Driving agricultural growth and alleviating poverty in Eastern India (UP, Bihar and Odisha): Learning from  successes in selected states

(With Bill and Melinda Gates’ Foundation)

The study examines the sources and drivers of agricultural growth in the country and selected states using qualitative and quantitative methods. The focus states include Bihar, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh, which have a large mass of poverty and malnutrition, and Gujarat, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh, which are regarded as models in terms of agri-performances. By establishing a link between agri-growth, poverty and malnutrition, the study aims to draw lessons from the better performing states in order to improve the agri-growth of moderate performing states and thereby reduce poverty.

In line with theory, econometric analysis shows that irrigation, infrastructure (roads and electricity) and price incentives play the most important role in agriculture growth. Other state specific factors influencing agriculture growth include cotton profitability (Gujarat) and diversification (Gujarat & Odisha).

Based on these drivers of growth, policies are prescribed for each focus state. It is recommended to meet the untapped potential in irrigation through investment. However, Punjab has already overused its ground water; hence use of drip and sprinkler irrigation is recommended. Flood and watershed management should be undertaken in affected states. Situation of power and road should be improved. Further, diversification away from traditional agriculture should be promoted in all states as higher income will come from high-value agriculture, which will require a strong value chain infrastructure.



i. Relationship between Agriculture, Rural Poverty and Malnutrition: a cross sections study
ii. Sources & Drivers of Agriculture Growth : Madhya Pradesh
iii. Sources & Drivers of Agriculture Growth : Gujarat
iv. Sources & Drivers of Agriculture Growth : Punjab
v. Sources & Drivers of Agriculture Growth : Uttar Pradesh
vi. Sources & Drivers of Agriculture Growth : Odisha
vii. Sources & Drivers of Agriculture Growth : Bihar



Workshop on Studying Drivers of Agricultural Growth in selected Indian States with focus on Role of Agricultural Extension Systems
Date: June 17, 2016
Venue: Maple Hall, India Habitat Centre, Lodi Road
Place: New Delhi



Gulati, Ashok and Malhotra, Aastha (December 07, 2015): “From plate to plough: A leaf from the MP book”, The Indian Express (http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/from-plate-to-plough-a-leaf-from-the-mp-book/) also published in The Financial Express under the title “Lean from Madhya Pradesh” (http://www.financialexpress.com/article/fe-columnist/column-learn-from-madhya-pradesh/175406/)