Farm sector decline to hurt growth
Agriculture, forestry and fishery together are expected to grow at 2.6% in 2007-08 as against the previous year’s growth of 3.8% due to the lower production of winter crops. During 1950-2007, foodgrain output increased at an average annual rate of 2.5% compared with the population growth, which averaged 2.1% during the period. But in 1990-2007, foodgrain output growth rate decelerated to 1.2%, lower than the annual population growth rate averaging 1.9%.
“Any deceleration in the growth rate of this sector is translated into a lower overall GDP growth rate. Acceleration of growth of this sector will not only push the overall GDP growth upwards, it would also make the growth more inclusive and biased in favour of women. Increasing farm incomes is also necessary for an equitable growth,” the Survey said.
The overall GDP growth in 2007-08 is expected at 8.7%. “Raising growth to double digit will therefore require additional reforms,” the Survey said.
It expressed concerns over the global warming and climate change and also noted that climate variability caused by erratic rainfall pattern and increase in the severity of droughts, floods and cyclones and rising temperatures have been the causes of uncertainty and risks resulting in huge losses in agricultural production and livestock population. “A gradual degradation of natural resources through overuse and inappropriate use chemical fertilisers have affected the soil
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