Chhattisgarh is a state in central India. It is the 10th largest state in India, with an area of 135,194 km2. With a population of 28 million, Chhattisgarh is the 17th most-populated state of the nation. It is a source of electricity and steel for India, accounting for 15% of the total steel produced in the country. Chhattisgarh is one of the fastest-developing states in India.
The state was formed on 1 November 2000 by partitioning 16 Chhattisgarhi-speaking southeastern districts of Madhya Pradesh. Raipur was made its capital city. Chhattisgarh borders the states of Madhya Pradesh in the northwest, Maharashtra in the southwest, Telangana in the south, Odisha in the southeast, Jharkhand in the northeast and Uttar Pradesh in the north. Currently the state comprises 27 districts.
Chhattisgarh’s gross state domestic product for 2010 is estimated at INR 60,079 crore in current prices. The economy of Chhattisgarh has grown rapidly in recent years with a growth rate of 11.49 per cent in GDP for 2009–2010. Chhattisgarh’s success factors in achieving high growth rate are growth in agriculture and industrial production.
Chhattisgarh State is ranked as the 17th largest tea production state in India. The districts of Jashpur and Surguja are favorable tea production areas. In Jashpur district, the first tea plantation, Brahmnishthajaya Sogara Ashram was established under the direction of Pujya Pad Gurupad. Tea production started after two years at the Sogara Ashram.
Agriculture is counted as the chief economic occupation of the state. According to a government estimate, net sown area of the state is 4.828 million hectares and the gross sown area is 5.788 million hectares. Horticulture and animal husbandry also engage a major share of the total population of the state.
The majority of the farmers are still practicing the traditional methods of cultivation, resulting in low growth rates and productivity. The farmers have to be made aware of modern technologies suitable to their holdings. Providing adequate knowledge to the farmers is essential for better implementation of the agricultural development plans and to improve the productivity.
The main crops are rice, maize, kodo-kutki and other small millets and pulses (tuarand kulthi); oilseeds, such as groundnuts (peanuts), soybeans and sunflowers, are also grown. In the mid-1990s, most of Chhattisgarh was still a monocrop belt. Only one-fourth to one-fifth of the sown area was double-cropped. When a very substantial portion of the population is dependent on agriculture, a situation where nearly 80% of a state’s area is covered only by one crop, immediate attention to turn them into double crop areas is needed. Also, very few cash crops are grown in Chhattisgarh, so there is a need to diversify the agriculture produce towards oilseeds and other cash crops. Chhattisgarh is also called the “rice bowl of central India”.
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