Essay on “Important Food Crops of India”– (4742 Words)

Rice can be grown on different altitude so long as its temperature requirements are satisfied. For example it is grown in Kashmir at height of 2000 m and in Kuttanand region in Kerala which is below sea-level.

Conditions of Growth:

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It grows best in warm, humid areas with temperatures ranging between 20?C and 40°C and receiving a well-distributed rainfall of about 150 cm or having irrigation facilities. During the ripening stage, it needs temperatures ranging between 18°C to 32°C. It is mainly an irrigated crop in areas having less than 100 cm rainfall. The 100 cm isohyte divides the country into two broad agriculture zones.

The area receiving more than 100 cm of rainfall is predominantly rice zone and the area receiving less than 100 cm of rainfall is largely wheat zone. Deep fertile clayey or loamy soils are considered ideal for rice cultivation because they have capacity to retain water used by rice for growth. These soils are found in delta and river valleys. The cheap labour is also important for successful growth of plants.

The production of rice has shown an upward trend during the period 2005-06 to 2008-09 and it reached a record leve! of 99.18 million tonnes in 2008-09. The producution of rice which declined to 89-09 million in 2009-10 and has increased to 102.75 million tonnes in 2011-12. The productivity of rice has increased from 1984 kg per hectare in 2004-05 to 2314 kg per hectare in 2011-12.

Yield: Some important high-yielding varieties are 1R8. Jaya, Karuna, Kanchi, Annapurna to Padma Hamsa, Sabarmati and IEI 1039 and 1130. Stresses to lerant varieties like sahbhghi Dhan for drought and. Swarna Sub-1 for flood are also being promoted to mitigate situation of drought and flood. Salt tolerant varieties of rice like CSR 10, CSR 13, 23, 27, 30, 36. are also introduced to the farmers.

Methods of Cultivation:

1. Sowing:

Seeds are sown in different ways.

a. Broadcasting is the scattering of seeds by hand. It is practised where labour is scarce and the soil not very fertile.

b. Dibbling is the dropping of seeds at regular intervals in ploughed furrows. This method is common in the Northern Plains

c. Drilling is the dropping of seeds through shafts of bamboo which is attached to the plough. In this method of seeds fall in a straight line into the furrows made by the plough.

Advantage: There is no wastage of seeds.

Disadvantage: This method requires more time and labour.

This method is common in Tamil Nadu. In some areas the seeds are soaked for 24 hours prior to sowing to enable quick germination in moist soil.

2. Transplanting:

Rice is normally cultivated in nurseries Seedling are sown in nurseries after they have been soaked in clean water for 24 hours. The paddy plants are kept under water. After about five to six weeks when the paddy plants are 15 to 20 cm high, they are uprooted by hand, tied into bundles and transplanted in another field which is also flooded.

By following the transplanting method the yield of rice is increased significantly. This offsets the disadvantage of this method being labour-intensive. After some time the field is drained and the paddy begins to ripen. Frequent showers before ripening help to increase the size of the grain. Dry season is essential at the time of harvesting.

3. Harvesting:

Harvesting is carried out by hand. When the crop is ripe, it is harvested with scythes and allowed to dry in the fields for 3 to 4 days. Then it is threshed by hand by beating the paddy heads against a hard rock. (Rice with husk is known as paddy). Threshing can also be done by making bullocks trample the paddy under their feet.

4. Processing:

After threshing, the grains are polished to make them look more attractive and improve their keep quality. Polishing the rice reduces it nutritive value by destroying some of the vitamins found in the outer layers. Hand pound rice retains the vitamins and minerals found in the surface layer.

Yield of Rice:

The average yield of rice per hectare (2125 kg per hectare) is among the lowest—52nd in the world. The average yield per hectare in Japan, China and Korea is about three times that of India. The yield is higher still in some European countries like Italy and Spain and in Australia.

Since Independence efforts have been made to increase the yield through improved methods of cultivation, proper use of irrigation, fertilizers, better seeds and farming techniques. The average yield per hectare increased from 668 kg in 1950-51 to 1984 kg in 2004-05.

Area and Production:

The most important areas producing rice in India are West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab and Assam. Punjab and Haryana produce a surplus of rice and even that with the help of irrigation. Rice is a labour-intensive crop and it can feed a large number of people per unit of area than any other food crop can. The crop is grown by transplanting or broad casting or drilling.

