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Contribution of agriculture in Jharkhand's GSDP down to 10 pc

Contribution of the agriculture sector in Jharkhand's Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) has decreased from 16 per cent in 2000-01 to 10 per cent in 2009-10 at constant (1999-2000) prices, according to the Jharkhand Economic Survey 2010-11.

The peak agriculture output in real terms reached to Rs 6,500 crore in 2001-02 and since then it is fluctuating around Rs 5,000 crore, the survey said.

"Agriculture in the state continues to remain dependent on vagaries of monsoon and no breakthrough has been achieved since the formation of the state," it added.

Only in 2001-02 the agriculture experienced maximum growth rate of 37 percent, but it was almost stagnant from 2007-08 onwards with growth rate less than a percent, it says.

The report also says the state had not benefited from the green revolution technology either before or after the formation of the state.

The reason behind shortfall of growth rate, argues the report, was largely on account of delayed and erratic rainfall every alternate year, while soil profile in plateau areas endowed with low water/moisture holding capacity, making agriculture risky.

"In fact it is considered to be a food deficit state and therefore strategies were tailored in the past to meet the chronic shortage of food through imports from other states," the report says.

Jharkhand's three agro-climatic regions are distinct from each other but each region faces erratic rainfall, wide variations in temperature, humid to tropical and sub-tropical climate, finds the survey report.

The soil also varies from one region to another, the report says adding, in general, soils of Jharkhand have poor nutrients.

The state has only 12.73 percent area under irrigation, much below the national average and receives more than 800 mm rainfall, but most of the water goes waste.

It has low intensity of irrigation and as per national data, only nine percent of cropped area is under irrigation contrary to many states, the report says.

The agriculture productivity continues to be a cause of worry for Jharkhand, the report says adding the yield per hectare is lower and is one-third of Punjab.

Absence of assured irrigation as one of the problem areas and non-development of appropriate technology for dry land and drought-prone areas compounds the problem.

The available technology to improve agriculture productivity is costly and requires large investment, the report says, adding development of small and micro-watersheds need collective actions.

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