Both Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are located in coastal south India (see Map 1) and comprise small mountainous regions, large coastal plains and dry interior regions. Their major river systems such as those of the Krishna and Godavari in Andhra Pradesh and Kaveri in Tamil Nadu originate in the Western ghats and flow eastward, taking with them, a number of tributaries and irrigating vast tracts of land. They form large deltas before emptying into the Bay of Bengal. Some of the rivers are perennial and a majority are rainfed. Besides these geographical similarities, the two states share a similar administrative culture, both having originated from the Madras presidency under British rule.
Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy in both states. Andhra with its wide diversified farm base, is a foodgrain surplus state - often called the granary of south - but less advanced industrially than Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu also has an advantage over Andhra Pradesh in terms of selected demographic and socio-economic criteria such as Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), Total Fertility Rate (TFR), literacy, age at marriage, per capita income, percent of births attended by trained personnel, employment in organized sectors, and dependency ratio, according to the 1988-89 Yearbook of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Government of India. Rankings on the basis of a composite physical quality of life index also reinforce these differences (Karakal and Irudeyarajan 1991).
Andhra Pradesh (AP), with an area of 275,000 sq km is the fifth largest state in India (see Map 2). It has a population of 66.3 million (1991 census), with a large majority (73.2%) living in rural areas in 29,400 villages and the balance 26.8% living in about 250 urban towns and cities. Nearly 20.8% of the population are Scheduled Castes (14.9%) and Scheduled Tribes (5.9%). According to the 1991 census, overall literacy in the state is 37.4% as compared with an average of 52.1% in the country. Female literacy, as in many other states in the country is lower (28.0%) than male literacy (46.6%). These figures are again much lower than the all-India figures of 39.4% and 63.9% respectively (Census of India 1991).
The state is divided in to twenty three districts spread over three distinct geographical regions known as Coastal Andhra, Rayalaseema and Telangana regions. The nine districts of Srikakulam (Sr), Vizianagaram (Vz), Vishakapatnam (Vs), East Godavari (EG), West Godavari (WG), Krishna (Kr), Guntur (Gu), Prakasam (Pr) and Nellore (Ne) constitute the coastal region. Ten districts of Hyderabad (Hy), Rangareddy (Ra), Nalgonda (Na), Khammam (Kh), Mahboobnagar (Ma), Warangal (Wa), Karimnagar (Ka), Nizamabad (Ni), Medak (Me) and Adilabad (Ad) form the Telangana region and the four districts of Kurnool (Ku), Cuddapah (Cu), Anantapur (An) and Chittoor (Ch) make up Rayalaseema region (abbreviations used in figures and tables).
The concentration of the Scheduled Caste population is highest (20.7%) in Nellore district and lowest (7%) in Vishakapatnam. The tribal population is most concentrated (24.5%) in Khammam district and least so in Hyderabad (0.64%).
The state receives rains from the summer as well as the winter monsoons. The summer monsoon (June-Sept) is the South-West monsoon which contributes nearly two thirds of rains (600 mm) in the state, while the winter monsoon (Oct-Dec), supplies the remaining one-third. On average, the coastal region receives the highest rainfall (1000 mm) followed by Telengana (890 mm) and Rayalaseema (670 mm). Periodic droughts in Telengana and Rayalaseema regions and floods in Coastal Andhra however, hamper food production in the state.
Agriculture is the major strength of the Andhra economy. It is estimated that 36.2% of the states net domestic product is derived from agriculture, while it provides livelihoods for 70% of its population. Major crops grown in the state are: rice, jowar, bajra, ragi (millets), maize, sugar cane, chillies, groundnut, castor, cotton, and tobacco. Rice is the principal food crop followed by jowar and other coarse millets. Among the cash crops, sugar cane, cotton and tobacco are important. The major oil seed produced in the state is ground nut. A variety of pulses are also produced.
The state recorded an improvement in food production in the late 1970s and early 1980s (see Figure 1) through the adoption of improved food production and management techniques despite an almost constant area under food grains. From 1983-87 however, there was a significant declining trend in per capita food production. About 68% of arable lands in the state are reported to be under dry farming and cultivated by poor farmers. Special efforts are being made to increase production of food grains, oil seeds and commercial crops through active programmes in watershed development, soil and moisture conservation, crop insurance, cattle breeding, horticulture and floriculture.
