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India's per hectare yield in best states is lower than some African nations : Eco Survey

The survey calls for a National Common Market to ensure better and uniform price for agriculture commodities

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

Per hectare yield of major crops in some of the best performing states in India is far lower than ever the African countries, the Economic Survey showed on Friday.

The survey which was tabled in Parliament on Friday said that in case of chickpeas, the per hectare yield is highest in Andhra Pradesh at 1,439 kilograms, but this is far lower than the average yield of Ethiopia which is 1,663 kilograms.

In paddy, too, the survey shows that the per hectare yield in Punjab, which is considered to be the highest in the country is just around 3,952 kilograms, far lower than China’s average yield of 6,661 kilograms.

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Maize yield in Tamil Nadu is around 5,372 kilograms, which is lower than the average yield of USA, which is 8,858 kilograms, on the same lines, rapeseed yield in Gujarat, the best state in the country, is around 1,723 kilograms, which is much lower than 3,588 of United Kingdom.

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The survey calls for a National Common Market to ensure better and uniform price for agriculture commodities, rationalization of subsidies and re-assessing the role of state-run Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), to separate, research, education and extension. Surprisingly, the survey advocates for reduction in priority sector lending to agriculture.

“One response in the short run must be to enhance targeted support for the vulnerable in agriculture, namely the small farmer and agricultural laborer. The MGNREGA program has the virtue of being reasonably well-targeted. The challenge here is to build on this feature and use the program to build assets such as rural roads, micro-irrigation and water management, while also shoring up rural incomes,” the survey said.

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In the medium-term it said that the time is ripe for a more broad-based response to the challenges in agriculture and to ensure that agriculture grows at about 4 per cent on a sustained basis. Having a national common market is one such initiative

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First Published: Fri, February 27 2015. 13:49 IST