Despite pandemic, UP grain output sets record
Uttar Pradesh farmers have produced record food grain yet again when most other sectors have been down for more than a year due to disruptions caused by the pandemic-spurred lockdowns and curfews.
The third advance estimates for 2021-22 crop year have put the total food grain production in the state at a record 624.33 lakh MT which is claimed to be the highest ever. The food grain production was recorded to be 601 lakh MT last year.
“There is bumper food grain production in UP this year too as per the third advance estimates that has estimated production of Rabi, Kharif and Zaid seasons at more than 624 lakh MT and the figures are likely to remain more or less same in the fourth and the final advance estimates,” additional chief secretary, agriculture, Devesh Chaturvedi said.
The third advance estimates available with the agriculture department here put the production of rice at 171.36 lakh MT and that of wheat at 378.92 lakh MT, the two major crops of Kharif and Rabi seasons, respectively.
As per the report, the cereals were grown on an area of 178.34 lakh hectares resulting in a record production of 598.11 lakh MT during 2021-22 while coarse cereals were grown on 20.25 lakh hectares of area producing 47.03 lakh MT.
The pulses were grown on 24.1 lakh hectares of land and their production was recorded to be 26.22 lakh MT. Of all the crops, wheat recorded the highest productivity at 38.50 quintal per hectare.
UP, it is seen, has been breaking its own records of food grain production for the last few years due to good monsoon and increasing productivity. UP’s food grain production in 2016-17 was 558 lakh MT which rose to 574 lakh MT in 2017-18 and 604 lakh MT in 2018-19. It dropped only marginally to 601 lakh MT in 2020-21 and this year production is expected to break all previous records.
According to Chaturvedi, food grain production in UP is growing despite the shrinking area under cultivation due to urbanisation. “But a number of other factors are contributing to record food grain production,” he said.
“Good monsoons, enhanced productivity, use of scientific methods of agriculture by farmers and making fertilisers, seeds, irrigation facilities etc available to farmers by the government are among the prominent factors,” Chaturvedi added.
He said food grain production was likely to further increase in 2022-23 considering the possibility of good monsoon again this year.
The government data show that UP produces 20% of the country’s total food grain feeding the country’s 16.9% population. This is despite the fact that its share in country’s cultivatable land is only 11.8%.