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Posts Tagged ‘National Food Security Mission

The top 20 oryza districts of India

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Some of the rice varieties of Kerala state, displayed during the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) meeting (COP 11) in Hyderabad in 2012 October.

Which are the districts of India which grow the most rice? Let’s look at the country-level numbers for rice in 2007-08, in 2008-09 and in 2009-10. In 2007-08 the total tonnage reported by the rice growing districts was 90.071 million tons, grown in 553 districts that reported rice harvests, and which grew their rice over 41.306 million hectares (413,000 sq kilometres, a combined area bigger than Paraguay).

In 2008-09 the total tonnage reported by the rice growing districts was 93.148 mt, grown in 508 districts that reported rice harvests, and which grew their rice over 42.759 m ha (427,590 sq km, which is a combined area nearly as large as Iraq). In 2009-10 the total tonnage reported by the rice growing districts was 80.07 mt, grown in 408 districts that reported rice harvests, and which grew their rice over 34.978 m ha (349,780 sq km which is a combined area larger than the Republic of the Congo). [See also this earlier entry on rice-growing districts of India.]

India’s rice-growing districts compared over three seasons.

So, looking at the rice totals, there were ups and downs even over three seasons – remember that the monsoon of 2009 was poor and we had drought conditions in many districts. I would have liked to include the data for 2010-11 at district level, but this is still minus West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh and I can’t understand why this is so because the regular ‘advance estimates’ released by the Ministry of Agriculture are supposed to be based on what the states send in as crop growing data every quarter. The three years before 2007-08 should help us understand these trends better and as soon as I collect and clean up data for those years I will add to this post. Meanwhile, you can download the spreadsheet of the top 20 districts for these three years here (xlsx).

Which are the districts that produce the most rice in India, year after year? Based on this three-season set, here’s what we have. In Andhra Pradesh the districts are East Godavari, Guntur, Karimnagar, Krishna, Nalgonda, Nellore and West Godavari. In Chhattisgarh it is Raipur. In Punjab the districts are Firozpur, Ludhiana, Moga, Patiala and Sangrur. In West Bengal the districts are 24 Parganas (South), Bankura, Birbhum, Burdwan, Hooghly, Midnapur (East), Midnapur (West) and Murshidabad.

The top rice-growing districts, 2007-08 to 2009-10, in West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Chhattisgarh.

How much do these top 20 (there are 21 top districts over these three years) by year contribute to the country’s total rice harvest? In 2007-08 they contributed 23.16 mt which was 25.7% of the total rice harvest; in 2008-09 they contributed 24 mt which was again 25.7% of the total; in 2009-10 they contributed 21.93 mt which was 27.3% of the total.

Using a tonnage-based ranking, we have seen how the top 20 rice-growing districts contribute around a quarter of India’s total rice harvest. How different are the top 20 from a group of 20 rice-growing districts further down in the tonnage ranking, for example the 20 districts between 40 and 59 for those years? And is the 40-59 group of districts more diverse (geographically) and have more growing variety (what else do they grow?) than is shown by the dominance of the same districts from West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab in the top 20?

Let’s see what the numbers say. In 2007-08 the 20 districts between ranks 40 and 59 (ranked by tonnage) together harvested 7.20 mt, in 2008-09 it was 7.17 mt and in 2009-10 it was 6.90 mt.

Hence in all three years this set of 20 contributed around a third less rice than the top 20. This is a difference which helps explain the big gap between the tonnage for districts even between those at 80th and 90th percentiles – see the quick comparison chart for how concentrated India’s rice production is in relatively few rice-growing districts.

This cursory look at three years’ data for rice and the districts it is grown in raise several questions. Most important, why do we have complete data (at district level) only until 2009-10 and not after? I find this puzzling since we have advance estimates (released by the Ministry of Agriculture four times a year) for major cereals, pulses and commercial crops even into 2012-13. On what data from the states are these advance estimates then based if we can’t see district figures?

Also, why is there still so much concentration of rice production – 25% to 27% of the total – in only 20 districts? Depending on how many districts report rice harvests in a year, these 20 comprise no more than 4% or 5% of the total rice-growing districts in India. The National Food Security Mission (which concentrates on rice, wheat and pulses) is active in 137 districts specifically for growing rice, so in what way is this concentration of production significant? More on this matter to follow.

Written by makanaka

November 10, 2012 at 20:23

A bumper year for India’s food production?

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The third advance estimates of production of foodgrain in India has been released by the Ministry of Agriculture.

A comparison of final production of the years 1997-98 to 2010-11 (a 14-year period) with the third advance estimates shows that 2010-11 is expected to produce a record 235.88 million tons of foodgrain. This amount is higher than the 233.88 million tons of 2008-09 and the 230.78 million tons of 2007-08.

The year 2010-11 is expected to yield the third highest production of rice in the 14-year period, with 94.11 million tons, the highest production of wheat with 84.27 million tons, and the second highest production of coarse cereals with 40.21 million tons. Total cereals are to be the second highest ever in the 14-year period with production estimated at 218.59 million tons. Total pulses are expected to be 17.29 million tons, the highest in the 14-year period.

The third advance estimates will be seen by the Ministry of Agriculture and by India’s national agricultural research system (headed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research; ICAR) as proof that the flagship programmes are delivering. These are the National Food Security Mission and the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana.

[The data file with the updated Third Advance Estimates is now ready. Get it here. The 14-year-comparison tables for foodgrain crops is available here.]

The third advance estimates for 2010-11 was released on 2011 April 06 by the Department of Agriculture & Cooperation / Directorate of Economics & Statistics / Agricultural Statistics Division.