AGRICULTURE





Out of 137.00 lakh hectares geographical area of Chhattisgarh, 43 % area comes under cultivation. On the basis of climate & topography the state is divided into 3 agro climatic zones. The Bastar Plateau comprises of Bastar, Dantewada, Beejapur & Narayanpur districts and a part of Kanker (excluding Charama, Narharpur & Kanker Blocks). Northern parts of the state comes under "Northern Hilly Region" which comprises of Sarguja, Koriya & Jashpur Districts. Bilaspur, Raipur, Janjgeer-Champa, Raigarh, Rajnandgaon, Kawardha, Durg, Mahasamund, Dhamtari, Korba and parts of Kanker come under "Plains of Chhattisgarh".
The total geographical area is around 136 lakh ha. of which cultivable land area is 58.81 lakh ha & forest land area is 60.76 lakh ha with more than 2.07 crore population. About 80 percent of the population in the state is engaged in agriculture and 43 percent of the entire arable land is under cultivation. Paddy is the principal crop and the central plains of Chhattisgarh are known as rice bowl of central India. Other major crops are coarse grains, wheat, maize, groundnut, pulses and oilseeds. The region is also suitable for growing mango, banana, guava & other fruits and a variety of vegetables with 44 percent of its area under forests it has one of the richest bio-diversity areas in the country. It has abundant minor forest produce like Tendu leaves, Sal seed, etc. Medicinal plants, bamboo, lac and honey are other potential money earners for the state. Chhattisgarh has embarked on a concerted plan to increase double cropped areas, diversify the cropping pattern and improve incomes from agro-based small-scale special attention towards better management of its water resources. To reduce the farmers dependence on rainfall, government is working towards increasing the irrigation potential of the state. It is estimated that approximately 43 lakh hectares can be potentially irrigated covering 75 percent of the entire cropped area in the state. Ravi Shankar Sagar Mahanadi project, Hasdeo-Bango, Kodar and others are some of the important irrigation projects in the state.



Horticulture



Farmers of Chhattisgarh are used to cultivate mostly paddy in kharif season with an intention to grow summer paddy too, whenever irrigattion sources available. As a second crop after paddy, majority of farmers prefer to grow gram, mustard, linseed, lathy which provide less profit as compared to horticulture crops i.e. vegetables, flowers, medicinal and aromatic plants. Rainfed cultuvation and low productivity of rice (around 1.5 t/ha) along with recurring drought condition lead to large-scale migration of landless laborers and also marginal farmers. Such a trend can br reversed and the socio-economic conditions of the farmers as also the nutritional levels of the general population can be improved only with proper development of horticulture in this new state. . About 20% soil of the cultivated area in the region is red-laterite (Bhata) s oil, which is mostly unutilized for growing any crop. These Bhata soil can be b etter utilized to grow fruit crops under rain fed/dry land horticulture. Horticulture development can assure year-round employment to farm labourers and once horticulture is developed, allied sectors like processing, packaging and export can also gain momentum.