TODAY -

Stunted Agriculture: A sad reflection of policy failure, a challenge of Manipur Government

Dr Mohendro Nandeibam *

 Drought looming : The condition of Paddy field in Nambol Areas :: last week of July 2012
Drought looming : The condition of Paddy field in Nambol Areas in July 2012 :: Pix - Bunti Phurailatpam



It is glorious to be rich while it is dehumanising to be poor. Who will respect us when we go with a begging bowl to New Delhi every year for Special Treatment, Special Grants, Special Loans and Special Concessions, even after 47 years of statehood (1972) when we are given constitutional power to prepare our own Plans and pass Budget to enjoy the aura of economic freedom?

Food self sufficiency could have been the most powerful strategy for the painless reduction of poverty and intra-regional disparity. The social and economic tension we are experiencing to-day has its economic origin.

To-day, Manipur is a land of fundamental backwardness where one finds 40% of rural population below poverty line who cannot spend Rs. 32 per head per day. More so in hill areas where poverty percentage is more than 42%, being subjected to all kinds of deprivations.

Go to the villages (2515) and see how many of them are there in dilapidated dwellings. Where do they work and how? What they own and purchase? What risks they face? What are their precise economic circumstances? Statistics cannot tell you of the sad side of dismal story. Remember, Manipur lives in the VILLAGES.

Yes, people say Manipur is culturally rich, but economically very poor. How can you enrich your life with only Per Capita Income of Rs 52,436, as against Rs. 2,42,745 of Goa and Rs. 2,10,394 of Sikkim (GOI, Economic Survey, 2016-17)?

How can you tackle the teething problems to get out of the deep rut of poverty when whole atmosphere is plagued with insecurity of investment, insecurity of business and insecurity of life?

What can you expect when the small open economy of your state is visibly in disarray with mounting proliferation of unorganised economic activities in the absence of a strong PUBLIC LAW?

Even to-day Manipur continues to be a small land of family farms, micro-enterprise and household business when India is on the way to Economic Power by 2022. We have to learn the basics of development-partnership, relationship-management and project-planning.

It is not a surprise that “Non-Development” is one of the disturbing features of Manipur (UN). In fact, the state is being exhausted by the twin problems of growthless jobs and jobless growth.

It may be terribly disappointing to expect so-called industrialisation and trade dynamism without a sound foundation of agricultural take off. Remember there is no short-cut to development. Development cannot be created. It evolves. It passes through a number of difficult stages.

Following the principle of comparative advantage, it could be a hopeful beginning for Manipur to act on STATE MISSION on AGRICULTURE FOR DEVELOPMENT, – not for just survival, based upon Area Specialisation Index. The abject ground realities unfold certain “gaps” in critical areas like Irrigation, Credit, Land degradation and Farmers’ Friendly Reforms. They need to be addressed.

Right now the total irrigated area under all crops in Manipur is only 18% as against 99% of Punjab, 89% of Haryana and All India Average of 49%. Area under micro-irrigation is only 318 hectares, as against 2095 hectares of Tripura and 30,970 hectares of Kerala.

How can you ensure food self sufficiency with unirrigated land whose yield is only 1.4 metric tonnes of food grains per hectare as against 4 metric tonnes of irrigated land? As such we have to irrigate both land and man as a matter of practical necessity. Food production is highly water intensive. In fact, prolonged dependence upon the mercy of monsoon is a sign of primitive economy.

The credit per hectare is only Rs.418 as against rs. 2,05, 525 of Punjab, Rs. 1, 41,379 of Haryana and Rs 44,567 of Goa. The innovative initiative is possible only with sufficient credit. Without sufficient credit and assured irrigation, agriculture becomes “lifeless”.

Land degradation is really alarming. 42.6% of Total Geographical Area of Manipur was reported to be degraded area (MOAFW). The cost of land degradation in South Asia is said to be 2% of Gross Domestic Product of the region and 7% of agricultural output. Land degradation amounts to killing the child in the womb of the mother.

The rank of Manipur in the Agricultural Marketing and Farmers’ Friendly Reforms (AMFERI) is fairly low with 7.4 as against 70 of Rajasthan, 66 of Maharashtra and 37 of Assam. Reformations mark a beginning of directional departure of new hope.

