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To Push Agriculture Growth, 5% Hike in Research Funding

Junagadh: To achieve additional 1% growth in Total Factor Productivity (TFP) in agriculture sector, the first-of-its-kind study has recommended 5% annual increase in funds for agricultural research.

The study 'Total Factor Productivity (TFP) of major crops and contribution of research investment to agricultural growth in Gujarat' conducted by Department of Agricultural Economics at Junagadh Agricultural University (JAU), Junagadh. Scientists involved in the study say that this was the first ever comprehensive study undertaken in Gujarat.

Investment in agricultural research and extension education needs to be increased at the rate of 5% per annum, to attain targeted agricultural growth, scientists recommended based on the study.

The study conducted by R L Shiyani, M G Dhandhliya and V D Tarpara. Haresh Chavda analyzed the TFP growth of major crops of Gujarat between 1990-91 and 2011-12, and the factors affecting it.

Scientists said, "In the past, major sources of growth in agricultural production were area and yield. However, the future growth has to be essentially driven by increase in yields. There is a compelling need for sustained efforts to increase production of essential items like cereals, pulses and edible oils among others. Faced with limits to further expansion of cultivated land and slowing returns to further input intensification, productivity growth assumes a central role in meeting the challenges of the future."

According to study, "Major crops of Gujarat have experienced a strong technological growth in the last two decades, except bajra and sesame. The internal rate of return to public investment in agricultural research ranged from 27% in case of mustard to about 75% for cumin with the overall average of 42% for major crops of Gujarat. Proper management of agronomical practices to keep production cost low and proper price incentive to keep pace with other crops in the state, are equally important."

Cumin has given highest internal rate of returns (in last two decades) with 74.9% annually, study stated. The farmer has received Rs 22.37 against expenditure of extra Re 1 in input cost in castor in value of marginal product term.

For the study, researchers selected groundnut, cotton, castor, sesame, mustard, bajra, paddy, wheat, gram, tur (pigeon pea) and cumin. To increase output growth and estimates the contribution of agricultural research to Gujarat's economy and attainment of food self-sufficiency, the study has analysed the role of public sector investment in agricultural research.


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