Madhya Pradesh is the second largest Indian State in size with an area of 308,000 sq. km. The population of Madhya Pradesh in 2001 was 6,03,48,000 comprising of 3,14,44,000 males and 2,89,04,000 females. The population density in the state was 196 per sq. km. Mean Annual Rainfall (MAR) in the state varies from 1,300 mm in Shahdol, Balaghat and Mandla in the East to 700 mm in Jhabua, Ratlam, Dhar, Barwani, Khargone and Khandwa in the west. In spite of high rainfall and presence of numerous rivers and rivulets, only 20 per cent of the agricultural area is under irrigation. The state shows a spatial pattern in terms of dependence on various sources of irrigation. While the rain rich eastern tract is more dependent on surface water for irrigation, groundwater dependence is found to be high in the western tract in general and Malwa Plateau in particular. Agriculture is the mainstay of the State's economy and 74.73 per cent of the population is dependent on agriculture. As much as 49 per cent of the land area is cultivable. Around 20 per cent of the total dry land districts of the country fall within Madhya Pradesh, reflecting the predominance of dry land agriculture in the state. In recent years, there has been a gradual shift in the cropping pattern towards cash crop cultivation like cotton and soybean. Madhya Pradesh is endowed with rich and diverse forest resources. The forest area of the state is 95,221 kmē, constituting 31 per cent of the geographical area of the state.
Madhya Pradesh has remarkable agrarian diversity having a wide range of climatic backcloth within and between different crop seasons, variety of soil types ranging from light textured soil to very heavy rich clay vertisols, each with their own inherent problems, and cropping patterns. The State is divided into ten agro-climatic zones.
2. Vindhyan Plateau (Hills)
3. Narmada Valley
4. Wainganga Valley
6. Bundelkhand Region
7. Satpura Plateau (Hills)
8. Malwa Plateau
9. Nimar Plateau
Each zone has its unique set of natural resources and constraints. The eastern part of the State is characterized by its rice based cropping systems, light alfisols which have low water holding capacity and are prone to erosion mainly water erosion because of higher and often high intensity rainfall. Rainfall in this part of the state is about 1500 mm mainly received during south-west monsoon season. The central and western parts of the state follow soybean based cropping system whereas pulses and oilseeds occupy an important place in the region. Important soil types in different zones of the states are mixed red and black (Kymore plateau), medium and deep black (Vindhya plateau), deep black with clay (Central Narmada Valley), Alluvial, Medium black soil, Mixed red and Black soil and red and yellow soil (Grid sub zone), clay and clay loams and sandy loam soils (Bundelkhand), light reddish brown to black clay loam (Satpura), Alluvial, Recent alluvium and Calcareous (Food Prone Eastern Plain Zone).
The main crops grown in kharif season are Soybean, Paddy, Maize, Bajara and Tur etc. and in rabi season Wheat, Gram, Mustered, Cotton, Jowar and vegetables. Along with this Sugarcane, Custard apple and Banana also grown in some districts. Madhya Pradesh is highest producer of pulses, Gram and Soybean contributing 21.38%, 40.33% and 59.92%, respectively and is second in oil seed production; Jowar, Masoor contributing 22.10, 14.11, and 22.30%, respectively to the total production of India.
In Madhya Pradesh overall average land holding is 2.2 ha as per agriculture census 2000-01. About 51% of the cultivators are marginal farmers (average holding 0.4 ha), accounting for only 11% of the cultivated area. About 20% of the farmers are small farmers with an average size of 1.5 ha accounting for 16% of the cultivated area. The rest of the farmers (23%) cultivate 73% of the land. These figures, however, refer to all holdings in the study blocks, including those of non-tribals. Broadly speaking, holding patterns of tribal tend to be more egalitarian and having smaller size of holding.
The average power availability in M.P state is about 0.69 kW/ ha and target is to achieve 2 kW/ha by the year 2020. This is necessary to increase yield and cropping intensity also to enhance proper utilization of natural resources. There is scope for utilizing high capacity machine for timeliness of operation, management of farm machinery and for mechanization in hilly areas. The investment in agricultural machinery vis-ā-vis there utilization on small farms is quite low because of which farmers give comparatively low priority to purchase of agricultural machinery in comparison to other inputs viz., seed, fertilizers, chemical etc. However, in present circumstances when labour wages are increasing at higher rate and their availability at peak time of sowing, harvesting and threshing is decreasing, the farmers are getting more inclined towards use of agricultural machinery. This demands good quality machines and better after sale and service facilities. Farm machinery industry will have to modernize their products not only in terms of performance but also for comfort, safety and energy conservation. In this agro-ecological zone farmers use (mould board) m.b. plough, disc harrow and seed drill on bullock owned farm. The use of manual knapsack sprayer is also popular amongst the farmers. On tractor owned farms tractor drawn duck foot cultivator, tractor drawn seed-cum-fertilizer drill and tractor operated power thresher (Hadmaba) are in use. The use of manual rice transplanter, manual pre-germinated paddy seeder, self-propelled rice transplanter, self-propelled combine and multi-crop threshers have tremendous scope in Madhya Pradesh. For tillage operation, rotavator is found to be cost effective in black cotton soil conditions of this region. The tractor mounted inclined plate planter and pneumatic planter have good scope for adoption. The non existence of standard production techniques and poor quality raw materials used in manufacturing of agricultural implements are the threats in this agro ecological region which gives extra burden to farmers. The excessive of use of chemical fertilizers have resulted in lower land and crop productivity. The tractor and matching implement require proper training to avoid agricultural accidents during field operation. For cotton, manual cotton picking is prevailing in the region resulting into more human drudgery. The harvesting of soybean is done manually. The self propelled soybean reapers have not become popular. The local soybean thresher provide high breakage and low output capacity. TOP