Cropping success in India

India feeds its own people better and becomes a significant exporter

Pressure on India’s farmland is increasing. Now there is the equivalent of 0.119 hectares of arable land per person. If no more land is brought into production then there will be just 0.092 hectares of arable land meaning that India joins a club of countries with less than 0.1ha per person; fellow members include China, Nigeria, Indonesia and the UK.

The response to the growing population and urbanisation over the last 30 years has been a rapid increase in production and yields. According to UN FAO figures the number of available calories per person per day rose by nearly 20% in the last 30. Undernourishment of young children has fallen from 24% to 15% in the last 25 years. These achievements are based on impressive increases in crop yields. Rice yields rose 85% to 3.6 tonnes/hectare between 1981 and 2013 with wheat yields up nearly 95% to 3.2 tonnes/hectare.

The increase in crop production has allowed India to feed its own people better, but also meant that the country has become a significant exporter shipping 25 million tonnes of cereals a year and importing minimal amounts. 

Adama is helping farmers meet the challenge of producing more and better food with a focus on delivering the right products at the right time to more than 13,000 customers across India. By selling directly to retail outlets, farmers can benefit from Adama’s advice and support. People are key to Adama’s strategy, and the company has recruited some of the country’s top agronomy experts. In 2011 a formulation plant was built and two years later a purpose-built Research & Development centre was established bringing Indian farmers the product they need. 

In line with India’s rapid transformation into a digital economy, tablets and computers help farmers in the field decide the products they need which are delivered using the latest logistics technology. 

The challenge for Indian farmers is large, but with the right products and support, they are more than capable of feeding what is soon to be the world’s largest population that is also getting a taste for different types of food. 

 

Sources of information: UN, UN FAO, World Bank, CIA World Fact Book

 

Production of key crops in India

 

 

2014

  

1984

     
 

Production Tonnes

Yield t/ha

Area hectares

Production
tonnes

Yield t/ha

Area hectares

Production % change

Yield % change

Area % change

Sugar Cane

352.1

70.3

5.0

174.1

56

3.1

+102.3

+25.5

+61.2

Rice

157.2

3.6

43.4

87.6

2.1

41.2

+79.5

+71.4

+5.4

Wheat

94.5

3

31.2

45.5

1.8

24.7

+107.8

+66.7

+26.4

Potatoes

46.4

22.9

2.0

12.2

15.3

0.8

+281.8

+49.7

+154.8

Bananas

27.6

34.6

0.8

5.2

17.4

0.3

+425.5

+98.9

+163.8

Onions

19.3

15.9

1.2

3.1

11.1

0.3

+522.8

+43.2

+337.5

Cotton

12.3

na

na

1.4

na

Na

+750.6

na

na

Soybeans

10.5

0.96

10.9

1.0

0.77

1.2

+1002.6

+24.7

+777.8

Groundnuts

6.6

1.3

5.2

6.4

0.9

7.2

+1.9

+44.4

-27.5

Citrus fruit

0.9

12.6

0.1

0.0

10.0

0.03

+2750.0

+26.0

+2166.7

Source: UN FAOSTAT