About US

About the Centre

The Agro-Economic Research Centre (AERC) for the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan was established in July 1961 at the Sardar Patel University, Vallabh Vidyanagar by the Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India, New Delhi. It was late Shri H.M. Patel (ICS retd.) who not only provided the vision for establishing such an Institute but also ensured the much needed support and encouragement for its growth at Vallabh Vidyanagar. AERC has been working as an associate institution of S. P. University and enjoying autonomy status in its working. The Centre has completed 55 glorious years (1961-2016) of its journey marked by both achievements and challenges. During these years, the Centre has emerged as a strong policy feedback centre of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India due to hard work and strong commitment of the staff in the Centre. The focus of research effort in the initial stage was on comprehensive village surveys and resurveys in order to understand the process and direction of change at the village level. Subsequently, the emphasis of research has shifted to problem oriented studies.

The Centre has by now completed 159 problem-oriented studies, 21 village surveys and 4 village resurveys. Most of these research projects have been taken up by Centre on the recommendation of the Government of India and State Governments of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Some of the projects have also been sponsored by other national and international organizations. During its long journey, the Centre has brought remarkable improvement in every aspects of research including methodological base of the studies. The studies have come out with useful findings and policy implications for agricultural and rural development of the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Many seminars and conferences were organized by the Centre (jointly with Department of Economics) during these years. Since 1970, the Centre has been also organizing the work of Comprehensive Scheme to Study Cost of Cultivation of Principal Crops in Gujarat entrusted to the S P University by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India. Ever since its inception, the Centre has been working in close collaboration with the Post-graduate Department of Economics of the S. P. University and so far it has helped/supported about 40 scholars to successfully complete their Ph. D. work in agricultural economics.

The principle objectives of the Centre have been as follows:

1. To make continuous study of the change in rural economy by means of surveys of villages each year, to be repeated after an interval of five years.

2. To conduct adhoc investigation on problems of interest to the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation and the State Governments under their jurisdiction.

3. To undertake research on fundamental problems relating to the agricultural economy of the country, and

4. To give technical advice to the Government of India and to the State Governments on such important issues as, with mutual agreement, may be referred to the Centre.

The Area of Coverage of the Centre is as follows:

a) Gujarat State
a) Rajasthan State
a) Dadra and Nagar Haveli


Cost of Cultivation Scheme

Studies on cost of production of agricultural commodities have been of interest to research workers and policy-makers. The need for reliable and representative estimates about cost of production of agricultural crops is obvious for formulating an appropriate strategy for planned agricultural development.

In a vast country like India with marked variations in agro-climatic conditions, it becomes essential to collect State-wise, region-wise data on cost of production of various crops on a continuous basis. Recognizing the importance of such studies, the Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India, evolved a permanent arrangement for collection of cost of cultivation data on a continuous and uniform basis for all important crops in the country. The Directorate of Economics and Statistics decided to establish the Comprehensive Scheme for studying the cost of cultivation of principal crops in different states of India in 1968-69. The Directorate entrusted one such cost scheme to the Sardar Patel University for collecting cost of cultivation data in Gujarat. The University entrusted this Scheme to the Agro-Economic Research Centre. Since 1970, the AERC and the Comprehensive Scheme are working together in close collaboration for serving the needs of the Directorate of Economics and Statistics of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India.

The data base generated through the “Comprehensive Scheme for Studying Cost of Cultivation of Principal Crops in Gujarat” is used not only for the primary purpose of providing cost estimates for determination of Minimum Support Prices (MSP) but for a wide variety of other important purposes like ‘Compilation of National Accounts Statistics’, Wholesale Price Indices (WPI) and research studies relating to cost of cultivation and farm income.

Up to 1982, cost of cultivation data in Gujarat were collected from 480 sample cultivators spread over 40 clusters of villages through cost accounting method. Under the old arrangement (known as single crop approach) the clusters were changed every year retaining only a sub-sample of 10 to 20 clusters. Since 1983, the single crop approach has been replaced by crop complex approach under which the numbers of clusters have been increased from 40 to 60 thereby providing a wider and varied base for generation of reliable estimates. Now eleven principal crops of Gujarat Viz., Bajra, Groundnut, Cotton, Arhar, Moong, Onion, Paddy, Wheat, Maize, Rapeseed/Mustard and Sesamum are being studied continuously and simultaneously for three consecutive years in the same clusters of villages. At present, there is a sample of 600 cultivators (10 each from selected clusters) drawn from different size groups of holdings. The farm size groups are marginal (below 1.0 hectare), small (1.0 to 2.0 hectare), semi-medium (2.0 to 4.0 hectare), medium (4.0 to 6.0 hectare), and large (6.0 hectare and above).

