. The government has also initiated about 1918 watershed-based programmes (since inception, covering schemes like DDP, DPAP and IWDP for drought proofing, environment protection and employment generation) covering about 19. 65 lakh ha; NABARD has also supported some of these endeavors. Thus, the watershed-based approaches cover about 20 % of the cultivated area of the state.
More details of water conservation measures have been provided in the later part of this write up. Based on data released by Directorate of Economics and Statistics, gross irrigated area increased from around 37 (1999-00) to 44 lakh ha (2006-07) – an increase of 16. 9 percent. Further, the total irrigated area under all crops has grown at 4. 4 percent per annum from 2000-01 to 2006-07, and at 6. 3 percent per annum from 2002-03 to 2006-07. Crop patterns Since, 1960-62 the area under food crops in Gujarat was only 47 percent of its GCA, which gradually came down to 38 percent in 2008.
Though the net sown area has not shown much changes, but the availability of irrigation water did increase Rabi coverage in Saurashtra, kutch and north Gujarat. The reports suggest about 6-8 lakh ha of additional area being brought under Rabi in the recent past. This is also evident from increase in cropping intensity by about 4-5 percent in the last decade. Gujarat State : Gross Cropped & Gross Irrigated Area (‘000 Hect. ) 16000 14000 12000 10000 10995. 5 10634. 8 8000 10745. 9 10497 10791 10630. 7 11421 11256. 9 6000 4000 4111. 2 4279. 5 2000 2334. 4 2910. 5 3499. 4 3342. 1 3572. 8 3637 1980-81 1990-91 1995-96 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-2004 2004-2005 Gross Irrigated Area Gross Cropped Area A comparison of GCA to Gross Irrigated Area (GIA), indicates a shifting trend; in 1980-81 only 22 percent of the GCA was irrigated and it increased by 5 % to 27 percent in 1990-91, however, subsequently increased to 38 percent in 2004-05. The crop patterns indicate that cotton; oilseeds like groundnut, followed by cereals formed the major crops in the state. However, there has been clear 6 switch in the cropping patterns, while area under rice has remained stagnant, but the area under another cereal crop wheat increased from 3. 2 percent in 196061 to 9. 67 percent in 2007-08, partly because of the availability of water. Amongst cereals sharpest decline in area has been reported for jowar from 13. 17 percent in 1960-91 to 1. 22 percent in 2007-08. Shift from jowar/bajra to Wheat 000 Ha 1400 1200 1274 1154 1162 1158 1129 1161 1072 1016 946 926 922 1091 1000 800 859 734 755 703 600 518 400 442 358 304 479 200 241 222 212 166 161 2004-2005 129 2005-2006 147 2006-2007 174 128 2007-2008 2008-2009 0 1999-2000 2000-2001 2001-2002 2002-2003 2003-2004 Jowar Bajra Wheat
The percentage area under oilseeds has slightly improved from 24 percent of GCA to 26. 17 percent in 2007-08. Groundnut which is considered as one of the most sensitive crops to moisture stress has shown a marginal decline from 22 percent of GCA to 17 percent . However, other oilseeds crops like castor , sesamum and rapeseed have made substantial gains during this period. Cotton, one of the predominant crops, which had 17. 56 percent coverage of the GCA in the state in 1960-61, further increased its coverage to 20. 54 percent of the GCA. Thus, there are clear trends in crop pattern changes in the state.
Production and productivity of crops As indicated earlier, Gujarat agriculture is known for its volatile fluctuations in production and productivity. However, the Coefficient of variation has been drastically reduced in the recent years. The area, production and productivity (APY) of two categories of crops viz, food grains, oilseeds and cotton for the last 10 years are presented below in graphical format. The trends does indicate that : o Sharp decline in production and productivity in all crops during 2002-03 caused by the drought during the period. This is more profound in oilseeds and cotton. The decline was sharpest in case of oilseeds. Amongst the food grains, two principal crops viz; wheat and rice exhibited sharp increase in productivity. Food grains have not exhibited any 7 increase in area, coverage; but production increases in wheat has been largely due to increased rabi coverage. Gujarat State : A P Y patterns for Food Grains 9000 8206 8000 7000 6737 6000 5254 5588 5000 4438 3718 3999 3000 3185 3861 3769 4395 6345 5882 6345 4000 4481 4209 3984 4188 3845 3983 2000 1601 1000 1361 1110 857 0 1999-2000 2000-2001 2001-2002 2002-2003 2003-2004 2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009 1166 1650 1403 1404 1831 1593 Area (‘000 Hec. )
Production (‘000 tons) Productivity ( Kg/hec) Gujarat State : A P Y patterns for Oilseeds 7000 6000 5850 5000 4657 4699 4000 3932 3747 2930 3000 2864 2000 1826 2861 1738 2861 2900 1878 1905 1572 1000 638 0 1999-2000 2000-2001 2001-2002 2002-2003 Area (‘000 Hec. ) 2003-2004 2004-2005 2005-2006 Productivity ( Kg/hec) 607 1309 979 648 3071 2994 2962 3020 2856 2852 2874 1648 1368 1057 2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009 Production (‘000 tons) Gujarat State : A P Y patterns of Cotton 9000 8276 8000 6872 7876 7014 7000 5903 6000 5000 4280 4000 3000 2146 2000 1611 1000 226 0 1999-2000 2000-2001 2001-2002 2002-2003 Area (‘000 Hec. 2003-2004 2004-2005 2005-2006 Productivity ( Kg/hec) 2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009 130 165 191 1282. 6 1675 1684. 6 1737. 2 1883. 9 1673. 4 1695 429 1920 523 2011 581 564 581 507 2372 2422 2354 Production (‘000 bales) 8 ? ? However, the coverage of the low value kharif crops like bajra has seen a switchover to other higher value kharif crops viz; cotton/ hybrid maize. No significant changes in area has been noticed in respect of oilseeds, while its productivity has increased, mainly because of the crop changes / switches to high productivity crops like castor.
