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What are the reasons in Western India where rice is cultivated? Why is it cultivated in these regions?
Rice is the most important food crop in India and is a staple diet for the north-eastern, eastern and southern parts of India. Rice farming is mainly found as intensive subsistence type of farming due to high demand. Intensive subsistence farming produces only food crop for sustaining the high population and domestic animals. It is characterized by small land holdings which are cultivated by the farmer and his family using simple tools and more labour. Often farming is further intensified by the use of fertilizers and artificial irrigation. This has led to a low yield rate in rice production. A combination of high demand and low yield rates in traditional rice-growing areas have led to rice cultivation in non -traditional areas like western India.
Western India has states like Punjab and Haryana which is well known for their wheat production. Though characterized by a semi-arid climate, these areas have very high access to irrigation, and their land holdings are also comparatively larger. Successful implementation during the Green Revolution has also changed the entire agricultural process in these areas. These areas have wheat as their staple diet, and hence the demand for rice is not as high as the regions where rice is the staple diet. All the above-mentioned factors have contributed behind the cultivation of rice in the western regions of India. While the primary rice-growing regions of India cultivate it for subsistence, the western region cultivates it on a commercial basis and helps in reducing the demand-supply gap for rice.