The area under gram has declined from 92.76 lakh hectares in 1960-61 to 56.71 lakh hectares in 2002-03 showing a loss of 38.86% during these 42 years. The production with some fluctuations has also maintained a declining trend from 62.5 lakh tones in 1960-61 to 41 lakh tones in 2002-03 (decrease of 33.92% during the period). On the contrary the per hectare yield of the crop has increased from 674 kg in 1960-61 to 728 kg in 2002-03.
Although gram is cultivated in different states of the country but its highest concentration is found India western parts of the country in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. These four states together provide 68 per cent of the total area and 73 percent of its total production in the country. Outside this region Maharashtra and Karnataka is other important gram producing states in the country.
Madhya Pradesh occupies first place both in terms of area and production of gram in the country. The state contributes 39.73% of the total area and 39.30% of the total production of the crop in the country. There has been significant increase both in the area and production of the crop in recent years.
The area has increased from 18.07 lakh hectares in 1980-81 to 26.84 lakh hectares in 1996-97 while the production has gone up from 10.63 lakh tones to 24.76 lakh tones during this period. While the area and productivity of the crop have witnessed over 3 per cent of per annum growth during the aforesaid period the production has registered a faster increase of 8.31% annually. In Madhya Pradesh Vidisha, Morena, Bhind, Jabalpur, Narsimhapur, Dhar. Sehore, Hoshangabad, Raisen, Gwalior, and Durg districts are important producers of gram.
Rajasthan accounts for 7.94 per cent of the total area and 8.26 per cent of the total production of gram in the country. Here the area under gram has increased from 12.25 lakh hectares in 1980-81 to 22.14 lakh hectares in 1997-98 (rate of annual increase being 4.75%), while the production has increased from 8.54 lakh tones to 19.25 lakh tones (annual rate of increase being 7.38%) during this period.
This has been made possible due to an average 1.25 per cent increase in the productivity of the crop during the above period. In Rajasthan Ganganagar, Alwar, Bharatpur, Jaipur, Sawai Madhopur, Ajmer, Kota, Tonk, Churu, Jhunjhunu and Ajmer districts are the main producers of the crop.
Uttar Pradesh with 15.39 per cent of the total area and 18.86 per cent of total production occupies second place amongst the gram producing states of the country. Here due to increase in per hectare yield (861 in 1980-81 and 892 kg in 2002-03), there has been sharp decline in the area (14.96 lakh ha in 1980- 81 to 8.73 lakh ha; annual rate of decline being 1.89%) and production (from 12.88 lakh tonnes in 1980-81 to 7.79 lakh tonnes in 2002-03: annual rate of decline being 1.80%) of the crop. The main producers of gram in the state include Banda, Hamirpur, Jalaun, Jhansi, Kanpur, Fatehpur, Sitapur, Barabanki, Allahabad, Agra, Lalitpurand Sultanpur districts.
Maharashtra accounts for 14.04 per cent of total area and 10.87 per cent of total production of gram in the country. The state has witnessed an average annual increase of 3.89 per cent in area (from 4.29 lakh ha. in 1980-81 to 7.96 lakh ha. in 2002-03), 9.1 per cent in output (from 1.5 lakh tones in 1980-81 to 4.49 lakh tonnes in 2002-03) and 2.78 per cent in the productivity (per hectare yield from 350 kg in 1980-81 to 564 kg in 2002-03) of the gram between 1980-81 and 2002-03. Important producers include the districts of Usmanabad, Aurangablad, Solapur, Parbhani, Ahmednagar, Beed, Nanded and Nasik.
Among minor producers of the gram in India mention may be made of Haryana (Hissar, Rohtak, Mahendergarh, Gurgaon, Jind and Karnal districts), Karnataka. Bihar, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Orissa and Punjab (Bathinda, Ferozepur, Sangrur and Patiala districts) states.
About 40 per cent of the total production of gram enters the wholesale market. Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana are the main contributors.