The correlation between agriculture and GDP growth is a close one. India’s GDP growth slowed to 4.9 per cent in the first half to September 2001 down from 6.1 per cent in the earlier year. At a time when both industry and services have failed to click as feared, it is agriculture that has held the economy together with a growth of 2.8 per cent up from 0.6 per cent in the same period last year. Buoyed up by a good show, the rabi season has seen an expansion in acreage under most crops. That may spur GDP growth at above 5 per cent in the current year, which is certainly impressive in a flagging global economy. Going back in time, during 1994-95 and 1996-97, agriculture grew by 5 per cent and 9.6 per cent respectively to push up GDP growth to 7 per cent plus. In the next three years, agriculture did not do well — as a result, GDP growth suffered. Yet Indian agriculture continues to receive a raw deal, despite a lot of rhetoric on second generation reforms. Thanks to the neglect of agriculture, the government seems helpless in stemming the distress movement of people from rural to urban areas in search of jobs. The point is that such problems cannot be meaningfully addressed without a comprehensive policy.