The Division has made significant research contributions in the area of farm resource allocation, output supply and input demand analysis, and marketing efficiency during early phase of the green revolution. Subsequently, research was reoriented towards issues like farm mechanization, rural credit needs, yield gap analysis, price policy and subsidy, natural resource management, etc. Besides continuing emphasis on these issues, significant research contributions were made on the contemporary issues like food and nutritional security, efficiency and sustainability of agriculture, research impact assessment, total factor productivity growth, public investment and energy use. Some of the salient research achievements of the Division are given below:

  • Estimation of demand for credit and increase in crop production on account of enhanced credit availability. The effect of KCC on access to institutional credit and its impact on farm income were established.
  • Integrated food supply-demand model developed for projecting supply, demand and trade of agricultural commodities. The model and demand projects are widely used for planning purpose.
  • Prioritization for agricultural research resource allocation across crops and regions for effective targeting indicated higher investment needs for the eastern region.
  • Total factor productivity (TFP) growth in the crop sector in the Indo Gangetic Plains were estimated and factors responsible for deceleration in TFP growth were indicated for suitable policy action. Economic and environmental impact of new generation technologies like IPM and RCT in Indo-Gangetic Plains were also estimated.
  • Temporal and spatial trends in level and priorities of public and private sector investments impacting agricultural growth were examined. The data indicated adequate allocations for dry rainfed regions, but there is a need for additional investment to the wet semi-arid (eastern) region.
  • Investment in institutions and policy reforms are necessary to improve efficiency of capital expenditure on rural infrastructure and irrigation.
  • Estimation of relationship between energy use and agricultural growth and the demand projection of energy for Indian agriculture. Enhanced energy demand requires robust energy policy by exploiting the potential of renewable energy sources like crop residues and solar energy.
  • Trends in rural employment, agricultural growth and wages were examined and found that increase in rural wages in XII Plan has reduced inequality in rural areas. Education could be an effective instrument to increase participation in non-farm activities.
  • Revealed comparative advantage indices for agricultural commodity groups in India, and estimation of India's trade potential through the augmented gravity model. Higher surplus and regional agreements have positive impacts on export earnings.
  • Level of integration between domestic and international markets as well as futures and spot markets for agricultural commodities, and estimation of the trading efficiency in terms of price transmission, price discovery and extent of volatility in prices.
  • Analysis of the effect of modern retail on the prices of agricultural commodities and consumer's behaviour, perception and attitude towards different retail systems.
  • Investment in agricultural R&D, role of IPR sand interface of public and private sectors in the development of Indian seed industry were examined in detail. The policy reforms have greater impact on diversification of the seed industry.

    Agricultural Economics Accomplishments



Institute projects in progress:

The accomplishments are given for 2014-15

Enhancing  small holder productivity and agricultural growth through technology sustainable intensification and ecosystem services 


The growth in the agricultural sector still continues to be the major determinants of rural poverty reduction and enhancing welfare of farmers. Over and above, it has significant implications on the demand for consumer goods as well. Technology generation, its dissemination and adoption are the major drivers of agricultural growth. The agricultural growth trajectory of India during the past few decades has highlighted the need to have enhanced and focused attention on the health of the agro-ecosystem in the pursuit of attaining higher agricultural productivity and growth.
Estimated trend growth rates for various sub-sectors of agriculture using time series data. The analysis has taken into account the structural break by using various statistical methods, and based on this, different growth phases identified. For food grains, structural break after the green revolution was in 2002. For the pulse crops the structural break found in the year 2000. For the total oilseed crops two structural break points were identified in 1988 and 1999, probably indicating the impact of Technology Mission on Oilseeds and impact of liberalization. The structural breaks in the post-2000 period could be due to the second green revolution happening in India. However, there are regional convergence of agricultural growth, indicating presence of “catching up” phenomenon in the low productivity states. Modelling of the agricultural growth predicted that the agricultural growth has strong negative correlation with poverty reduction in the rural areas. The marginal return from investing in the marginal areas is found to be higher than in investing in the developed agricultural areas. The inclusiveness in accessing farm services could be a major determinant of agricultural growth. Analysis of 70th round of National Sample Survey (2012) indicated limited access to farm services by farm households amidst the recent spurt of public expenditure in agriculture & allied sectors. This is a cause for concern. 

There has been intense debate on the nature of relationship between farm size and productivity. The project has revisited the debate in the context of marginalisation of Indian agriculture. However, the results remained inconclusive. A factor that determine agricultural growth is the relative price of inputs and outputs. In this context, an analysis done on the effect of increase in oil prices showed that 10% increase in oil prices would lead to 3% increase in the cost of production, thereby reducing farm profitability.
The total factor productivity (TFP) continues to be the major determinant of agricultural growth. Studies were carried out to estimate the TFP and for identifying the constituents of TFP, viz. technical change and efficiency change. The analysis was done for major cereals, oilseeds and cotton. The TFP growth of rice and wheat remain positive. In rice, with the states having lower TFP growth catching up during the recent periods. In case of oilseeds, recent period depicts higher TFP growths. TFP growths for all the crops were largely contributed by technical change, with lower contributions from changes in efficiency.  Cotton saw the first commercial introduction of Bt cotton. An analysis revealed the pattern of the TFP growth in cotton revealed that during the pre-Bt period the TFP was declining, which has improved sharply during the Bt period. But lately the TFP change has been showing signs of its weakening.


