[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The agricultural productivity levels and variations in agricultural performance have been analysed across districts and regions in the state of Uttar Pradesh with the aim of identifying factors that affect land and labour productivity and in turn, rural poverty. The performance of agriculture in Uttar Pradesh has been found to vary considerably across districts and regions and has strong linkages and implications for poverty reduction. Irrigation and fertilizer-use are the major determinants of the level and variations of agricultural productivity in the state. Econometric analysis has indicated strong linkages between agricultural productivity and poverty. An increase of 10 per cent in land productivity would reduce poverty by 4.3 per cent. The dependence of workers on agriculture has shown inverse relationship and 10 per cent reduction in labour force could result in 7.7 per cent reduction in poverty. The study has highlighted the need for strengthening the non-farm employment and income opportunities along with improved farm productivity through resource diversification towards high-value crops like fruits and vegetables. Region-specific development strategies of generating non-farm activities along with improving land productivity are required for reducing rural poverty in Uttar Pradesh. The policy imperatives include public investment in irrigation and incentives to encourage agricultural diversification and intensive-use of inputs like fertilizer.
Agricultural Economics Research Reveiw. 06/2012; 25(Vol.25(1)):25-35.