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
  • Chothe Achui Lin festival #1
  • Chengpi, Kentaliu, Atomacha :: eMing
  • Lady E-Rickshaw driver inspires women..
  • M Shanker: Indian Achievers Award 2019
  • Softly Coo the Wild Pigeons :: Poem
  • Discussion on Manipur Merger Agreement
  • Irabot, one & only leader of oppressed mass
  • Start-up Manipur as a potential launch pad
  • Culture Students Foundation Day : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Territorial Integration, Flag or Constitution
  • Book published on Irabot Day: Download
  • In love with the night :: Poem
  • Maverick mind of Ram - Dedicated to Bar
  • Smoking- silent killer for your backbone
  • Revisiting Sept. 21 (1948 & 1949)
  • Where All The Flowers Gone? #1: Gallery
  • BCIM Corridor & China New Transportation
  • Alzheimer's Awareness Month
  • Cry of a Dying River - 93 :: Poem
  • Rally & Youth's Voice on Climate Change
  • Guwahati to Bangkok : Direct Flight
  • Stringent traffic rules in place
  • Time for immediate solution to climate crisis
  • Traditional Dress of Hmar : Gallery
  • Licypriya @UNESCO Forum, Angola: Gallery
  • World Ozone Day and Langban Tarpan
  • Protection of Land in Tamenglong: Meeting
  • Licypriya Kangujam at UNESCO : Report
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • ADBU Community Computer Education
  • Film- Hugo screening [Upd]
  • Being on the transit route of drugs
  • On the demand for ST status...
  • 46th AMWJU Foundation Day : Gallery
  • Machengluang cleared Tamei road
  • Scrapping of Constitution Article, 35 & 370
  • Her Kitchen :: Poem
  • Career in journalism
  • BMSA Freshers' Meet : Thanks Giving
  • Mass Awareness for PMJAY & CMHT
  • Need for JAC & school to act reasonably
  • Traffic Challans & other challenges
  • Hinduism in Manipur #3
  • An interaction with Dr. O.K. Singh #2
  • Loneliness :: Poem
  • Let Road Users have their say ..
  • RIST Talk: Binary Recurrence Sequences
  • Racial profiling & criminalization of people
  • ZPO rejects its dissolution
  • 10 houses torched in inter-village dispute
  • Heikru Hidongba #2 : Gallery
  • Attitude to life and family
  • Breaking the glass ceiling
  • 28th NAMA Convention at Chicago
  • Inpui Naga Karing Ngei 2018 : Book
  • Dr. Md. Hamidur Rahaman : AMP Award
  • World Patient Safety Day
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Peace talk reportedly at final stage
  • Chayom Thupki (Meetei Philosophy) #11
  • 48th Foundation Day of RIMS : Gallery
  • Tarpon: Annual offerings to the dead
  • Licypriya : Climate change in Angola
  • World Ozone Day 2019
  • iKON 4th anniversary : Indian iKONIC
  • Gratitude to Dk. Korungthang
  • Xavier Board Higher Education Conference
  • Confusing announcement: ban on plastics
  • Nongpok Sanjenbam village #1: Gallery
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #4: Gallery
  • Ways of seeing Atiyagi Maya
  • National Lok Adalat at Lamphel Court
  • Take Me Home :: Poem
  • Money Lending business in Nagaland
  • Ambeshori : Gold at Jr Women Natl Boxing
  • Crime against nature deserve punishment
  • Khamba Thoibi Museum #1 : Gallery
  • Time- Is it an illusion? Certainly not
  • Can there really be peace without justice
  • Enrollment Program for PMJAY & CMHT
  • Heavy traffic fines, Harekrishna krishna
  • Jenil Khuman : Heroes of India award
  • Cracking the whip on driving by minors
  • ST demand: Is this a consensus decision..