West Bengal:

W.B. is highest in terms of production and produced 14.34 million tonnes in 2009-10 which is 16.10 per cent of all India. Over 63% of the production comes from Burdwan, Birbhum, Bankura, Midnapur. 24 Paraganas and West Dinajpur districts. With about 14% of the area and 15% of the production of the crop in India, the state occupies the highest place in rice production. The average yield of rice per hectare in West Bengal is 2547 per hectare.

Punjab:

With the highest yield (4010) per hectare in the country and contributing 12.61% of the output in 2.80% area, Punjab is an important producer of rice in India and one of the few surplus states with over a-third of the total centrally procured amount of rice, the production was 11.24 million tonnes, in 2009-10.

Andhra Pradesh:

The yields and production have increased considerably with the introduction of package technology (Green Revolution) which is 13.24% of the total area in Andhra Pradesh. About 20 districts of Andhra Pradesh are producing rice out of which West Godavari, East Godavari and Krishna are the three most important rice producing districts not only of Andhra Pradesh, but also of whole of India and accounts for over 11.83 percent of the total rice production of the country in 2009-10.

Bihar:

Bihar ranks tenth in the rice production; about 3569 th/hc the main areas are Gaya, Champaran, Darbhanga, Purunia, Muzaffarpur, and Shahabad. The production has increased only marginally in the recent years, due to low yields. It has 10.41 of the All India area under rice.

Uttar Pradesh:

Uttar Pradesh has recorded unprecedented progress in the production of rice during the last three decades occupying the second position among rice producing states. The total area under rice cultivation in U.P. is 5.19 million/hectares, which is nearly 12.37% of the country’s rice producing area and accounts for nearly 10.81% of the total rice production of the country.

The crop is widely grown in the eastern and north eastern parts including Varanasi, Sorakhpur, Faizabad and Rohilkhand divisions where average rainfall is above 100 cm.

Odisha:

Odisha contributes about 10.41% of the area (4.37 million hecares) and 6.92% of the production of rice in the country. It is fifth most important rice producing state. Over 90% of the state’s production comes from Sambalpur, Cuttack, Puri, Balasore, Ganjam, Koraput, Dhenkanal, Bolangir, Kalahandi and Mayurbhanj districts.

Chhattisgarh:

It is the eighth largest rice producing state of the country, with 3.75 million hectare under rice production and 4.1 million tonnes of total production.

Tamil Nadu:

Although Tamil Nadu produces only 6.36% of the rice of India, the state has the yield is million tonnes in 2009-10, the autumn crop accounting for nearly 70-75% of both. South Arcot and Thanjavur districts in the Kaveri delta and Chengalpattu, Ramanathapuram and Tirunelveli districts elsewhere, account for two-thirds of the state’s total rice area. This is mainly due to the effect of Green Revolution under which one-fourth of the rice area is under IR-8 and HYV varieties.

Madhya Pradesh:

Madhya Pradesh has an area of 3.55 million hectares under rice cultivation and has a low yield of 1.26 million tonnes which is the lowest yield among the major rice producing states of India. Most of the crop is grown in the rainy south-eastern parts.

Others:

With only 3.55% of the area, Karnataka produces 4.14% of the rice output of the country. The yields are high and the state has made a rapid progress in rice farming. In Kerala, rice is raised mostly in Palakkad district which has 26% of the state’s total area.

In Maharashtra, Thane, Kolaba, Ratnagiri, Kolhapur, Chandrapur and Bhandara are important rice producing districts. The crop occupies an important place in the cropland use of Goa. Rice is also a leading crop in the Kashmir valley and near Jammu.

Wheat (Triticum Aestivum):

India is the second largest producer of wheat in the world after China. After rice, wheat is the most important food crop of India. In certain parts of India like Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, it is the staple cereal. As per the advance estimates, India’s wheat output has been pegged at 88.31 million tonnes in 2012 as from 86.87 million tonnes in the year ago period.

Conditions of Growth:

Wheat grows well in a cool and moist climate, fertile soil with moderate rainfall. It is a Rabi crop. It is the stable diet of north­western Indians.

Temperature:

Wheat is crop of the temperate region and grows well in cool climate. The crop needs 10°C to 15°C during the growing season and about 25°C to 28°C at the time of ripening. In India it is grown in winter. It is sown in October-November and harvested in March.