The declining trend of yield of food grains from 2397 Kgs/Ha in 2011-12 to 1468 Kgs/Ha in 2015-16 in Manipur is, perhaps, a living testimony to the failure of half-hearted and casual interventions by the government in agricultural sector. The agricultural sector of the state is marked by negative Growth Rate of Productivity of -0.77 (2004-05 to 2014-15 Kurukshetra, Feb. 2018).

Our farming community is still in the grip of huge burden of economic insecurity. To-day the agrarian economy looks feeble and fickle. 40% of farmers are now willing to get themselves dispossessed of land. Market-based solutions may not deliver goods in a state plagued with a number of imperfections at all levels.

The state should not be a mere referee; but a dominant player in economic game. “Played well, the state‘s activities can accelerate economic development. Played badly, they produce stagnation or, in the extreme, economic and social disintegration” (World Development Report, 1997).

Now what shall we do? There is a crying need for improving Political Economy of agricultural sector to ensure constructive relationship between agricultural sector and the state. More important is Good Governance of Agricultural Resources to avoid the sudden shocks and long-term loss.

The Unity in Approach and Action of sub-sectors, particularly irrigation, soil conservation and financial institutions could be the backbone of accelerated transformation towards a new era of food self-sufficiency.

Manipur needs a CUSTODIAN of AGRICULTURAL RESOURCES AS AGRICULTURE MINISTER who can embark upon the “Productivity Revolution” of small farmers to avoid the dark days of pre-mature future. The onset of Act East Policy of India at this highly “shaky” stage may prove otherwise. “Globalisation is a threat to weak or capriciously governed states” like Manipur (WDR 1997). It must be guarded against.


