Eco-Survey 18-19 nails low income of crop farmers, milk farmers in Odisha for last 8-years

The GVA of crop sector grew by mere 9.7% in last 8-years with the average growth per year working out at meagre 1.2%. Though livestock growth was 42% during the period, the average growth per year was 5.25% when average inflation rate was 6-7%

Bhubaneswar: Notwithstanding the State Government going gaga over 8.3 per cent growth in agriculture and allied sector in 2018-19, a reality check illustrates a grim scenario at hand for the  crop and milk farmers in Odisha.

A detailed analysis of the Eco-Survey brings to fore the devil.

As per the Eco-Survey 18-19, the Gross Value Added (GVA) by crop sector (means crop farmers) in 2011-12 had been Rs 25, 55,039 lakh or Rs 25, 550.03 crore. The GVA  in 2018-19 had been a mere Rs 28,03,257 lakh or 28, 032.57 crore. The growth over the period is mere 9.7 per cent, and the average growth per year is a meagre 1.2  per cent when the average rate of inflation for the period had been around 6-7 per cent.

Now, consider this. The aquaculture sector in State had the GVA of Rs 2,68,365 lakh or Rs 2, 683.65 crore in 2011-12. The GVA of the sector in 2018-19 was Rs 5,93,659 lakh or Rs 5, 963.59 crore. The GVA had posted a whopping 121 per cent growth during the period. The average growth rate per year then was around 15 per cent. In contrast the rate of inflation was around 6-7 per cent for the period of 2011-12 to 18-19.

Similarly, the GVA of the livestock sector, that includes dairy and poultry, in 2011-12 was Rs 5,38,911 lakh or Rs 5, 389.11crore. The sector’s GVA in 2018-19 was Rs 7,66,568 lakh or Rs 7,665.68 crore. The growth clocked had been 42 per cent during the period. And the average growth per year was around 5.25 per cent. In comparison, the average inflation rate was around 6-7 per cent. This sector clearly revealed a growth rate below the inflation rate in the State.

The above analysis reveals the State’s growth rate of 24 per cent in GVA of  Agriculture and allied sector during the period 2011-12 to 2018-19 had been led mainly by fisheries and livestock sector.

Moreover, if average growth rate in crop sector is looked into then the data in the Survey revealed that the average growth rate during the period 2015-16 to 2018-19 has been -0.95 per cent.

Now, cut to the protests in farm sector that hit the State in 2018. Odisha had witnessed large-scale protests by crop farmers and milk farmers last year. And their common grouse has been non-realization of remunerative prices for their respective produces.

And when looked through whatever prism, the analysis clearly revealed that the real income of crop-farmers in the State have had a marginal growth,  notwithstanding the claims of the State Government of doubling income of farmers. And the protests on the streets are the reality checks.