Rainfall:

Wheat requires rainfall ranging between 50 cm to 100 cm during the growing season. Too much rainfall is harmful to the crop as it causes mildew. With irrigation, wheat can be cultivated in areas with less than 40 cm of rainfall. A little rain before ripening helps to improve the quality of the gran. That is why the winter rain brought to Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh by the western distunances, although little in quantity, is beneficial to the wheat crop.

Soil:

Wheat grows best on well-drained, heavy-textured soil with some amount of lime. It grows well in the clayey, loamy soil of the Ganga Plain and the alack soil of the Deccan Plateau. The use of fertilizers, rich in nitrogenous compounds, benefits the yield of the crop.

Methods of Cultivation:

(i) Sowing:

Sowing is done just after the rains arid so the soil is moist enough of the first few weeks of the plant’s growth. The fields are ploughed and the; soil broken several times. The seeds are sown by broadcasting as well as dibbling and drilling.

(ii) Harvesting:

The crop is harvested before the summer heat begins when the stalk becomes brittle and the grain hard. Most of the harvesting is done by hand using a sickle. In recent years machines have been used for harvesting in Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh.

(iii) Yield:

India is now one of the eight leading wheat producing countries in the world. The average yield of wheat has increased from 663 kg per hectare) in 1950-51 to 2938 kg per hectare in 2010-11. The production of wheat at 85.93 million tonnes in 2010-11 is higher than 80.81 million tonnes in 2009-10.

Varieties:

Sonalika, Kalyan Sona, Safed Lerma, Sharbati Sonora, Sonora 64, Lerma Rojo 64A and Choti Lerma being the most important varieties. PBW 343, WH542, UP 2338 and CPAN 3004 have been introduced more recently.

Areas of Production:

Wheat region spreads over Punjab, Haryana, and Western U.P.; western Vindhyan region and Malwa Plateau as the dominant crop. Wheat occupied an area of 97.46 lakh hectares and the total production of wheat was 64.62 lakh tonnes in 1950-51.

After the introduction of package technology (Green Revolution) the increase in area and production was clearly registered in when it increased to 18.3 lakh hectares and 238 lakh tonnes respectively. In 2010-11 area under wheat was 29.25 million hectare and production was 85.93 million tonnes.

The most significant increase has been recorded in wheat with its yield increasing from 655 kgs per hectare in 1950-51 to as high as 2938 kgs. Per hectare in 2010-11. This high yield has been possible due to the use of high-yielding varieties of seeds, intensive irrigation and fertilisers. India is number one in area, second in production and ranks 38 in terms of yielding wheat.

In contrast to rice, wheat is Rabi crop and shows a regional distribution, just opposite to rice, since it cannot grow under hot wet climate. The time of sowing and harvesting differs in different regions due to climatic variations. Over 93 per cent of the country’s total wheat output comes from the states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar, the remaining earning from West Bengal, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.

Uttar Pradesh:

Uttar Pradesh is the largest wheat (27.52 million tonnes in 2010-11) producing state of India. Uttar Pradesh contributes 34.06 percent of the total area and production of wheat in the country.

The crop is concentrated in the north-western districts, where winter rainfall and irrigation facilities are more. The Ganga-Yamuna Doab and the Rohilakhand plains have the highest concentration. Saharanpur, Muzzaffarnagar, Meerut, Moradabad, Rampur, Budaun, Etawah, Hardoi, Bahraich, Kheri, Gonda and Basti are the main producing districts.

Punjab:

Though a small state as compared to Uttar Pradesh, Punjab has emerged as an important producer of wheat in India. It has drawn maximum benefit from Green Revolution and in Punjab too it is the wheat crop which has been benefitted the most. The excellent irrigation system through canals and tube wells is supplemented by light rainfall associated with western disturbances.

The fertile alluvial soil is ideal for wheat production. Punjab has 12 leading wheat producing districts-Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Sangrur, Bhatinda, Amritsar, Firozepur, Faridkot, Kapurthala, Fatehgarh Sahib, Rupnagar, Mansa and Patiala. They contributes over 71% of the state production. Punjab accounts for 15.17% of the total production in only 12.18% of the total wheat area of the country. Punjab has the highest yield 4462 per hectare in the country.

Haryana:

The physical and human conditions for wheat cultivation in Haryana are same as prevailing in Punjab, although to a lesser degree. Presently Haryana accounts for little over 8.69 per cent of the wheat area of India and produces over 10.50 per cent of the total wheat of the country.