* Dr Mohendro Nandeibam wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer was Professor of Economics in Manipur University and associated with a number of institutions at different levels.
This article was webcasted on August 24 2019.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Mova Cave, Hunpung, Ukhrul #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 20 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Irawat the Legend #1
  • Leishangthem Dhanachandra ..rears Sareng
  • Economic devpt & climate deterioration?
  • Detachment without Resentment
  • Wishful thinking for end to election-money
  • Drugs & manufacturing units within State
  • Kanglasha Kaba Khanba removal #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 19 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • Sep 20, a crucial week for Nagaland
  • Lord's echo :: Poem
  • Jobs opening at Changerline, Imphal
  • In search of roots
  • Opposition cosy up as poll date nears
  • The end of RN Ravi's saga
  • 27th August 1965 : Birth of students force
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • World's largest adult vaccination program
  • 2nd State Level Yogasana Sports C'ship
  • Just survival is enough :: Poem
  • Add oats to your beauty regime
  • Thri Kappi Sanaba @Andro #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 17 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • Legal Campaign [17 Sep] : Gallery
  • Demise of Padma Shri Thongram Haridas
  • Legal Awareness & Outreach Campaign
  • Changes that the time brings :: Poem
  • AMWJU Foundation Day [16 Sep] : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • Mapping the Changemakers of NE India
  • Will inclusion centrestage at Equality Forum
  • World ozone day & the living beings
  • Understanding CAT
  • Eternally struggling Manipuri women
  • Posers on the Interlocutor
  • Zeilad Lake, Tamenglong #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 15 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • Report on 54th Engineers Day 2021
  • Social Media & Political Campaigning
  • What if ? :: Poem
  • Condolence prayer for Oscar Fernandes
  • Virus threat not over yet
  • The virus is still out there!
  • RIMS, Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 14 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • Nagaland CM Rio calls Ravi 'genuine' man
  • Role of media in combating Covid
  • One day business shut-down in Dimapur
  • The warning bell is ringing loud & clear
  • Anxiety over arrival of train service
  • Choosing candidate the first step
  • Raghu Leishangthem : Manipuri Poet Biodata
  • COVID-19 Status 13 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • Memo to CM : Inclusion of Meetei in ST
  • Without you :: Poem
  • Lessons from the pandemic
  • ICS (IAS) viva voce of Khushwant Singh
  • Blaming predecessor till near end of term
  • Questioning truce pacts with others
  • ILP & COVID checking @Jirighat : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 12 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • Webinar: Higher Edn & Career in USA & UK
  • Prostate Cancer: Know its warning signals
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Hope heals crisis :: Poem
  • AFSPA in NE amid peace accords
  • TSE completes 22 years : 1999 to 2021
  • Pathetic Road @Imphal-Jiri : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 11 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • National Lok Adalat in High Court of Manipur
  • On tourism in the Northeast
  • The Dement Corona Avoids :: Poem
  • The prism of relationships
  • Reappraisal of early Meitei settlement
  • COVID-19 Status 10 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • Royal Charter Day celebrated
  • Poshan Abhiyaan : A people's movement
  • MTech in Defence Tech at Amrita Univ
  • Ethno-Veterinary medicine in livestock
  • Power dept employees eyeing soft target
  • Taking a look at issues in 2012, 2017
  • Meetei Leikai @, Silchar, Assam #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 09 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • The uncle conundrum
  • Himalayan Day : Science & Knowledge
  • Pandemic : changing dynamics of preschool
  • Common factors that enhance beauty
  • Another peace deal sans solution..
  • Rolling up sleeves ahead of Assembly polls
  • Development, Ethnicity & Gender : Book Rvw
  • COVID-19 Status 08 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • World Suicide Prevention Day 2021
  • 'bob World' : Mobile application launched
  • Glimpses of Love :: Poem
  • How much more ordeal can Afghans take?
  • Tall claims on reforming agriculture sector
  • The commandments from WHO
  • Burma refugees yes or no ?
  • COVID-19 Status 07 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • Biotechnology Grant (BIG) for startups
  • Teaching as a career in India
  • Epitome of impeccable humanity & humility
  • Role of CSOs vital in preventing virus
  • Disturbing high TPR in some hill districts
  • Fine Arts Exhibition MU #3: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 06 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • Immune boosting for lactating women
  • Give up on fear not dreams !
  • Stop plantation of Palm Oil Trees in NE
  • Another Perspective of Life :: Poem
  • ..right recipe for bitter electioneering
  • Debate over ST status for Meiteis
  • Jadonang in History :: Part 2
  • COVID-19 Status 05 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • Athokpam Kholchandra : Dr Kamal Kabiratna
  • Remembering Lord Krishna appearance day
  • Sustainable livestock farming
  • After 9 years, thirst to serve unchanged
  • Disturbing TPR in some districts
  • Saikhom Mirabai: Olympics #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • World Sexual Health Day in Manipur
