Indian Official Statistics: Part VII (a)


  1. Agricultural Statistics

Collection of agricultural statistics in India is primarily the responsibility of the States. At the all-India level, the Directorate of Economics and Statistics under the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (DES-Ag) is the central coordinating agency responsible for the collection, compilation and publication of agricultural statistics. The primary statistics on agriculture are those relating to land utilisation (including area under crops) and crop production.


  1. Land utilisation statistics
    1.                                                               i.      By land utilisation statistics we mean statistics giving are areas of land put to different uses, area irrigated and crops irrigated, and areas under different crops. Such data have been almost continuously available since 1844, but the geographical coverage of these statistics and their scope have been gradually expanding. Currently, land use statistics are available for about 92% of the total geographical area of the country. Over four-fifths of the other 8% of the total area is located in Jammu & Kashmir and broadly covers the part of the State under occupation of Pakistan and China. The remaining non-reporting areas cover inaccessible areas under forests, barren mountains and holly tracts of the North-Eastern States.
    2.                                                             ii.      From the stand-point of collection of area statistics, the States may be divided into three groups. In the first group are the former temporarily-settled States, where the village revenue agency maintains land utilisation statistics as part of land records. These are collected by the patwari on the basis of complete field-to-field enumeration and fairly reliable. The second group comprises the former permanently settled States of West Bengal, Orissa and Kerala, where no village revenue agency exist. Until recently, the land utilisation statistics for these States used to be collected by the chowkidars. Since the chowkidars had many other duties to perform, the data were of a poor quality. As such, these States have in recent times adopted the sample survey method for obtaining land use statistics. The third group consists of areas which are neither cadastral surveyed nor have the requisite revenue agency. For these areas, the statistics reported are in the nature of eye estimates of revenue officers. Out of the total reporting area, estimates for 81.7% of the area are based on complete enumeration, those for 9.2% in sample surveys and those for the remaining 9.1% in conventional or impressionistic estimates by the village chowkidars or higher revenue officials.
    3.                                                           iii.      Till 1949 -50 land use statistics used to be presented according to a five-fold classification. Since the classification did not give a clear, meaningful picture and was not detailed enough to serve the needs of agricultural planning, a nine-fold classification replaced the old classification in 1950-51. Standard definitions of the classes were also laid down. The correspondence between the old classes and the new and also descriptions of the new classes are given below:
Old Class New Class Description
  1. Forests
1. Forests The class includes all completely forested areas or lands classed or administered as forests under any legal provision. Of any portion of such land is not actually wooded to some agricultural use, then that is to be included under cultivated or uncultivated land, as the case may be.
  1. Area not available for cultivation
 2. Land put to non-agricultural use Land occupied by homestead, factories, roads, playgrounds, railways or land under water or land put to uses other than agricultural.
  1. Barren and uncultivable land
Includes mountains and deserts, besides land which cannot be brought under cultivation except at a high cost
  1. Other uncultivated land excluding current fallows
All grazing lands, whether they are permanent pastures and meadows or not.
  1. Land under miscellaneous tree crops and groves
All cultivable land which is not included under net area sown, but is put to some agricultural use. Lands under casuarina trees, thatching trees, bamboo bushes and other groves for fuel, etc., that are not included under orchards are to be put under this category.
  1. Cultivable waste
All lands available for cultivation, but not taken up for cultivation or, even f taken up abandoned after a few years for some reason or the other.
  1. Current fallows
Cropped areas which are kept fallow during the current year.
  1. Other fallow lands
All lands which were taken up for cultivation but have been temporarily out of cultivation for a period of not less than one year and not more than 5 years.
  1. Net area sown
Comprises areas sown with crops and orchards, areas with multiple cropping in the same year being counted only once.


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