Agriculture Is No Longer Employment Oriented: Study

New Delhi | Updated: Mar 29 2004, 05:30am hrs
Employment in the agricultural sector in the north Indian states has been to the tune of over 65 per cent of its total work force but this sector is no longer employment oriented because of the on-going technological changes in the sector says a study conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).

It adds that northern states contribute roughly 50 per cent of Indias foodgrain production and a little over 45 per cent of milk, sugarcane and potato production. According to the study, most of the northern states have touched the limit of their agricultural production for variety of economic reasons. This has adversely affected the growth of the regions industry and its service sector.

Assochams development and investment patterns in India report says, keeping the concern of widening economic and social disparities between the northern and southern regions of the country in mind, the Planning Commission in its 10th Five Year Plan Document (2002-07) clearly mentioned targets/goals for all states to achieve to enable India achieve 8 per cent GDP growth.

Discussing patterns during the 1990s, the study says that the economy in general saw a noticeable decline in the growth rates of the states located in northern and northern-eastern part of the country post 1990s. The southern states economic performance took an upturn and grew at about 5 per cent in the 1980s, which accelerated to 6 per cent a decade later. It goes on to add that in the northern region, however, the growth rate shrunk during the period to low levels of roughly 3-4 per cent. Here the exceptions were states like Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

The agriculture sector remained the worst affected sector of the economy of northern India during the period. The industrial growth of the northern states was equally adversely affected except in states such as Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh. The industrial growth in the two states increased. The service sector too, did not do significantly well in the northern part during the period, the study adds.

The northern states including its two union territories of Delhi and Chandigarh contributed a little less than 30 per cent to the countrys aggregate domestic product in the last two decades, the report indicates. But at the same time, the southern states contribution to the countrys aggregate domestic produce kept on increasing from 22 per cent in 1980s to 26 per cent in 2000-07.

On foreign direct investment, the report says that the southern states have also done much better in attracting foreign collaboration and foreign direct investment proposals after the 1990s upto November 2003 (6,477 proposals) in comparison with the northern states, where the number of proposals for the period was only 2,262.