The high agricultural growth rate of over 9 per cent per annum in Gujarat, more than three times the national average, has attracted special praise from former President APJ Abdul Kalam, who said the example should be emulated by other states.
"Recently, I was at IIM-Ahmedabad where the specialists from Centre for Management (CMA) in Agriculture, presented to me the reasons for high growth rate of agriculture GDP attained by the state (Gujarat) during the past few years. I am sure the experience could be useful to many other states," Kalam said at a prize distribution ceremony here last evening.
"They highlighted how the agriculture of the state has been consistently growing over 9 per cent per annum, more than three times the national average," the noted scientist said.
Kalam said the CMA experts attributed Gujarat's success story to rural electrification reforms, as exemplified by the establishment of a dedicated grid for agricultural applications, which has also helped reducing losses due to pilferage of power.
In addition, the state has embarked on an integrated water management scheme for irrigation purposes, which involves the creation of more than 2.4 lakh farm ponds and ensuring their sustainability through desilting and recharging.
Furthermore, the Gujarat government has started an annual Krishi Rath Yatra, which aims at educating farmers on seeds, irrigation, crop patterns and technology. In 2010, the month-long yatra travelled through through 26 districts of the state.
"Of course, at all stages, with the increase in agricultural produce, stability of the price was been managed by opening export of agricultural produce," Kalam said.
The former President also pitched for a second Green Revolution to meet the country's growing food needs and asked farm scientists to work alongside farmers for increasing the nation's agricultural output.
"India has to now embark upon a second Green Revolution, which will enable it to further increase its productivity in the agricultural sector. By 2020, India would require to produce over 340 million tonnes of foodgrains in view of population growth and increased purchasing power," he said.
"Farm scientists shall work hand-in-hand with the farmers by developing farmer-friendly technologies to help them multiply their agri-produce many times," Kalam added.