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Intensification and diversification of cropping
Varieties of the Green Revolution era have been not only high yielding but also of high per day productivity. Being of short duration and duration bound, they enabled double cropping of rice in single cropped areas and triple cropping in double cropped areas, where season is favourable and water is not limiting. In the traditional rice growing southern and eastern states rice-rice and rice-rice-rice/pulse or oilseed are common cropping patterns. In the north and north western states, especially in the western and central segments of the Indo gangetic plains, it is the medium duration rice that has enabled rice after wheat rotation- the most productive and profitable cropping system over the last 50 years. In other regions quite early maturing and relatively less water requiring non-rice crops now available made them to be the ideal crop combinations with medium duration kharif rice based double cropped areas. Despite such advances in crop improvement and crop production research, sadly, the average cropping intensity is still around 138%, thus providing yet another opportunity and scope to further intensification of cropping and add thereby 20-25 million tonnes more. Raising cropping intensity to about 150% required to add such high additional tonnes is a distinct possibility, if special attention is given to the vast mainly rainfed and favourable rainfed shallow lowland ecologies in the traditional rice areas.