Population growth and agricultural changes in Madhya Pradesh: spatial analysis of their correlates

Misra, V.C.; Sharma, S.K.

National Geographer 18(2): 141-152


Document Number: 305479
The aim of the paper is to see how far population pressure has been responsible for introducing agricultural changes in Madhya Pradesh. The population of the state grew from 16.86 million in 1901 to 26.07 million in 1951 and 52.14 million in 1981. The average annual growth rate for the state (1.42%) is also above the national average (1.33%). Since four-fifths of the state's population lives in villages and 76.5% of workers are engaged in cultivation, this abnormal increase in population has been exerting considerable pressure on agriculture and on the state economy. The paper examines spatio-temporal patterns of population growth during the periods 1901-51 and 1951-81, and then discusses changes in agriculture in the perspective of the growth in the rural population. It is shown that the recent acceleration in the growth of population has to a considerable extent neutralized remarkable achievements in agricultural development. Consequently, not only has per caput net sown area declined, but per ha output of food grains and their per caput availability have also declined progressively since 1960/61. This trend has also affected literacy, employment, health, etc. proving that economic development in general and agricultural development in particular is meaningless without population control.

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