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

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KERALA-Growing Food Deficit

KERALA Growing Food Deficit KPK THE latest Economic Review (1986) published by the state planning board presents a grim picture of the Kerala economy. Much of what it has to say should not come as a surprise to those who have been observing the performance of the economy over the last decade or so. Lopsided priorities in various development programmes, ineffective implementation, rampant corruption and above all subordinating the overall requirements of the state to the concerns of sectional vested interests cannot but create the sort of economic situation that has been revealed in the annual economic review. While the national economy registered a growth rate of 5.1 per cent in real terms, the Kerala economy has just managed a growth rate of 2.9 per cent in 1985-86. The worst hit has been the agricultural sector which has suffered a severe setback registering a mere 1.5 per cent growth rate. There has been a general decline in area, production and productivity of crops. The striking feature, however, is that the decline in area under paddy to the extent of more than 52,000 hectares followed a decline in all major crops. The marginal increase in the productivity of paddy has not been able to offset the impact of the area decline resulting in a decrease of 6.6 per cent in rice production. As it is Kerala is a chronically deficit state in respect of foodgrains and the situation is being salvaged only because of the improved situation in the national economy and the working of a public distribution system encompassing the whole population and distributing rice and wheat received through central allocations.

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