The illusion of a revival in the country’s agricultural sector -Himanshu
Big hopes are being pinned on farming but its performance is not as impressive as made out to be
Most recent economic indicators suggest a modest recovery compared to the first two months of India’s lockdown. But when compared to the data of last year, it also becomes clear that an economic comeback is likely to be a long-drawn affair. There is also a consensus that a recovery will be contingent on a revival in consumption demand, which had declined considerably even before the lockdown. The only hope during these grim times seems to arise from the agricultural sector, which is expected to not only show positive growth, but also boost consumer demand. Such hopes are bolstered by a normal monsoon and increased sowing this year, on top of last year’s record production of some crops. But how realistic are these hopes pinned on agriculture to revive demand and the economy?
Agriculture has stood out, with high growth in the last two years, when most other sectors and the broader economy were slowing down. The sector grew 4% last year, and at an impressive 3.2% per annum during the last six years. For the first five years of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, the annual agricultural growth rate was 3.08%. At an aggregate level, these figures appear impressive, but they have failed to contribute to a resurgence of India’s economy, which has been slowing down for at least two years.
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Livemint.com, 13 August, 2020, https://www.livemint.com/opinion/columns/the-illusion-of-a-revival-in-the-country-s-agricultural-sector-11597329780225.html