Production, yield and per capita availability of fruits


Excerpts from “Simple Alternate Development Strategy”

“India is the second largest producer of fruits in the world behind Brazil In 1991,it produced 28 million MT or 8% of the total world prodution of 348 million MT. Per capita production of fruits in India was 33kg/year against ….65kgin the world. India produces mainly mangoes(10 million MT)and banana(6.4 million MT). It does not produce much of the other fruits which are major ones in the world like grapes, oranges, pine apples etc. For example, its production of grapes at 314000 MT in 1991 was only 0.5% of the total global producion of 57 million MT. However, in grapes, the yield is significant at 20.9 MT/hectare against…world aveage of 6.8 MT. This is because, the entire area under grapes cultivtion is under irrigation. more than anything else viz high yieldig varieties, fertilizers,pesticides etc.though these are important inputs. Major producers of grapes are Italy, France, former USSR and Spain,the four together accounting for 47% of the world production.

Another major fruit in the world is orange. The world production in 1991 was 55 million MT,closely behind that of grapes. India is not a significant producter.Its productio of 1.89 million MT accounts for only 3.4% of world production. The major producers are Brazil (34%) and China (9.7%)

Banana is another major fruit with a production of 47.7 million MT in 1991.The leading producers are India (13.4%), Brazil(11.8%),Philippines(7.4%), Indonesia(5.0%) and China(4.4%). In spite of being the largest producer of bananas, the per capita availability is only 7.3% kg per year while the world per capita availability is 8.8 kg and the per capita production of the rest of the. world(i.e,excluding India)is 9.14kg…..

The fourth important fruit in the world is apple whose production in 1991 amounted to 39.4 million MT.India’s production of 1.02 million MT comes to only 2.6% of world production. The major producers in the world are former USSR(15.2%),China(12.2%) and USA(11.4%)…..

Mango is the fifth important fruit in the world, production of which amounted to 16.12 milliom MT. Out of this, India’s production was 9.70 million MT i.e. 60% of the world production. Mango is perhaps the only item in which India has a dominat presence in the world. The per capita poduction comes to 11kg per year.

In pine-apple, India’s contribution was 700.000MT to the world production of 10.08 million MT. It comes to 6.9% ofthe world production.”

India’s production of fruits has gone up now to around 32 million MT, but its share in the world remains more or less same i.e.8%. India needs to double its production of fruits,if Indians are to consume on an average as much fruits as the rest of the people in the world.

Construction of Lakes should be the top priority


The top priority for any state government in India, particularly those in the south, should be construction of lakes on a large scale, not only to dam rivulets but also to drain rainwater from ditches and pits into the lakes. Tamilnadu receives around 100 cm of rainfall per year on an average. If the rainwater is harvested to the maximum extent possible, two- three crops can be raised in most of the places. Tamilnadu will become surplus in food grains.

During rainy season in October-December, one finds water everywhere(i.e.on very large area), stagnating in shallow ditches. This water evaporates in 15-20 days once the rainy season ends, without being of any use for cultivation as the water is not deep enough to recharge ground water. If this water is drained into deep lakes to be constructed, the evaporation will be less and the ground water will be recharged. Around the lakes, one can get water in the wells at a depth of 20-25ft. While rains will be more or less enough to raise one crop, well water will help raise 1-2 crops.

Lake water can also be a reliable source of drinking water for people of villages around the lakes. While supplying water to people from reservoirs/rivers hundreds of kilometres away is welcome, this is not as reliable a source as local lake water.

Each district should have a senior water resources development officer with technical staff and with adequate powers to sanction construction of a lake and related work