Thursday, June 28, 2018

Agricultural Tamilnadu or Industrial Tamilnadu - Way Forward!?

Is Tamilnadu really an Agriculture-based state?

We all love this wonderful picture. After all, who doesn't love the feel of lush green paddy fields.

We have seen it in enough Tamil movies and most families have heard stories of how their forefathers were once land owners. Those were dreamy days ... (in fact anything in past appears rosy!)

Love for this picture is also why every time there is a new 'industry' coming up, we see it as killing agriculture. We protest new industries, thinking we are right in protecting the 'agricultural state'.

Some people in IT are thinking that apart from them, everyone else is in farming. Same goes with some people working in industries. Let's address this misconception first. 

We will systematically see what is contributing to the state's growth.

Farming contributes to less than 10% of the state's GDP. If agriculture is not contributing much to the GSDP, what is causing the GDP to increase? The obvious answer is 'Services' sector and 'Manufacturing' industry. This statistic is enough to debunk the theory that 'everyone else' is into farming. Source:

Hmm ... that is alright, but surely this must be because we have destroyed agriculture over time, isn't it? 

The truth can again be found from Statistics published by the Agriculture department itself.

The average size of land holding in the State further reduced from 1.45 hectare in 1970-71 to 0.80 hectare in 2010-11. 

This clearly indicates that majority of people have moved away from Agriculture.

Does this mean, Agriculture production has fallen drastically in Tamilnadu? 

After all, it should be logical that since less cultivation is being done, we are heading towards a food famine! But is it a fact? Statistics again say 'NO'! 

We have in fact gone up from 75.04 Lakh tonnes in food production in 2009-10 to 85.46 Lakh tonnes in 2013-14 as a state! This is actually several times higher compared to what used to be in 1970-71 when the land usage was fairly high.

Rice production alone in Tamilnadu has gone up from 51.83 Lakh tonnes in 2008-09 to 57.26 Lakh tonnes in 2013-14. We have so much surplus that we are actually exporting rice.

Pulses production has gone up from 1.67 Lakh tonnes in 2008-09 to 3.20 Lakh tonnes in 2013-14. Similarly Cotton production has gone up from 1.88 Lakh tonnes in 2008-09 to 3.18 Lakh tonnes in 2013-14.

As per the Final Estimate of 2015-16, the food grain production of the State is 113.69 Lakh MT which is 43% increase over the food grain production achieved in 2010-11. Check the latest statistics:

Anybody with some sense of inquisition will ask how the production increased if the land use for agriculture is decreasing. 

The simple answer lies in bringing better agricultural methods and mechanisation of farming that has happened over years. The state Government is already working on this as can be referred in the above document.

In fact, the biggest complaint for Tamilnadu farmers in 2018 is that there is surplus produce and they are not getting enough demand in the market due to which revenues are stagnant for them. Improving post-harvest management is one of the major challenges the sector is facing in 2018.

So, does it make sense now to have more people get into farming or away from it? 

It is definitely sensible for some more people to get away from a sector that is contributing to less than 10% of the state's GDP and into the sector that is actually contributing more - 'manufacturing'.

Where are the jobs then?

Agriculture is very much required for the state, but we are already doing very well there. Even if 25% more people move away from Agriculture, we will still be quite ok. In fact, the sector's loss making will come down.

Agriculture is not the most important problem the state should be addressing now. Tamilnadu as a state is doing pathetic (since before 2010) in terms of jobs creation. 

If you really want to know how jobs are being created across the nation, check this out:

This is something every Tamil Youth should understand. Industrial development is required for jobs creation. 

Agriculture can sustain the economy only so much, simply because that is all the demand from rest of the world for our food products.

If we keep fighting industries from coming into Tamilnadu, the state will be doomed and nothing can be done to restore the damage after that. Already the damage is setting in and needs to be corrected.

Is Tamilnadu really losing out on industrial opportunities?

Every statistic and business magazine is screaming a big 'YES'!

“Our state lost opportunities, especially from Kia Motors (which has broken ground in Andhra Pradesh)” said CII-Tamil Nadu chairman P Ravichandran. While the share of investments attracted by Tamil Nadu has been on a downhill since 2015, it has been increasing in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat and Maharashtra, according to data compiled by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Union ministry of commerce & industry.

Check this out:

Time to reverse this trend and welcome industrial growth and development in the state...

Should we blindly accept all industries?


Every industry should be vetted out and environmental violation law enforcement has to be strict. But if for every single development step, protests are made, it will discourage industries from stepping into the state itself. 

Being emotional is ok but being rash and emotional is dangerous for you as well as the country!

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