The rice-wheat system is a cropping pattern that involves the cultivation of rice during the summer monsoon season, followed by the cultivation of wheat during the winter season. This system has been successful in many parts of India due to several factors:
- Abundant water supply: The rice-wheat system is well-suited to areas with abundant water supply, as both crops require a lot of irrigation.
- Favorable climate: The rice-wheat system is typically grown in areas with a warm, humid climate, which is conducive to the growth of both crops.
- Productive soils: The rice-wheat system is typically grown in areas with fertile, well-drained soils, which are capable of supporting high crop yields.
- Government policies: The government has played a key role in the success of the rice-wheat system through its policies and interventions such as subsidies, loans, improved seed varieties and extension services.
Despite its success, the rice-wheat system has also become a bane in India due to several factors:
- Overuse of chemical fertilizers and pesticides: The use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides has increased in order to maintain high crop yields, leading to soil degradation and water pollution.
- Depletion of groundwater: The heavy reliance on irrigation for both rice and wheat has led to the overuse and depletion of groundwater resources.
- Pest and disease outbreaks: The monoculture nature of the rice-wheat system makes it susceptible to pest and disease outbreaks, which can lead to crop failures and reduced yields.
- Environmental degradation: The rice-wheat system has also contributed to environmental degradation, including the loss of biodiversity and the emission of greenhouse gases.