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The Declaration Hypothesis and Yield Increasing Inputs in Indian Agriculture

  • Agricultural Science


Three questions are examined in the paper. First, does the recent performance of Indian agriculture indicate deceleration in the long term growth rates of production? Second, how does one explain poor growth performance of recent years in the face of substantial growth in the use of inputs? Third, what additional light does the experience of the Western region throw on these questions? An examination of the production trends since 1950 reveals plateaus in the mid-1950s, the early 1960s, the early 1970s and the late 1970s. since recent years were in the last plateau, it would be both hasty and erroneous to conclude deceleration in the long tern growth rates of production from poor performance of the agricultural sector during the recent years. The impact of growth in the use of inputs like irrigation, fertilizers and HYVs cannot be correctly judged from all-India aggregate data. A scrutiny of the long term trends by crops clearly shows the impact of the three inputs on yield performance of crops where sustained growth in their use has occurred. The experience of the Western region clearly demonstrates that impressive growth in yields is possible through growth in the use of fertilizers an HYVs even under conditions of low irrigation. Various findings of the paper suggest three questions for further in-depth probing. First, what is the explanation behind recurring plateaus in the aggregate production trends? Second, what explains poor growth in all-India average yields of even such crops as wheat and rice during the first half of the 1970s despite substantial growth in the use of yield-increasing inputs on them? Finally, what is the explanation behind impressive yield-growth performance of Gujarat?s agriculture despite low irrigation and relatively poor rainfall environment?

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