Instability in Groundnut Production in Easter Regions- A Relook

Arabinda Mitra& Kalyan Bhattacharyya

Connoisseurs of oilseeds adore groundnut as the king of oilseeds. In India, groundnut constitutes 45% of oilseeds acreage & 55% of total oilseeds production. However, the kingdom of this particular crop is not well spread throughout the country. Southern states, covering Tamil Nadu,Gujrat, Maharashtra, Karantak, AP represent the main geographical bastion (80% coverage) of the crop. On the other hand, the Easter Zone comprising the states of West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar & Jharkhand has an acreage of less than 2% of the total area.

Per capita consumption of oilseeds increased from 3.5 kg. in 1971 to 6.3kg in 1995 further scaled up to 9.5 kg. in 1999. The consumption figure stood at 13 kg. in 2008. It is estimated that required consumption demand of groundnut by the end of 2020 would be14 million tns. Considering its current production level around 8.4 million tons we have to accelerate acreage at least 2.2% per annum to reach the projected demand. FAO observations articulated that the futures for Indian groundnut (shelled) export are bright & it may likely to emerge as a major supplier owing to its enlarged production base. Introduction of new cultivars ,competitive crops and interaction of various biotic & a-biotic factors have made us skeptical about the future of the crop. The hope now , relies on unearthing virgin regions, specifically rainfed, stressed & disfavor able lands suited to this crop and finding location specific varieties with proven technologies.

Keeping in view of the present scenario of groundnut cultivation in the country we have attempted here to focus the eastern region for groundnut prospects in terms of area, production & yield growth. In addition, we would discuss the magnitude of production instability along with instability in acreage expansion & yield concerning the regions over three decades . Simultaneously we shall delve into the components of change in the mean production of groundnut at two segments of time.

This exercise is broadly divided into two parts. The first part oversees trend of area, production and yield of groundnut accruing to the major groundnut growing states during the last two decades. In the second part ,we discuss the prospects of groundnut in eastern region in terms of growth-trajectory. In that part we shall also endeavor to quantify the magnitude of instability in production, acreage and yield of the crop across the eastern states. Additionally we shall decompose the components of changes in average production between two segments of time periods.

The exercise is based on secondary published data from different sources. Our analytical tools consist of using exponential growth curves to examine trends. We have measured instability by weighted co-efficient of variation measuring variation from de-trended (unexplained)curve. Thus,Instability = CV* sqrt(1- R2). Where R2 refers to explained proportion of the fitted curve. Decomposition of average production changes is being done as advocated by Hazell .

Now, let us look at the following tables showing growths of area, production and yield across the major groundnut growing states relating to different time periods. India’s, position is also portrayed in the same table.

Growth estimates of area, production and yield of groundnut in major states in India

Compound Growth Rates of Groundnut Production
Overall period 1990-’91-1999-‘2000 2000-01-2008-09
AP -3.04 -3.89 7.64
Gujrat 3.25 1.29 3.22
India -1.51 -1.71 2.84
Karnataka -3.81 -1.27 0.26
Maharashtra -3.51 -3.70 -2.37
Mp -0.51 1.59 -0.98
Orissa -6.92 -16.71 6.36
Rajasthan 2.47 2.38 10.04
Tamil Nadu -2.94 -0.89 0.30
Uttar Pradesh -3.67 -1.79 -2.47

Compound Growth Rates of Groundnut Area

Overall period 1990-’91-1999-‘2000 2000-01-2008-09
AP -2.50 -3.18 1.42
Gujrat 0.11 -0.18 -0.28
India -2.10 -2.36 0.15
Karnataka -1.36 0.97 0.22
Maharashtra -3.97 -4.92 -2.58
Mp -1.20 -1.32 -1.56

Orissa -6.24 -12.75 3.22
Rajasthan 0.70 0.71 3.98
Tamil Nadu -4.63 -4.29 -2.39
Uttar Pradesh -2.43 -1.18 -1.03

Overall impression on above estimates suggests that that there has been a declining trend in groundnut acreage in India and major groundnut growing states. Declining rates in acreage expansion in all most all the major states are more visible during the first phase. In the second phase Karnataka & AP reversed their earlier trajectory. However, their moves are statistically not significant. Similarly, production trend in India and in the groundnut leading states showed similar results. Overall yield trend for the country is positive but marked with wide fluctuations.

