India's Food grains Production
As per the second advance estimates released by Ministry of Agriculture on February 9, 2011, production of food grains during 2010- 11 is estimated at 232.07 million tons compared to 218.11 million tons last year. This is a good rebound in the food grain production and is only marginally below the record production of 234.47 million tons of food grains in 2008-09. Following table shows the estimates of production & Target in 2010-11.
The country is likely to achieve record production of wheat (81.47 million tons ), pulses (16.51 million tons) and cotton (33.93 million bales of 170 kg. each) this year. This high level of production has been achieved despite crop damage due to drought in Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal and the effects of cyclones, unseasonal and heavy rains, and cold wave and frost conditions in several parts of the country.
Importance of Coarse Cereals
The Economic Survey makes an important note that food and nutritional security of India currently depends to a great extent on the production of wheat and rice. These two crops together constituted 78 per cent of total food grains production in 2009-10, whereas coarse cereals constitute only 15 per cent in the same year. The area under coarse cereals has shown a decline over the years whereas their yield has shown significant improvement despite decrease in area in all the major coarse cereals except maize. The nutritional value of coarse cereals is also gradually being realized. There is every reason to promote the production of these crops and help them realize their full potential with increased investment in research and schemes to promote their cultivation particularly in rain-fed areas.
India's Total cropped Area
The total cropped area under food grains, oilseeds, sugarcane, and cotton during kharif 2010 is higher by 2.33 lakh ha as compared to that in kharif 2009. Owing to drought in major rice-producing areas, i.e. Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, and eastern Uttar Pradesh, the area under rice during kharif 2010 is lower by about 5.40 lakh ha.
While the area under coarse cereals has gone down by 3.42 lakh ha, there has been significant increase of 6.11 lakh ha in the area under pulses with the result that total area under food grains in kharif 2010 is only marginally lower by 2.71 lakh ha than that in kharif 2009. In oilseeds, while area under groundnut has gone up by 4 lakh ha, seasmum, soyabean, and sunflower have recorded lower acreage; consequently the overall area under oilseeds during kharif 2010 is lower by 8.27 lakh ha as compared to kharif 2009.
However, there is significant increase in the area under sugarcane (6.53 lakh ha) and cotton (6.90 lakh ha).
Thus there appears to be some shift in the cropping pattern in kharif 2010.