• From 2005-06 to 2022-23, Madhya Pradesh’s Agri-GDP has registered an average annual growth rate of 7 per cent, against an all-India figure of 3.8 per cent.
  • As a result of this, Madhya Pradesh is the only state where the share of Agri-GDP in overall state GDP has increased over the years and stands at a whopping figure of 44 per cent against the all-India picture of just 18 per cent.
  • It matters a great deal for a state to have this high growth and a high share of agriculture, because the sector in Madhya Pradesh still engages more than 60 per cent of the workforce against an all-India figure of 45 per cent. That means that growth in Madhya Pradesh over the Chouhan period has not only been spectacular but also very inclusive.
  • No other state matches with this record, except Gujarat during the period from 2002 to 2013, when agriculture growth touched 9 per cent. Such high growth rates in agriculture, over reasonably longer periods, pay off handsomely, politically as well as economically, as maximum people benefit from such a growth model.
  • This is a lesson for other states as well as for policymakers at the Centre to keep agriculture on high. ICRIER on MP’s agriculture growth tells us three factors are major drivers. One, the almost doubling of irrigation, which helped raise cropping intensity as well as productivity.
  • Two, the setting up a well-organized procurement system for wheat, including the role of bonus on top of the Centre’s minimum support price (MSP). And third, diversification towards high-value crops, especially horticulture, and dairy.
  • Much of the agriculture policy matrix in Madhya Pradesh revolved around these areas. There was a special focus on completing dams and canal networks. Madhya Pradesh has a large untapped potential for public irrigation (large and medium irrigation).
  • But the real magic was through groundwater irrigation. The MP govt supplied ample power to agriculture, increasing it from 6,810 Gwh in 2010-11 to 26,521 Gwh in 2021-22.
  • The share of agriculture in the overall power consumption of the state went up from 27 per cent to 40 per cent over the same period. Groundwater irrigation spread from 3.7 million hectares in 2005-06 to 8.3 million hectares by 2019-20. This was revolutionary.
  • As irrigation increased, so did production of most crops. Most notably wheat, for which the MP government developed an organized system to procure, perhaps the best in the country.
  • From literally nowhere, today, MP is only next to Punjab in procurement of wheat, and for many years it has been just neck to neck in competition with Punjab. But unlike Punjab, it also attracts several large private sector players to buy the best wheat (sharbati) from the state as it has kept its commissions and mandi charges lowest and encourages even direct buying from farmers.

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