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Approach for the agricultural strategy in the fifth five year plan of Gujarat by D. K. Desai (Working Paper, No. 1974/44)

By: Desai, D. K.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Ahmedabad Indian Institute of Management 1974Description: 20 p.Subject(s): Economic Policy - IndiaDDC classification: WP 1974 (44) Summary: The basic principle in developing an approach for the agricultural strategy in the Fifth Five Year Plan is that instead of super-imposing a growth rate of agricultural sector to be achieved in the Fifth Five Year Plan, it would be desirable to find out the achievable targets at the disaggregate levels of the agricultural sector. This exercise would give the planners an insight into the strengths and weaknesses of each of the sub-groups in the agricultural sector. Following this approach it is suggested that the overall objectives of the agricultural strategy in the Fifth Five Year Plan of Gujarat should be based on the following premises: (1) It should provide at least coarse foodgrains and pulses for the weaker section of the population in Gujarat state to meet their minimum food requirement. (2) As Gujarat has comparative advantage in oilseeds, cotton, tobacco, sugarcane and fruits (particularly mango), and dairying the production of these commodities should be maximized with the available resources and new investments should be directed towards this effort. (3) Agricultural labour employed at present in agricultural sector should get such minimum was that would bring them above poverty line. (4) The economy of small farmers should be improved in such a way that by the end of the Fifth Five Year Plan a substantial portion of this section is above poverty line. (5) The lot of marginal farmers should be improved by providing them additional employment in agriculture and efforts should be made to bring a substantial portion of this sector above poverty line. (6) As Gujarat is essentially a dry farming area, a major emphasis should be laid on the improvement of dry farming. (7) The major emphasis should be for protective irrigation against the natural hazards of the failure of rains during the later half of monsoon when crops are lost for want of minimum irrigation. (8) Input use particularly fertilizer should be increased substantially both in the irrigated areas and dry areas. (9) Irrigation facilities should be increased to the possible extent. To meet these objectives emphasis should be laid to increase productivity of bajra from 1088 kg to at least 1250 kg per hectare. The areas under coarse grains would remain at the same level as in 1973-74 but their productivities would be improved. The areas under rice and wheat would marginally increase and their productivities would increase substantially. There would be special emphasis on the increase in the productivity of pulses. There will be special emphasis on enhancing the productivity of groundnut. The production of oilseeds would increase from 1778 thousand tons to 2269 thousand tons. The productivity of cotton would rise from 197 kg in 1973-74 to 304 kg per hectare in the Fifth Five Year Plan. This would increase the production from 23 lakh bales in 1973-74 to 29 lakh bales by the end of the Fifth Five Year Plan. The daily per capita consumption of milk would increase from 175 gms to 200 gms by the end of the Fifth Five Year Plan. The tentative targets for the Fifth Five Year Plan would be based on the achievable growth rates of different sub-groups of the agricultural sector. If these targets are achieved the compound rate of growth in agriculture in Fifth Five Year Plan would be 6.18 per cent.
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The basic principle in developing an approach for the agricultural strategy in the Fifth Five Year Plan is that instead of super-imposing a growth rate of agricultural sector to be achieved in the Fifth Five Year Plan, it would be desirable to find out the achievable targets at the disaggregate levels of the agricultural sector. This exercise would give the planners an insight into the strengths and weaknesses of each of the sub-groups in the agricultural sector. Following this approach it is suggested that the overall objectives of the agricultural strategy in the Fifth Five Year Plan of Gujarat should be based on the following premises: (1) It should provide at least coarse foodgrains and pulses for the weaker section of the population in Gujarat state to meet their minimum food requirement. (2) As Gujarat has comparative advantage in oilseeds, cotton, tobacco, sugarcane and fruits (particularly mango), and dairying the production of these commodities should be maximized with the available resources and new investments should be directed towards this effort. (3) Agricultural labour employed at present in agricultural sector should get such minimum was that would bring them above poverty line. (4) The economy of small farmers should be improved in such a way that by the end of the Fifth Five Year Plan a substantial portion of this section is above poverty line. (5) The lot of marginal farmers should be improved by providing them additional employment in agriculture and efforts should be made to bring a substantial portion of this sector above poverty line. (6) As Gujarat is essentially a dry farming area, a major emphasis should be laid on the improvement of dry farming. (7) The major emphasis should be for protective irrigation against the natural hazards of the failure of rains during the later half of monsoon when crops are lost for want of minimum irrigation. (8) Input use particularly fertilizer should be increased substantially both in the irrigated areas and dry areas. (9) Irrigation facilities should be increased to the possible extent. To meet these objectives emphasis should be laid to increase productivity of bajra from 1088 kg to at least 1250 kg per hectare. The areas under coarse grains would remain at the same level as in 1973-74 but their productivities would be improved. The areas under rice and wheat would marginally increase and their productivities would increase substantially. There would be special emphasis on the increase in the productivity of pulses. There will be special emphasis on enhancing the productivity of groundnut. The production of oilseeds would increase from 1778 thousand tons to 2269 thousand tons. The productivity of cotton would rise from 197 kg in 1973-74 to 304 kg per hectare in the Fifth Five Year Plan. This would increase the production from 23 lakh bales in 1973-74 to 29 lakh bales by the end of the Fifth Five Year Plan. The daily per capita consumption of milk would increase from 175 gms to 200 gms by the end of the Fifth Five Year Plan. The tentative targets for the Fifth Five Year Plan would be based on the achievable growth rates of different sub-groups of the agricultural sector. If these targets are achieved the compound rate of growth in agriculture in Fifth Five Year Plan would be 6.18 per cent.

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