Orissa is situated in the east coastal region of the country extending from 17052’ to 22045’ N latitude and from 81045’ to 870 50’ E longitudes. Its geographical area is almost 4.74% of India and its population is 36.7 million (2001census), about 3.57 per cent of India’s population. The population density of the state is 236 persons per sq. km. (2001). The State has tropical climate, characterised by high temperature, high humidity, medium to high rainfall and short and mild winters. The normal average rainfall of the State is 1451.2 mm. The State has a cultivated area of 61.80 lakh ha out of which 29.14 lakh hectare are high land, 17.55 lakh hectare medium land and 15.11 lakh hectare low land. Out of the cultivated area of 61.80 lakh hectare about 33% is irrigated and 67% is unirrigated during Kharif season. The Paddy area during Kharif is about 41.18 lakh and during Rabi 3.29 lakh hectare. Orissa is bounded by the Bay of Bengal on the East, West Bengal on the North-east, Jharkhand on the North, Chhattisgarh on the West and Andhra Pradesh on the South. Agriculture is the dominant sector in the state’s economy. Sixty four per cent of the working population is engaged either directly or indirectly in this sector. Rice is the main crop and sugarcane is the main cash crop.
Orissa lies in the Agro Climatic Zone-VII which is called as “Eastern Plateau and Hills Region” of India. Orissa is divided in to ten agro-climatic regions as given below,
1. North – Western Plateau
2. North Central Plateau
3. North Eastern Coastal Plain
4. East and South Eastern Coastal Plain
5. North Eastern Ghat
6. Eastern Ghat High Land
7. South Eastern Ghat
8. Western Undulating Zone
9. Western Central Table Land
10.Mid Central Table Land
Rice is the principal food crop of the state occupying about 44.47 lakh hectare (41.18 lakh hectare. during Kharif season + 3.29 lakh ha during Rabi season). Productivity of rice during 2007-08 was 76.14 lakh MT. Maize and Ragi are the important coarse cereal crops. The production of ragi and maize was 1.65 and 4.82 lakh MT, respectively. Jowar, Bajra and small millets are also grown in the state to a lesser extent. Arhar, mung, kulthi, biri, gram, fieldpea, cowpea and lentil are the pulse crops grown in the State. The major crops are arhar, mung, biri and kulthi. Pulses are grown mainly in uplands during Kharif season predominantly in inland districts and in rice fallows during Rabi season, mostly in coastal districts under available moisture condition. Mung and biri are also grown as third crop in summer under irrigated condition. Sugarcane and cotton are also grown in some district of Orissa. These crops are gaining more importance in the State.
The per capita availability of cultivated land was 0.39 hectares in 1950-51, which declined to 0.13 hectares in 2006-07. During 2000-01 there were 40.67 lakh operational holdings in the state out of which marginal and small holdings accounted for 83.8 %, medium 15.9% and large, less than 1% of the operational area. The average size of holding is only 1.25 ha. The size of operational holdings along with poverty of people poses a big problem in the agricultural growth of the State. The marginal farmers, constituting more than 50 % of the farmers, either own or rent a piece of land for cultivation. The state has 8 soil types namely, red sand & loamy, lateritic, red yellow, coastal alluvial, deltaic alluvial, black, mixed, red, black and forest soils.The cultivated area of the State is 61.65 lakh ha. In 2001-02 the total cropped are in Kharif was 60.61 lakh hectares and Rabi area was 23.57 lakh ha. The crop intensity is 144%. Because of the endemic poverty, they farmers cultivate their crops with little inputs and hence crop production is low. In this backdrop, besides enhancing capacity, increase in productivity per unit land area and cropping intensity holds the key to agricultural development.
Power is needed on the farm for operating different tools, implements and during various farm operations. Mobile power is used for doing different field jobs, while the stationary power is used for lifting water and operating irrigation equipment; operating threshers, shellers /decorticators, cleaners, graders and for other post harvest operations. The mobile farm power comes from human, draught animals, power tillers, tractors and self- propelled machines; where as the stationary power is obtained from oil engines (diesel, petrol and kerosene) and electric motors. The availability of farm power is 0.60 kW/ha which is quite less than the average farm power availability of India (1.5 kW/ha).The draught animal power and human muscle power still remain major power sources for agriculture in the state while mechanization is being introduced through various sponsored schemes and it is taking place gradually. There is a trend to opt for self-propelled and small power operated equipment and power tillers by the farmers. The government has carried out many popularization programs under work plan on Agriculture under Macro Management Scheme. The equipment to be popularised under Agricultural Mechanization Work Plan of the State Government are tractors, power tillers, tractor operated rotavator, self propelled reapers, power operated equipment for horticulture, bullock drawn/ manually operated implements. There are about 4.46 tractors per 1000 hectare area in the state and the tractor power availability has to be increased by at least increased multifold times by 2015 for meeting additional power need on the farm. TOP