Thursday, October 23, 2008

Annotated Bibliography (from the journal: Agricultural Situation in India)

(1) Determination of Inter-State Disparities in Rice Productivity
--ND Shukla, SK Sharma and Krishna Murari (AS9-13, Agricultural Situation in India)

This article looks at the various determining factors behind rice productivity: abiotic factors (flood and drought; temperature; changes in soil properties, nutrient loss and difficulties in crop management practices), biotic factors (pests; weed), socio-economic and institutional constraints (inequalities in fertiliser consumption, use of local cultivators, improper distribution of credit and low capital investment, insufficient marketing infrastructure, costs and return of paddy, and lack of mechanisation). The study concludes that aberrant weather conditions and socio-economic factors apparently deteriorate the rice productivity, creating inter-State disparities. Socio-economic factors well as flood and drought bring down rice productivity in various states particularly in rainfed areas. Higher levels of crop loans forwarded to farmers of Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Kerala leads to better yields in these states compared to the states of eastern region. Lack of mechanisation, low purchasing power, lack of technical knowledge, low efficiency of farm labours and conservative thinking also brings down rice productivity.

(2) Participatory Planning for Livestock Development
--K Ponnusamy, K Ambasankar and N Thenmathi (AS9-14, Agricultural Situation in India)

The present article brings forth a study that took place in Kattur village 50 km north of Chennai, which was based on participatory rural appraisal (PRA) technique to assess rural resources, problems and requirements. A matrix ranking of livestock farming carried out revealed that the farmers preferred local milch cattle and poultry birds due to easy maintenance, less labour requirement, resistance to disease and low initial investment. The low milk yield has been due socio economic factors such as low investment capacity; labour scarcity; poor linkage with research and extension system; poor management practice; lack of timely availability of veterinary facilities and lack of awareness in value addition of crop residues, and biophysical factors such as usage of local breeds; imbalanced nutrition; diseases and endo and ecto parasites. By applying the various PRA tools, the livestock farmers were able to prepare a blue print for economic upliftment through technology assessment and refinement.

(3) Sustainability Perspective of Small and Medium Farmers in High Altitude and Tribal Area Zone of Andhra Pradesh
--KN Ravi Kumar, PSS Murty and D Chinnam Naidu (AS9-15, Agricultural Situation in India)

The focus of the paper is to study the distribution of land holdings according to number and size in High Altitude and Tribal (HAT) zone. It has been found from the study that in all the 40 mandals of HAT zone, there is predominance of small and medium farms. Paddy is the major crop cultivated both by the small and medium farmers, which is followed by ragi and maize. The net returns derived from all the selected crops is higher in medium farms when compared to small farms. The study revealed that both in small and medium farms, the benefit cost ratios were higher for maize and niger crops. Agriculture with apiculture, agriculture with sheep rearing, and agriculture with sericulture are the important farming systems identified in the study area. In terms of number of mandays generated by the selected farming systems, the highest the percentage of man days is generated by sheep enterprise in sheep rearing farming system.

(4) Women Empowerment for Rural Development in India
--B Hemalatha, M Jayachandra Reddy, YVR Reddy and G Sastry (AS9-16, Agricultural Situation in India)

The major finding of the study is that rural development through women activities/ enterprises is faster and it stabilises the society/ family system. Income generating activities help in promoting status of women in India. Government should develop suitable plans/ schemes in self-generating income activities/ enterprises for women in rural areas so as to avoid migration to towns/ cities.

(5) Crop Diversification in India: Analysis by State and Farm Size Group
--Praduman Kumar and Surabhi Mittal (AS9-12, Agricultural Situation in India)

The study shows that changes in cropping pattern is taking place as a result of substitution from low productivity crops to high productivity crops. Some of these crops are paddy, wheat, maize, groundnut, rapeseed, mustard and sugarcane. Coarse cereals and pulses have shown a steady decline in this area. Regional pattern in crop specialisation is increasing. Small farms practise multi-diversified farming and grow a number of crops even on fragmented plots, involving allocation of area under seasonal fruits, vegetables and dairy etc. for maximising their household income and employment in almost all regions of the country.

