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Acreage under Cultivation

  • The gross irrigated area is 19.218 million hectare and the percentage of net irrigated sown area is 80.3%. The total number of land holdings are 224.57 lakhs out of which 175.07 lakh (78.0%) are marginal farmers, 31.03 lakh (13.8%) small farmers and 18.47 lakh (8.22%) farmers hold land above 2 hectare.

Cropping Pattern

  • Cropping Pattern Uttar Pradesh grows a large variety of crops advantaged by its geographical location in the fertile Gangetic plains and its wide agro-climatic variability. It is one of the major food grains and sugarcane producing states of India. Food grains together occupied nearly 78 percent of the Gross Cropped Area in UP in TE 2013-14. Cereals accounted for 68.6 percent and pulses for 9.3 percent in the GCA in TE 2013-14. Within cereals, wheat is the most important crop occupying 36.9 percent of GCA. Compared to TE 2002-03, the share of food grains in GCA has fallen marginally from about 80 percent to nearly 78 percent in TE 2013-14. Sugarcane is another important crop in Uttar Pradesh that occupies roughly 8 percent of GCA and its share has remained almost stagnant since TE 2002-03. Oilseeds have seen a marginal rise in their share in GCA from 3.3 percent in TE 2002-03 to 4.3 percent in TE 2013-14. The share of fruits and vegetables in GCA rose from 3.8 percent in TE 2002-03 to 4.2 percent in TE 2013-14. Among fruits and vegetables, share of fruits in GCA actually declined marginally whereas share of vegetables, mainly potato, increased. Share of potatoes in GCA rose from 1.6 percent to 2.1 percent during this period. In 2014-15, UP was the largest producer of wheat in the country with a production of 25.2 million tonnes contributing 28.4 percent to all-India production. UP’s contribution to all-India production was much higher in TE 2002-03 at 35.7 percent (24.8 mmt) which fell to 29.9 percent (27.5 mmt) in TE 2014-15. It was the second largest producer of rice in the country after West Bengal in 2014-15. Its contribution to rice production in India also declined marginally from 13.6 percent (11.4 mmt) in TE 2002-03 to 13 percent (13.7 mmt) in TE 2014- 15. Uttar Pradesh was the largest producer of food grains in the country in 2014-15 with production at 46.8 mmt in TE 2014-15 contributing 18.1 percent to all-India food grains production in TE 2014-15. Interestingly, production of cereals went up from 39.4 million 10 tonnes in TE 2002-03 to 45 million tonnes in TE 2014-15, whereas production of pulses declined significantly from 2.25 million tonnes to 1.82 million tonnes during the same period. In 2014-15, Uttar Pradesh was the largest producer of sugarcane in the country, followed by Maharashtra and Karnataka. Sugarcane production in UP has increased significantly from 115 million tonnes in TE 2002-03 to 133.4 million tonnes in TE 2014-15. It has also been among the leading producers of vegetables (ranked second in 2013-14) producing 18.5 million tonnes of vegetables and making up 11.4 percent of all-India production of vegetables in 2013-14. UP lags behind in the production of fruits in the country, and was the fifth largest producer in 2013- 14 producing 6.9 million tonnes and contributing 7.7 percent to all-India production of fruits in that year. Among fruits, mango is an important crop in Uttar Pradesh and among vegetables, potato is a widely grown crop. UP is the largest producer of potatoes in the country with a production of 14.2 million tonnes sharing 32.3 percent in all-India production in TE 2014-15. In 2014-15, UP was the largest producer of both mangoes (4.3 million tonnes and 23.5 percent of all-India production) and potatoes (14.9 million tonnes and 31 percent of all-India production) in the country. Figure 5 shows the respective shares of major crops, fruits and vegetables in UP’s Gross Cropped Area in TE 2002-03 and TE 2013-14.
  • The soils in the region fall under Agro Climatic Zone IV are alluvium-derived soils mostly khaddar (recent alluvium) and hangar (old alluvium). In some area the soil is highly calcareous. The soils are loamy and high in organic matter content. Rice, maize, pigeon pea, moong bean crops are common in kharif season. In post-rainy (rabi) season wheat, lentil, Bengal gram, pea and sesame and at some places groundnut is grown on residual soil moisture with one or two supplemental irrigation. The important cash crops of the region are sugarcane, potato, tobacco, chillies, turmeric and coriander with supplemental irrigation. Rice-wheat cropping system is more predominant.
  • The dominant soil landscapes, representing the northern plains, constitute gently to very gently sloping lands. In some area the soil is highly calcareous. The soils in general are neutral in reaction and have moderate clay and low organic carbon content. Traditionally rain fed and irrigated agriculture is common. The main crops grown are rice, maize, pigeon pea, sorghum, pearl millet, moong beans during kharif and wheat, Bengal gram, green peas, rapeseed and mustard and lentil during rabi season. Sugarcane is the main cash crop. Rice-wheat cropping system is more predominant.

