The cultivated area of the state is 4.78 million ha, constituting 35% of the total geographical area. The net irrigated area is 23% of the cultivated area. The red and yellow soils are deficient in nitrogen, phosphorus, zinc and boron. The cropping intensity is 119 % with total foodgrains production of 5 million tonnes. The important crops are rice, wheat, millets, pulses and oilseeds. Suggested interventions for natural resource management for agriculture in the state are as follows:

Introduction of rice-vegetable system (brinjal, tomato, okra, onion, cucurbits) in place of rice-wheat on 1 lakh ha of irrigated lands to enhance productivity by 2 lakh tonnes

Rice area under wide bunds (2.5 lakh ha) can be brought under pigeonpea (cv. Asha) having 1.5 tonnes/ha productivity, which would add to the pulse production of the state by 3.75 lakh tonnes

Shifting 5.5 lakh ha rice-lathyrus to rice-chickpea/lentil on rainfed lands to increase pulse production by 5 lakh tonnes. Where lathyrus is to be had, low beta n-oxalyl amino alanine (BOAA) containing varieties like Ratan and Prateek need to be grown


The state has about 3.7 million ha under rice cultivation which is mostly rainfed, covering both uplands and shallow lowlands. The state average productivity is about 1.3 tonnes/ha. The major constraints in production are low coverage under high-yielding varieties, drought in uplands, infestation of gall midge and bacterial leaf blight. The appropriate interventions are:

Cultivation of high-yielding and drought tolerant early varieties like Poornima, Vandana, Danteswari

Cultivation in rainfed shallow lands with MTU1010, Bambleswari, R1027, IR 64, Swarna and with the hybrid, Indira Sona

Cultivation of gall midge resistant rice varieties like Mahamaya and Abhaya


Lentil has a great promise as a pulse crop in the state. It may serve as a good alternative to lathyrus under utera cultivation. At present, the lentil occupies 22,200 ha with production of 16,300 tonnes and productivity of 734 kg/ha with positive growth rates. A large area under rice fallows can be brought under large seeded lentil which will increase production and may also attract export. The major production constraints are infestation of local varieties with wilt, poor crop stand and terminal drought. The suitable interventions are:

Growing large seeded wilt resistant varieties such as JL 3, IPL 81, JLS 1 and L 4076

Foliar spray of 2% urea at flowering and pod formation stage