Opportunities for Chickpea Production in Rainfed Rice Fallows of India. Baseline Survey Report uri icon

abstract

  • The study explored opportunities and constraints of chickpea production by introducing it as asecond crop in rainfed rice-fallow lands (RRFL) of Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh states ofIndia. About 12 million ha of rainfed rice lands in India remains uncultivated in the postrainyseason (rabi), of which 40% lies in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The RRFL offers significantopportunities for the intensification of agricultural production in these states. Chickpea is one ofthe important pulses that can be successfully grown in RRFL on residual moisture, and canescape terminal drought. It provides sufficient scope for augmenting employment opportunitiesand income of the farming community. Inadequate irrigation facilities coupled with low residualsoil moisture is the main limiting factor to utilization of RRFL for crop production in rabi. Droughtalone may reduce crop yield by 50%. A quantum jump in productivity can be achieved by applyinglife-saving irrigation especially in rabi pulses grown on residual moisture. Extraction and use ofground and surface water for irrigation is difficult and costly. Private investment in irrigation hasits limitations because most of the farmers are resource-poor and practice subsistence farming.The creation of public irrigation infrastructure also requires huge investment and social cost. Thelack of basic infrastructure to promote agriculture is another important constraint. Value additionin agriculture is low due to lack of primary agro-processing facilities and agricultural markets inthe villages. Agricultural markets are generally far from the villages. The average distance of themarkets from the selected villages varied from 10 to 27 km in Chhattisgarh and 10 to 24 km inMadhya Pradesh. The price of chickpea is another important determinant. About 85 to 98% ofthe farmers cited the low price of chickpea as an important reason for their reluctance to cultivatethe crop. Farmers often are constrained to take any price that is being offered to them becausethey lack sufficient surplus to influence the market. Moreover, the prices in the local markets keepfluctuating and even remain below the statuary prices due to lack of marketing facilities, such asprocurement by the Government agencies, cooperatives etc. Low demand in the local marketsis another important reason for the low adoption of chickpea or other rabi pulses for productionin RRFL. It exists due to the difference between the consumption and production preferences forthe pulses in the selected regions. Other pulses are often grown due to the low opportunity costsof the fallow lands

publication date

  • 2012