(6) Crop Diversification in Indian Agriculture
--SS Acharya (AS 9-9, Agricultural Situation in India)

The present study shows that the process of crop diversification in Indian agriculture commenced after the objective of agricultural development strategy was changed from maximising the production of foodgrains to evolving a production pattern in line with the demand pattern in early eighties. During the last 20 years, the relative area under foodgrains as a group declined and that under non-foodgrains increased. However, there was no absolute decline in area under major staple cereals like rice, wheat and maize. The trend in area under non-foodgrains during the nineties reveals negative impact of imports of edible oils and pulses on the area under these crops after the launch of liberalised import policy. Overall the degree of crop diversification is relatively low in West Bengal and Assam and relatively high in Karnataka, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

(7) Crop Diversification for Sustainable Agriculture
--M Velayutham and SP Palaniappam (AS 9-10, Agricultural Situation in India)

The present study finds that although the net sown area has remained without much fluctuation over the last 3 decades, it is disturbing to note that the area under permanent pastures and grazing land has declined. There has been continuous deficit in the fodder production to meet the requirements of the increased livestock population during this period. The area under principal staple food crops viz. rice and wheat has increased from 55.8 million ha in 1970-71 to 72 million ha in 1998-99, although the area under total cereals has remained static at about 102 million ha. Economic return is one of the major considerations for adoption of certain cropping systems at farm as well as regional level. Changes in government policies which affect the input costs and prices of the produce and trade and market forces determine the sustainability of cropping systems for a longer period and make the area adoption of the crops fluctuating over years to a considerable extent.

(8) Crop Diversification in Indian Agriculture
--DM Hegde, S Prakash Tiwari and M Rai (AS 9-10, Agricultural Situation in India)

The present study provides a theoretical understanding behind changes in cropping pattern. Crop diversification may be adopted as a strategy for profit maximisation through reaping the benefits of complementary and supplementary relationships or in equating substitution and price ratios for competitive products. It also acts as a powerful tool in minimisation of risk in farming. Domestic policy in India is biased towards increasing production of foodgrains like rice and wheat. Gains which are likely due to crop diversification are: a. alternative crops may enhance profitability; b. diversified rotations can reduce pests; c. labour may be spread out more evenly; d. different planting and harvesting times can reduce risks from weather; e. new crops can be sources of renewable resources or have nutraceutical traits. There are 2 approaches to crop diversification: vertical and horizontal.

(9) Evaluation of Watershed Development Programme in India—SWOT Analysis
--G Sastry, YVR Reddy, Om Prakash, CA Rama Rao and HP Singh (AS 9-6, Agricultural Situation in India)

On the basis of SWOT analyses, the authors of the present paper claim that any programme which runs for longer will develop its own weaknesses and threats due to taking the advantages of the system for individuals interest/ benefit leading to failure of the programme and not achieving the desired results. The programmes need modification and introduction of new elements with stringent rules for punishment. NGOs should be made accountable as they utilise the funds of the donors in implementation and running of the programmes. Watershed Development Programme needs modification, necessary checking, corrections, rectifications and new procedure to develop dryland farming regions through Watershed Development Programme with stringent rules for higher returns in addition to having proper institutional arrangements to maintain after closure of the project.

(10) Path Co-efficient Analysis of Yield Gaps in Cotton Production in Karnataka
--GM Gaddi (AS 9-7, Agricultural Situation in India)

The study shows that the potential yield of cotton was estimated to be 2669 kgs per hectare. As against this, the yield realised on the demonstration plots and the overall category of farmers’ field were 1805.50 kgs per hectare and 1172.70 kgs per hectare. The estimated total yield gap worked out to be 1526.30 kgs per hectare. Path coefficient analysis revealed that lower uses of human labour and bullock labour were the most important factors conditioning yield gap. Non-application of inputs, particularly plant nutrients and seeds at the recommended levels were responsible for the wider yield gaps. Reduction in the use of plant nutrients, capital (plant protection chemicals) and seeds would result in substantial productivity gain on the farmers’ fields. Identification of extension education activities, rigorous campaigns and systematic demonstrations of the new technology on an extensive scale should be the prime concern of the policy makers.

(11) Trends in Crop Diversification: Need for a Policy Shift
--Munish Alagh and YK Alagh (AS 9-8, Agricultural Situation in India)

The study shows that there was from 1980-81 to mid-nineties a remarkable shift away from grain crops in India’s agriculture. This emerged from the faster growth of the Indian economy and the working of the Engels Law accompanied with a better understanding of the diverse supply possibilities of India’s agroclimatic potential in a market setting. Shifts in policy making and understanding of the underlying developing market structures was much slower. Domestic and global demand factors and arteriocelerotic policy reactions led to diversification processes to non-foodgrains substantially stopping since the mid-nineties. There is now the urgent requirement of knowledge based domestic incentives and disincentives and strategic trade policy initiative to return to a faster output, income and employment growth path for the agricultural economy.

