Physical

Bridging the Yield Gap

A very large proportion of the area under various food crops fall under a low productivity category. The share of low productivity area varies from 57% in coarse cereals to 92% in oilseeds. Their yield levels are about 40% less than in high productivity areas. For instance, in rice and wheat the yield level in low productivity areas are respectively 2538 and 2032 kg/ha as against 2867 and 3828 kg/ha in high productivity areas. In these areas technology transfer and measures for enhancing input use holds the key.

Waste Land Improvement

Over 24.5 million ha remains as wasteland and 16.6 million ha as fallow lands. There are prospects of bringing under cultivation a sizable part of this large unutilized area through soil amendment and introduction of choice crop in the wastelands. Moisture conservation measures, development of facilities for life saving irrigation wherever feasible and introduction of crop species/varieties matching the available water balance in fallow lands would be the most rewarding. There is a good possibility of bringing much needed

Table 3.1. ICAR Research Institutions in

Different Disciplines

Disciplines

Institutes

Project Directorates

National Bureau

National Research Centers

Coordinated Projects

Crop Science

10

5

1

e

SS

Horticulture

8

1

-

10

Science

7

2

1

e

7

Fisheries

e

-

1

1

Resource Management

Natural 2 1 S 16

Resource Management

Agricultural

Agricultural Engineering

5-

--

10

Agricultural Extension

--

- 1

-

Agricultural Education

1-

--

-

Social Science

1-

- 1

Total 45 10 4 28 82

improvement to salt affected soils, which occupy over 20 million hectares.

Capitalizing on Rainfed Low Lands

About 8-10 million ha of saturated soils in the rainfed lowland areas of eastern India remains the least exploited. Through concerted research and development efforts, crop intensification is possible over a sizable area. In the near future about 1 million ha can be brought under winter rice in the states of Bihar, Assam and Orissa. Similarly, effective drainage could enhance production efficiency in many states, viz., Assam, West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Inter Cropping

Inter-row space and time space available in crops like sugar cane, banana, cotton, sorghum etc. are least utilized. With the introduction of paired row planting and drip irrigation, the potential of using an intercrop of short duration pulses or oilseeds is enormous. When there is no room for increasing any more gross area under pulses and oilseeds, this is an opportunity to increase the area under them by 10-12 million ha over years.

Water Harvesting

India is fortunate to receive higher precipitation as compared to other countries of its size in the world. Watershed development in such areas would greatly help provide protective irrigation for rainfed crops while helping recharge the wells. With in situ and ex situ water conservation, water harvesting, and water use and reuse, can provide a vast scope for enhancing cropping intensity, which has increased by only about 25% from 111% in the last four decades. Rice fallow again offer tremendous opportunity for area expansion in such crops.

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