Among the following, which one is the least water-efficient crop?
[UPSC Civil Services Exam – 2021 Prelims]
(c) Pearl millet
(d) Red gram
- Sugarcane is the world’s largest crop in terms of production and belongs to the Poaceae family of true grasses.
- It is grown as a Kharif crop in India, requiring a hot and humid climate with an average temperature of 21°C to 27°C and 75-150 cm of rainfall.
- In areas with lower rainfall, irrigation is necessary. Sugarcane can grow in any soil that can retain moisture, but the ideal soil is deep, rich, and loamy, with a good supply of nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus.
- The soil should be neither too acidic nor too alkaline. The crop requires 1500-2500 mm of water during its growing period, and it is highly sensitive to drought. Therefore, sugarcane is a suitable choice for cultivation.
Therefore, option (a) is the correct answer.