Institute for Social and Economic Change

Working Paper: 276

Analysis of Trends in India’s
 Agricultural Growth


Elumalai Kannan
Sujata Sundaram



The present study discusses the trends and patterns in agricultural growth at the national and sub-national levels in India. Data on important variables like area, production, input use and value of output were compiled for the period 1967-68 to 2007-08 from various published sources. The analysis of data reveals that the cropping pattern in India has undergone significant changes over time. There is a marked shift from the cultivation of food grains to commercial crops. Among food grains, the area under coarse cereals declined by 13.3 per cent between 1970-71 and 2007-08. Similarly, the performance of pulses in terms of area and output was not impressive during the study period. The use of technological inventions in the cultivation of other crops was also not so conspicuous in pulses. Nevertheless, the increase in crop yield has been a major factor for accelerating production in the country since the late 1960s. The use of modern varieties, irrigation and fertilisers were important factors that ensured higher growth in crop production. However, technological and institutional support for a few crops like rice and wheat brought significant changes in crop area and output composition in some regions. The results of crop output growth model indicate that the enhanced capital formation, better irrigation facilities, normal rainfall and improved fertiliser consumption helped to improve crop output in the country.

Working Papers