  • Mukna - indigenous game : Gallery
  • An interaction with Dr. O.K. Singh #1
  • Cry of a Dying River - 92 :: Poem
  • Missing person : Dongminlian at Tirupati
  • Google Earth for ground & aerial survey
  • Mary Kom 1st woman athlete for Vibhushan
  • Delivering a point maturely
  • There should be a toll free grievance cell
  • Hiyang Tanaba @Lamlai #1: Gallery
  • Shrinking safe spaces
  • Child sexual abuse (CSA)
  • Demands: Flag for Naga & ST for Meitei
  • Proud of our scientists & ISRO
  • Daanveer Dutta Karna : 2nd best play
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Significance of Sept 11 to TSE
  • Climate Crisis, People, and the State
  • Ibudhou Marongkhong Haraoba #3: Gallery
  • Conundrum for Manipur govt over CAB
  • Violence against medical fraternity
  • Thongkhatabam Ankita : Governor's Award
  • The Enchantress :: Poem
  • Sunyata & Kenosis: Search of Ultimate Truth
  • Lim divide continues to run deep
  • Of nationalism, patriotism & against nature
  • Heikru Hidongba #1 : Gallery
  • Komrem Students Day @B'lore : Gallery
  • Protective Thinking: Village Nationalist #1
  • Haipou Jadonang: A Social reformer #3
  • Ungracious :: Poem
  • IAS Officer: Hero- Whipping boy- Villain
  • Petition CM to revoke breach order in Edn-S
  • Stand against illegal immigrants
  • September and Hijam Irabot
  • Impact of Christianity among Vaiphei #3
  • Kakching WW II Memorial Run : Gallery
  • Framework Agreement: Divide the state
  • Training Program for Remand Advocates
  • Hunt for North East designers & models
  • Kakching World War II Memorial Run: Report
  • Common Admission Test for IIMs
  • No school bags day for young students
  • GoI backtracking on Framework Agreement
  • Trekking to Dzukou #3 : Gallery
  • English as a Lingua Franca for NE
  • A Good Place to Spend the Night : Poem
  • The idea of Manipur
  • Vacancies at Hadron Techs, Imphal
  • 8th Convocation of Assam Don Bosco held
  • Yogurt based DIY packs to try
  • Big Bang Edge Test
  • Bhabananda was right; it was not only him ..
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #3: Gallery
  • Judicial administration under Bhagyachandra
  • Reena Bhavsar(Pebam ningon): Mrs India
  • Sick Education System should be blamed ...
  • Foundation Day of Physics Dept, MU
  • 26th World Congress of Political Science
  • DBC, Maram bags SBSI National award
  • Regulate pay of Pvt school teachers
  • Chingda Satpi Engellei #1 : eRang
  • The Endurers : a growing tribe
  • Swachh in Manipur
  • Khongoinaba & Kanglei Chanura Kanba
  • The ten in between :: Poem
  • Happy for no reason
  • Convocation: Assam Don Bosco University
  • Sounding the alert at the entry points:
  • Victims of greed
  • Folk Dance @Retreat ceremony #2: Gallery
  • Call for Papers : NACETER 2019 at Aizawl
  • Celebrating Teachers' Day 2019
  • Draft Bill on violence against healthcare
  • From the heart - Transcending fears
  • Her Richness :: Poem
  • Licypriya: Peace Prize : Gallery
  • Haipou Jadonang: A Social reformer #2
  • Licypriya : World Children Peace Prize
  • Manipur Tourism: Best cultural Award at TTF
  • Hinduism in Manipur # 2
  • Khelen Thokchom Media Fellowship
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #2: Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Maibi Jagoi : Gallery
  • Chayom Thupki (Meetei Philosophy) #10
  • September Calendar for Year 2019 : Tools
  • Freshers Meet/Musical Night at Bangalore
  • Remembering the past famine...
  • Stalls- Hathei Phanit, Ukhrul #1: Gallery
  • Martyrdom of Haipou Jadonang: Gallery
  • Chinglensana Kangujam : Arjuna Award
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #1: Gallery
  • Manipur Independence Day : Gallery
  • Kariang nuna sip eh :: Poem
  • Impact of Christianity among Vaiphei #2
  • Introspecting renewed Hydropower push #1
  • Jhulon @ Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • Khangkhui Cave, Ukhrul #5 : Gallery
  • N'Jang-Ngi Thangal fest : Gallery
  • Jhulon @ Nabadwip, WB : Gallery
  • Heikat-Leikat [13 Aug] #2 : Gallery
  • Babysana: Student - Aug 10 #2: Gallery
  • Patriots' Day @ Pune : Gallery
  • Folklore of Hao communities #3
  • Aliyah #2 (Film Scenes) :: eRang
  • Babysana's last rites performed: Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2019 #3: Gallery
  • Tolloi, Ukhrul :: 360 Panorama View
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2019 : Download
  • SPONSORED ADS