Innovations in rice production
Publication Type:Special Publications
Source:National Institute of Advanced Studies, Volume SP1-2013, Number 978-81-87663-70-6, Bangalore (2013)
Agriculture is an integral part of India?s economy and society. It has about 130 million farming families; the majority of them are small and marginal farmers who practice subsistence agriculture. The green revolution which occurred in late 1960s was a turning point in Indian agriculture. There was remarkable growth in agriculture during the Green Revolution period and this sector has been successful in keeping pace with growing demand for food grains in the country. However during 1990-2010 the food grain production in the country grew at an average 1.4 per cent, whereas the population growth was at 1.6 per cent. Fortunately, we have achieved a food surplus during last two years. But in the long run, concern of food security is likely to become more intense with increasing population and decreasing land availability. By 2020, to meet the food demand of 1.3 billion populations, India needs to produce 281 MT of food grains with an annual growth target of 2 per cent. Rice is one of world?s most favoured staple foods and more than 90% of rice is produced and consumed in Asia. Rice being an important crop in India, there is a lot to focus on enhancing rice production and productivity. Rice is grown in 43.4 million hectares in kharif and rabi /summer season out of the total 141 million hectares of land under cultivation. The area under rice is likely to reduce in future years due to diversification policies adopted by the government. Currently, the rice production in the country is passing through serious constraints like plateauing of yield, water scarcity, increased use of agro inputs, irregular monsoon, increasing soil mineral stress, flash floods, water logging, labour scarcity, inadequate storage facilities, invasive pests & diseases, lack of policy innovations and inadequate institutional dynamics. India needs to focus on proper utilization of resources in diverse agro-climatic zones in the country by providing quality seeds, developing high yielding varieties/ hybrid rice, effective natural resource management, developing strategies on biotic and abiotic stress management, cost effective mechanization and promoting agricultural stewardship. Further, there is need to strengthen various initiatives by both State/ Central Government and cooperative involvement of all the stakeholders which will help in enhancing rice production and productivity in the country.