It is said that development is an economic phenomenon. The most common measures of development are the per capita availability of gross national product and the growth of a nation. At the same time, any development indicator based on the monetary value of production is subject to technical and conceptual shortcomings. Facts show that the soul of India resides in the villages, so whenever planning is done for the all-round development of the country, villages, agriculture and farmers are at the center of it.
Agriculture sector is considered to be the backbone of the Indian economy which contributes approx 20 per cent to the GDP. Agriculture sector occupies an important place in the economy of Madhya Pradesh too. As per the report, the Gross State Domestic Product of Madhya Pradesh for 2021- 22 was projected to have a 10 per cent annual growth over 2019-20. In 2021 -22 GSDP was estimated to be 23.4 per cent higher than the revised estimated of the same of year. The recent report in respect of per capita income for 2022-23 shows that GDP per capita of Madhya Pradesh grew up to ₹ 1.40 lakhs, which indicate the state’s growth rate has become 26.7 per cent.
Madhya Pradesh has 307.56 lakhs hectares of land, out of which near about 151.91 lakhs hectare are ‘arable’. Out of that, 145 lakhs hectares cater to ‘Kharif’ , while 119 lakhs hectares is used cor ‘Rabi’ crops. The crop density of the state is 165.78 per cent.
The Shivraj Government has done many important works in the interest of the farmers, these works gained greater momentum when the Modi Government was formed at the Centre
It is a matter of joy that there is worldwide demand of wheat and soybean produced in the State and rest of India as well. Madhya Pradesh has done such successful work in soyabean production that it has come to be known as ‘Soya Pradesh’. The production of wheat in MP has increased from 174.8 lakh tonnes to 352.7 lakh tonnes in the last decade. Madhya Pradesh’s share in wheat export at the national level is 46 percent. Similarly, the production of paddy has increased from 53.2 lakh tonnes to 131.8 tonnes, which is more than double. MP also has 22.54 percent share in the national product of pulses. The performance of the State is also becoming remarkable in the production of Millet (Shri Anna), Cotton, Flowers, Fruits, Vegetables, Coriander, Red Chilli, Onion, Potato and Garlic.
There is no doubt, that the credit goes to our present Government headed by Shivraj Singh Chauhan who himself a son of soil of the Sihore district. In the opinion of agricultural experts, there should be no hesitation admitting that the growth in agriculture sector in Madhya Pradesh has accelerated due to the proper use of irrigation facilities. In the year 2003, the irrigation potential of Madhya Pradesh was 7 lakh 68 thousand hectare, which has reached 45 lakh hectare at present. Similarly, Madhya Pradesh’s agricultural growth rate was 3 percent in the year 2002. Due to the planned efforts of the Shivraj government, it has reached 13.33 percent in the year 2012-13 and 18.89 percent by the year 2020-21. An agricultural growth rate of 15.89 percent between 2002 and 2021 would be a wonderful achievement for any government.
Very sensitive towards the farmers, Shivraj Singh Chouhan has taken many strategic steps to make agriculture a simple, updated and profitable business. Under his stewardship, along with farming, attention has been paid to animal husbandry, fisheries, horticulture, cooperatives, training of farmers, soil testing, subsidy on purchase of agricultural equipment, loan without guarantee, arrangement for export of crops, bonus amount on support price of crops and dequate supply of fertilisers. Arrangements for availability of power, ensuring minimum 10 hours power supply even in remote areas,. were made by the Chief Minister. The most important thing in this is that Chief Minister Chouhan, committed to the welfare of the farmers, constantly monitors all these matters himself.
However, there are many challenges before the government in the field of production of crops due to natural disaster, variation in rainfall, topography, farming methods, lack of irrigation facilities and lack of awareness about high yielding seeds. Madhya Pradesh government’s record is comparatively better in terms of preparedness to deal with natural disaster, giving relief package and distribution of compensation. Taking suo moto cognisance of matters like heavy rains, hailstorm, directing the officers and going to the area to take stock of the ground condition is s a part of Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s working style.
According to the Agriculture census, another notable challenge before the government is that most of the land holding in the State— 30 per cent of the total land holding of the State– is very small. They are less than half a hectare in size. Due to small agricultural land, many challenges have come before small farmers and agricultural laborers. In order to benefit the affected small farmers, social security has been provided by the Shivraj Government in addition to agricultural related schemes. Efforts are also being made to provide food grains through the public distribution system, free education, medical treatment, free treatment of serious diseases in big hospitals at government expense, insurance, pension etc. Apart from Rs.6,000 from the Central Government’s Kisan Samman Nidhi, the Madhya Pradesh government is paying Rs.4,000 per year under the Kisan Kalyan Yojana, thus the beneficiary farmers are getting financial support of Rs.10,000 per year.
In its tenure of almost two decades, the Shivraj government has done many important works in the interest of the farmers, these works gained greater momentum when the Modi government was formed at the centre. Madhya Pradesh has won the “Krishi Karmanya Puraskar” for the 7th time in the year 2022 under the leadership of Shivraj Singh Chouhan, on the basis of continuous work and achievements in the agriculture sector by the double engine government. This award is given for the production of crops like wheat, paddy, pulses, millet etc. Due to the highest use of the Agricultural Fund, the state has also received the “Best Performing State” award. For promotion of millets and encouraging their use, the award of “Best Emerging State” as well as “Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Excellence” award has also been given to Madhya Pradesh. The Shivraj government, which is making various efforts to reduce the cost of farming and increase farmer’s income, has made a historic provision of Rs 40,916 crore for the agriculture sector in the budget for the year 2022-23. Due to all these efforts, Madhya Pradesh has emerged as a model state for agriculture development in India.