The following table exhibits growth estimates of area, production and yield of groundnut across states in eastern region in different segments of time period.

States All through(1979-2003) Phase-1(1979-1990) Phase-11(1990-2003)

W.B. 14 19 5.09 3.5 63.5 18 6.20 8.3 2.05
Orissa -2.63 -3.78 -1.17 10.69 11.27 .52 -10.08 -12.09 -2.23
Bihar -7.18 -6.26 .99 -10.48 -8.33 2.32 -3.32 -4.11 -.83
Jharkhand 1.57 2.78 1.12 2.96 4.6 1.65 1.98 6.48 4.41

Growth estimates of area, production and yield of groundnut in eastern region

West Bengal has shown brilliant performance in terms of area, production & yield growths during the whole period. Production growth in this state had been as high as 63% during the first phase. Yield growth was all at higher level. During the last decades it witnessed steady growths in above indicators. All the estimates relating to W.B. have been found statistically significant. In contrast Bihar recorded poor performance over the entire period in terms of acreage & production growth. For Bihar, yield growth was positive but statistically insignificant. Orissa performed well during eighties but lost its momentum during the last phase. Area as well as production drastically reduced in the last decades. Of late, Jharkhand evidenced steady growth in groundnut in terms of area, production and yield growths.


Measurements of Instability in area, production and yield of groundnut across eastern states.

Co-efficient of area instability
Co-efficient of production instability Co-efficient of yld instability
All period Phase-1 Phase-ii All period Phase-1 Phase-ii All period Phase-1 Phase-ii
W.B. 29.27 18.50 11.60 38.76 30.98 17.20 23.55 28.86 8.79
Orissa 59.98 9.04 49.83 67.17 18.62 66.66 15.95 13.17 15.87
Bihar 42.39 25.02 51.84 51.36 51.50 57.04 39.25 34.68 43.68
Jharkhand 17.24 19.37 12.07 27.08 29.69 18.43 20.50 23.83 9.86

West Bengal saw high level of instability in area, production and yield during the first period under study. However, the magnitudes of instability for all the indicators were reduced in nineties. Stability of yield (8.79%) was found within the tolerance limit in the second phase. Jharkhand also showed less fluctuation in yield during the second phase. Bihar evidenced wide fluctuation in area, production and yield irrespective of time segments. Orissa recorded high volatility in area, production and yield in recent decade .


Components of change in average production between two phases.

Source of change W.B. Orissa Bihar Jharkhand
(%) (%)
Yield effect 13.18 -35.63 -19.54 35.57
Area effect 62.68 -86.36 107.48 51.44
Interaction effect(mean area and mean yield) 28.92 16.76 14.81 4.57
Area &yield covariance effect -4.79 5.23 -2.75 8.40

Mean yield change accounts for 13.18% of the increase in groundnut production in West Bengal. On the other hand , changes in area contributes 63% of change in average production between the phases. Thus, area change is the major component of change in groundnut production. Area effect has been dominated in all the eastern states. Changes in covariances between areas and yields are not important in accounting for increases/decreases in production across the states. The interaction effect between changes in mean yield and mean area is relatively large for West Bengal.

To sum up, there is a need for identification of the niche areas of groundnut in eastern regions, particularly in West Bengal & Jharkhand. It is reported that groundnut is gaining importance in some pockets of Red Laterite region in W.B. That area is relatively rain-fed area. We have to examine in depth the possibility of groundnut under existing systems in large scale in those areas. Similarly, large tracts in Jharkhand are deprived of irrigation. We have also to compare the strengths and weaknesses of groundnut vis-à-vis other competitive crops for extension of groundnut in the new areas. Growths of area, production &yield of groundnut in W.B. and Jharkaand ushers in a new hope with this crop in future.