Irrigation Facilities:-

  • Uttar Pradesh possesses rich water resources in the form of canals, reservoirs, lakes, ponds and a vast network of seasonal rivers flowing through the Gangetic plain. At present, there are approximately 74659.57 kilometers of canals, 28 major and medium lift canals, 249 minor lift canals, 69 reservoirs/bundhis and 32,047 running state tubewells, apart from a number of private tubewells (UP Plan Document, 2016-17). Irrigation ratio has been growing steadily in UP from about 69.9 percent in 2000-01 to 78.8 percent in 2013-14. The four zones in UP have their own specific geographic, climatic, environmental and demographic characteristics. Rainfall in UP increases from west to east and from south to north. The problem of floods also follows a similar pattern: the danger increases from west to east and from south to north. The irrigation ratio was highest in the Western Zone (87.6 percent), followed by the Central (83 percent) and Eastern Zones (74.6 percent) in 2013-14. It was extremely low in the Bundelkhand Zone (41 percent) in 2013-14.
  • There are two main ways that farmers and ranchers use agriculture water to cultivate crops:-

    a) Rain fed farming
    b) Irrigation

  • Raid-fed farming Irrigation: Rain-fed Farming is the natural application if water to the soil through direct rainfall. Relying on rainfall is less likely to result in contamination of food products but is open to water shortages when rainfall is reduced. On the other hand, artificial applications of water increase the risk of contamination.
  • Irrigation is the artificial application of water to the soil through various systems of tubes, pumps and sprays. Irrigation is usually used in areas where rainfall is irregular or dry times or drought is expected. There are many types of irrigation systems in which water is supplied to the entire field uniformly.

Types of Irrigation:-

Surface Irrigation:

Surface irrigation is mainly divided in basin, border and furrow systems. It is widely utilized and therefore, a well-known system, which can be operated without any high-tech applications. In general, it is more labor intensive than other irrigation methods. Proper design of surface irrigation systems takes in to account the soil type (texture & intake rate), slope, levelness of field, stream size and length of run. It is generally more difficult to obtain high uniformity of water distribution in long fields on coarse textured soils (gravel & sands) than on fine textured soils (loams to clay). Levelling the fields and building the water ditches and reservoirs might be expensive, but once this is done, costs are low and the self-help capacity is very high.

Drip irrigation:

Drip irrigation is the most efficient water and nutrient delivery system for growing crops. It delivers water and nutrients directly to the plant’s roots zone, in the right amounts, at the right time, so each plant gets exactly what it needs, when it needs it to grow optimally. Farmers can produce higher yields while saving on water as well as fertilizers, energy.

Water and nutrients are delivered across the field in pipes called “dripperlines” featuring smaller units known as “Drippers”. Each dripper emits drops containing water and fertilizers, resulting in the uniform application of water and nutrients direct to each plant’s root zone, across an entire field.

Sprinkler Irrigation:

Sprinkler irrigation system allows application of water under high pressure with the help of a pump. It releases water similar to rainfall through a small diameter nozzle placed in the pipes. Water is distributed through a system of pipes, sprayed into air and irrigates in most of the soil type due to wide range of discharge capacity.

Center pivot irrigation:

A center pivot irrigation system is a movable pipe structure that rotates around a central pivot point connected to a water supply. Center pivot irrigation systems are the most popular sprinkler irrigation systems in the world because of their high efficiency, high uniformity, ability to irrigate uneven terrain, and low capital, maintenance and management costs.

Lateral move irrigation:

The Lateral Move is best known for what the name suggests: lateral moving. The channel feed system is a labor and energy saver, no hose shift and minimum operation pressure. This solution is well suited for a high flow Lateral Move when the grade of the paddock is relatively level allowing the construction of an open air channel.

Sub-irrigation system :

In commercial landscaping and container gardening, a sub-irrigation system is located at the bottom of the box or container. During sub-irrigation, water is applied to the bottoms of the plants and allowed to travel upwards to the roots and stems through capillary action. Because it does not require a lot of space, this type of irrigation system is often used in urban settings or high-rise buildings.

A sub-irrigation system is essentially a series of pipes and drip emitters buried beneath a plant’s growing medium, and water is pumped to the bottom of the container, where roots find it and uptake it. This is opposed to traditional overhead watering systems, where water is applied to the tops of roots, and flows downwards.

Manual irrigation:

Manual irrigation systems are very simple, but effective methods for making water available to crops. Manual irrigation systems are easy to handle and there is no need for technical equipment. But it is important that they are constructed correctly to avoid water loss and crop shortfall. The systems allow for high self-help compatibility and have low initial capital costs. They can be used in almost every area, but they are especially adapted for arid areas where evaporation rates are high.

Farm Mechanization

  • The farm power availability in the state during the year 2013-14 was 2.02 kW/ha. The State although, highly populated, should progressively adopt power farming for timely and precise field operation at reduced costs and to maximize utilization efficiencies of costly inputs and for conservation of natural resources. Precision land levelling and use of efficient irrigation equipment for economizing in water requirements of crops including diversification of crops suiting to water availability are important issues in the Region. Mechanization of most of the agricultural operations through custom hiring of high capacity equipment is required so that marginal, small and medium categories of farmers can also take the advantage of mechanization. Crop residue management for feed, fodder and energy is also important. In U.P, sale of tractors is maximum. About more than 50 laser land leveler are being used on custom hire basis.


  • Fisheries in UP contributed 1.5 percent to overall growth in agriculture and allied activities between 2000-01 and 2013-14 and its share in the value of output of agriculture and allied activities has risen significantly from 24.1 percent in TE 2001-02 to 29.7 percent in TE 2013- 14. Fish production in the state has increased from 28,958 tonnes (4.4 percent of all-India production) in 2005-06 to 494,265 tonnes (4.9 percent of all-India production) in 2014-15. Fish is an important source of protein and with dietary patterns of Indians undergoing a shift toward higher-value proteins such as milk, meat, fish, etc., this sector plays an important role in achieving nutritional security in the country in the present and in the future. UP is endowed with plenty of inland water resources – 28,500 km of rivers and canals, and 4.32 lakh ha of other inland water bodies such as reservoirs, tanks and ponds, and flood plain lakes and derelict water bodies. The Gangetic riverine system offers immense scope for development of fisheries in the state. Lack of technical know-how in the business has kept inland fish production from reaching its optimal level in UP despite availability of resources.

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