Agricultural productivity may be defined as the total agricultural output per unit of cultivated area, per agricultural worker or per unit of input in monetary values. These may be separately called ‘land productivity’, ‘labour productivity’ and ‘capital productivity. Agricultural productivity is generally the result of a more efficient use of the factors of production, viz., environment, arable land, labour, capital and the like.
It is infect a relationship between the output and the major inputs like land, labour and capital. It is essentially a measure of the efficiency with which the inputs are utilized in production. The regional differences in agricultural productivity are the result partly of natural advantages of biotic environment (soils and climate) and partly of farming efficiency as controlled by cultural ecology (Singh and Dillon, 1984, p. 226).
‘The level of agricultural productivity, as a concept, means the degree to which the economic, cultural, technical and organizational variable (i.e. the man-made frame) are able to exploit the biotic resources of the area for agricultural production (Singh, 1979). It is a dynamic concept, as any modification in physical factors and improvement in non-physical bases of farming affect the agricultural productivity per hectare.
The level of agricultural productivity provides a rational base for future orientation in agricultural planning. Its changing pattern is a reliable index to assess agricultural development of the past. Also it may help in identifying weaker areas for agricultural planning.
Various methods have been developed by the agricultural geographers to measure the agricultural productivity in a region. These include: (a) assessing the value of agricultural production per unit area, (b) measuring production per unit of farm labour, (c) input-output ratio, (d) expressing production as grain equivalents, (e) output per unit area or yields per hectare after grading them in ranking order and deriving the ranking coefficient, (0 giving weight age to the ranking order of the output per unit area with the percentage share under crops, (g) carrying capacity of land in terms of population, (h) calculating the index number of agricultural efficiency by expressing per unit area carrying capacity (in terms of population) of the component enumeration unit as a percentage of the per unit area carrying capacity for the entire region, (i) determining an index of productivity with the help of area and production under various crops in the area units and converting them in a uniform scale, (j) computing the crop yield and concentration indices ranking coefficient, (k) total production of all crops converted in terms of money, (1) computing the intensity and spread indices of three variables, i.e., yield, grain equivalents and cropping system, and (m) assessing net income (farm business income) in rupees per hectare of cropped area or per adult male unit of farm family work force (Tiwari, Roy and Srivastava, 1997, pp, 176-177).
Singh (1994) has used value of agricultural output (in terms of rupees) per hectare of cultivated land to determine the land productivity in India during 1969-72, 1979-82 and 1988-90 and visualise the temporal changes therein (Singh, 1994, pp. 57- 66). According to him while physiographic features and agro-climatic conditions had been the major determining factors for the areal variations of land productivity during early 1970s, the varied and diversified nature of modern technological factors has gained importance during 1980s.
The spatial patterns of agricultural growth-productivity relationships are infect the result of the intensification of output- augmenting practices (especially the increasing use of modern technology and irrigation).
The spatial pattern of agricultural productivity (1988-90) may be analysed by identifying following three regions in the country.
(a) High Productivity (> Rs. 1500 /Ha.)
This includes major part of the Great Plains including Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, northern Bihar, West Bengal, and lower Assam. In southern India it occupies coastal Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and western Gujarat. These are the areas en
dewed with fertile alluvial soils, better irrigation facilities and new inputs (HYV, chemical fertilisers, pesticides and farm machineries etc.) of agriculture. It is in these areas where Green Revolution has been initiated and matured. Here farmers are more receptive to adopt agricultural innovations and practice agriculture on commercial lines.
(b) Medium Productivity (Rs. 750-1500/ha.)
It covers a vast area scattered in is patches covering central Bihar, coastal Chhattisgarh, western Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, western Andhra Pradesh, coastal Kama and western Maharashtra. Here irrigation facility is not well developed. Agricultural comparatively low fertility of soil is the major impediment in augmenting agricultural productivity. Here agricultural innovations including Green Revolution are yet to make their inroads.
(c) Low Productivity (< Rs. 750/ha.)
It incorporates parts of Jharkhand, western Orissa, eastern Madhya Pradesh, semiarid parts of Maharashtra, and Karnataka, Rajasthan and Kerala. These are the areas which are deficient in irrigation
Labor Productivity and are characterised by low rainfall conditions or susceptible to droughts.