Out of its total wheat area of 2.49 million hectare the production of wheat was 8.41 million tonnes in 2009-10. Karnal, Kurukhsetra, Ambala, Kaithal, Panipat, Sonepat, Rohtak, Jind, Hissar, Sirsa and Gurgaon are important wheat producing districts. Over 93% of the area is under high yielding varieties.

Madhya Pradesh:

Madhya Pradesh is the fourth largest wheat producing state and accounts for over 15.03% and 10.41% of the total area and production respectively of wheat in the country. The hectare yield is low, 1723 kg/hac only about two thirds of the national average indicating the stagnancy of wheat cultivation in the state. Nearly half of the production comes from the north-western parts of the state from the districts of Jabaipur, Sagar, Chhattarpur, Rewa, Satna, Sehore, Raisen and Hoshangabad.

Rajasthan:

Vast stretches of sandy deserts, scarcity of rainfall, and paucity of irrigation facilities have been restricting wheat irrigation in Rajasthan for long. But some of the irrigation projects, especially the Indira Gandhi Canal, have brought about considerable improvement in the cropping pattern of the states. Currently Rajasthan accounts for 9.28 per cent of the total wheat and 8.04 per cent of the wheat area of India.

Over 20 districts are producing wheat and 11 are major producers. Ganga Nagar, Hanumangarh, Bharatpur, Kota, Alwar, Jaipur, Chittaurgarh, Tonk, Sawai Madhopur, Udaipur and Pali are important wheat producing districts of Rajasthan.

Bihar:

Bihar has about 7.71% of the total area and 5.66% of the total production of wheat in the country. Out of the 2132 th/hectare area under wheat production, the production was 4384 thousand tonnes in 2001-02. Most of the crop is raised in the middle and North Bihar Plains: Rohtas, Bhojpur, Sasaram, Gopalganj, Sahersa, Siwan, Champaran East and West district accounting for 50% of it.

Others:

West Bengal has registered a high increase both the area and production of wheat in recent years from a meagre 55,400 and 45,500 tonnes in 1966-67 to 0.32 million hectare and 0.77 million tonnes in 2009-10. Most of the production comes from West Dinajpur, Malda, Murshidabad and Nadia districts in the dry north-west. In Gujarat, Wheat is mainly grown in Ahmedabad, Mahesena, Rajkot, Kheda, Banas Kantha, Sabarkantha, and Junagarh districts.

In Himachal Pradesh, the crop is concentrated in Kangra, Sirmur, Una, Mandi and Mahasu districts. The valleys of Wardha, Godavari, Tapti-Purna, Bhima and Krishna in Maharashtra; Rajouri, Jammu, Udhampur and Kathua districts in J & K, grow small quantities of wheat.

Maize (Zea Mays):

Also known as corn, maize is an important cereal crop. It is used as food for human consumption. It is also an excellent animal feed for cattle. Maize is a kharif crop and cultivated mostly in northern India.

It is widely cultivated in areas at sea-level to areas at 2,500 m above sea-level. It is usually grown in rotation with wheat and soyabeans. It contains glucose and starch. Maize was introduced in India during the 17th century from the New World. This is primarily used as fodder for meat animals and as a food by poor people.

Conditions of Growth:

It grows well in areas with a moderate rainfall and high temperatures.

1. Temperature:

Maize needs high temperatures ranging between 21°C and 27°C. It cannot withstand frost at any stage of its growth.

2. Rainfall:

It needs about 50 to 100 cm of rainfall during the growing period. Sunshine after the rains promotes healthy growth. Cool and dry conditions are necessary at the time of ripening of grain.

3. Soil:

It can grow on a variety of soils but it grows best on loamy soil rich in nitrogen. It grows well on alluvial and red soil of river plains, though it can be grown successfully on mountain soils also.

Methods of Cultivation:

Most of the varieties of maize grown in India are ready for harvesting in about 80 to 95 days. The crop is harvested when the grain is nearly dry. Ears of corn are removed and dried in the sun before shelling.

The crop is inter cultured with pulses sesamum, sugarcane and vegetables. The unirrigated grain crops and the irrigated fodder crop in the North are generally sown broadcast while the irrigated grain crop in the south is sown in lines with help of drills.