Further the oilseeds production patterns have shown significantly wide fluctuations because of its sensitivity to water availability. o The most significant increase in the production patterns has been noticed in respect of cotton since the year 2002-03. The GOI had allowed production of genetically modified Bt cotton for three years from April 2002. The productivity of cotton per ha also increased from 191 kg / ha in 2002-03 to 581 kg/ha in 2007-08, mainly because of the introduction of Bt cotton. Gujarat is also said to have highest number of cotton growers (14 lakh ). In 2000-01 the state produced about 16. percent of India’s total cotton production, by 2007-08 it is said to have increased to around 35. 5 per cent of the total cotton output. According to estimates, the area under Bt cotton in India is about 76 lakh ha , which is about 80 percent of the total area under cotton in the country. As of 2008, the area under Bt cotton is the highest in Maharastra followed by Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh. Gujarat however, has the advantage of having maximum no. of seed companies which also produce Bt, hybrid seeds locally. Other important crops & crop diversification Gujarat farmers are known for their preference for high value commercial crops.
This is evident from the recent efforts at crop diversification. One of the key reasons for this crop change has been availability of water. Fruits, which formed around 1 lakh ha in 1991-92, almost tripled and formed about 3. 39 lakh ha in 2008-09. 160 150 140 144. 74 130 120 110 100 90 80 70 60 Area (lakh Ha), Production (Lakh Tonne) of Horticulture crops 138. 03 (includes Fruits, vegetables, spices, flowers) Area Production 121. 04 115. 46 93. 48 85. 44 67. 16 60. 98 50 40 30 20 10 0 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 6. 91 7. 4 9. 47 9. 69 11. 03 11. 24 12. 46 13. 12 9 The fruit production increased from 18 lakh mt to 60 lakh mt in the same period, the major crops mango, banana and sapota. Similarly vegetables, which formed about 98,000 ha in 1991-92 it, quadrupled to 3. 95 lakh ha in 2008-09. Similar trend has been noticed for spices also. Availability of water for irrigation, better extension services and incentivisation through effective subsidies have all played a clear role for fuelling growth and crop diversification like Bt Cotton initially, followed by horticulture crops.
The State government has made it mandatory to use tissue cultured plantlets, drip irrigation with fertigation, and mulching as mandatory ingredients for availing subsidy under its state Horticulture Mission programmes. The focus of the horticulture expansion has been chiefly in the southern districts of the state, where many cooperatives in the region have tie up with producers for collection, marketing of the produce. Though one has seen the entry of corporates for procurement and contract farming etc, but such farming and retail marketing is yet to make a significant dent.
The shift to Bt cotton is not limited to the Saurashtra region and is also visible in other parts of the state. However, the changes in oil seed crops from groundnut to other crops like castor is mainly noticed in northern Gujarat. Seeds Seed is the basic input in agriculture and has been critical in harnessing the full potential. Non-replacement of seeds due to non-availability or inaccessibility results in farmers sowing homegrown seeds. Thus it is important to achieve the threshold level of Seed Replacement Rate (SRR). Govt. f Gujarat has set a target SRR of 25%, 35% and 100% in respect of self-pollinated (except ground nut), cross-pollinated and hybrid crops respectively. This aspect has been eloquently covered during the Krishi Mahotsavs being organized by the state Government. Also minikits containing small quantities of seeds, free of cost, are being distributed as a part of National Food Security Mission (NFSM) during the Krishi mahotsavs. It may be added that the SRR reported in the state is much favorable than the national level figures.
However, the seed requirements of the farmers are met out through both the Public sector (Gujarat State Seed Corporation- GSSCL) and the private sector seed companies. The GSSCL has steadily increased its coverage and enlisted the support of 8000 seed growers and seed production is undertaken in 14,500 ha of land. The seeds are marketed under the brand name “Gurbani”. The GSSCL is estimated to meet 35 percent of the seed requirement for wheat , paddy , groundnut and pulse. However, the Private seed companies have brought in new technology for several crops, ranging from bajra to castor, but above all in Bt cotton.
More than 20 Bt cotton varieties are now produced by 30 odd seed companies. This is despite the fact that the first cotton hybrid in the world – H4 was introduced in 1970 by the government Cotton Research Station situated at Surat. This hybrid cotton by virtue of its high yield potential and adaptability became popular among the farmers initially in Gujarat. There are large number of Hybrids in cotton and Bt Hybrids, which is being marketed by the seed companies in the state. 10 Fertilizer State government through the issue of Soil health cards in the Krishi Mahotsavs has addressed the daunting task of ensuring balanced use of fertilizers.
