4.21.1 The practice of sowing crops in mixture in the same field is prevalent in almost all parts of the country. Cultivators usually mix crops that cannot stand a particular type of weather with another set of crops that resist and thrive under the same conditions. The methods employed for sowing such crops vary not only from State to State but also from area to area within the same State. The crops in the mixture are sown either individually in separate rows or are mixed together. In the former case, the seeds of the constituent crop are kept separate and a certain number of rows of one crop alternate with those of some other. In the latter case, the seeds of two or more crops are mixed together before sowing and the mixed seeds are either line-sown or broadcast.
4.21.2 The procedures followed for apportioning the net area under the constituent crops vary from State to State. The different procedures followed in the States are listed in Annexe 4.12. The major land records States of the country can be divided into the following three categories according to the manner of treatment of areas under crops grown in mixtures:
States where allocation of the area to the constituent crops grown in mixture is done at the field level such as Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh (except Kangra District), Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
States where some major crop mixtures have been identified and the area at the field level of these recognised mixtures is recorded as such for the mixtures and allocation to the component crops done at higher levels on the basis of fixed ratios. For unrecognised mixtures, the allocation of areas to the components is done at the field level. The States following this procedure are Haryana, Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Rajasthan.
States where some major mixtures have been identified and the area at field level of these mixtures is recorded as such, the allocation to the constituent crops being done at subsequent levels following fixed ratios. But for unrecognised mixtures, the entire area is recorded against the major crop or the recognised crop mixtures and the minor constituents are ignored. Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh follow this procedure.
4.21.3 Though many States have recognised crop mixtures on the basis of the cropping pattern followed, several others do not have such recognised crop mixtures. The allocation of area under constituent crops in respect of recognised mixtures is generally made using fixed ratios and rates. The same allocations have continued for several decades and they may not conform to the current cultivation practices. In the case of non-recognised mixtures, the area allocation is generally done at the field level using eye appraisal, which brings inaccuracies in the recording of crop area. It has also been observed that in some States, certain minor crops are mixed with major crop mixtures and the minor constituents are ignored while recording the area. For example, in Uttar Pradesh, for a mixture like ‘wheat, barley, and linseed’, the entire area is recorded as ‘wheat and barley’ (ignoring the linseed).
Conclusions and Recommendations
4.21.4 It is seen that the recognised crop mixtures and the procedures adopted for apportioning the net area under constituent crops of the crop mixtures have remained unaltered over a long period of time. These may no longer conform to the current cultivation practices. A review of the crop mixtures and the ratios of apportioning should be made by the Ministry of Agriculture using the data available from surveys like the ICS in order to arrive at realistic crop mixtures and ratios.
4.21.5 The Commission, therefore, recommends that:
The rates used to apportion the areas of constituent crops of major crop mixtures should be fixed for the recognised mixtures at sub-district and district levels and updated periodically.
Data available from surveys conducted under schemes like Improvement of Crop Statistics (ICS) over the years should be used for deciding the crop mixtures and their ratios.