The below mentioned article provides quick notes on the Changes in Cropping Pattern in India.

At the beginning of the present century nearly 83 per cent of the total cultivable land of India was put under food crops and the remaining 17 per cent was put under non-food crops. But in 1944-45, there was a change in the cropping pattern in India and area under food crops came down to 80 per cent and the area under non­food crops slightly increased to 20 per cent.

These changes in the cropping pattern mainly occurred due to increase in the prices of non-food grains or cash crops. After independence a lot of changes had been recorded in respect of cropping pattern in India.

The following table reveals the changes in cropping pattern since 1950-51:

Changes in Area under Different Crops

From Table 7.3(6) it can be seen that among all the food crops, the largest increase in area since 1950- 51 has already been recorded by wheat, cultivation which shows an increase of 132 per cent by 1987-88. But in case of both rice and pulses, the increase in area has been restricted to only 23 per cent; Coarse Cereals have recorded only marginal increase of 11 per cent by 1987-88.

But the area under cultivation of the traditional commercial crops, viz., cotton, oil seeds, jute, sugarcane, potato etc. also recorded a modest increase.

More particularly, the area under oil seeds and area under sugarcane have recorded an impressive increase to the extent of 86 per cent and 80 per cent respectively by 1987-88.

Table 7.4 reveals changes in the proportion of area under cultivation between food crops and non-food crops since 1950-51.

Nature of Crop Distribution

Table 7.4 reveals that the proportion of area under cultivation between food crops and non-food crops has recorded a change from 74 : 26 in 1950-51 to 80 : 20 in 1980-81 and then again reversed to 77 : 23 in 1990- 91 and then finally to 73 : 27 in 2013-2014. Thus in recent years, there is definite shift in area from non-food crops to food crops in the country.

The main reasons behind this shift are:

Firstly, prices of food crops have been increasing at a very faster rate; and

Secondly, cultivation of food crops, now-a-days, has become very much remunerative and productive due to the introduction of new technology in Indian agriculture.