Food grain production declined from 117.82 lakh metric tonnes (MT) in 2016-17 to 84.82 lakh MT in 2017-18 due to deficient rainfall and severe pest attack of 2017-18. Production of rice, which had almost half the share of gross cropped area (GCA) and is a highly water-incentive crop, witnessed a decline of over 33 per cent, pulling down food grains and total crop production in the State, pointed out the latest Economic Survey presented in the State Assembly recently.
It, however, revealed that pulses were the only crop group, which witnessed a significant growth in production. The production of pulses during 2017-18 stood at 10.76 lakh MT, sugarcane at 19.9 lakh MT and cotton at 4.1 lakh bales.
The rice yield rate has been low in Odisha compared to other States due to high dependence on rainwater for irrigation, stated the report. Yields of oilseeds and sugarcane witnessed marginal decrease.
The report remarked that the State can diversify its agriculture base as cotton and pulses displayed an increase in yield in 201-18.
Despite the drought situation in the past year, which caused a decline in production and productivity of productivity of food grains, horticulture sector was relatively less affected.
This underscores the augment to incentivize famers to increase horticulture production, said the report.
Top three vegetables with the highest production recorded in 2017-18 where brijnal (20.1 lakh MT), tomato (13.1 lakh MT) and cabbage (10.6 lakh MT). On the other hand, mango (8.2 lakh MT) and banana (4.7 lakh MT)had the highest production among fruits.
The highest yield was seen in cabbage (280.5 quintal/ha) and bringal (170.5 quintal/ha), while among fruits, banana and papaya were the high yielding fruits.
Apart from fruits and vegetables in horticulture, Odisha is diversifying its crop production and area into spices. The GCA under spices has increased from 1.54 lakh hectares in 2011-12 to 1.61 lakh hectares in 2017-18 (an increase of 4.5 per cent). Production has increased more than proportionately in the same period, by 16.8 per cent (from 4.77 lakh
MT to 5.57 lakh MT). This can be attributes to more spice being produced in the State (tamarind) and an increase in yield, mentioned the report.
Tamarind and ginger occupy the majority share in production of spices (73.1 per cent). Over the past year (since 2016-17), the yield rates for most spices has been maintained with the highest growth observed in the major spice like turmeric.
This shows that Odisha has good potential to further increase its crop base to include spices.