ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Agricultural Development in an Emerging Non-Agrarian Regional Economy: Kerala's Challenges

This is based on the author's Dr K N Shyamasundaran Nair Memorial Lecture delivered on 13 August 2010 at the Kerala Agricultural University, Thrissur. Research assistance rendered by Varinder Jain and S Dhanya is gratefully acknowledged. K P Kannan ( is with the Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram. Changes in Kerala's economy have led to a structural transformation, giving it a non-agrarian character, both in terms of income and employment. This poses new difficulties for agricultural development at a time when there is a scarcity of labour as well as profits. The present stagnation in the state's agricultural sector has come at a time when its non-agricultural sector has been growing at more than 9% per annum. In this sense, the current challenge of rejuvenating Kerala's agriculture is of a qualitatively different kind in its developmental history. This paper probes the issue and puts forth a set of measures that are needed to meet the problem head-on.

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