Agri Business

'Unstable farm production delivering serious shocks'

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on November 10, 2017

Instability in farm production is delivering serious shocks to supplies and farm income in the State, according to the Economic review 2010.

There is growing concern about increased volatility in farm production, prices and farm income.

The close linkage between the prices of primary commodities and the financial markets will make these prices highly volatile leading to instability in commodity markets, the Review noted.

CLIMATE CHANGE

Another source of instability is climate change and its implications, including increasing intensity and frequency of droughts and floods, altered hydrological cycles and precipitation trends.

The provisional estimate of agricultural income of the State recorded a slight increase of 2.75 per cent during 2008-09. For 2009-10, however, it was 0.25 per cent over the previous year.

The State, which has traditionally had an abysmally low capacity in terms of food production, is now facing serious challenges in retaining even this small base.

The agricultural economy is undergoing a structural transformation from the mid-70s through switchover of large proportion of its traditional crop area of subsistence crops to more remunerative cash crops.

ADVERSE CHANGE

In this context, ‘Harithasree,' the lease-land farming promoted by ‘Kudumbashree,' the State Poverty Eradication Mission, has helped women farmers to stay on in agriculture for livelihood.

The major crop cultivated by the Kudumbashree group is paddy (27 per cent of the area) followed by plantain and vegetables during 2009-10.

The Centre had approved 15.54 lakh families in the State under the BPL category, but the State Government has identified 20.61 lakh families under this category.

Foodgrains are allotted by the Centre for distribution to the Anthyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) cardholders at the rate of 35 kg and for BPL cardholders at 30 kg per month for each family.

During 2010, up to November, more than 49 lakh tonnes of rice and 8.36 lakh tonnes of wheat have been distributed through the State's public distribution system.

CHEAPER FOODGRAINS

Foodgrains at the rate of Rs 2 are being distributed to BPL/AAY sections of cardholders, as well as families belonging to SC/ST categories from mid-2009 onwards.

The amount spent for the implementation of the scheme during 2009-10 is Rs 195.95 crore. Out of the Rs 245 crore earmarked for this purpose during 2010-11, Rs 182.74 crore has been spent up to December, 2010, the Review said.

Of the power sector, it noted that Kerala is among the very few States where there was no load-shedding or power cut during 2009-10.

The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) has set a target for providing affordable and reliable electricity to all households on demand by 2011. Water is the only commercially viable source for power generation within the State.

During 2009-10, transmission and distribution loss has come down to 19.41 per cent from 20.45 per cent in 2008-09. The KSEB has achieved a significant reduction in T&D losses.

INDUSTRIAL ENVIRONMENT

The State Government has succeeded in creating the right environment for the flow of private capital to industry in general, information technology, biotechnology and the commercial segment of the tertiary sector.

The average growth rate for industry for the period from 2004-05 to 2009-10 was 10.56 per cent and 16.15 per cent at constant and current prices respectively.

The public sector undertakings have registered excellent growth and commendable performance during 2009-10. The cumulative loss of Rs 69.64 crore in 2005-06 has been transformed into profits of Rs 239.75 crore in 2009-10.

The vibrant tourism industry in the State not only facilitates infrastructure development but also helps in the balanced and sustainable regional growth by generating income and creating employment opportunities.

Published on February 09, 2011

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