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Share of agriculture in GDP drops to below 20 per cent

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Apr 30 (UNI) The share of agriculture in GDP has dropped below 20 per cent (19.7) in 2005-06 even as quantum of population directly and indirectly dependent on it continues to be around 65 per cent which shows growing poverty in the rual areas, according to National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER).

The share of agriculture in GDP for a couple of years had been 25 per cent and thereafter it came down to to 22 per cent last year.

During 2005-06 agricultural growth rate is expected to touch 2.3 per cent much higher than the growth rate of 0.7 per cent experienced in 2004-05 which was much below the projected average growth of 4 per cent for this sector during 10th Five Year Plan.

The average growth rate for the four-year period from 2002-03 to 2005-05 was 1.5 per cent per annum which was even lower than the poor growth rate witnessed during ninth Plan at 1.9 per cent a year.

If there is a deficit in the coming monsoon as perdicted recently by the Indian Metrological Department(IMD), output of Kharif foodgrain crops (summer) may come down from last season's production of 105.3 million tonnes which will ultimately affect the total annual production. This is estimated at 209.3 million tonne in 2005-06 registering a growth rate of 2.3 per cent.

For the first time since 1997, the IMD has forcast such a high probability of 22 per cent deficiency in rainfall than the normal for the coming monsoon.

However, at the end of March this year, the storage levels of water in about 76 major reserviors of the country were more than last year as also that of the average during past 10 years.

According to second advance estimates, the production of wheat is expected to be at 73.1 million tonnes (MT), that of rice at 87.9 MT and coarse cereals at 34.0 MT and pulses at 14.4 MT with total foodgrain production at 209.9 MT during 2005-06.

The production of other crops during 2005-06 like oilseeds, cotton, jute and mesta also showed a slight recovery over the last year's output of 26.4 MT, 16.4 MT and 10.6 MT respectively. The sugarcane output is estimated to register a high growth of 12.4 per cent at 266.9 MT.

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