West Bengal has overtaken Uttar Pradesh and emerged as the top State in vegetable production in 2018-19, the data presented at a recent horticultural meeting showed.
According to the State-wise horticulture production data released at a conference organised by the Agriculture Ministry last week, West Bengal produced 29.55 million tonnes (mt) of vegetables last year against 27.70 mt in the year before. Vegetable production in UP, which held the numero uno position earlier, came down to 27.71 mt in 2018-19 from 28.32 mt the previous year.
Andhra Pradesh continued to hold on to the pole position in fruits with 17.61 mt, followed by Maharashtra (10.82 mt) and UP (10.65 mt). While Andhra Pradesh marginally improved its position, Maharashtra overtook Assam, which occupied the second position in 2017-18. UP, too, moved several notches up from 2017-18 levels to reach the third rank.
West Bengal accounted for 15.9 per cent of the country’s total vegetable production in 2018-19 while UP produced 14.9 per cent. Madhya Pradesh (9.6 per cent), Bihar (9 per cent) and Gujarat (6.8 per cent) were the other major vegetable producers.
The area under vegetable cultivation increased from 6.74 million hectare (mh) in 2004-05 to 10.10 mh in 2018-19 (third advance estimates). Vegetable production increased from 101.25 mt in 2004-05 to 185.88 tonnes in 2018-19, with an average productivity of 18.4 tonnes per hectare. The major vegetable crops grown in India, which accounts for 11.2 per cent of global vegetable production, are potato, tomato, onion, brinjal, cabbage, cauliflower, peas, and okra.
With a production of 98.58 mt, fruits account for about 31.4 per cent of the total production of horticulture crops in the country. The area under fruit crops cultivation during 2018-19 was 6.65 mh, which is 26.1 per cent of the total area under horticulture cultivation in India.