Indian farmers are now harvesting what is expected to be the biggest annual grain crop ever to be produced in the country.
Indian farmers are now harvesting what is expected to be the biggest annual grain crop ever to be produced in the country. According to the Food and Agriculture Ministry, the 1975-76 harvest is being estimated at 115-million tons, seven million tons higher than the previous record set in 1970-71.
This means that India could produce about enough to feed itself, on the basis of the current level of consumption, for the first time in recent history.
The bumper crop has come about because of favourable weather conditions linked with major irrigation projects supported by some half a million shallow tube wells in various parts of the country.
In addition, hundreds of thousands of farmers have been encouraged to switch to modern farming methods with hybrid varieties and chemical fertilisers.
Last year, the Government imported nearly six million tons of grain. Although this year's crop will total more than last year's production and imports put together, the Food and Agriculture Ministry said it will probably still import another five million tons to build a small "buffer" stock.