Inclusiveness and effectiveness of agricultural markets and trade reforms and development of agro-processing industries


Studied the reforms in agricultural marketing sector of India: Information on the Agricultural Produce Market Regulation (APMR) and the state wise progress of agricultural marketing reforms was collected and analysed. Policy options suggested for speeder market reforms in laggard states in terms of policy and market reforms. Out of the total number of agricultural markets in India, only one fourth is regulated. Huge variation exists in the density of regulated markets in different parts of the country. The all-India average area served by a regulated market is 462 sq km, against the recommendation of 80 sq. km. Each regulated market in Punjab, West Bengal and Haryana needs to cover a total area of just above 100 sq. km., on the other hand in the states like Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh, the intensity of regulated markets are low due to which each market needs to serve a total area of more than 10000 sq. km. Existing system has failed to provide adequate number of markets nearer to the farmers’ field to handle ever increasing marketable surplus efficiently. The trends in wholesale and retail prices of major commodities were examined across zones in India. The historical co-movement of minimum support price and market prices were examined in paddy, wheat and pulse crops. It was found that road and market density was having positive influence on farm harvest prices in all major crops.
In the study of Major Food Retail Chains in India, studied  Safal supply chain, Safal Retailer’s and Consumers  survey was done in  different parts of  Delhi  It was observed that Safal Retailers are competing with local mandis , daily and  weekly bazaars , and also   there is significant competition with other modern retail chains in both quality and prices.  The prices of fresh fruits and vegetables are comparatively low as compared to local vendors for the same quality.
In the area of agricultural trade, data on export and import of principal commodities (six digit level) have been mined from Trade Map database, and worked out the composition of import and export. In the past three years, the performance of agricultural exports is spectacular with share in total exports from 10.5% in 2010-11 to 13.5% in 2012-13.  India’s export basket is highly diverse with guar gum meal, cotton raw,  basmati rice, marine products, meat and products, oil meals, spices and rice (other than basmati). The share of agricultural imports in India’s total imports is much smaller at 3.8%  of which only edible oils contributes about 60 % and pulses contributes 13%. Export and import penetration ratios were worked out for major trading commodities. The import penetration ratio of oilseeds was around 50, whereas for pulses it was found to be 20.  Imports of pulses was dominated by yellow peas, wheelie exports were mainly chickpeas and organic pulses. The increase in MSP for the pulses and oilseeds helped to some extent to increase in production, but the gap between demand and supply of both the commodities   is still at large. The general trade openness ratio depicted an increasing trend. This indicates the increasingly integration of Indian agricultural economy to the world economy. It was also found that there exists a positive correlation between the agricultural and general trade openness and GDP per capita.

The outcome of improved agriculture is the increased food and nutritional security. As part of studying changes in food and nutritional security,  data on food production, per-capita availability and consumption of various food items and its expenditure share, per-capita income, population, urbanization, per-capita intake of calorie, protein and fats and its source, nutrition status were collected for the last two decades 1990-2010 from various sources. Also analyzed the trends in monthly per capita income, food consumption pattern and nutrients intake and their sources over the last two decades. Given that pulse prices are reaching beyond the reach of the common man, the study also examined the trends in pulses consumption and prices from 2004-05 to 2011-12. Per capita consumption of pulses increased from 23.5gm/capita/day to 26.1gm per capita/day in rural areas and from 27.5gm/capita/day to 30.0gm/capita/day in urban area from 2004-05 to 2011-12. It recommends that there is a need for increasing domestic production along with liberal import policies to meet the domestic demand.


