Our country has been the excellence and one of the most dominating nations when it comes to agriculture. No one matches the diversity that our country is capable of. India’s has a varied region be it geographically or climatically speaking. Our country is doing just right to be independent of needs of food import from other countries. Millets come after rice & wheat when the talk is about staple food or cereal in our nation. These seeded grasses are most commonly found in the mid-region of our country. It covers a vast territory. It is one of the most important cereal crops and sometimes also used as fodder.
Millets have its own category of different types and under it comes the pearl millet, finger, fox-tail millet and proso millet. Pearl millet which is most commonly known as bajra is the largest produced millet in India, occupying over 50% of the millet types. The Indian subcontinent has a vast amount of its area under millet production and below are some major millet producing states in India in 2019, with a primary focus on pearl millet:
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10. Jammu & Kashmir
This northern-state of our nation has made to the list with around 0.050 lakh ha of land used to cultivate millets. But this number was previously around 0.168 lakh ha, which shows how much the state has lost interests in millet cultivation. The annual yield is also low with 558 kg/ha of millet.
9. Andhra Pradesh
Next on the list comes recently divided the state of south India. It accounts for 1.1% share of all India millet production and mainly the rainy season is used to cultivate this crop. The total land under millet cultivation is around 0.534 lakh ha and the annual yield in this state is 1053 kg/ha, which is still high taking in consideration of constraints that this state faces.
8. Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is known for its intelligent agricultural techniques used and has grabbed the Krishi Kalyan Award for the third time. Very little i.e. 0.594 lakh ha of its area is used to cultivate and produce millets. But the yield per ha is very high; about 1500 kg/ha. It counts for 1.4 % share for millet production in our nation.
7. Madhya Pradesh
People residing in Madhya Pradesh have the ultimate drive for consumption of millets as a staple food. This state lying in the mid-region of the motherland contributes about 1.9 % of the share of all land in India under millet production. The edible stalk of millets is used as fodder for cattle in this region. This state has an annual yield of around 1445 kg/ha of millet.
Millet is usually grown in the Kharif or rainy season. But to a lesser extent, states like Karnataka and others have cultivated millets in Rabi or post rainy season too. In the summer season, very little amount of area is put for millet cultivation. This state has an annual yield of around 772 kg/ha in Kharif season, while the numbers go up to 2000 kg/ha for the summer season. Karnataka has 3% share of land of all India under millet production.
This small state beside the densely populated Uttar Pradesh comes next in the list. It contributes about 6.2 % share of all land in India under millet cultivation. People over here love to have bajra as primary cereal and other forms of millets too. Haryana has made to the top when it comes to yield and productivity in Kharif season. It has the highest yield for among all other states in India, with numbers around 1735 kg/ha. The production is nearly 11.20 lakh tonnes and nearly 6.4 lakh ha of land is under millet cultivation in the major Kharif season.
4. Uttar Pradesh
This northern state of India is also a major millet producing region. Millets are regarded as one of the best climate change compliant crop and have proven its worth in many states. In Uttar Pradesh also, millets are greatly consumed and produced too. This has led to a slight increase in land cultivated for millet production i.e. from 8.7 to 9.10 lakh ha. The yield in this state for Kharif is high as compared with other states and last estimated data was about 1550 kg/ha.
Next on the list comes Gujarat. With new hybrids containing genetic enhancements, this state has gradually increased its productivity in recent few years. From 7.02 to 4.8 lakh ha, the region under millet production has drastically come down from 2007-2008 to till now. Now the state is capable of producing this water saving & drought tolerant crop with an annual yield of 998 kg/ha. In this state also, millet is mainly grown as Kharif crop but the summer is utilised too. The annual yield in summer is high enough 2276 kg/ha as compared to just 998 kg/ha in Kharif season.
Maharashtra grabs the second spot when it comes to millet production. Millet is primarily a Kharif crop over here and good productivity makes this coastal state a well-known producer of millets. Over the last few years, there has been a decrease in the total area used for production but the yield per ha has increased subsequently. It has around 10.080 lakh ha of land under millet production and yields about 932 kg/ha of millet. Millets grow in the poorest of the soil with very low or nil demand of fertilisers and this has definitely helped this state to be a major millet producing region in our country.
In area measure, Rajasthan counts to be the largest state in the Indian sub-continent. The dried and not so fertile soil present in this state still ablest to grow millets in huge amount. Millet is the most widely cultivated cereal in this western state. About 51 percent share of all India millet production is grabbed by Rajasthan. This state yielded 905 kg/ha of millet with the production of 49.79 lakh tonnes of millets in the fiscal year 2010-2011. The production constraint for this state can be counted on the fact of its unreliable rainfall trends.
So, these were some states that majorly contribute to all the millet that our nation possesses. The nation has seemed to lost interest in millet production which is a topic for debate. This nutritive cereal should be more promoted as it can be easily grown anywhere with the least of hard work required.