Agriculture sector in Maharashtra to show negative growth?

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Mumbai, Mar 22: The agriculture sector in Maharashtra is expected to show a negative growth of 9.1 per cent as per the economic survey for 2011-12 tabled in the State Legislature here today.

This negative figure will also restrain the growth of "Agriculture and allied activities" sector at (-) 5.1 per cent, the survey said.

The "Agriculture and allied activities" sector which has contributed about 12.8 per cent to the GSDP during 2010-11, grew at an annual average growth of 3.7 per cent during the first four years of the 12th five year plan.

Though the state is about to achieve the five year plan target of 4 per cent growth in this sector, the year wise performance of this sector depicts a different scenario.

The ratio of gross irrigated area to gross cropped area for 2008-09 in the state was 17.7 per cent, which was much below the national level ratio of 45.3 per cent.

This along with low productivity of soil are the major concerns in this sector in the state, the survey said. The GSDP as per advance estimates is expected to grow at 8.5 per cent during 2011-12 as against 11.3 per cent during the previous year. The industry sector is expected to grow at 9.1 per cent and the services sector is expected to grow by 10.1 per cent.

Due to the late arrival of monsoon in Vidarbha and Marathwada and its erratic nature, the sowing of major Kharif crops was delayed by two to three weeks and also affected the total coverage adversely.

The erratic rainfall in September and deficient rainfall in October have resulted in reduction of area under Rabi crops and thus overall production of foodgrains, oil seeds and cotton is expected to reduce drastically during the current year.

The production of foodgrains in 2011-12 is expected to register a decrease of 23 per cent with production of 118.09 lakh metric tonnes as against 154.19 lakh metric tonnes during the previous year.

Production of oil seeds and cotton (lint) are also expected to decrease by eight per cent and 15 per cent, respectively. The production of sugarcane is expected to be at 856.35 lakh metric tonnes.

PTI 

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