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In an attempt to increase the contribution of the agricultural sector to the overall state economy, the Maharashtra government has decided to appoint a committee to look into ways to shore up agricultural growth. Barring last year when the agricultural sector notched a 19.6 per cent growth, the performance of the sector has been slowly deteriorating. In the preceding year of 2015-16, the sector had shown a negative growth of 10.3 per cent.
In the previous year of 2014-15, it had again registered negative growth of 17.5 per cent. This lag in growth was blamed on a deficient monsoon. The spike in 2016-17 was based on satisfactory rains that the state received.
Interestingly, the contribution of the agricultural sector was only 11.8 per cent of the total Gross State Product. The setting up of the committee which will comprise heads of the four agricultural institutes that operate in the state will look into ways of facilitating growth of the said sector.
The agricultural sector has huge bearing on the state’s economy as nearly 25 per cent of workers in the state are cultivators and another 27 per cent are agricultural labourers.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has recently spoken about the government’s commitment to double farmers’ income by 2022. Officials claim that to achieve this goal, it is imperative to accelerate the growth in the agricultural sector to facilitate enhancing the income of farmers and providing them income security.