(12) A Study into Growth Analyses of Production and Acreage Response of Cotton in Punjab
--SS Chahal, Ravinder Singh Harika and Satwinder Singh (AS 9-1, Agricultural Situation in India)

The results of the study show that area under cotton during the period 1950-51 to 1965-66 increased at the rate of 1.67 per cent per annum. However during the period 1966-67 to 1989-90, the area under cotton declined. The compound growth rates (CGRs) pertaining to the period 1950-51 to 2000-01 show that area under cotton increased significantly at annual CGR of 0.25 percent. The production and yield grow at 2.43 and 2.18 percent per annum. It was noticed that the area under American cotton increased at the rate of 5.04 percent per annum in Punjab. The results corresponding to the acreage response of American cotton and desi cotton relating to desi cotton show that the lagged area has significant and positive effect on the allocation of area to desi as well as American cotton in Punjab. The results at the national level show that yield contributed maximum to the production of American cotton.

(13) Changes in Costs and Returns of Major Crops in Punjab
--Silesh Damte, Bant Singh and Jasdev Singh (AS 9-2, Agricultural Situation in India)

The current study reveals that the rising costs of cultivation and instability in returns are due to variability in yields and prices. The increase in total costs of cultivation of major crops over the years was mainly due to the rise in the cost fixed of resources, mainly the rental value of land and interest on fixed capital. The variable costs increased mainly due to increase mainly due to increase in the costs of human labour, machine labour, fertilisers, insecticides and weedicides used in the cultivation of these crops. This implies that the increase in productivity and production of these crops in the state has been achieved at higher costs and there is urgent need of technology upgradation and farmer friendly farm price policy to sustain the growth of farm sector which the backbone of the state economy.

(14) Farm Diversification in Tamil Nadu: Problems and Prospects
--Isabela Agarwal (AS 9-3, Agricultural Situation in India)

The present study was taken up to study the goal preferences and farm decision making process of the farmers; to extricate the problems encountered by the sample farmers in their existing cropping pattern and to suggest possible measures for the same. There had been a shift in the cropping pattern and an increase in the livestock rearing over the years in the study area. Increase in dairy animals enhanced the farm income and reduced the risk. The farming decisions differed by the size of farms and the extent of irrigation facilities available. There existed a positive association between diversification and size of holdings under irrigated situation. Therefore, in the development measures, diversified farming approach with improved irrigation facilities may be encouraged. Specifically, the drip irrigation may be popularised at a faster rate with sizeable subsidies in the area studied. As cultivation of lucerne was on the uptrend in the study area, installation of small lucerne meal preparation units may be thought of with a view to commercialise farming systems, the agricultural development programmes may be aimed at by diversifying the crop and livestock enterprises with whole farm approach.

(15) Production and Export Performance and Plan Allocation: Review of Fishery Sector in India
--SS Guledgudda, BL Patil, GK Hiremath and MT Dodmani (AS 9-4, Agricultural Situation in India)

In this study the authors emphasize the importance of fishery sector in providing direct employment and employment in downstream industries and earning a sizeable foreign exchange of about Rs. 6400 crores at national level. It is estimated that about 6 million people are employed in the fisheries sector. The contribution of the fishery sector to total GDP was 1 percent in 2000-01 at current prices. The quantity and value index numbers were observed increasing trend over a period of time (1962-2001). The export share in the domestic fish production exhibited a fluctuating trend but its share was lowest in 1960-61 and the highest export share was noticed during 1997-98. The share of fishery sector in country’s total outlays and agricultural sector outlays were not even through out the various plan periods. The total fish production in India was 56.56 lakh tonnes comprising 28.33 lakh tonnes from marine and 28.33 lakh tonnes from inland fisheries during 2000-01. West Bengal occupied a first place in export both in terms of quantity and value, followed by Orissa and Karnataka. The share of fishery sector in total country’s export and agricultural export earnings showed a steady increasing and decreasing trend over a period of time. The compound growth rates of fishery sector were 8.95, 20.49 and 10.59 percent in quantity, value and unit value terms, respectively. Fisheries is an important source for augmenting food supply, raising nutritional levels, generating more foreign exchange, employment opportunities and health for the people of India.

(16) Impact of Drought on Saurastra Agriculture
--RL Shiyani, BH Kakadiya and VD Tarpara (AS 9-5, Agricultural Situation in India)

The present study reveals that drought is a major cause of concern for the policy makers of the State. The best way to develop dryland agriculture in Saurastra is by following the watershed approach. Proper management of natural resources towards obtaining a sustainable and steady growth in productivity can help to break the major constraints of Saurastra agriculture. Creation of more number of fodder banks and distribution of fodder at reasonable rate to the affected farmers would help to save the livestock economy in th region. The government should accord high priority on the relief works pertaining to the development of irrigation work.

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