The government today said agricultural production has been increasing even though cultivable area has seen a marginal decline.
Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh told the Lok Sabha that state governments have to take suitable measures to check diversion of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes while Centre is taking steps to increase the cultivable area.
“Despite marginal decline in the cultivable area, the agricultural production in the country has been increasing except in the years affected by drought, floods and other natural calamities,” Singh said during Question Hour.
The average area under cultivation declined to 181.713 million hectares in 2013-14 compared to 182.209 million hectares during the period from 2007-08 to 2011-12, according to official data.
As per Agriculture Census data for 2010-11, the average size of operational holding of land has declined from 1.33 hectares in 2000-01 to 1.15 hectares in 2010-11.
According to him, various crop development schemes and programmes are being implemented to boost agricultural production and productivity of agricultural crops.
Among others, the government is implementing the National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) to prevent soil erosion and land degradation.
“Under this Mission, all type of land including waste land/barren land are developed with suitable need-based soil and water conservation measures and partly such degraded lands developed are put to agriculture uses,” the Minister said.