Gujarat tops agri-growth table at 9.6%

Gujarat has recorded the highest agricultural growth among states between 2000-01 and 2007-08, a report by US-based research body has said.     

Thanks to investment in agricultural infrastructure mainly irrigation, diffusion of new technologies and power reforms, Gujarat registered 9.6 per cent expansion in farm production, followed by Rajasthan at 8.9 per cent, according to the report by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).    


A well-known economist and author of the report Ashok Gulati gave credit to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for “commendable job and turn around” in the state agriculture.     

However, Punjab, which was known as a front ranking agricultural state, has been left behind well below the national average and ranked at 13th position among 19 states reviewed by the IFPRI.     

The northern Indian state endowed with rivers could manage annual growth of mere two per cent in the last seven years. “Punjab has lived on the glory of the past. For the last 5-7 years, its productivity has been nil. The state is hooked to literally the opium of support prices and subsidies,” Gulati said.



Gujarat’s SEWA Trust among 8 winners of MacArthur Award


Chicago, April 29:

Mahila SEWA Trust, a Gujarat-based trade union for self-employed women, is among the eight non-profit organisations that have been named recipients of the 2009 MacArthur Award for creative and effective institutions.

Recipient of the award — announced by the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation — will receive grant up to USD 650,000, considering their annual budgets range from USD 200,000 to 4.5 million.

The SEWA trust, with a membership of one million, provides a network of social services for women not protected by employers or labour legislation.

It organises poor and self-employed women workers and provide them work and social security which includes income, food and health.

“These organisations may be small but their impact is tremendous.. From protecting human rights to improving urban neighbourhoods to conserving biodiversity, they are blazing new paths and finding fresh solutions to some of our most difficult challenges,” Jonathan Fanton, MacArthur President, said in a statement.

Groups would use their award money for a range of purposes, including development of training and research facilities, technology upgrades and purchase of new office space, Mr. Fanton said.

SEWA, which aims create the All-India Women’s insurance Cooperative (VIMO SEWA), owned and managed by women, in nine states of India –would use its USD 650,000 dollar award to turn the entity into an economically viable organisation.

This would be the world’s first national insurance cooperative for self-employed women.

The other recipients of the MacArthur Award are Nigeria-based ‘Access to Justice’ that works to prevent police abuse and eliminate torture, Caribbean Natural Resource Institute in Trinidad that works for biodiversity conservation and city-based Centre for Neighborhood Technology which runs a popular car-sharing service.