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Worldwide production and yield of crops have been increasing since 1960 due to the adoption of modern varieties, the expansion of agricultural lands, and the use of intensification measures. Yield growth accounted for almost all of the increases in food production in developing countries. Modern varieties accounted for 21% of the growth in yields and about 17% of production growth in the early Green revolution period, and accounting for almost 50% of yield growth and 40% of production growth in the late stage for all developing countries. Land expansion accounted for about 20% of the increases in production and the rest came from intensification of input use.
Rice production has been increased tremendously from 20.6 Mt in 1950-51 to 93 Mt in 2001 -02 due to increase in area under rice from 30.8 to 44.6 M ha and productivity from 668 to 1804 kg ha-1. The Paddy production in Gujarat was 1277 thousand tones from 675 thousand hectares in 2003-2004 whereas it was 1197 thousand tones from 679 thousand hectares in 2004-2005 i.e., production was decreased by 6.26% over previous year even though area was increased by 0.59% over previous year. The Productivity of rice in Gujarat state is very poor i.e., 1,356 kg ha-1 as against 1,947 kg/ha average productivity of the nation. More than 40% rice area is concentrated in very low productivity group followed by nearly 40% area in medium to low productivity group.
The major factor that has contributed to poverty alleviation is the reduced unit cost of production and the downward trend in real prices of food. Low food prices benefited the urban laboring class and the rural landless and marginal farmers who are net buyers of food from the market. As a result, the food entitlement of the poor improved substantially. In future, expansion of area under rice is very unlikely due to tremendous increase in population and urbanization. Therefore, increasing demand has to come from increase in productivity per unit area. For achieving this, one of the prime requirements and non monetary input is transplanting the suitable cultivars at an appropriate time.
Mohammad Shamim, K.K. Singh, B.Gangwar, Sunil Kumar and Vinay Prasad Mandal
Project Directorate for Farming Systems Research, Modipuram-250110
Dr. Mohammad Shamim, Project Directorate for Farming Systems Research, Modipuram-250110