Speed Post News Network
New Delhi : The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has released the Advance Estimate (AEs) of GDP and Gross Value Added (GVA) for the country’s economy for the year 2017-18. The GVAs for the economy’s sectors including agriculture have been increased. The GVA of ‘Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing’ for the year 2017-18 has been estimated at 2.1 % compared to 4.9 % in the preceeding year 2016-17.
The Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare (MoAFW) had a quick deliberation on the growth rate for the Agriculture sector to strategize on ensuring that the year 2017-18 ends up with a much higher growth rate.
The Advance Estimate released by CSO are based on the data on crop coverage and estimated production shared by the Directorate of Economics & Statistics (DES), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare. The DES has shared data on area coverage and production for the Kharif 2017-18 in respect of foodgrains, oilseeds and commercial crops, based on their compilation till the month of August, 2017. These estimate by DES are largely eye estimate by state governments, according to a PIB release.
In respect of horticultural crops, another important component of the crop sector the data relating to area coverage and production estimate was shared by the Horticulture Advisor, Ministry of Agriculture with the CSO.
The area coverage under different crops in Kharif as of August, 2017, was below that of the previous year on account of delay in onset of monsoons in some parts of the country. However, good rainfall thereafter helped the Ministry in increasing the area coverage in accordance with kharif targets. Despite delay in onset of monsoons and relatively poorer rainfall vis-à-vis the previous year, the area coverage under kharif finally rose to 106.55 million ha. against the five year average of 105.86 million ha.
The Ministry of Agriculture is of the opinion, that the lower coverage of area by August, 2017 on account of delayed onset of monsoons has caused a poor reflection compared to the actual positive field situation by December, 2017. The estimate also indicate that despite a lower or negative share of crop sector in the GVA computation of Agriculture, based on August 2017 status, the growth rate still worked out to 2.1 per cent. This is a manifestation of higher growth rates in livestock and fishery sectors, the other two components. As seen thus, even by August, 2017 the estimated production of livestock and fishery was very positive and by December, crop the dominant sector has bounced back.
If this amended and actual field situation are taken into account in computation of the GVA for Agriculture sector as a whole, its growth rate can be estimated to be much higher than the Advance Estimate of 2.1 per cent.