Yield:

For the country as a whole, the average hectare yield of maize is 2507 kg, 2010-11. the highest among the coarse cereals. Maize occupies 8.49 million hectares area of the country. Both the area and production have increased rapidly.

Areas of Production:

Although some maize is grown in most parts of the country, its highest concentration occurs in Karnatka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharshtra, Bihar, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, which together accounts for 65% of the total area and 62% of the total production in the country. Maize is emerging as the most important Kharif crop in the wheat belt of the Great Plains.

Karnataka has become a leading producer with the 2430 per hectare yield in the country. Tamil Nadu has the highest 4686 yield per hectare in 2009-10. The crop is raised mostly irrigated and suffers little from the change of weather. Rajasthan has 13.28% of the total area and 6.64% of the total maize production of the country. Most of the crop is grown in Banswara, Udaipur, Bhilwara and Chittorgarh District.

The crop occupies a large area in Kangra, Mandi and Mahasu districts of Himachal Pradesh, and Doda, Udhampur, Jammu, Kathua and Punch districts and the Jhelum valley of Jammu and Kashmir.

Varieties:

Ganga 3, Vijay, Amber, Him-123, Bassi selected and Udaipur selected, Sartaj, Ganga, Deccan 105, Trishulata.

Jowar (Sorghum Vulgare):

Jowar is the third most important food crop, both with respect to area and production. It is both a kharif and Rabi crop but mostly a kharif one. It is also grown mainly for fodder in some parts of the country.

Conditions of Growth:

It can grow even in unfavourable climatic conditions. The crop requires a moderate annual rainfall of 40-100 cm and high temperatures of 27-32°C for germination and good growth. Jowar is the ideal crop of dry farming areas only 6-7% of the crop is raised irrigated. It is grown on a variety of soils ranging from heavy and light alluvium to red, grey and yellow loams and even sandy soils. The black clayey loams of the peninsular plateaus are considered to be most ideal for Jowar cultivation.

Methods of Cultivation:

The crop does not require as thorough a preparation of the fields as in the case of wheat or rice. The seeds are sown mostly broadcast; they are dribbled in some areas. The crop matures in 4-5 months.

Yield:

The hectare yield of Jowar is one of the lowest among cereals. For the country as a whole the average yield is 1071 kg per hectare (201C-11). At the state level, it varies from 1563 kg in Andhra Pradesh to 1179 Karnataka to 1193 to Madhya Pradesh, to 577 kg in Rajasthan to 827 kg in Tamil Nadu. Only 53% of the total area under Jowar is under high yielding hybrid varieties in contrast to over 90% in the case of wheat and 68% in rice.

Varieties:

‘CSH 1’, ‘CSH 5’, ‘CSH 9’ and ‘CSH10’ are the important kharif hybrid varieties grown.

Areas of Production:

On an average, Jowar occupies about 9.1 million hectares. Being cultivated mostly as a dry crop in the moderate to low rainfall areas of the country, the area, yield and production of Jowar are highly susceptible to the vagaries of rainfall.

The leading Jowar producing states are Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, accounting for 82% of the total area and 86% of the total production in the country.

About 53% of the area and 66% of the production of Jowar in the country is contributed by the Kharif crop and the rabi crop due to its lower hectare yield accounts for about a third of the production most of it in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra.

Maharashtra:

The crop is widely grown in the state’s dry central and western districts including Buldhana, Akola, Amravati, Yeotmal, Nanded, Bhir, Osmanabad and Parbhans. Maharashtra has 54.64 of the total Area and 49.50 of the total Production of Jowar in the country as per 2008-09 agricultural data.

Andhra Pradesh:

In Andhra Pradesh, the leading Jowar producing districts are in Telengana and Rayalseema regions—Adilabad, Medak, Khammam, Mahbubnagar, Rangareddy and Kurnool.

Karnataka:

Karnataka has 18.36% of the total area and 22.48% of the total production of Jowar in the country. Nearly 35% of the total area is under high yielding varieties. Gulburga, Bijapur, Belgaum, Dharwad, Raichur, Bellary and Bidar districts accounts for 90% of the state’s area and production of Jowar.

Madhya Pradesh:

Madhya Pradesh contributes, on an average, about 6.39% of the total area and 7.93 production of Jowar in the country. The leading Jowar producing districts are: Mandasur, Ujjain, Shajapur, Guna, East and West Nimar and Dewas.

