Agriculture plays a vital role in the Indian economy. Agriculture is the backbone of our country. It includes farming of crops, animal husbandry, pisciculture, agro-forestry etc. The particular weather and soil conditions allow for crops in India uniquely suited to it.India is the top producer of many crops in the world. There can be many ways to divide the types of crop based on area, season, economic value etc. Let us take a look at the major crops in India.
Crop Seasons in India
Rice, Jowar, Bajra, Maize, Cotton, Groundnut, Jute, Sugarcane, Turmeric, Pulses (like Urad Dal) etc. Rabi Crops
-Harvested in September-October.
-Requires lot of water and hot weather to grow.
Wheat, Oat, Gram, Pea, Barley, Potato, Tomato, Onion, Oil seeds (like Rapeseed, Sunflower, Sesame, Mustard) etc.Zaid Crops
-Harvested in April-May.
-Requires warm climate for germination of seeds and maturation and cold climate for the growth.
Cucumber, Bitter Gourd, Pumpkin, Watermelon, Muskmelon, Moong Dal etc.
-Grown between March-June between Rabi and Kharif crop seasons.
Major Crops in India
Rice is a tropical crop that can be grown almost throughout the year. It depends on atmospheric moisture and rainfall for irrigation. India is the 2nd largest producer of rice in the world. India has largest area in world under rice cultivation. Productivity is low compared to wheat because Green Revolution primarily boosted wheat production in India. The traditional rice fields are known as paddy fields and require to be flooded with 10-12 cm deep water in the early stages.
-Temperature: ∼ 24 0C
-Rainfall: ∼ 150 cm
-Soil type: Clay/ Loamy
-Major Producers: West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Bihar, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Haryana
It is the 2nd most important food crop in India. It is a Rabi crop. India stands second in production of wheat worldwide. It is more flexible in terms of climatic and other conditions of growth.
-Temperature: 17-20 °C
-Rainfall: 20-100 cm (ideal ~75 cm)
-Soil Type: Clay loam, Sandy loam
-Major Producers: Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Uttarakhand
Cotton is a tropical and subtropical Kharif crop. It is a fibre crop and is known as ‘White gold’. India ranks 3rd in the production of cotton worldwide. It is a dry crop but roots need timely supply of water at maturity.
-Temperature: 21-30 °C
-Rainfall: 50-100 cm
-Soil Type: Black soil (Highly water retentive soil)
-Major Producers: Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, MadhyaPradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Orissa
Jute is a tropical plant that requires hot and humid climate. It is one of the most important natural fibres in terms of cultivation and usage. Almost 85% of the world’s jute is cultivated in the Ganges Delta.
-Temperature: 24-35 °C.
-Annual Rainfall: 125-200 cm.
-Soil Type: Sandy and Clay Loam
-Major Producers: West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh
Sugarcane is an important cash crop. India stands at 2nd position among all countries in the world in its production. Sugarcane crop requires long rainy season of at least 7-8 months. Traditional Sugarcane Production was in North India but it has also shifted to South India. North India Sugarcane are of sub-tropical variety and so have low sugar content. Also sugar factories have to remain shut in winter seasons in North India. South India- Tropical Variety and coastal areas hence have high sugar content and high yield.
-Temperature: 20-26 °C
-Rainfall: 75-150 cm
-Soil type: Clayey Loamy Soil/ Black Cotton Soil/ Red Loamy Soil/ Brown Loamy Soil
-Major Producers: Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Punjab
Tea is an evergreen plant that mainly grows in tropical and subtropical climates. Tea is a labour intensive crop and 50% of the labourers are women. It grows faster under light shade. Commercial cultivation of tea started in India from British era. India is the 2nd largest producer and the largest consumer of tea in the world. Tea plants require high rainfall but its roots cannot tolerate water logging. Hence, it requires sloppy areas.
-Temperature: 20-30 °C
-Rainfall: 150-300 cm
-Soil type: Loamy soil which is acidic in nature and rich in organic matter.
-Major Producers: Assam, Darjeeling (West Bengal), Meghalaya, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka
Coffees are grown in shade and commonly with two tiers of shade. Growing altitudes of coffee range between 1,000 to 1,500 m above sea level for Arabica (premier coffee), and 500 to 1,000 m for Robusta (lower quality). Both varieties are planted in well-drained soil conditions that favour rich organic matter. Coffee plantation is done along hilly slope. Slopes of Arabica tend to be gentle to moderate,while Robusta slopes are gentle to fairly level.
-Rainfall: 150-250 cm
-Soil type: Well-drained forest loam
-Major Producers: Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland
India has been known for its spices since ancient times.
Cardamom (Queen of Aromatic Spices) – Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu
Pepper (King of Spices) – Kerala
Chillies – Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan
Turmeric – Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu
Nutmeg – Kerala
Arecanut – Kerala, Karnataka, Tripura, Assam
Coconut – Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh
Cinnamon – Kerala
Clove – Kerala
Ginger – Kerala, Meghalaya, Sikkim
Temperature: 10-30 °C
Rainfall: 200-300 cm
Soil type: Loamy soil/ Lateritic soil
Location: 1000-2000m altitude of Western Ghats and other hilly areas
Major Producers: Kerala, Karnataka,
Highest Producer: Kerala