Commercialization and impact of improved agricultural technology 


The analysis of the primary data of wheat revealed that the wheat variety HD 2967 has a number of positive features that makes it most popular wheat variety in the state of Punjab. It has good eating quality and gives higher yield. The comparison of cost and returns of major wheat varieties reveals that the HD 2967 variety has led to significant improvement in net income realization over the other varieties in the region. In Punjab HD 2967 variety accounts for 90 per cent of the total IARI varieties adopted by the farmers in the state. In Haryana three varieties namely HD 2851, HD 2581 and HD 2967 account for the major share of the total IARI varieties adopted by the farmers in the state. The diversity of wheat varieties developed by source was found to be the lowest in the state of Punjab and is highest in case of Haryana and UP. The low diversity in Punjabis due to dominance of single variety HD 2967.
The primary survey of farmers of Ludhiana Punjab reveals the IARI paddy varieties (both basmati and non-basmati  accounts for 80 %) of total area under rice in Ludhiana Punjab. Out of these varieties in Punjab Pusa 44 accounts for 49 percent of total area and is followed by Pusa 1121(13 %) and Pusa 1509 (19 %).
The analysis of traits of varieties revealed that irrigated ecosystem varieties account for 80 per cent of total varieties developed. Large no. of varieties bear multiple resistance to pest and disease. Grain size wise it is slender and medium sized grain type variety prominent among the total varieties released in 2000-2012.
In the context of fast expansion of minor irrigation systems led by groundwater, sustainable use of groundwater is of prime importance. The distribution of micro-irrigation is skewed towards certain states- Rajasthan in case of sprinklers and states of peninsular India in case of drips. The percentage of net area irrigated has significant negative influence, the stage of groundwater development and population were having positive influence on spread of micro-irrigation.
Institutions form an important strategy to improve agricultural productivity and farm income stabilization. A stronger intellectual property rights regime has strengthened privatization and partnerships in R&D. Both public and private R&D organizations are participating in protection of their intellectual property through patent and plant variety protection. There is increase in technology spillovers through patents in the area of pesticides, biocides, vaccines and tissue culture.
In case of Empowerment of women in Kerala through Kudumbashree more than 66 per cent of the Neighborhood Groups (NHGs) in the sample, collected from Palakkad district, were involved only in micro-finance, and the rest undertook diverse entrepreneurial activities. Among all the NHGs, more than 75 per cent had members among whom more than half lie below poverty line (BPL). More than 80 per cent of the NHGs avail credit from the banks and scheduled commercial/ nationalized banks which form the major source of credit. Sustainability of the NHGs was positively and significantly affected by the share of BPL members in total members, per cent of members availing loan and the amount of loan outstanding per member.



Externally-Funded Project 2015

Risk Management in Agriculture: An Analysis of Rainfed Farming System in India (funded by NABARD) Dr. Suresh A


A project titled Risk Management in Agriculture: An Analysis of Rainfed Farming System in India, funded by NABARD is operational in the Division. The main objectives of the projects are: To prepare a profile of risks faced in rainfed agriculture and elucidate farmers’ perception regarding the extent of risk, across different farm categories;  To document various risk management strategies, including technical and institutional like crop insurance arrangements, adopted by various farm categories in rainfed farming system; and, to provide policy inputs/suggestions on risk proofing in the light of the risk profile and management strategies. The study is based on two crops, viz.  cotton in Maharashtra and paddy in Telengana. Primary data collection from 480 farmers has been completed.  The survey has indicated that the farmers face both yield and price risks in rainfed agriculture. Dependence on money lenders; insufficient credit from institutions; and price variability of output markets were major sources of risks. The adoption of risk management strategies like irrigation and insurance is limited, notably for small and marginal farmers.


Externally-Funded Projects completed by March 2012:

1. Policy and Institutional Options for Inclusive Agricultural Growth (PI: Dr. Suresh Pal)

    Significant Accomplishments :

  • There has been acceleration and inclusiveness of agricultural growth during the recent period, mainly because of increase in public investment, improved delivery of inputs and decentralization of development efforts. There is rather limited progress on inclusiveness of gender in the growth process because of limited access to women to resources, decision making and low work participation rate (28%).
  • The case studies on high value crops have indicated that small farmers can participate in the growth process subject to production of niche commodities like vegetables, flowers, grapes etc., and access to knowhow and institutional credit. The exclusion in the institutional credit is as high as 73%. This implies that the present innovations in credit delivery are yet to improve farmers’ access to the institutions.
  • The turnover of the biotech industry has tripled during the last one decade, and the share of tissue culture industry is 10%. Use of tissue culture planting material is making a major impact on farm yield at least 50% higher for fruit and flowers. At the same time, there is four time increase in the cost of sapling, which has implications for capital needs.
  • Although small farmers are productive, their income levels exceed the consumption. This calls for raising their income earning opportunities and promotion of non-farm employment in rural areas. Such efforts need to be intensified in rain-fed areas where growth is still moderate.

    Division of Agricultural Economics
            20th Annual Conference and Silver Jubilee of Agricultural Economics Research Association


2. Oilseeds and Edible Oil Scenario in India (PI: Dr. G. K. Jha)

       Significant Accomplishments :

  • The status of oilseed crops has been analyzed for the last three decades which highlight the role of policy, technology and their interactions in shaping it. The area, production and productivity of oilseeds grew with a compound annual growth rate of 1.58 per cent, 3.05 per cent and 1.45 per cent respectively during the period 1951-2009.
  • The edible oils requirement of the country has been projected at 16.34 and 20.36 million tonnes in 2016-17 and 2020-21 respectively. Domestic edible oils production is projected at 10.55 and 13.23 million tonnes in 2016-17 and 2020-21 respectively. Given the projected demand of 16.34 million tonnes, there will be a gap of 5.79 million tonnes in 2016-17 which will have to be met through imports.
  • Enlarging the scope of research and technology diffusion and institutional intervention beyond the farm gate is the way forward in re-energizing the oilseed crop sector. Improving local capacities and the social, economic and environmental sustainability of agriculture through delivery of technology and services and strengthening of institutions shall bring in changes in oilseed crop economy, especially in disadvantaged regions.