There has been a significant increase in agricultural output and improvement in technology during the last fifty years.
- Production and yield of many crops such as rice and wheat has increased at an impressive rate. Among the other crops, the production of sugarcane, oilseeds and cotton has also increased appreciably. India ranked first in the production of pulses and jute in 2008-09. It is the second largestproducer of rice, wheat, groundnut, sugarcane and vegetables.
- Expansion of irrigation has played a very crucial role in enhancing agricultural output in the country. It provided basis for introduction of modern agricultural technology such as high yielding varieties of seeds, chemical fertilizers, pesticides and farm machinery. The net irrigated area in the country has increased from 20.85 to 54.66 million ha over the period 1950-51 to 2000-01. Over these 50 years, area irrigated more than once in an agricultural year has increased from 1.71 to 20.46 million ha.
- Modern agricultural technology has diffused very fast in various areas of the country. Consumption of chemical fertilizers has increased by 15 times since mid-sixties. In 2001-02, per hectare consumption of chemical fertilizers in India was 91 kg which was equal to its average consumption in the world (90 kg). But in the irrigated areas of Punjab and Haryana, the consumption of chemical fertilizers per unit area is three to four times higher than that of the national average. Since the high yielding varieties are highly susceptible to pests and diseases, the use of pesticides has increased significantly since 1960s.
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