Contribution of agriculture in GDP plummeting constantly

Kathmandu, May 31

The contribution of agriculture sector in the national gross domestic product (GDP) has been constantly declining since the last seven years following a better performance of other sectors.

Statistics of the government show that contribution of agriculture in the national GDP has been declining every year since 2010-11. Within this period, the stake of agriculture in country’s GDP has come down by 6.12 percentage points.

The Economic Survey Report of the government published on Sunday estimated that contribution of agriculture in the national GDP would remain at 28.9 per cent in 2016-17 against the sector’s 31 per cent contribution in GDP in 2015-16. Seven years back (in 2010-11), the sector accounted for 35.02 per cent of the country’s GDP.

Government officials have said that declining contribution of agriculture in GDP is an indication of development.

“There is no need to worry about the plummeting share of agriculture in the GDP because overall agricultural output has been increasing in recent years compared to the previous years. The overall annual turnover of the agriculture sector this year accounts to almost Rs 750 billion, which was around Rs 600 billion a couple of years ago,” Yogendra Karki, spokesperson for Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD), said.

Owing to the favourable monsoon this year and easy availability of seeds and fertilisers, the government has projected increase in food production this fiscal year by 13 per cent to 9.7 million metric tonnes compared to the previous year.

“We should be mindful that our volume of production does not come down. Agriculture accounts for very low portion of GDP in developed countries,” added Karki.

Meanwhile, experts said that though agriculture in Nepal has been successful in changing the structure of the country’s economy, the sector has not been able to transform the economy like in other countries.

“We say that agriculture sector is marching towards commercialisation. However, we have not been able to increase the productivity of our farmers as compared to the productivity of workers in other sectors,” Posh Raj Pandey, an economist, said, adding that as almost 68 per cent of people are engaged in the agriculture sector, the sector should be developed in such a way that it can transform the economy.