The work of this Scheme is being looked after by 78 persons, out of which 60 are permanently posted in the villages spread over entire State of Gujarat. This Scheme is being fully financed by the Government of India.

Association of Some of the most Distinguished Economist


The AERC, Vallabh Vidyanagar was singularly fortunate to have Dr. V. S. Vyas as its founder Director, who’s pioneering efforts, has established rich traditions of research in agricultural economics. This tradition was nurtured in the subsequent phase of three and half decades by Dr. Mahesh Pathak who served as Hon. Director during 1972-2006.

Another unique strength of the Centre has been the association of some of the most distinguished Economist of our Country, such as

  • Shri H. M. Patel (ICS retired)
  • Dr. V. S. Vyas
  • Prof. M. L. Dantwala
  • Prof. M. V. Mathur
  • Shri D. T. Lakdawala
  • Dr. R. K. Amin
  • Dr. Y. K. Alagh
  • Dr. N. S. Jodha
  • Dr. D. S. Tyagi
  • Shri J. S. Sarma
  • Dr. M. S. Bhatia
  • Shri S. S. Jain
  • Dr. Mahesh T. Pathak
  • Dr. Sudarashan Iyenger
  • Dr. Amita Shah
  • Dr. Surjit Singh
  • and many others

The Centre has received much needed support and guidance from the all the Hon. Vice-Chancellors of the Sardar Patel University, Vallabh Vidyanagar.



Honorary Advisor of the Centre


Name

Period

Dr. Mahesh Pathak

12/09/2006

Till date


Former Directors of the Centre

Name

Period

From

To

Dr. R.H. Patel

03/05/2010

09/11/2011

Dr. Rajeshree Dutta (In-charge)

09/11/2011

05/07/2012

Dr. S.S. Kalamkar

05/07/2012

Till date



Former Joint Directors of the Centre


Name

Period

From

To


Dr. H. G. Patel

14/09/1992

06/04/1993

Dr. H. F. Patel

21/10/1993

11/09/2006





Founder Director of AERC, Vallabh Vidyanagar

Prof. V.S. Vyas
Former Member, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister
E-mail: vsvyas@mac.com ; vijaysvyas2108@gmail.com

The AERC, Vallabh Vidyanagar was singularly fortunate to have Prof. Vijay Shankar Vyas as its founder Director, who’s pioneering efforts, has established rich traditions of research in agricultural economics. He is still associated with the Centre as a permanent invitee on the Governing body of AERC.

Prof. Vyas, Professor who is Emeritus in the Institute of Development Studies, Jaipur and Member, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister has a Ph.D degree in Economics from the University of Bombay. He has taught in Bombay University, Sardar Patel University, and Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He was a Senior Fellow of the IDRC, Canada, and a Visiting Scholar at the South Asia Centre of the Boston University, U.S.A.
Prof. Vyas served as Director of the Agro-Economic Research Centre, Vallabh Vidyanagar; Professor of Economics and Dean of Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Sardar Patel University; Member, Agricultural Prices Commission of the Government of India; Director, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad; Senior Advisor in the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of the World Bank, Washington, D.C. and, Director Institute of Development Studies, Jaipur.
Prof. Vyas has served as Chairman/Member of several Boards, Committees and Commissions at the International, National and State Level. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of the International Food Policy Research Institute [Washington D.C. U.S.A.]; Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture, [Cali, Columbia]; member of the Governing Board of the Institute of Development Studies of Sussex University [U.K.], Chairman, Governing Board, IDS, Jaipur. He has consulted with United Nations Agencies, Bilateral and Multilateral Aid Agencies, National and the State Governments. Prof. Vyas has served as a member of the Central Board of the Reserve Bank of India. Currently, he is a member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India, and Deputy Chairman of the State Planning Board of Rajasthan. Prof. Vyas is the Chairman of the Ajit Foundation, a NGO working with the objective of empowering youth in the framework of social justice.
Prof. Vyas has written extensively on key issues of agricultural policies and rural development, and has been honoured by academic community in India and abroad. He was awarded Elmhurst Memorial Gold Medal by the International Association of Agricultural Economists ( IAAE) and has been elected as an honorary Life member of IAAE. Prof. Vyas is the past president of the Asians Society of Agricultural Economists, the Indian Society of Agricultural Economists, the Indian Society of Agricultural marketing, and Indian Labour Economics Conference. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences in India. Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology, Udaipur conferred on him degree of D.Sc. (Honoris Causa).
Prof. Vyas has been honoured by the award of Padam Bhushan by the President of India on Republic Day 2006.