  • Save The Peace : Conf on Indo-Naga peace
  • Teachers, I salute thee !
  • The Art of Living :: Poem
  • Bongbal Kholen, Kangpokpi #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 03 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipur Art Festival 2021 canceled
  • Towards a new Manipur Budget 2022-23
  • Inauguration of NPF Manipur Head Office
  • Natural facial at home for glowing skin
  • School yearning to resume normal class
  • The uproar over Urea 'shortage'
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 02 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • Pundit Raja Atombapu : Doyen of journalism
  • Friends :: Poem
  • Meeting report at Cachar, Assam
  • Indigenous peoples & a new social contract
  • Pseudo-indigene permanent threat to native
  • Heavy rush for admission to Class XI
  • Jadonang in History :: Part 1
  • Memorial Stone & Shaheed Minar : Gallery
  • An officer and a gentleman
  • Mass production of biofertilisers
  • Kannappa Naayanaar - World 1st Eye Donor
  • Will election ruin gains made in virus fight
  • Signing off August with lowest TPR
  • Keidoubagi Kidoino on COVID #3: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 31 Aug : Govt of Manipur
  • September Calendar for Year 2021 : Tools
  • Revisiting all alphabets of Article 371
  • Abdication :: Poem
  • Need a softer approach to language issue
  • 2022 polls: Tough task for Congress
  • Party hopping antics before the election
  • Death Anniv: Shimreingam Shaiza: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 30 Aug : Govt of Manipur
  • Khangminashi Lecture VIII : Electric Vehicle
  • Ardent Gardener :: Poem
  • Vision Correction doesn't need a doctor
  • No place for Meetei in Heritage Museum?
  • Ordinary testing rate can't beat the virus
  • Why not make it a poll call
  • 90th Martyr Day- Haipou Jadonang : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 29 Aug : Govt of Manipur
  • Cycle Rally- Natl Sports Day, MU : Gallery
  • Do prayers have the power to heal!
  • Observance of National Sports Day
  • Freedom fighter's mail
  • Frauds feasting on pandemic situation
  • From 'corona' to rousing welcome
  • Meitei ancestors lived in Koubru hills
  • COVID-19 Status 28 Aug : Govt of Manipur
  • Senior Fellowship @ICAR-NEH, Imphal
  • What ails the hill tribals of Manipur
  • Why ? I wonder :: Poem
  • Establishment of Natl Police Univ in Manipur
  • Olympics : Games and Beyond
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 Aug : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipur Post-COVID: need to emerge strong
  • Abstract :: Poem
  • Seminar on Yogic Science
  • Milk make up
  • Visit of central team amid urea shortage
  • Looking beyond the next 4 months
  • Laonii Fest of Poumai #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 26 Aug : Govt of Manipur
  • Governor-designate La Ganesan : Gallery
  • Applications invited from CSOs from NE
  • Covid, Microorganisms, Immunity & food
  • Wishes to Prahlad Ji & Ranjan Ji
  • Setting the stage for India's Gold Quest
  • Assembly over, focus on curbing virus
  • Low number of tests, low new cases
  • Phuba Khuman, Senapati #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 25 Aug : Govt of Manipur
  • Insects @ Charoi Pandongba, Saitu : Gallery
  • No lament, but willingness :: Poem
  • Love - An ever evolving reality
  • Unlock, poll process right recipe for virus
  • Looking beyond the proposed ADC Bill
  • Nata Sankirtan in Manipuri society
  • COVID-19 Status 24 Aug : Govt of Manipur
  • Workshop @MU : Trend in Biological Science
  • Manipur Assembly session adjourned
  • HAC approved ADC Bill 2021 imbroglio
  • Fellowship for BIRAC SPARSH program
  • 13th August @BT Park #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Aug : Govt of Manipur
  • Motsillaba Mingsel : Grand Jury Best Film
  • Youth dealing with adversity during pandemic
  • Pure lifeblood :: Poem
  • Skilling India, a must to encash dividend
  • Virus cases stabilising after curfew lift
  • Pointing fingers at some 'hill leaders'
  • Manipur Olympians reception : Gallery
  • Mary Kom reception- Aug 20: Gallery
  • Hijam Gourashyam : Manipur Sahitya
  • 13th August @BT Park #1 : Gallery
  • Sushila Likmabam reception- Aug 18: Gallery
  • S Nilakanta / P Sushila [Aug 11] #2 : Gallery
  • Pebam Chittaranjan Mangang : Gallery
  • 13th August by CSOs : Gallery
  • 13th August @Thangal Complex : Gallery
  • 13th August @Hicham Yaicham Pat : Gallery
  • RK Sanayaima on 13th August : Gallery
  • Corona, Corona all the way
  • S Nilakanta / P Sushila [Aug 11] #1 : Gallery
  • Road from Imphal to Willong #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 vaccination @ Tamei : Gallery
  • Mirabai felicitated truck drivers: Gallery
  • Saikhom Mirabai @Imphal #3: Gallery
  • Saikhom Mirabai @Imphal #2: Gallery
  • HSLC 2021 Result: Statistics Abstract
  • HSLC 2021 Result: 1st Division
  • HSLC 2021 Result: 2nd Division
  • HSLC 2021 Result: 3rd Division
  • HSLC 2021 : Pass % : Govt Schools
  • HSLC 2021 : Pass % : Private Schools
  • HSLC 2021 : Pass % : Aided Schools
  • Saikhom Mirabai @ Kakching: Gallery
  • HSE 2021 Result: Statistics Abstract
  • HSE 2021 Result: Subject Pass Percentage
  • HSE 2021 Result: District-Wise Pass %
  • HSE 2021 Result: Science Stream
  • HSE 2021 Result: Arts Stream
  • HSE 2021 Result: Commerce Stream
  • Shanglakpam Nilakanta: Olympics #2: Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2021 #3: Gallery
  • Sushila Pukhrambam :: Olympics : Gallery
  • Saikhom Mirabai : Tokyo Olympics 2020
  • Pukhrambam Sushila : Tokyo Olympics Dream
  • Sushila Likmabam: Olympics Dream: Gallery
  • Lalginsei, Radamchui, Ngaworpei: eMing
  • Downloadable Manipuri Calendar :: 2021