The fourth plan aimed at achieving an annual growth rate of 5 per cent in agriculture. The total investment under agricultural sector was Rs. 3,814 crores (24% of the total plan outlay) against the actual expenditure of Rs. 3,466 crores (20.7% of the plan outlay).
During the plan besides agricultural development satisfactory progress was also visualised in agricultural input industries like fertilisers, agricultural machineries etc. A National Agricultural Commission was set up in 1970. The target for food grains was 129 million tons for 1973-74 but I the actual production of food grains was merely 103.6 million tones. During the plan about 15.6 million hectares of additional cropped area was brought under irrigation. Although the overall agricultural growth was limited to 3.1 per cent per annum but the actual production was short of the plan target in respect of food grains, oil seeds, sugarcane, cotton and jute etc.
The production of wheat had a sharp increase due to green revolution but the progress was nominal in respect of rice. The unsatisfactory performance of the agricultural sector was the root cause of the stagnation and the emergence of inflationary pressure since 1972-73.