Barley Crop Farming and Production in India

Barley Cultivation in India

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India ranks 22nd in Barley production worldwide with Russia topping the list. Rajasthan is the largest producer of barley in India. The total Production of Barley in India was 1.67 million metric tonnes in 2021 which was a bit lesser than the year 2020 when it stood at 1.72 million metric tonnes.

when you compare the total production of wheat in India during 2021 it stood at 106 million metric tonnes which is significantly higher. Why is barley not produced in India? There are a lot of reasons for it. For one, it’s not a staple crop or staple food. India consumes far lesser barley as food than some other countries. Barley is the base ingredient in beer, an alcoholic drink and the beer market is mostly dependent on the production of beer in the country. in 2019 and 2020, barley was imported to India for the production of beer. This indicates the market for barley and the lack of enough produce to meet the demands in the local market.

There are a lot of information gaps between farmers and the companies requiring these products which fail to inform farmers of their demands. this results in farmers moving to other crops which are usually in constant demand, often ignoring crops like barley. Barley can be grown in abundance in most parts of the country. Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh are excellent for growing barley. there are some limitations too in terms of transportation. While production in Rajasthan is extremely profitable, transportation to manufacturing units is difficult. Beer is manufactured in Telangana and Maharashtra. Transportation from Rajasthan to these states often costs money. Most beer manufacturers are looking for raw materials locally to cut down costs.

As for domestic consumption of barley, the trend seems to be on the declining side with a 10% reduction in 2021 and a 14 % reduction in 2022. Barley is consumed as kichdi and in soups but this is not a preferred food grain in most of the country and its interest as a cereal is decreasing. Though a healthy cereal, there needs to be a lot more awareness of barley and its benefits for Indian consumers and this may in itself be a challenge.