The Government of Gujarat has issued more than 17 lakh cards in the last 4 years, and has been able to marginally address the issue of balanced use of fertilizers. The records suggest that the trend in fertilizer consumption (NPK ratio) which was 7. 84: 3. 08: 1. 00 has now marginally changed to 5. 87:2. 55:1. 00 in 2008-09. With the presence of number of fertilizer companies, the per ha consumption of fertilizers in the state has been consistently higher than the national average.
Extension services The State Agricultural Department along with four Agricultural Universities (Banaskantha, Anand, Navsari and Dantewada) and Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) are actively involved in extension services which interalia includes organizing the unique krishi mahotsavs, which is described in the later part of this report. Credit Credit and its timely availability to the farming community is an essential ingredient for growth. Credit disbursements for agricultural purposes have shown sharp growth rates in tune with the policy prescriptions both at the national and the state level.
The CAGR for agricultural credit for the national and state level figures have been very similar. The agriculture credit disbursed in Gujarat state formed about 5. 3 percent of the all India figures for the year 2000-01 and also in 2009-10; but in the interim the percent share marginally slipped to sub 5 percent; ranging between 4. 4 to 4. 8 percent during the 2005-2009 period. Agri Credit (Rs Cr) 400000 350000 300000 250000 200000 150000 125309 229400 180485 All India Gujarat 254658 301908 366,900 100000 50000 0 52827 2824 62045 3446 69560 3931 86891 4517 6091 7936 10027 12129 13567 19533 001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Thus, the relationship of agri credit on agri GDP growth in the instant case cannot be clearly established; as similar credit expansion in other states have not translated to high GDP growth rates elsewhere. But, some of the recent 11 interventions of the GoI viz; revamping the cooperative credit institutions in the state, ADWDR-2008, interest subventions could have positively impacted off take of agri credit and facilitated cheaper sources funds for the agrarian community, especially for marginal groups like small / marginal farmers.
But, conversely it provokes one to question whether credit-led solutions are needed for all agrarian issues, especially after the efforts in the past to double credit flow. There are also other moot points to consider especially when monocropped areas viz; is increased indebtedness a solution especially in a drought year, when water the key input for farming is rather scarce? Should not these issues be addressed first, rather than facilitating a credit guzzle, which are often said to palliative solutions!!
Crop insurance Crop insurance services are offered to the farmers for better production of crops, introduction of modern technologies and above all to mitigate the likely risk that the farmers could face. The coverage of farmers under the crop insurance and area covered under insurance have both shown a partial decline over the years, while the sum assured have shown a variation with an upward trend in the last year. 120. 0 108. 4 100. 0 88. 4 80. 0 60. 0 40. 0 20. 0 0. 0 1 2 3 Farmers (lak) 4 5 Area(L Ha). 6 7 Premium cr 8 9 24. 8 12. 8 23. 2 12. 0 22. 2 10. 4 22. 2 10. 7 25. 5 8. 9 19. 0 8. 8 17. 7 8. 4 18. 5 8. 3 20. 9. 5 74. 2 99. 4 85. 3 82. 9 82. 1 84. 0 105. 8 Crop Insurance Coverage (2001-09) The decline in crop insurance coverage could be partially because of the farmer’s disinclination to cover cotton crop, carrying higher premiums or increased water availability, which could have dissuaded farmers from opting for risk mitigation tools. However, no specific conclusions can be drawn on the relationship of crop insurance coverage and agri GDP growth rates in the state. 12 Livestock and dairy Milk is the largest product forming about 89 percent of the total value of livestock and total output of agriculture and allied activities.
The dairy industry received a boost after the “operation flood” programme launched by the NDDB few decades back. Milk production in the state grew at an annual compounded growth rate of over 5 percent compared to the national average of 3. 9 percent during the current decade. However, the share of livestock and animal husbandry in the agri GSDP of the state has been fluctuating between 22- 28 range in the last decade with a marginal dip in the last few years. In value terms it has increased from Rs 5725 cr ( 1999-00) to Rs 14733 crore in 2007-087.
S ha r e o f a gr i a nd A H i n A gr i ‘ s c ont r i but i on t o GS D P 10 0 % 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 25% 10 % 0% 19 9 9 – 2 0 0 0 2000- 2001 2 0 0 1- 2 0 0 2 2002- 2003 2003- 2004 2004- 2005 2005- 2006 2006- 2007 2007- 2008 27% 27% 28% 22% 26% 22% 23% 23% %ge A H t o t ot a l GS D P %ge A gr i t o t ot a l GS D P There are a number of recent initiatives that have been taken by the government to give a boost to the sector, besides increasing the budgetary allocation for animal husbandry and dairy development from Rs 20. 5 crore in 2004-05 to 95. 6 crore in 2008-09 , (which is a 4. times jump in the allocation), there has been a focus in provision of extension services. Though extension services have normally not received much attention for the sector, the krishi Mahotsav of the state give due importance to this aspect during the one month mass contact programme. Kits and medicines are also distributed during these krishi mahotsavs. There are two other noticeable initiatives which the state government has recently taken viz; mobile veterinary vans; it has converted 120 of its 1250 veterinary hospitals to mobile vet vans, which visit villages during specialized time schedules.
