The area under paddy in the country has been between 40 to 45 million hectares for some 35 years. However, the production has doubled over this period due to almost doubling of the yield. One of the reasons for this rise in the yield is increased irrigation. However, the increase in irrigation has been only from 40% to 60% in this period. In other words, the growth is also due to other factors such as use of better seeds, increase in usage of fertilizers, better pest management, etc.

In the last 10 years, the growth in yield has been even better at nearly 25%, with an increase in irrigation of only 10%. In other words, the improvements have accelerated during this period.

This was inevitable because of the more than doubling of the minimum support price (MSP) during this period and a much higher increase in market prices.

With the passing of the legislation on Food Security, the procurement by the Government will increase sharply. This would require the Government to make the MSP even more attractive and with the increase in MSP the market prices will also increase. In other words, the incentives to produce more of food grains will increase and that would cover paddy as well.

This means the efforts to improve the yield of paddy will intensify. Which would mean an increased demand for better seeds and better agro-chemicals, because the room for increase in area under the crop or the irrigated area is extremely limited.

It is in this environment that we have, again, conducted the syndicated study on agro-chemicals and seeds for paddy, which was first done in 2005-2006 and repeated in 2009-10.