Policy Watch No.4

Slow Agricultural Growth and Agrarian Crisis

India’s agricultural growth in the past two decades has been slower than the rest of the economy. This has led to resentment among the rural population that the bulk of the benefits of development have gone to the urban areas and that public development policy is more concerned with promoting urban interests at the cost of ignoring the concerns of rural areas. This resentment is widespread, strong and grows to crisis proportions whenever there are severe natural calamities as witnessed in the last few years. This paper is an effort to explore the deeper issues underlying the past experience and future prospects of growth of agriculture and the rural economy. It also examines how this growth has impacted (and is likely to impact) various sections of the rural population.

India’s agricultural growth in the past two decades has been slower than the rest of the economy. This has led to resentment among the rural population that the bulk of the benefits of development have gone to the urban areas and that public development policy is more concerned with promoting urban interests at the cost of ignoring the concerns of rural areas.

This resentment is widespread, strong and grows to crisis proportions whenever there are severe natural calamities as witnessed in the last few years. This paper is an effort to explore the deeper issues underlying the past experience and future prospects of growth of agriculture and the rural economy. It also examines how this growth has impacted (and is likely to impact) various sections of the rural population.

The author can be contacted at a.vaidyanathan053@gmail.com.



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