The veterinary hospitals established in the outskirts of the city area many years back have become unsuitable and inconvenient for farmers to visit and hence the new initiative. The response from the farmers is understood to be very satisfying. 7 Government of Gujarat, Directorate of animal husbandry, 26 th survey report. 13 Secondly inorder to address the livestock farmers need of post monsoon seasons, when the disease incidence is high, the department has initiated the process of conducting health camps during the sept – oct periods.
About 3000 such health camps have been planned during the year. Some of the of the recent initiatives like cattle breeding have seen a spurt in Cross Bred cows and buffalo population in the state; these actions are expected to yield substantial gains in the ensuing years. Further, the diary cooperatives, which were active in the south, mid and northern Guajrat are now taking, shape in Saurashtra and Kutch regions. These initiatives are expected to substantially contribute to agri GDP growth in the state in future.
Fisheries With a vast coastline spanning over 1,600 kms, fisheries forms an important sub component of the agriculture sector of the state. There are around 117 fish landing sites in the state and part of the production is also exported. The total production (marine fish), which was 5. 84 lakh tones, in 2004-05 has increased to 6. 83 lakh tones in 2008-09 ie; recording a 17 % growth rate in 4 years. Thus, the annual growth rates recorded are lower than the sector as a whole. Much of the existing potential in the state for marine and inland fisheries is yet to be tapped.
Other support services which could have enabled agriculture growth Insufficient rainfall and vast regional variations in precipitation is almost a permanent feature of Gujarat, though a few exceptions have been noticed in recent past. This has often led to lack of quality drinking water in around 8,000 out of total 30,000 habitations; the issue is further compounded by the concern due to fluoride, salinity, nitrates etc. This is particularly critical because of 75 percent of drinking water and other domestic need was earlier dependent on ground water.
The recent state government initiative of implementing Sardar Sarovar Canal based drinking water supply project based on Narmada has served as a boon for the people of Gujarat . As per the latest available information 8215 villages and 135 towns of North Gujarat, Saurashtra and Kutch districts are being covered under the project. Under this project, water is being transported through bulk water transmission lines and distribution network to the doorsteps of villages and towns. Part of this drinking water supply project is being implemented through WASMO, which is being funded by NABARD under RIDF.
The impact of the programme has been good and quality water availability has led to economic and social empowerment of marginalized people/ segment of society, especially women. Rural connectivity is another critical area, which has also directly influenced steep growth rates in the agriculture. In Gujarat, the rural road connectivity is 14 stated to be very good with about 98. 5 percent of the 18,000 odd villages having good road connectivity. Gujarat has been one of the first states to amend its APMC Act and also articulate the contract farming guidelines.
The amendment was expected to create conditions conducive for the spread of contract farming. The government also encouraged large corporates to establish retail chains and source their requirements directly from farmers, but there has been no deluge of any kind, the state government also announced to provide subsidy for setting up low cost green houses etc The farmers in the state have also effectively used some of the GoI schemes available, for building and strengthening the agri infrastructure in the state.
One stand out example has been rural godowns. Since the inception of the scheme a few years back, about 5400 godowns have been constructed in the state with a capacity of 16. 84 lakh tones. The scheme is administered through NABARD /NCDC and most of these structures are of smaller capacities and in rural hinterlands. Based on this analysis and assessment of facts and figures, four key drivers, which facilitated the massive push for agriculture growth in the state, have been shortlisted in the following pages.
An attempt has also been made to catalog & assess the actions & processes that served the cause. These have been crystallized based on the documents available to the author (though not explicitly mentioned) and also based on the interfaces that the author had with the stakeholders of the programme in the state. 15 Key driver 1 Water availability Key driver 2 Power availability Key driver 3 Extension/ access to info Key driver 4 Crop diversification Driver 1 : Water harvesting followed by water conservation- starting where it needs to start !
Water supply is the key to crop production and agriculture. The positive impact of irrigation on agricultural intensification and increased crop yield has been very well documented by various studies. Several irrigation impact related case studies in India have illustrated that irrigation management has a profound role to play in the poverty alleviation process as well8. The marginal returns of irrigation versus other factor inputs such as, farm technology and other rural infrastructure development are still a controversial issue in rural development literature.
At first glance, the agricultural marvel in Gujarat seems to 960 804 have been supported by 647 factors such as good monsoon for most of the present decade, especially 2001- 2002- 2003- 2004- 2005- 2006- 2007- 2008after the drought in 2001-02. 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 YEAR The drought situation in early part of the decade had ushered in community led initiatives to save water, especially in Kutch, Saurashtra and the northern Gujarat areas of the state.
Although many focus on the Sardar Sarovar Project, its canal network etc as the key to domestic and irrigation success in the state , its is awfully incomplete, and currently irrigates only 3 lakh ha. With almost 81 percent of the irrigation source coming in from ground water sources, it became a critical area of management. However, with groundwater extraction more than the estimated recharge, it was evident with substantial lowering of water tables levels in Saurashtra, Kutch and Northern Gujarat areas.
