India is a major producer of agricultural goods in the world and we are the second largest producer of crops in the world, our cropping pattern does a show a very welcome trend. The following are certain features noticed in our cropping pattern:
- Majority of our farmers are engaged in growing subsistence crops like food grains, cereals, pulses, etc. which are basic crops, not very lucrative from the point of view of earnings.
- Agri-productivity over the past few decades has increased, but it is still less than the global average, being just 30-40% of the global average.
- The number of people engaged in agriculture has reduced from 70% at independence to 50% presently.
- The crop pattern has changed with a very satisfactory trend, i.e. growing more cash crops like fruit and vegetables instead of food grains.
- Shifted to horticulture: Since good inputs (seeds and know-how) are available, farmers are growing horticultural crops along with or as an alternative to food grains. India produces 10% of the world production of fruits, and holds the first place in case of fruits like papaya, mango, and banana, among others.
- Urbanization: The change in land use pattern and cropping pattern is vastly affected by rapid urbanization. The higher cultivable area has been achieved by bringing large acreage of uncultivable land into cultivation.
- Another trend in our agricultural cropping pattern is that our production of wheat and rice is not increasing as fast as our population.
- Water intensive to water efficiency patterns: Some water intensive Food grains (paddy) and cash crops (such as sugarcane) losing interest in favour of water efficient crops or pulses and oil seeds. These are not only water efficient but also climate resilient.
- Matching with agro climatic regions