In Madhya Pradesh, the forests occupy around 8.49 million hectares that is almost 27.2 percent of the geographical area of the state where as the cultivated area is about 49 percent. Development of suitable production technology and package approach for different crops, creation of infrastructure to support production programmes are some of the main focal points of measures for developing agricultural system in the state. Their main aim is to reach the stage of self-sufficiency, particularly in food grains. The state economy is basically agriculture dominated. Traditional subsistence cereal crops are the main stay of the people. The state is not self-sufficient in terms of production of crops. The cropping intensity, production, per hectare yield of crop is unevenly distributed and it varies from one district to another.
The agricultural pattern of Madhya Pradesh faces several hurdles. Like for instance, most of the part of the state is infertile, stony and barren. Soil erosion in most parts of the state and inadequate moisture also affect the agricultural pattern in the state. The soil types also vary from north to south and east to west. Some parts of the river valleys are characterised by alluvial soil while some parts contain black soil, which is very fertile. The south-western part of the state has regur soil or black soil. Wheat is the main crop of rabi season. The other main crops of the said season are pea, oilseeds, and gram. The total geographical area of the state of Madhya Pradesh is around 30.75 million hectares, which is divided in to 50 districts. The state also has several revenue divisions, development blocks that is the units for all development activities. The cropping intensity of the state is 135 percent and varies from one district to another. Agricultural production of the state is at present more than 16.0 million tones of food grains and about 5.7 million tones of oilseeds. The state is considered as the highest producer of oilseeds and Pulses in the country.
Major perennial rivers of Madhya Pradesh namely Mahi River, Narmada River, Son River, Tapti River, Chambal River, Betwa River, Wainganga River, Ken River and Pench River originate in Madhya Pradesh and flow to the seven bordering states. These rivers are used for irrigation purpose. In terms of area, it has been estimated that the state has an irrigation potential of over 60.9 lakh hectares. Large numbers of tube wells have been constructed for irrigation purposes and for overcoming the shortage of water required for cultivation. The role of seed in increasing production is significant. Usage of good quality seeds determines the good yield of any crop.
The soil in Madhya Pradesh is deficient in nitrogen and phosphate nutrients. Further, the natural calamities like drought floods and hailstorms are the common features that affect agriculture in Madhya Pradesh.
In Madhya Pradesh, about 49% of the land is cultivable. It means that the majority of the land surface is favourable for cultivation. There is a data of 2003 2004 survey of Agriculture in Madhya Pradesh. These are as follows:
* Net Area Sown - 15,048 hectares
* Gross Cropped Area - 19,891 hectares
Double Cropped Area - 4,843
* Net Irrigated Area - 5,631
* Gross Irrigated Area - 5,776
The estimate of the agricultural production of Madhya Pradesh are as follows :
* Food Grains - 158.72
* Soybean - 47.09
* Total Oil Seeds (including Soybean) - 55.86
* Sugarcane - 2.18
* Cotton - 6.58
Some of the important food and cash crops that are vital to agriculture in Madhya Pradesh are follows:
* Rice - 1,058 hectares
* Wheat - 1,867 hectares
* Jowar - 1,342 hectares
* Gram - 932 hectares
* Soybean - 1,132 hectares
* Sugarcane - 4,215 hectares
* Cotton - 557 heatares
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