Although India’s arable land is slightly more than China's, China’s rice and wheat yields are 40% higher than in India.
The second decade of the 21st century will be a watershed in Indian agriculture. The government of India needs the agricultural GDP to achieve a 4% growth rate for India to achieve its overall growth target, which is assist in the reduction of poverty.
In poor countries like India, the most effective way to reduce poverty is to increase agricultural incomes. About 70% of India’s population are rural people with just over 50% of the workforce engaged in agricultural production. But the data shows that from 1980 to 2000 the agricultural output price as a benchmark five-year moving average growth rate never exceeded 4%. Only in the last two years was ts growth rate fairly stable.
Amount of cultivated land in India is second only to the United States, but its land area is slightly higher than China. However, rice and wheat production in India ranks second in the world. China’s rice and wheat yields are 40% higher than in India. India’s fruit and vegetable production is also inferior to China, the second in the world. China’s fruit production is three times higher than India’s output. In spice production, consumption and exports, India sits in the top spot.
Although the overall number is surprising, India’s agricultural productivity is not high. On average, from 1970-1979 to 2000-2009, the Chinese paddy cultivation area declined by 600 million hectares. India during the same period increased 4.6 million hectares. In fact since 1960, the paddy cultivation area in India grew every year more than China. However, China’s overall production is still much higher than India. Although over time, differences in yield have declined, China is still significantly higher than the output of paddy fields in India.
For wheat, China in 1960 through 2000 planted more than India. But in the past 10 years, the situation reversed. China’s total grain area is an important reason for the decline. As China becomes more affluent, its domestic demand for grains has declined. Additionally, as the cost of exporting and shipping from China to the US has increased, wheat and grains grown for export has become less in demand.
One possible reason for low yield in India whether it is wheat, rice or other crops, the scale of individual farms are small possession. A 2001 census shows that 80% of the size of farms are less than 2 hectares with the size of an average farm being less than 0.5 hectares. Only 1% are large (10 hectares), with an average of 17.1hectares. The overall average farm size is only a meager 1.33 ha.
A recent government report noted that the size of small farms has become even smaller over time. 85% of the farmers lack access to agricultural investment. This is not surprising, because as the rural population has increased, available farmland has not. However, China’s average farm size is smaller -- on average only 0.6 hectares.
In China and India, mechanization on the small farm is inhibited. However, fertilizer use in China much more than India. In addition, China’s investment in agricultural research and development is much higher than India for the production of high-yielding crop varieties.
In India, over the past decade, including millet and other coarse grains, barley and beans will increase grain output, but only to keep up with population growth. Taking into account production, consumption, exports and imports as well as factors such as changes in reserves from 1990 to 1999 the average per capita share of grain net 174 kg, from 2000 to 2009 between 163 kg.
Although the use of groundwater in India has been a major factor in the rapid growth of agriculture, water scarcity and waste problems became more apparent. Many regions are eroded, requiring more and more deep wells were dug.
But most farmers could not afford the high cost of irrigation systems. Even in Punjab, India, the highest yield of rice and wheat, equals China most recent national average .