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Agricultural Growth Deceleration In India: An Enquiry Into Possible Explanations


  • Kakarlapudi, Kiran Kumar

    (Centre for Development Studies)


Since the inception of economic reforms, Indian economy has achieved a remarkable rate of growth. This performance, to a large extent, was driven by service sector and improvements in the secondary sector and bypassed the agricultural sector, which showed sharp deceleration in the growth rate. Given the importance of the sector for employment and rural development, the declining trend in agricultural growth has emerged as a major concern for researchers and policymakers. A large number of studies have enquired into the growth process of agricultural sector and has criticised the neo-liberal policy regime for a general neglect of the sector. The sector has recorded wide variations in yield and productivity and there was a shift towards cash crop cultivations. Moreover, agricultural indebtedness pushed several farming households into poverty and some of them resorted to extreme measures like suicides. In this context, the present paper reviews the performance of the Indian agriculture since reforms and compares it with pre-reforms conditions. A systematic and critical review of literature is presented to comprehend the poor performance of Indian agriculture. The review focuses on the pattern and determinants (price and non-price) of agricultural growth and evaluates the influence of policy and environmental factors on its performance. The study identifies that, in the post reform period, there has been an increase in prices of cash crops and the cropping pattern changes towards non-food grains have a significant effect on growth. The paper also concludes that much of the slowdown in agriculture is caused due to factors like infrastructure, technology and environmental factors, lack of political commitment and poor implementation of policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Kakarlapudi, Kiran Kumar, 2012. "Agricultural Growth Deceleration In India: An Enquiry Into Possible Explanations," Journal of Regional Development and Planning, Rajarshi Majumder, vol. 1(1), pages 25-40.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:jrdpin:0003

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Srijit Mishra, 2007. "Agrarian Scenario in Post-reform India:A Story of Distress, Despair and Death," Working Papers id:1019, eSocialSciences.
    2. Mishra, Srijit, 2008. "Risks, Farmers’ Suicides and Agrarian Crisis in India: Is There a Way Out?," Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Indian Society of Agricultural Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 1-17.
    3. Gulati, Ashok & Narayanan, Sudha, 2003. "The Subsidy Syndrome in Indian Agriculture," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195662061.
    4. Srijit Mishra, 2007. "Risks, farmers' suicides and agrarian crisis in India: Is there a way out?," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2007-014, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
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    More about this item


    Agriculture; Stagnation; Cropping Pattern; Infrastructure;

    JEL classification:

    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment


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