In the mid90s, large parts of Saurashtra used to get water through train tankers from waterabundant areas of central and south Gujarat. The coastal Saurashtra & kutch had also witnessed another issue with consequential effect of excessive ground water extraction, which had resulted in lateral; sub-surface intrusion of sea water which has affected coastal areas accounting to salinity. 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0 1288 1291 2008-09 960 RAINFALL IN MM 1034 1178 947 Thus, the scarcity of water was so profound and felt, that had triggered people’s movement for water conservation.
One such was the check dam revolution in 1999 by Mansukh Suvagiya, a Rajkot-based social worker in Jhamka village of Junagadh where the villagers collected money and constructed 52 check dams in a span of two months on small rivulets in and around the village. Today, Jhamka is a symbol of water and agro self-sufficiency. In the same year, the Saurashtra 8 Chambers, Robert, 1998. Managing Canal Irrigation: Practical Analysis from South Asia. Oxford & IBH Publishing Company, New Delhi, India. 16 Jaldhara Trust, built 213 check dams on rivulets in and around Khopala near Bhavnagar to turn the village’s fortune.
Thus, the drought of 2001-02, served as a turning point for large scale Government participation in innovative management of its groundwater resources which was taken on a massive measure. The success of the earlier people & NGO led initiatives served as a testimony to such efforts. The state adopted a combination of rainwater harvesting – that traps water that would otherwise drain away followed by water conservation by use of micro irrigation – that supplies each drop of water more efficiently and directly to the plant.
Thus, the water harvesting campaign “Jal Sanchay Abhiyan” was intended to inspire the farmers of the State to maximise agricultural production at minimum cost. The movement has been a roaring success and stories abound of conversion of barren lands into fertile farms, rising yields and falling costs of cultivation across the state. “To get something from mother earth you have to give something back. If you don’t, it will stop giving you. It can’t be a one-way cycle,”….. Chief Minster, Modi told the farmers.
Though the state Land Development Corporation implements most of the soil and water conservation activities, in the instant case the work was also entrusted to rural development, agriculture and irrigation departments also. The main objective was to harvest rain water through soil and moisture conservation activities of cultivable as well as uncultivable land. The structures/ works include check dams, nala plugs, boribunds, loose boulder structure and gully control measures were made to enable in situ harvest of water.
Thus, the programme was initiated as a people participative programme and was launched after detailed discussion with farmers / beneficiaries in the year 2000. Most of these blocks where the campaign got well entrenched were in Saurashtra and Kutch where the farmers and the government together have started a unique check dam revolution. State Government has launched another specialised (Sujalam Sufalam Yojana) in the ten worst affected districts of Gujarat to solve water problem caused due to excessive ground water extraction in the region. Most of the area of the 10 districts is now anked over exploited and included in the dark category. New tube wells are already banned in these areas since December 2003. (NABARD has also supported the scheme in the year 2004-05 which was effectively implemented in the allocated time period. ) The government had also made use of the imaging facilities to identify the areas where these water conservation devices were to be constructed. In the state as a whole, by December 2008, nearly 5,00,000 structures were created – 1,13,738 check dams, 55,917 bori bandhs, 2,40,199 farm ponds, besides 62,532 large and small check dams constructed– all in a campaign mode.
The changes are less evident in north Gujarat where the topography for building check dams is not conducive. The government’s next focus was on water conservation through micro-irrigation systems. In 2003, the Gujarat Government launched the Gujarat Green Revolution Company to propagate sprinkler and drip irrigation technology among farmers by giving them hefty incentives. First, it made the subsidy for micro irrigation available to all farmers, not just the poor ones. The initial investment to 17 install such micro irrigation was high and prohibitive and therefore poor farmers were hesitant to make that investment.
But for the large farmers the subsidy made it a compelling proposition and they actively participated. This in fact is said to have triggered the poor farmers to join in. Another unique aspect is the transparent and clear norms articulated by GGRC for subsidy scheme. It not only ensured clear product standards for the companies selling micro-irrigation system but also ensured that the companies didn’t sell pipes and move on. There was a clear condition that the companies should also provide extension services to the farmers for minimum period of time.
To ensure compliance, it introduced a series of norms – like how many agronomists must be employed for a given expanse of land, how many field visits the experts must make and even the price at which the systems could be sold. Besides, this allowing all registered companies (with GGRC) to provide microirrigation system to farmers, it had also widened the choice for the farming community. What has been impact of these initiatives? It is stated that the availability of the water increased substantially in the water scare areas.
The farmers it was understood could now ensure to life saving irrigation to failing crops. An independent assessment by (Shah, et al, 2009) is summarized below: 18 Analysis by the author, clearly explains the unprecedented dynamism shown by Saurastra and Kutch , and North Gujarat in agricultural performance. The availability of water has essentially triggered increased crop cultivation, visible by increased Gross Cropped Areas (GCA) in these areas. This has also resulted in switch to better crop choices in these areas primarily for Bt cotton (described in greater detail in other part of this report).
