| ||The state of Uttar Pradesh is located in the country’s most fertile region, blessed with alluvial terrain that is permanently irrigated by the waters of the Ganges and its many tributaries, which are fed by the Himalayan snows. The climate of this state, which is marked by mild winters and hot, humid summers, also contributes to making it one of the greatest agricultural regions of the country. Wheat, a major local crop for domestic sale, as shown here near Mathura, is harvested manually by women at the end of the dry season. With a production of 72 million tons in 2004 (11.4 percent of the world harvest), India is the world’s third-largest producer, between the Europen Union and China. Since 1960 the world consumption of grains, intended for human consumption and livestock, has more than doubled. However, it represents less than 440 pounds (200 kg) per capita per year in India (mainly in the form of rice), whereas each American consumes, indirectly, the equivalent of 1,980 pounds (900 kg) of grains each year, in the form of animal products (meat and dairy) and more recently in the form of ethanol.
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