Ragi ocupies only 0.91 % of the total cropped area and 1.56% of the total area under cereals. Its area has increased from 22.03 lakh hectares in 1950- 51 to 25.58 lakh hectares in 1983-84 but has fallen thence onward to 14.22 lakh hectares in 2002-03.
In terms of production the crop accounts for 0.9% of the total production of cereals and 0.8% of that of food grains in the country. Here again the production has shown rising trends from 14.29 lakh tones in 1950-51 to 28.31 lakh tones in 1983-84 and thereafter fluctuating trend. Karnataka is the leading producer of ragi in the country followed by Tamil Nadu, Uttaranchal Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
Karnataka is the leading producer of ragi with 53.94 per cent of the total area and 53.36 per cent of the total production of the crop in the country. Here Kolar, Bangalore, Chitradurga, Tumkur. Hassan and Mysore districts are the main producers which together provide 85% of the total area and 80 per cent of its output in the state. Although there has been decline in the area of the crop from 11.25 lakh hectares in 1983-84 to 7.67 lakh hectares in 2002-03 the production has increased from 14.34 lakh tones in 1983-84 to 18.9 lakh tones in 2000-01 due to improvement in its per hectare yield (1275 kg/ha in 1983-84 and 1848 kg/ha in 2000-01).
Tamil Nadu occupies second place in respect of area (7.52%) and production (14.60%) of ragi in India. The chief producers are Coimbatore, Dharmapuri, Ramanathapuram, Salem, North and South Arcot, Nilgiris, Chingleput and Madurai districts. The area has decreased from 2.33 lakh hectares in 1983-84 to 1.44 lakh hectares in 1997-98 while the production has marked marginal increase from 2.51 lakh tones in 1983-84 to 3.05 lakh tones in 1997-98.
Uttaranchal accounts for 10.97 per cent of the total areas and 10.66 per cent of the total production of ragi in the country. The area under ragi crop has declined from 1.65 lakh hectares in 1983-84 to 1.44 lakh hectares while the production has shown upward trend from 1.77 lakh tonnes in 1983-84 to 1.85 lakh tonnes in 1997-98.
Other important producers of ragi in India include Orissa, Maharashtra (Ratnagiri, Kolhapur, Thane and Raigad districts), AndhraPradesh (Chittoor, Srikakulam, Anantapur, Vishakhapatnam, Prakasam, Mahbubnagar and Cuddapah districts), and Bihar.