Low yield per unit area across almost all crops has become a regular feature of Indian agriculture. For example, though India accounted for 21.

8 per cent of global paddy production, the estimated yield per hectare in 2004-05 was less than that in Korea and Japan, and only about a third of that in Egypt, which had the highest yield level in the reference year. Similarly, in wheat, while India, accounting for 12 percent of global production, had average yield slightly lower than the global average. It was less than a third of the highest level estimated for the UK in 2004-05.

For coarse grains and major oilseeds, Indian yields are a third and 46 per cent, respectively, of the global average. In cotton, the situation is slightly better with Indian yields at 63 per cent of the global average. While agro-climatic conditions prevailing in countries may partly account for the differences in yield levels, nonetheless, for major food as well as commercial crops, there is tremendous scope for increasing yield levels with technological breakthroughs.

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