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Barley is a cereal grain, scientifically known as Hordeum vulgare, belonging to the family Poaceae and sub family Pooideae. Barley is believed have originated in Ethiopia.
Barley is considered as the fourth most important crop in the world. It is a grass crop which grows to a height of 60 to 120 centimeters at the time of maturity.
Barley is used in beverages and beer. Almost all weather conditions are suitable for Barley cultivation, but because of its sensible nature, the crop can get destroyed in any stage.
Global production of Barley is about 138 million tons. The leading Barley consuming countries are European Union, Russia, Canada, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, China, Ukraine and United States of America.
The trade figures of Barley are much less as compared to its production; it is only about 16 million tons. This is because the domestic consumption of Barley is much higher in the major producing countries.
In the ancient times, Barley was used as animal feed because it was wild grass. And with time, the domestic uses of Barley were found and people started cultivating the crop. Although it is a drought resistant crop, it needs rich fertile soil condition and good irrigation to get better yield.
The Barley crop gets matured in about four months from planting. In India, Barley is a rabi crop, that is, sowing is done during October and November and harvesting during March and April.
The barley water, derived from the barley grass, is used for various medicinal purposes.
Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir are the leading Barley producing states in India.
France, Australia, Germany, USA, Russia, Argentina, Canada, UK, Denmark and Ethoipia are the major Barley producing countries.
Saudi Arabia, China, Iran, Japan, Jordan, Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Tunisia and Brazil are the major Barley importing countries.
Major Barley exporting countries are France, Australia, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Canada, Argentina, Romania, UK and Denmark.
Following are the major local trading hubs for Barley in India:
Haryana (Bhiwani, Fatehabad, Gurgoan, Mohindargarh, Rewari, Sirsa)
Punjab (Patiala, Sangrur)
Rajasthan (Ajmer, Alwar, Bharatpur, Jaipur, Jhunjhunu, Sikar, Udaipur)
Uttar Pradesh (Aligarh, Bagpat, Ballia, Bulandshahar, Gautam Budhnagar, Mau, Muzaffarnagar, Saharanpur).
Barley is traded in the commodity futures market at NCDEX.