Thus, a succession of good monsoons, investment in groundwater recharge and other support measures like – improved quality of power, resulted a remarkable change in agricultural production in the previously water scarce areas. A similar observation has also been made by IIMA in its study. Thus, “Gujarat has set the finest example of groundwater management through indigenous and modern methods and through people’s participation,” 19 Key driver 1 Water availability Key driver 2 Power availability Key driver 3 Extension/ access to info Key driver 4 Crop diversification
Driver 2 : Rural electrification with an innovative approach (Joytigram Yojana) Power supply is often said to be a tinderbox issue; 100 % electrification does not translate to light in every house and if there is electrical connection in the house it does not translate into 24*7electricity9. Like elsewhere in India, unreliable farm power supply has been anathema for farmers and the rural society. In Gujarat, uncontrolled farm power subsidies led to unsustainable increase in groundwater withdrawals and left the Gujarat Electricity Board (GEB) nearly bankrupt.
Because farmers were getting subsidised power, they had little incentive to save on its use or keep pumps in good order to lower power consumption. As a result, much power was wasted. Also, power theft was widely prevalent. Further, farmers faced the problem of low-voltage power that helped nobody. In 2003, the Government of Gujarat introduced the Joytigram Yojana to improve rural power supply, through an innovative approach and thus streamlined the supply of electricity to water pumps.
Traditionally the transmission system from power plant to ultimate users is through a single unit, however, under the new scheme the state government split the power supply chain viz; by constructing a new parallel transmission system, by which it could intelligently allocate power supply to farmers. Accordingly, for the first time farmers in Gujarat received 8 hours of electricity of guaranteed voltage and pre-fixed timings, whereas previously they received 13-14 hours of irregular and unreliable supply.
This ensured that farmers could use the pumps only for a limited time and had to make the most of it. As irrigation in Gujarat state is largely by ground water sources, the earlier approach of erratic and intermittent power, warranted over use of pumpsets by farmers, resulting in lifting water much more than the crop requirements and consequent wastage of water. With more assured and regulated power supply, the farmers found they could not make unauthorized use of power; and initially disliked the effective rationing system.
But on the flip side they enjoyed largely uninterrupted power supply at full voltage along a strictly adhered schedule10. Thus, the Joytigram Yojana, is said to have pioneered a real-time co-management of electricity and groundwater for agriculture. . Farmers were also happy that they were spared of the very high repair and maintenance cost that poor and erratic power supply imposed on them. Subsequently most farmers welcomed Joytigram for limiting competitive pumping of water and addressing the common property externality inherent in groundwater irrigation2.
Ground water and power rationing through the Joytigram scheme not only increased efficiency of water and power utilization for 9 Devika, D (2010), Government of Gujarat: Joytigram yojana Verma, S & Shah, T (2008), Co-management of electricity and ground water Economic and Political Weekly Vol: 43 Issue: 7 pp: 59-66 10 20 agriculture, but it also frees up these resources for the rural nonfarm economy to grow. However, the new parallel feeder lines all came at a cost of Rs 1290 crore, to the exchequer.
However, its quick implementation in just 1000 days enabled installation of 56,307 kms of high tension wires and 18,724 transformers to each of the 18,000 villages in the state. Conventional Way Single feeder Joytigram Yojana Separate feeders Agriculture and Domestic Agriculture 3 Phase, 8 hours Domestic single phase 24 Hours Impact Majority power drawn for agriculture Crippling shortage in the domestic sector Quality of the power poor, cases of damages to farmers pump sets etc Impact Farmers get continuous and good quality power at pre-announced schedules Domestic gets 24 hours uninterrupted power supply – Infact special feeders were also effectively crafted (Specially Designed Transformers) to supply power to farmers residing in scattered farm houses. The average expenditure per village is a mere Rs. 6. 72 Lacs. A study undertaken by IRMA indicates many 56,307 kms positive features and 22,146 kms impact of the scheme, 18,724 nos which interalia includes 17,00,000 1,888 increase in employment, Rs 1290 crore decrease in migration by Rs 1115 crore 33 %, reduction in school 1000 absenteeism and average duration of study by school students increasing by 80-90 %.
The study also indicates the positive impact of power availability on rural industries, which has enabled 53 % of the families in rural areas to work during night times, increased momentum in industrial activities such as diamond polishing, agro processing etc. The project is also indicated to have decreased the time taken by women on household chores by 26 % and also enhanced their leisure, entertainment and education substantially.
Work executed under the Yojana : (Source: GOG) New high tension lines New low tension lines New transformers Poles erected Joytigram feeders Project cost Govt grant No. of days Joytigram 21 Another derived benefit from this innovative approach has been the reduction in distribution losses by 3. 74% and T/C failure by 1. 17% during the year 2005-2006 compared to year 2004-0511. The Electricity Board has also benefited by increased revenues. Once considered as bankrupt, it has seen a quantum jump in revenues from Rs 850 crore in 2004-05 to Rs 1231 crore in 2007-08 to Rs 1437 crore in 2008-09.
All this is said to be achieved without a single increase in electricity tariff for the past 7 years. Thus, Gujarat’s agricultural boom is also driven by a much-improved rural power supply, which is mainly on account of the Jyotigram scheme. Besides making power available at stipulated times for the farming community, metering electricity use for irrigation purposes and charging farmers at near commercial rates based on power consumption is ultimately the ideal solution to these traditional vows.
