Rice Cultivation In India – Conditions and Methods
Rice, covering about one-fourth of total cropped area in India, is an important food crop and provides food to about half of Indian population. It is the staple food for most people living in the southern and eastern parts of the country, typically in areas having more than 150 cm annual rainfall.
Rice Crops In India
There are about 4000 varieties of rice grown in India out of 10,000 varieties available in the world. More than 2000 million people in Asia alone obtain 70 percent of their nutrients from rice and its products. Appreciating the importance of this crop, the year 2004 was declared as the “International Year of Rice” (IYR) by United Nations General Assembly.
In India, rice is grown in varying terrains—8°-25° N latitude and 2,500-meter altitude above sea level—and is a dominant food crop in places which receives over 200 cm annual rainfall and is still an important crop in areas of 100-200 cm rainfall. It is a tropical plant and needs high humidity and heat to grow properly. The temperature should also be high: ideally 20°- 22°C at the time of sowing, 23°-25°C during growth and 25°-30°C at the harvesting time.
Areas that receive less than 100 cm rainfall, rice is grown with the help of irrigation. Some of the states in India like Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana use artificial water resources to grow rice. However, total amount of rainfall other than temporal distribution which is more decisive. Typically, rainfall should be equally distributed throughout the year and no month should receive less than 12 cm of rainfall. During the harvesting season, lessor amount of rainfall is needed.
In the hills, the slopes are cut into terraces for rice cultivation. Such a process in which the hill slopes are cut into terraces are termed as Terrace Farming. And since the water supply is not as much as it is in the plains, the rice cultivated in the hills is known as upland or dry rice.
Rice can be cultivated in variety of soils like loams, silts, gravel and can also endure alkaline as well as acidic soils. However, soils that are clayey and loamy which can puddle into mud and develop cracks during summer are ideally suited for raising rice crop.
HPM – The Facilitator
Since it is one of the important crops grown in India, it is important to ensure the quality and quantity of the produce is properly maintained. To help farmers with this process, HPM India, one of India’s leading fertilizers manufacturers, has an array of products in its portfolio to ensure the crops are free from any damages from pests or insects: Propineb 70% WP and Captan 50% WP are the two very popular fungicides that are farmer’s number one choice.