Growth story of mainly agrarian economy largely characterized by agri flop

The agricultural sector in the country witnessed a negative 0.19 percent growth against the target of 3.9 percent set for 2015-16.

According to Economic Survey 2015-16, the country missed agriculture growth target because of negative growth in cotton, rice and maize crops. Important crops, other crops and cotton ginning posted negative growth of (-) 7.18 percent, (-) 0.31 percent and (-) 21.26 percent respectively.

Important crops having a share of 23.55 percent in agricultural value-added witnessed a negative growth of 7.18 percent on account of a large decline in cotton production (27.83 percent), rice production (2.74 percent) and maize production (0.35 percent) during 2015-16 against a negative growth of 0.52 percent during the same period of last year.

The cotton crop has a share of 1 percent in GDP and contributes 5.1 percent to agriculture value addition. This year the production of cotton registered a significant decline therefore, to maintain the supply chain of cotton to the textile industry, the import of raw cotton during July-March 2015-16 increased by 345.363 thousand tons compared to 97.354 thousand tons during the same period of last year showing a growth of 254.75 percent.

Cotton production for the year 2015-16 stood at 10.074 million bales against 13.960 million bales last year showing a decline of 27.8 percent. Rice is an important food and cash crop and it accounts for 3.1 percent in the value-added items in agriculture and 0.6 percent of GDP.

During 2015-16, rice crop was cultivated on an area of 2748 thousand hectares showing a decrease of 4.9 percent over last year’s area of 2891 thousand hectares. Rice production remained 6811 thousand tons, showing a decline of 2.7 percent over corresponding period last year.

Wheat and sugarcane production witnessed positive growths of 1.58 percent and 4.22 percent respectively as compared to last year. In 2015-16, area under wheat cultivation increased to 9260 thousand hectares from last year’s area of 9204 thousand hectares -an increase of 0.6 percent.

Wheat production stood at 25.482 million tons during 2015-16, showing an increase of 1.6 percent over last year’s production of 25.085 million tons. Sugarcane production accounts for 3.2 percent in agriculture’s value addition and 0.8 percent in overall GDP.

During 2015-16, the area sown for sugarcane crop stood at 1132 thousand hectares compared to last year’s area of 1141 thousand hectares showing a decline of 0.8 percent. Sugarcane production for the year 2015-16 increased to 65.5 million tons from 62.8 million tons of last year’s production showing an increase of 4.2 percent.

Maize contributes 2.2 percent to the value-addition in agriculture and 0.4 percent to GDP. During 2015-16, the cultivated area under maize crop increased to 1144 thousand hectares, showing an increase of 0.2 percent over last year’s area of 1142 thousand hectares but maize crop’s production stood at 4.920 million tons during 2015-16, showing a decrease of 0.3 percent over last year’s production of 4.937 million tons.

The growth of crops declined by 6.5 percent, while other sub component of agriculture sector like livestock, forestry and fishing posted positive growths of 3.63 percent, 8.84 percent and 3.25 percent, respectively.

Livestock contributed approximately 58.6 percent to the agriculture value-addition and 11.6 percent to the overall GDP during 2015-16 compared to 56.4 percent and 11.7 percent during the corresponding period of last year. –Business Recorder