An Analysis of the Sources of Wheat Output Growth in the Barani Area of the Punjab

Publication Year : 1998

A time-varying efficiency effects approach using district level data of wheat in barani Punjab is used to disintegrate wheat output growth into different sources. The results show that wheat output grew at an annual rate of 2.71 percent under barani conditions, during the period of study. Technological change was the main driving force, sharing about 107 percent of this growth, while the changing inputs contributed negatively by about 10 percent and the efficiency contribution was less than 4 percent. On the other hand, irrigated output increased by about 4.7 percent per annum in the region; of which 65 percent, 1.3 percent, and 34 percent were attributable to technological change, change in efficiency, and increase in inputs. As regards the overall wheat output in the barani region of the Punjab, it grew at an annual rate of 2.97 percent—84 percent of which was shared by the barani lands and the remaining 16 percent was contributed by irrigated lands in the region. One common result which was observed under both barani and irrigated conditions was that the productivity growth (the sum of technological and efficiency change) showed declining trends exclusively due to negative trends in technical efficiency. Low relative profitability as compared to growing vegetables and raising livestock might be the main cause of this trend in the barani area: the same reason could also be a source of decline in efficiency. Rapid technological advancements require that farmers and administrators improve their management skills even to keep the productive efficiency at the same level. This is not possible without education and training along with a more effective flow of information [Lall (1993)]. Under these circumstances, the agricultural extension system has to play a greater role in assisting the farming community in the barani areas so as to adopt and use new technologies more rationally.