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

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Characteristics of the Multipronged Agrarian Crisis in Maharashtra

The agrarian crisis of Maharashtra predominantly comes out in the form of its nationally largest, yet scanty and inefficient irrigation sector, and development backlog faced by about two-thirds (62.10%) of its geographical area, with 57.29% of the total and 45.68% of the state’s tribal population. Low crop yields and net negative returns for cultivating most of the crops across seasons result into the farm household level indebtedness and highest number of farm suicides death toll at the national level for over a period of three and a half decades.

The agrarian crisis of Maharashtra predominantly comes out in the form of its nationally largest, yet scanty and inefficient irrigation sector, and development backlog faced by about two-thirds (62.10%) of its geographical area, with 57.29% of the total and 45.68% of the states tribal population. Low crop yields and net negative returns for cultivating most of the crops across seasons result into the farm household level indebtedness and highest number of farm suicides death toll at the national level for over a period of three and a half decades.

The authors deem it an unsatisfying academic endeavour to locate the multi-charactered cumulative agrarian distress in Maharashtra. It is the second populous state in the country while both its gross state domestic product (GSDP) and annual budget are the largest among other states. Also, the state per capita income of Maharashtra is 40% higher than the national average (GoM 2022). On the contrary, Maharashtra accounts for 8.76% of the area under foodgrains but contributes only 5.21% of the production of foodgrains in India, which has declined from 9.5% in 196061. The state holds the first rank with its large budget size, highest GSDP, and the second highest per capita income, alternatively after Punjab and Gujarat. Despite having good development records, Maharashtra belongs to the group of six states housing Indias 70% poor along with Uttar Pradesh (UP), Bihar, Madhya Pradesh (MP), Odisha and West Bengal. While half of the countrys population belongs to these states, 36% of the population belongs to UP, Bihar and Maharashtra, and together they account for 48% of Indias total poor (Vyas 2004).

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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