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Four Decades of Agricultural Development in MP

This paper is a tentative attempt at understanding 40 years of development experience of Madhya Pradesh, focusing on inter-regional differences in the pattern of agricultural growth. Given the overwhelming importance of agriculture in the state economy, a breakthrough in rainfed dryland agriculture can be said to hold the key to development of MP. The performance of the agro-ecological sub-regions within the state has been highly variable, adding another dimension to the unique significance of MP in the national scene. The state can be said to typify the two most important development experiences in India's rainfed agriculture - the near stagnation of the relatively high rainfall eastern region and the increasingly unsustainable tubewell-led agricultural development in the hard rock regions of the country. In our view, backwardness of large segments of Indian agriculture stems from an inability to develop an appropriate location-specific strategy of development for areas where the green revolution approach has no future.

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