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

Munir Ahmad, Azkar Ahmad


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.

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