The link between electricity–groundwater is well established, a good and assured power supply and pre-defined time periods for the agrarian communities in water scare areas is critical to ensure balanced and sustainable extraction of groundwater resources. However, doing this will remain a politically sensitive issue, until such beneficial public systems find a feasible way of meeting this challenge and even restoring the health of power companies’ in these populous agrarian states. 11 http://guj-epd. gov. in/epd_jyotiyojna. htm 22 Key drivers 1 Water availability
Key drivers 2 Power availability Key drivers 3 Extension/ access to info Key drivers 4 Crop diversification Driver 3: Provision of Extension services: taking lab to the land – Krishi Mahotsav , an innovative agri-extension service Gujarat has stepped up its farm extension services significantly in the last few years, taking knowledge from research campuses and labs to the farms. The event facilitates seamless flow of knowledge to the agrarian communities in the rural hinterlands who normally have limited access to such information. Started in 2005 , the Krishi Mahotsavs have grown in scope.
As many as 18,600 villages host the event starting on the Akshaya Tritiya day (an auspicious day in the Hindu calendar falling in May-June). So what is so unique about this Krishi Mahotsav of Gujarat? Krishi Mahotsav is an intensive convergence and mass contact programme which is launched off by the political leadership, led by local elected leaders and run by the state government functionaries. It’s an all inclusive programme, with the CM taking the lead and all elected members also visiting their concerned constituencies during this period.
The Krishi Mahotsav was initially dubbed by the critics as a publicity stunt and wastage of government money. But, it has proved to the contrary, with a multi-disciplinary team of about one lakh government employees of 18 state departments / universities and students join hands. All related departments from agriculture, horticulture, AH, health, revenue officials, forestry, education, rural development etc join hands in the mission to reach every village in the state. Thus, it’s not left to the exclusive domain of the agriculture department, though it co-ordinates the entire event.
It’s in fact a month-long knowledge sharing rendezvous with the farming community during the peak summer months ie; before the onset of monsoons / cropping seasons. Thus the timing of the programme is critical and the sends out a clear message of intent and concern. The sequence of events and the processes have been explained in the Annexure enclosed. As a part of the krishi Mahaotsav demonstrations of technology, tools are also equipments, undertaken at the village level. A Krishi Rath – complete with audiovisual equipment, posters, models and accompanied by scientists and administrators – visits every village of the state.
Last year about 239 tractor-mounted Krishi raths traveled through the designated paths covering all the 226 Krishi rath in a village development blocks and 18,000 odd villages. The time, route and duration of each of these Raths are predetermined and informed to the villagers. A maximum of three villages are 23 covered in a day by the kirshi raths. The night halts are also effectively used to screen AV about various critical issues pertaining to agriculture. Thus, the Krishi Raths, which travels through thousands of villages, usher in a festive mood in the villages.
The krishi rath has been a cost effective method of carrying a tractor mounted panel cum exhibition material ( worth Rs 50,000) on rented tractors. The entire hire charges costs the government about Rs 2. 5 lakh per krishi rath for the one month sojourn. Besides the Krishi raths, large exhibitions are organized in all the agricultural university campuses and district towns which are widely attended by thousands of farmers. The CM besides flagging off the programme at one of the agriUniversities also visits a few villages and closely monitors the programme.
It’s understood that some of the raths are fitted with Video Conferencing facilities, and there are often surprise interaction by the CM with the villagers and also the staff involved in the Mahaotsav in the village. A team of 5 members are normally selected to each village which could include University staff, government officers, who are expected to spend time with farmers, listening to their problems and developing solutions. Year Krishi Mahotsav – 2008 –illustrative list of achievements, after year the Krishi reported by the State Government – (Source: GOG)
Mahotsav has been 1 Agriculture Kit Distribution 157926 considerably improving 2 Horticulture Kit Distribution 133299 through productivity knowledge sharing and 3 Animal Husbandry Kit Distribution 369796 orientation of farmers 4 Soil Health Card Distribution 84933 towards value added 5 New soil sample 248440 modern agriculture, 6 Kisan credit card 65839 marketing methods, organic farming and new 7 Animal Vaccination 5133141 technology. 8 9 Khet Talavadi Drip Irrigation 11245 26058 the Mahotsav During scientists besides giving 10 Tree Sapling 13148454 lectures about crop 11 Guidance by Agri.
Scientist in Kisan 1396795 production practices, crop Shibir protection measures, also 12 Personal Guidance No. of Farmers 428937 undertake soil health tests 13 Guidance for marketing system by 158510 and give soil-health cards APMC to the farmers detailing the soil composition, and the best possible crops for the soil type. They also carry out vaccination of the cattle, distribute kits on agriculture, animal husbandry, and horticulture to 5- 10 poorest farmers in the village. Gujarat officials recount several effects of the reinvented extension model.
For instance, they argue that in using chemical fertilisers, Gujarat farmers have moved wholesale from a 13:7. 5:1 nitrogen-phosphorous-potassium composition to a 5. 8:3:1, thereby reducing cost, optimising production and improving net income. 24 Thus, the Gujarat evolved annual month-long Krishi Mahotsav campaign is a unique extension model that brings agricultural scientists, extension staff, agroindustries, input suppliers, cooperatives, banks, local and state-level political leaders together on a platform to exchange knowledge and information on the latest technologies and market opportunities12.