Others:

In Tamil Nadu, Jowar is the second most important cereal crop grown chiefly in Coimbatore, Tiruchirapalli, Anna Dindigul, Salem and Dharmapuri districts. In Uttar Pradesh, most of the production comes from Bundelkhand region. About half of the Jowar area in Rajasthan lies in Kota, Jhalwar, Sirohi, Pali, Ajmer and Tonk districts.

Bajra (Pennisetum Typhoides):

Bajra or the pearl millet is one of the most important millet crop grown in India. It is also called Bull Rush Millet. It is also widely used as fodder as its stalks are fed to the cattle. In certain areas, it is used for thatching purpose.

Conditions of Growth:

Bajra is grown under hot and dry climatic conditions. It is grown in areas of 40-50 cm of annual rainfall. The ideal temperature is 25, 30°C. Bajra can be grown on poor light sandy soils, black and red soils and an upland gravely soils. It is a rainfed kharif crop which is sown between May and September and harvested between October and February/March. It is sown either as a pure or mixed crop with cotton, Jowar and ragi. It is a rainfed crop and is seldom irrigated.

Yield:

For the country as a whole, the average yield was 1069 kg. Per hectare in 2010-11. The total area under Bajra cultivation is 9.43 million hectares in 2010-11. At the state level, Uttar Pradesh leads with yield 1638 per hectare followed by Haryana with 1593, Tamil Nadu 1513. In 2009-10 as it is a rainfed crop, its productivity fluctuate from year to year.

Areas of Production:

With the exception of Jowar, bajra occupies more area than any other millet crop in the country. It accounts for 10% of the total cropped area. The dry north-western and southern parts of the country account for most of the area and production and bajra. It is leading crop in several districts of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana.

Rajasthan:

Rajasthan is leading Bajra producing States. Rajasthan account for nearly 58% of total area of bajra, in country in 2009-10. In terms of area, Bajra is the most important cereal crop in Rajasthan, where 75% of the area under the crop lies in the western sandy arid and semi arid plains with less than 50 cm annual rainfall.

The leading Bajra producing states are Barmer, Jalore, Jodhpur, Nagaur, Bikaner, Churu, Jaipur and Sawai Madhopur. The state accounts for nearly 58% of the total area of bajra in the country.

Gujarat:

Gujarat is the major bajra producing state and occupies the leading position among all the cereal crops in the state as a whole. It is mainly found in the parts of Kutch, Banskantha, Mahesana, Kheda, Amreli and Bhaunagar districts.

Uttar Pradesh:

Uttar Pradesh second largest accounts for 9.52% of the total area and 21.35% of the total production of bajra with one of the highest yields 1434 in the country. The crop is concentrated in Aligarh, Mathura, Agra, Mainpuri, Etah, Budaun and Etawah districts.

Maharashtra:

Maharashtra grows currently 0.77 million tonnes of bajra on 1.03 million hectares in 2009-10. It is mainly grown in the central plateau having poor soils and dry climate. Nasik, Dhule, Satare, Pune, Sangli, Aurangabad, Solapur, Jalgaun and Ahmedanagar are the main producing districts.

Madhya Pradesh is the leading Bajra producing state with 0.25% of the total area under Bajra cultivation and 0.17 million tonnes production in 2009.

Barley (Hordeum Vulgare L.):

Barley, like millets is considered as an inferior grain. Beside food, it is used for manufacturing beer and whisky.

Production and Distribution:

Over the year, fluctuating trends have been observed in the production of the barley, but the production has definitely declined by over 50 per cent in four decades from 28.19 lakh tonnes in 1960-61 to 14.06 lakh tonnes in 2002-03. More conspicuous is the decline in area under barley which had came down from 32.05 lakh hectares in 1960-61 to a meagre 6.93 lakh hectares in 2002-03.

However the yield has recorded two and a half times increase during the same period. The probable cause of decline in area and production is more importance being given to main food crops, particularly to wheat. This is not good for balanced growth of agriculture and must be checked.

Among the states, Uttar Pradesh is the largest producer contributing 5.64 lakh tonnes (40.1% of the total India). Next come Rajasthan with 4.47 lakh tonnes (31.79%) in 2002-03. Some barley is also produced in Madhya Pradesh (102 thousand tonnes), Punjab (85 thousand tonnes), Haryana (81 thousand tonnes) etc.