India’s foodgrain production rose five times over six decades, according to 2016 government data, the latest available.
Global population, CO2 emissions, and food production data over the period 1961-2010, normalized to a value of unity at 1961 — source: CO2 Science
But with the average Indian farm half as large as it used to be 50 years ago and yields among the lowest in developing economies, both the agriculture sector and farmers have been driven to the brink, shows an IndiaSpend analysis.
Output of foodgrains in India increased from 50.82 million tonnes in 1950-51 to 252.22 million tonnes in 2015-16, according to the Agriculture Statistics At A Glance 2016 report. Yield increased as well, from 522 kg per hectare (ha) in 1950-51 to 2,056 kg/ha in 2015-16.
Though it is the largest producer of pulses in the world, India’s pulses crop yield (659 kg/ha) was the lowest among BRICS countries in 2014.
Cereal yield in India was the second lowest in the BRICS list, above Russia (2,444 kg/ha), according to Food and Agriculture Organisation’s 2014 data, the latest available. China reported the highest yield of cereals (5,888 kg/ha) and pulses (1,725 kg/ha) among BRICS nations.