Figure 1 - FOODGRAIN PRODUCTION
Tamil Nadu (TN), one of the southern-most states of India covers about 130,000 square kilometres and has a population of 55.6 million (1991 census) distributed over 21 districts. South Arcot district, which accounts for 8.75% and the Nilgiri which accounts for 1.27% of states population constitute the most and least populous districts of the state respectively. In 1981, Tamil Nadu had only 16 districts, compared with 21 now. In 1985, the district of Ramanathapuram was trifurcated in to Pasumpon Thevar Thirumagam, Kamrajar and Ramanathapuram. Madurai district was divided (in 1985) in to Madurai and Dindigul-Quaid-e-Milleth districts, while in 1986 Tirunelveli was divided in to Thirunelveli-Kattabomman and Chidambaram districts. In 1989, North Arcot was divided in to North Arcot Ambedkar and Tiruvannamalai-Sambuvarayar. Chengalpattu district was renamed Chengai-Anna in 1981.
A majority (two-thirds) of the population is rural and lives in about 15,830 villages, while the remaining one-third lives in 25 cities/urban agglomerations. This makes Tamil Nadu a highly urbanised state, next only to Maharashtra which has more than 35% urbanisation, as compared to 23.7% for all-India. The urban Tamil population is concentrated in metropolitan cities like Madras and along the industrial belts of Madras, Salem and Coimbatore and in the agriculturally advanced regions of the Kaveri delta.
During 1981-1991 the population in the state grew at a rate of 14.9% as compared to an increase of 23.5% in the country as a whole. In absolute numbers, nearly 7.2 million people have been added to the states population during the last 10 years. According to the Sample Registration System (SRS) there has been a decline in birth rate and death rate in Tamil Nadu in the last decade. The birth rate declined from 28 per 1000 in 1981 to 23 in 1989 while the death rate declined from 11.8 to 8.6 per 1000 during the same period (Registrar General 1991)
During the last ten years, the overall literacy level has increased from 54.3% to 63.7% (Census of India 1991), male 74.8% and female 52.3%. Of the total scheduled caste (SC) population in Tamil Nadu, nearly 80% (7.1 million) live in rural areas. Chengalpattu district has the highest proportion of SCs (26.2%) and Kanya Kumari, the lowest (4.2%). Nearly 80% SCs are agricultural labourers, and literacy levels continue to be low compared to the general population.
The average family size in the state is 4.7. Contrary to the all-India pattern, where rural families are larger than urban families, in Tamil Nadu family size in urban areas is slightly larger (4.9) than that (4.6) in rural areas. The dependency ratio (ratio of population in the 0-14 and the 60 years and above age group to total population) is 70 in Tamil Nadu as against 85 for all-India (Tamil Nadu Corporation for the Development of Women Ltd. 1986).
The topography of the state comprises coastal plains in the east and hilly-forests and upland regions in the northern and western parts of the state. Tamil Nadu has a coastline of about 1000 km which forms about 18% of the countrys coastline. Agro-climatically the state is demarcated into three distinct regions. Region I consists of highly fertile areas of the Kaveri delta and includes three districts viz. Thanjavur, South Arcot and Tiruchirapalli - predominantly rice growing areas. Region II is less fertile and consists of four districts - North Arcot, Thiruvannamalai, Salem and Coimbatore - known for their commercial crops of sugar, cotton and groundnut. Wells and tanks are the main sources of irrigation. Region III is a dry area spread over 14 districts with poor irrigation facilities, where coarse millets like jowar, ragi, bajra and maize are grown.
Tamil Nadu receives an average annual rainfall of about 940 mm, of which 48% is through the North-east (October-December) monsoon, and 32% through the South-West monsoon (June-September). Since the state is entirely dependent on rains for recharging its water resources, monsoon failures lead to acute water scarcity and severe drought.
Food production over the past two decades in Tamil Nadu has failed to keep pace with the growth in population (see Figure 1). As a result, per capita net production and availability at the state level has remained below 400 g., a trend contrary to what has been observed at the all India level. Availability of other foods like pulses, milk, flesh foods etc. show a mixed pattern. While per capita availability of milk has increased since the 1980s, pulse availability showed a decline - a trend consistent with the national picture.