1.0           INTRODUCTION



a) General Information
b) Agro and Sub Agro-climatic Zones
c) Cropping Pattern
d) Land Holding Pattern
e) Scope of Farm Mechanization







(a)   General Information:


Punjab is located between 29’30’’ N to 32’32’’ N latitude and 73’55 E to 76’50 E longitude in Northern India. It is bordered by Pakistan on the West, the Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir on the North, Himachal Pradesh on its Northeast and Haryana and Rajasthan to its South. The altitude of Punjab varies between 230 m to 700 m from the mean sea level. An area of 2432 sq km is covered by forests. For administrative purposes it is divided into three divisions and 45 sub-divisions. There are 12,342 villages and 134 towns in the state. The population of Punjab in 2001 was 24,289,296(2.36% of India’s population) comprising of 12,963,362 males and 11,325,934 females and the population density in the State is 484/km2.



(b) Agro and Sub Agro-Climatic Zones:

Punjab falls in the Agro Climatic Zone-VI, which is called “Trans-Gangetic Plains Region”.  Most of Punjab lies in the fertile plain; toward the southeast one finds semi-arid and desert landscape; a belt of undulating hills extends along the northeast at the foot of the Himalayas. Four rivers, the Ravi, Beas, Sutlej and Ghaggar flow across the state in a southwesterly direction. They have numerous small and seasonal tributaries. In addition, Punjab is watered by an extensive canal system.


(c) Climate:

Climatically the state has three major seasons - summer, winter and rainy season. The average temperature in January is 13° C (55° F), although at night the temperature sometimes lowers to freezing point. In June, the average temperature is 34° C (93° F), occasionally rising as high as 45° C (113° F). Annual average rainfall in Punjab ranges from 1250 mm in the north to 350 mm in the southwest. More than 70 percent of the annual rainfall occurs during the monsoon season i.e., from July to September.




(d) Land Holdings:

The total geographical area of Punjab is 5.036 million hectare and the area under forest is 2, 93,000 hectare. The cultivable area is 4.20 million hectare (83.4%of total geographical area) and the net area sown is 4.023 million hectare (95.7% of cultivable area).  The gross cropped area is 7.739 million hectare and the area sown more than once is 3.704 million hectare with the cropping intensity of 186 %. The net irrigated area is 4.019 million hectare (By canals- 26.2%, By Tube wells- 72.5% and by others – 1.3%). The gross irrigated area is 7.442 million hectare and the percentage of net irrigated sown area is 96.17%.   The total number of land holdings are 10.93 lakh out of which 2.04 lakh (18.7%) are marginal farmers, 1.83 lakh (16.7%)  small farmers and 7.06 lakh (64.6%) farmers hold land above 2 hectare.  






(e) Cropping Pattern:


Punjab (land of the five rivers) is one of the most fertile regions on earth. Punjab State which has earned a name of “Food Basket of the Country” & “Granary of India” has been contributing 40 percent of rice and 50-70 percent of wheat for the last two decades. Punjab is not only self sufficient in producing food grains but also contributes around 60% food grains to the central pool. The Agriculture in Punjab state is highly intensive in terms of land, capital, energy, nutrients, agriculture inputs and water etc. With only 1.5% of geographical area of the country, Punjab has produced about 22% of wheat, 10% of rice and 13% of cotton of the total produce of these crops in the country during 2001-02. The Firozepur District is the largest producer of wheat and rice in the state. The largest area is under wheat crop. Other important crops of the state are rice, cotton, sugarcane, pearl millet, maize, barley and fruit.



(f) Scope of Farm Mechanization:


Punjab is the most mechanized state and the farm power availability in the State during the year 2001 was 3.50 kW/ha. The State is also a hub for manufacturing of agricultural machines. The productivity level of different crops is also high. Scope of increase in area under agriculture has reached at a saturation level as 98.8 percent of cultivable land in the State is already under plough. The agriculture production can only be increased to some extent through enhanced cropping intensity, change in cropping pattern, use of high yielding varieties, following good cultivation practices and availability of better post-harvest technology etc. This ultimately demands appropriate mechanization in the State. The State Govt. is trying to re-orient agriculture through diversification policy and other measures. However, a paradigm shift in agricultural mechanization is required to realize the goal of eco-friendly sustainable agriculture with reduced cost of production and high quality of produce. This is necessary to make the farmers globally competitive and to check further damage to natural resources of soil, water and ecology. Equipment for un-mechanized operations such as sugarcane harvesting, cotton picking and potato harvesting need to be introduced in this state. Introduction of forage and fodder sowing and harvesting machinery and machinery for harvesting, collecting and management of crop residues of paddy and other crops is also necessary.  Water harvesting, conservation machinery such as laser guided land leveler, ridge and bed planter, Inter-crop planter, pneumatic precision planter, sugarcane harvester, cotton picker, tractor operated pond excavation machinery, drip and sprinkler irrigation system also need to be promoted.