The April to June period witnessed a spate of farm protests in various parts of the country. The protests were witnessed in Nashik-Ahmednagar in Maharashtra, Neemuch-Mandsaur-Ratlam stretch of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan’s Hadoti region and the Cauvery delta districts of Tamil Nadu. Many must be wondering why the nation saw these protests, especially in June. According to a report in The Indian Express, the just released GDP data for April-June by the Central Statistics Office’s (CSO) provides a clue. The report adds that the annual growth in gross value added from agriculture during the quarter was only 2.3 per cent in real terms (i.e. at constant prices), as against 5.2 per cent for January-March and 6.9 per cent for October-December.
The Express report says that what’s more significant is the growth in nominal terms or at current prices unadjusted for inflation. That, at 0.3 per cent, was even lower, says the report. But what does it mean? If we want to understand in simple terms, this means that even though farm output for the last quarter was 2.3 per cent higher year-on-year, the fall in prices by 2 per cent resulted in the value of agricultural production rising just 0.3 per cent.
The table shows the farm sector’s growth. It has been more in nominal than real terms for every quarter, barring the last one.
The Central Statistics Office’s data officially confirms that agriculture entered deflation territory during Apr-June quarter, coinciding with the harvesting and marketing of rabi crops, says the Express report.