Friday, March 2, 2012

Jammu Kashmir Economic Survey 2011

Agri slump hastens growth rate decline

Despite holding a crucial place in the economy of J&K state and regardless of its importance to growth, income, food and nutritional security, the agriculture sector is witnessing a gradual slump in its contribution to the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP).

As per Economic Survey 2011-12, the estimated percentage contribution of Agriculture & Allied Sector is likely to be 19.41 percent in 2010-11 against the corresponding share of 28.06 percent registered in 2004-05 at constant price.

Growth in this sector, particularly in the crop sub sector is on decline.

As per GSDP estimates at constant prices (2004-05), the growth rate of the crop sub sector is pegged at 10.87 percent as per the estimates of 2009-10 against the growth of 13.31 percent registered in 2004-05.
The decline in growth rate is attributed to low productivity, low seed replacement rate, yield stagnation, lack of irrigation facility as 58 percent of the net area sown is rained and small size of holdings as 94 percent of the holdings fall in the size class of less than 2 hectares and 81 percent in less than 1 hectare.     

Survey revealed that the production of food grains in the State does not keep pace with the requirement, as the agriculture sector faces challenges on various fronts. Yield of principal crops i.e, rice, maize and wheat, are not significantly improving over the years. The scope for increasing net area sown is very limited mainly due to Indus Water Treaty and the farm size is shrinking due to continuous breakdown of joint family system, growing urbanization & population explosion over the years. The gap in production is met by import of food grains which has increased by 76% from 503 thousand metric tonnes in 2002-03 to 887.6 thousand metric tonnes during 2009-10

To sustain, continuous growth in productivity, seed management plays a vital role. Looking at the present situation in the state, the figures are highly unsatisfactory. The national average of seed replacement rate has been above 25 percent while the state of J&K is yet to surpass 15 percent of Seed Replacement Rate (SRR) in case of High Yielding Varieties of major crops. Consistent efforts need to be made to diversify the agriculture by bringing in credit, technology and extension to step up present growth rate to address the gap between requirement and production of food grains in the state.

Horticulture has been growing in importance and contributing to the nutritional security and on-farm employment. However, the State continues to face major challenges on account of poor post-harvest technology and inadequate storage and processing capacity. Interventions are required to be made to facilitate access to the market through a better cold chain management, investment to develop the horticulture infrastructure, rejuvenation of orchids and use of new skills and technologies for packaging and branding of horticulture produce.

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