The normal disconnect which exists between many of the stakeholders seem to reduce substantially with this unique effort at convergence. This also sends out a serious message about the purpose and intent to help and find solutions. Another key aspect has been the meticulous planning for the event and the clear role and responsibility assigned to each of the government staff concerned during the Krishi Mahotsav (details of the villages assigned, including the mobile numbers of the staff is uploaded on the website).
The entire operations and activities of the krihi mahotsav is closely monitored by the senior officials and also the political leadership of the state. While farmers suggest that the quality of work in these fairs leaves room for improvement, they agree that the researchers need to gain more practical experience, however, there is no denying the fact that the programme has enabled in spreading awareness about things such as soil quality, fertilizer use etc.
The field interactions also suggest that the staff of the department and university have also greatly benefited from the entire event with greater field orientation in the work they do. Thus, it has been a two way learning process. 12 Shah, T et al (2009), the Secret of Gujarat’s agrarian miracle after 2000; Economic & Political Weekly ,26 December, vol xliv no 52, page 45-52 25 Key driver 1 Water availability Key driver 2 Power availability Key driver 3 Extension/ access to info Key driver 4 Crop diversification
Driver 4 : Crop diversification : Switching crops for better incomes Though, studies suggest that number of factors govern the nature and speed of crop diversification by farmers, but availability of resource endowments like water and irrigation facility and technological support could serve as key determinants for the change. From a farmer’s perspective greater margins and income serve as compelling reasons for the crop switch. However, availability of incentives like subsidies does give a fillip to the crop diversification process.
The Gujarat story is profoundly familiar to the above observations; as the concerted efforts to recharge water table and its increased availability coupled with regulated electricity for agricultural use triggered two clear movements viz; increased production of crops with greater stability in production patterns and as also crop switch by farmers. Even before this, the striking feature of the Gujarat’s agriculture has been its pronounced slant towards cash crops which formed more than 50 % of the GCA, whereas the normal crop coverage has a predominance of food grains.
However, availability of irrigation water did give an impetus to crop diversification as also increased Rabi coverage in Saurashtra, kutch and north Gujarat. The reports suggest about 6-8 lakh ha of additional area being brought under Rabi in the recent past. One of the clear winners in the crop switch story has been Bt cotton. The expansion in Bt cotton is matched by expansion in irrigated cotton; this suggests that Bt cotton benefits hugely from four to five supplemental irrigations provided at critical points of crop growth.
Gujarat increased its cotton yield over six fold from 175 kg per hectare in 2001-02 to 798 kg per hectare in 2008-09, higher that the world average yield of 787 kg per hectare in 2007-08 (Damor 2008)13 because of the combined effect of Bt cotton and irrigation in Saurashtra, Kutch and North Gujarat. The rise of Bt cotton supported by a high MSP for cotton offered a big opportunity for farmers. The farmers in these regions exploited this opportunity brilliantly.
While the public sector generally plays a role in production and distribution of high yielding variety (HYV) seeds like wheat, the private seed sector took a lead role in developing and promoting the use of Bt Cotton seeds. Gujarat alone, has more than 30 odd private seed companies which have registered over 120 varieties of Bt Cotton. The state already has a history of having developed the first cotton hybrid of the country (H4). Thus, the cotton growth story could be partly due to the numerous hybrids being developed by local farmers and the seed production of Bt cotton seeds in farmer’s fields in Gujarat.
The state agriculture university reports that the state has over 200 varieties of Cotton, which could be Bt, hybrid, or other common desi varieties. Not only has the yield more than doubled in just five to six years, at present more than 50% of the total cotton area in Gujarat has come under Bt cotton. Another positive aspect for the cotton growers has been its comfortable forward linkages and vertical integration with the cotton related industries. The Industry is also said to be witnessing a resurgence of interest among textile players because 13
Damor, Kalpesh (2008): “Gujarat Cotton Yield May Cross World Average”, Business Standard, 8 October 26 of easy access to raw material at reduced freight. Two more major textile projects envisaging an investment of more than Rs. 10. 5 billion are slotted to come up at Jhagadia in central Gujarat. According to Cotton Advisory Board (CAB) estimates, India`s cotton production in 2007-08 has jumped by 12. 5 % at 31. 5 million bales (1 bale = 170 kg) as compared to 28 million bales in previous year. Gujarat state has contributed 35% of this production. This proves very high productivity of cotton in Gujarat.
The State Government’s Agro-vision 2010 (a model blue print for all round development of agriculture) lays emphasis on cultivation of high value, low volume crops. Thus, besides, cotton a few other crops like wheat, castor and horticulture are also a part of the diversification story, which again is triggered by availability of suitable resource endowments for farmers. Accordingly the area under some of the low value crops like bajra and jowar has sharply declined over the years. The high growth had also come from fruits and vegetables (dominated by banana, mango, potato and onions) that has grown at almost 12. % during 2000/01 to 2007/08. Area under horticulture is constantly increasing in the state, roughly by 30,000 ha/year partly driven by the NHM initiatives. The area & production of horticulture crop was 5. 98 lakh Ha (5 % of total cropped area) & 59. 03 lakh tons in 1998-1999 which increases up to 9. 65 lakh ha. (9. 65 % of total cropped area) & 90. 95 lakh ton respectively in 2004-05. It is targeted to cover 19. 00 lakh ha. of land under horticulture by year 2010 in the state. Another important crop has been wheat