During the colonial times, Punjab described as the land of five rivers underwent a lot of demographic changes in the Indian country to the north-western region (Krishan n.d, p. 77). Punjab realized reclamation of vast wasteland through canal irrigation and railway construction connecting Bombay, Calcutta and Karachi. Population growth was a significant input to agriculture and the sector flourished well. The last century has seen unprecedented growth in population worldwide, environmental change and economic development as well. A lot of debate has emerged on the connection between population growth, the use of resources and the degradation of the environment in the recent years. Agriculture needs enough man power. The question concerning the significance of population growth with a country’s resources is very relevant for a developing part of India like Punjab. A decline in population growth has obviously affected the productivity of Punjab, India which has for years been doing well in agriculture.
The cut of peak period, together with a decline in employment elasticity in agriculture has led to a reduction of labor absorption in agricultural sector of the rural economy of Punjab (Ghuman et al. 2007, p.22). In Punjab, there exists a very positive relationship between the farm size and the average family size (Ghuman et al. 2007, p.23). In an effort of developing this study, the questions of research are stated as follows.
- What is the relationship between population growth and agriculture?
- How has Punjab, managed to balance between population growth and agriculture?
- What are the impacts of a declining population growth on Punjab’s agricultural development?
- What measures can be taken to guarantee a sustainable agricultural development based on population growth?
The growth of human population in India has in the past been of significance in general development, socially, politically and economically (Mohanty n.d, p. 2). The flourishing nature of Punjab economy after independence is well documented. Generally and even after Green Revolution time, Punjab state was ranked among the top most states of India on matters based on per capita income and agricultural growth (Singh n.d., p. 1). However, there is a worrying concern about the declining growth in population that can significantly affect agricultural development which has been the backbone of the state. Punjab has faced a number of challenges including the poor health of the populace hindering its general population growth
Findings and Discussions
The human labour that was so much in demand in Punjab’s agricultural sector during the green revolution started to decline in the late eighties. The situation worsened from the late 1980s to the 1990s (Ghuman et al. 2007, pp. 33-45). There are fears that same has continued over the years. Population growth has a very significant input in the agricultural development of countries and mores so in particular, Punjab (Das Gupta et al. 2011, pp. 10-23). A healthy state is bound to make progress in agriculture but for Punjab’s case, there is a lot of study needed to address this matter. As Punjab’s workforce declined largely between 1961and 1991 decade, the agricultural sector realized a significant fall. In 1960-61, the agricultural price establishments reduced from 52% to about 44% as recorded in 1990 and 1991. As the population shifted to non-farming engagements in Punjab, agricultural production experienced a downfall (Ghuman et al. 2007, p.6-11). The trends have been experienced even in the last decade from 2001 ending 2011 where the existence of migrant labour in the rural Punjab has caused serious repercussions in agricultural sector.
There is much communication that is required to highlight the impact of population growth in the agricultural development of rural areas. A study on the rural state of Punjab in India is thus a worth course that will be useful in studying this subject and in the making of informed conclusions on the same.
Population growth is very useful in determining the economic welfare of any given state or nation. Punjab is a perfect example that has seen an increased agricultural development with increased population growth. A decline in population growth has affected agricultural establishment in the Punjab state of India and therefore the general productivity is proportionally going down. A healthy population is a pre-requisite to a stable agricultural economy.