Potentials of Productivity Growth:
It needs to be noted that growth in productivity witnessed in the past are an average rate at the All-India level. There are considerable regional and inter-farm variations. Sustained increase in agricultural production and productivity calls for reduction in these inter-regional and inter-farm variations. Overall increase in productivity would obviously be higher if all states and regions as well as all farms adopted the new technology and adjusted their farming operations keeping in view the possibility of raising productivity further.
It is evident from this table that agricultural productivity in India even in the year 2003 (even after the impact of a rise in productivity over the years) is far below the productivity levels realised in some of the other countries. In respect of rice, for instance, the productivity per hectare in India is less than even one-third of that in Australia. It is less than half that in China and USA and almost half of the per hectare yield in Japan. In the case of wheat, the productivity level in India is close to the world average but is far below that of China and Japan or even USA. Maize, which is included among the coarse cereals, shows a productivity level which is less than half that of world average and also less than one-fourth of the productivity level in USA. In China, the productivity of land under maize is more than double of that in India. Equally dismal is the productivity profile in respect of groundnut in India. However, the productivity situation for sugar-cane crop in India compares favourly with several other countries, although there is still a substantial difference between the productivity of sugar-cane in India and that in Brazil, Australia, USA and China.
This comparison indicates that there is a tremendous scope for further improvement in agricultural productivity in India. The rise in productivity in the post-green revolution period, particularly in the decade of 1980's, is only a step in the direction of realising the potentials of growth in productivity. This need not be a wishful dream particularly when we note that India is well endowed with a fairly advanced agricultural research system among the developing countries in terms of scientific skills. The country has to exploit the frontier technologies like biotechnology. It may also have to re-organise and restructure its research organisation to ensure that benefits of research are smoothly transferred from the laboratories to the land.