Agri sector emerges as pivotal driver of economic growth in FY24

During the current fiscal year, the agriculture sector has emerged as a pivotal driver of economic growth, registering a significant growth rate of 6.25%. This remarkable recovery is largely attributed to government initiatives aimed at improving input supply and increasing credit disbursement to farmers.

According to the data released by the Ministry of Finance in its monthly outlook for May, from July to April FY24, the agricultural input situation showed positive trends. Farm tractor production and sales saw a substantial increase of 54.8% and 56.6%, respectively. Furthermore, agricultural credit disbursement surged by 33.8% during July-March period. However, fertiliser usage presented a mixed picture in April 2024, with urea offtake decreasing by 19.7% while DAP offtake increasing by 82.5%.

The agriculture sector's robust growth of 6.25% in FY24, up from 2.27% the previous year, is largely due to healthy growth in key crops, which saw an overall increase of 16.82%. Notably, wheat production reached a record high of 31.44 million tonnes, an 11.6% increase from last year's 28.16 million tonnes.

The cotton crop, which had been severely damaged by floods and rains last year, experienced an astounding growth of 108.2%, rising to 10.4 million bales from 4.91 million bales. Rice production also surged to 9.87 million tonnes from 7.32 million tonnes last year, registering a growth rate of 34.8%. In contrast, sugarcane production marginally declined by 0.39%, and maize saw a decline of 10.4%.

Other crops demonstrated positive growth of 0.90% compared to a negative growth of 0.92% last year, driven by increases in fruit (8.4%) and vegetable (5.7%) production. Cotton ginning and miscellaneous components registered a growth of 47.23% due to the significant increase in cotton production.

Provisional growth figures for livestock, forestry, and fishing stood at 3.89%, 3.05%, and 0.81%, respectively. These sectors have contributed to the overall positive performance of the agriculture sector, reinforcing its role as a cornerstone of the national economy.

Overall, these developments have demonstrated the continued critical role of the agriculture sector in driving economic growth and stability, highlighting the effectiveness of government policies and initiatives aimed at revitalising this vital sector.

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