Ludhiana, August 30
Although the state government assured farmers of MSP on the maize crop in 2014, its production has declined by 94% in Ludhiana district over the past seven years.
While the acreage planted with maize decreased by 83%, the yield fell by 64% in the district compared to 2015-2016. Maize yield and production remained lowest in 2021-22.
A Department of Agriculture study on cropping patterns pointed out that the area planted with maize fell from 7,000 hectares in 2015-16 to 1,200 hectares in 2021-22, or 82.86% less.
While maize production fell from 40,000 metric tons (MT) in 2015-16 to just 2,500 MT in 2021-22 (93.75% reduction), yield plunged from 5,719 kg per hectare in 2015 -16 to 2,048 kg per hectare, a decrease of 64.19 percent. Official figures indicate that after peaking in 2015-16, maize area, yield and production have declined in seven years.
From 7,000 hectares, yield of 5,719 kg per hectare and production of 40,000 MT in 2015-16, maize, which can be grown as a single crop in one year or as two to three crops in the same year with both short and long varieties, reduced to 1,000 hectares, yield of 3,320 kg per hectare and production of 3,000 MT in 2016-17.
In 2017-18, area under maize remained at 1,000 hectares, yield increased slightly to 3,823 kg per hectare and production also increased to 4,000 MT.
It also continued its upward trend in 2018-2019, when the area increased to 1,300 hectares, the yield improved to 3,925 kg per hectare and the production increased to 5,100 MT. However, 2019-2020 saw a decrease in maize area to 1,000 hectares, yield increased to 4,168 kg per hectare and production decreased to 4,200 MT. In 2020-2021, the area remained again at 1,000 hectares, the yield improved to 4,834 kg per hectare and the production increased further to 4,800 MT.