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31 October 2014
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HOME | AGRICULTURAL ISSUES | STATISTICS

Three major statistics that provide an overview of the state of a particular crop type are the production per year, the area covered by the cultivation of the crop and the yield in terms of the amount of crop obtained per unit area. The primary food crop categories grown in India are fine grains (composed mainly of rice and wheat), coarse grains( consisting of such as millet, ragi,etc), pulses(consisting of the various kinds of grams) and oilseeds(such as sunflower, castor, mustard,etc) Coarse grains have typically been the staple food of the subsistence population while pulses provide the protein requirements for the entire population.

  • The graph showing the variation in total area under various crop categories clearly shows how the area dedicated to pulses and coarse grains has actually fallen since the start of the Green Revolution. This clearly indicates the shift in cropping patterns brought about by a lopsided agricultural policy that concentrated in fits on rice, wheat and oilseeds. The figures also show that the area under oilseeds have actually stagnated over the past 10 years and even shows a slight downward trend in the last year,

  • The variation in yield of the major crop categories also shows how policies affect production. The Green Revolution has resulted in a spurt in the yields of rice and wheat. The yield in coarse grains has seen an increase but this has totally been offset by the reduction in area under these crops. The yield of oilseeds saw a sudden increase when the government shifted focus to this area in the late 80s by forming an oilseed technology mission. The variation in the yield of pulses has been dismal and has barely registered a change over the past 50 years.

  • The variation in production of these major crop categories shows the result of the changes in the yield and area. The production of rice and wheat has seen a continual and impressive rise while the production of pulses and coarse grains has stagnated and is starting to fall. The production of oilseeds, which increased as a result of policy intervention, is also starting to fall.

All these figures show that dryland agriculture in India is in the midst of a serious crisis. As the population of the country has risen steadily, the production of essential crops that provide the essential nutrition and that are the staple of the poor, has steadily been declining.

All figures are taken from the Department of Agriculture & Cooperation's website at http://agricoop.nic.in/stats.htm

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