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UP Overtakes West Bengal as Leading Producer of Vegetables, AP Maintains Dominance in Fruits

In 2018-19, the difference between Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal in vegetable output was roughly 0.7 million tonnes.

Shivani Meena
Vegetable production topped by UP
Vegetable production topped by UP

After two years, Uttar Pradesh has reclaimed its status as the leading producer of vegetables, relegating West Bengal to second place, although the difference between the two is now more than a million tonnes. Andhra Pradesh, on the other hand, continues to be the leading fruit producer.

Vegetable production in Uttar Pradesh is expected to be 29.58 million tonnes (mt) in the 2021-22 crop year (July-June), down from 29.16 mt the previous year, according to statistics presented in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, while West Bengal output is expected to drop to 28.23 mt from 30.33 mt. In 2018-19, the difference between Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal in vegetable output was roughly 0.7 million tonnes.

Madhya Pradesh, with 2.59 mt, Bihar, with 17.77 mt, and Maharashtra, with 16.78 mt, are the other leading producers of vegetables this year, according to statistics.

In 2021-22, Andhra Pradesh is expected to produce 18.01 mt of fruits, up from 17.7 mt last year, while Maharashtra is expected to produce 12.3 mt, up from 11.74 mt last year. Uttar Pradesh, with 11.26 mt, Karnataka, with 8.55 mt, and Gujarat, with 8.24 mt, are the other major fruit producers. Gujarat's production, by the way, has remained unaltered from the previous year.

Separate targets for the production of fruits and vegetables are not set in the states, according to Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar. From 2014 to 2015, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare has been instituting a centrally funded scheme called the Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) to promote holistic growth of the horticulture sector, which includes fruits, vegetables, roots, and tuber crops, mushrooms, spices, flowers, aromatic plants, coconut, cashew, and cocoa. The MIDH scheme's Area Expansion component, which is executed through State Horticulture Missions (SHMs), supports the cultivation of fruits and vegetables, he added.

Tomar also stated that the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has taken several steps to promote apple cultivation in warm climates. For this reason, the Central Institute of Temperate Horticulture (CITH) in Srinagar has found low-chill apple types such as Anna, Dorsett Golden, Mayan, and Michael and has started multiplying them. This year, planting material of low-chill cultivars was delivered to the Jammu region, he added.

CITH has also done DUS testing for the preservation of the low-chill apple cultivar HRM-99, which is widely supported by farmers in Karnataka, Punjab, and Haryana, according to the minister. As production of vegetables, spices, and plantation crops decline, the country's horticulture output is expected to fall by 0.4 percent to 333.25 million tonnes in 2021-22, compared to the previous year. While potato and tomato output are expected to decrease, onion production is expected to increase.

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