The agriculture and allied activities sector in Maharashtra is expected to grow at 11.7 per cent in 2020-21 owing to overall good monsoon this year, the Economic Survey 2021 tabled in the state Legislature on Friday said. Monsoon this year was 113.4 per cent of the normal in the state.
According to the survey, the state’s economy is expected to see an 8 per cent negative growth during 2020-21 and estimated to be Rs 19,62,539 crore with industry and services sectors bearing the maximum brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown.
However, the agriculture sector was the only sector that was least impacted by the pandemic as the government had exempted it from the lockdown. Various other measures taking by government that benefitted the sector during the lockdown was transport and distribution of agriculture inputs, transport and sale of produce, online renewal of licenses, coordination among the state departments, and use of modern technology.
According to experts, the closure of industrial and commercial units during the lockdown aided in the growth of the agriculture sector as electricity and water was available amply. Manpower was also easily available due to the reverse migration of labourers to rural areas.
“The marketing of agriculture produce was done easily and effectively. While transportation and mobilization of resources was tough for other sectors, there were no restrictions on agriculture sector, helping it grow freely. It was a natural growth and the government should not pat its back,” Hindustan Times quoted Rajan Kshirsagar, state working committee member of Communist Party of India and farm expert, as saying.
Owing to growth in the agriculture sector, the crops sector is also expected to grow by 16.2 per cent, while livestock, forestry and logging, fisheries and aquaculture sectors are expected to grow at 4.4 per cent, 5.7 per cent and 2.6 per cent respectively, said the survey.