ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Changing Pattern of Input Use and Cost of Cultivation

This paper estimates and compares the paid-out cost of cultivation of wheat in India, the most state-protected crop, during the input subsidy regime of the 1970s and 1980s and after its abolition in the 1990s, when economic reforms were initiated. The study uses the valuable time series information collected as part of the "comprehensive scheme" of the ministry of agriculture. After surveying the pattern of changes in inputs as well as costs of cultivation vis-à-vis the wholesale price index (a proxy for the general price level), the value of inputs which are exclusively market-purchased are analysed. A study of the weighted average of these costs establishes unequivocally that the costs of farm inputs increased very sharply in the post-reform period.

Wheat Imports: Food Security or Politics?

While the government may have defended its decision to import wheat in the interests of ensuring food security, this is belied by existing ground realities and in policy contradictions. Imports have been sanctioned, for instance, while private traders procure domestic output for export. More importantly, India's history of wheat imports has been guided more by political considerations than by food security concerns.

Problems of Distribution

Plight of the Power Sector in India: Inefficiency, Reform and Political Economy by K P Kannan and N Vijayamohanan Pillai; Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, 2002; pp 435, Rs 400 (hard bound).

Politics of Procurement and Price Support

It is hoped that this will serve as a supplement to the contributions cited above. Politics of Procurement At present more than 25 major and not so-major agricultural commodities, ac counting for over two-thirds of the gross and Price Support value of farm outputs, are covered under M RAGHAVAN The agricultural price policy has been drawing serious attention recenty. The published a few notable contributions in this regard. Thus, Parikh et al (2003) using an applied general equilibrium model of India, pointed out that

Food Stocks: Managing Excess

The inverse relationship between foodgrain procurement and distribution in India is reflected in stocks rising to unmanageable levels. However, given its politically sensitive nature it may be difficult to drastically cut down stockholdings as suggested by the Expenditure Reforms Commission. The centre will thus have to employ a combination of policy changes and support prices for farmers to perform the tricky job of downsizing food stocks.

Public Sector Investment and Agricultural Growth

Ashok Gulati and Seema Bathla (May 19, 2001) have once again raked up the controversy regarding public investment in agriculture and its relationship with private investment and growth. What is however interesting here in their paper is the commendable attempt to re-define and re-estimate the official data on public sector capital formation, with a view to examine: (i) Has the public sector capital formation in agriculture really declined, as is generally made out? If so, what are the factors responsible for it? (ii) Is there any relation between public and private sector investment in agriculture? Do they complement or compete? (iii) How does the deceleration in public sector capital formation affect the rate of growth of agriculture? The purpose of this note is to make a brief comment on (i) and (iii) above, by way of a critique rather than a criticism. As regards (ii), the authors have taken the mainstream view. We do not find any reason not to subscribe to that view.

Investment Lag in Agriculture

coefficients. However, despite both the coefficients (i e, the terms of trade and public investment) significant at 15 per cent level, we have referred to terms of trade as the most important and public investment as quite weak, mainly because the former has been viewed in the light of earlier negative coefficient, whereas the latter has been seen in the light of strong relationships observed during the 1960s and the

Performance of Wheat Crop in India-1952-53 to 1992-93

The performance of the wheat crop in India, which exhibited robust growth through the two decades of the green revolution could be sustained because of an enclave-based growth strategy. Of late the strategy has failed to yield substantial results. If the wheat crop has to regain its earlier trend, the current strategy has to be remodelled and targeted towards weaker farm households, preferably outside the already saturated enclaves.
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