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- There are three distinct cropping seasons in the northern and interior parts of India, namely kharif, rabi, and zaid.
|Cropping Season||Major Crops Cultivated|
|Northern States||Southern States|
|Kharif (June-September)||Rice, Cotton, Bajra, Maize, Jowar, Toor||Rice, Maize, Ragi, Jowar, Groundnut|
|Rabi (October – March)||Wheat, Gram, Rapeseeds, and Mustard, Barley||Rice, Maize, Ragi, Groundnut, Jowar|
|Zaid (April–June)||Vegetables, Fruits, Fodder||Rice, Vegetables, Fodder|
- Dryland farming is largely restricted to the regions having annual rainfall less than 75 cm. Major crops are ragi, bajra, moong, gram, and guar(fodder crops).
- The regions, which have rainfall in excess of soil moisture requirement of plants during the rainy season is known as wetland farming. Major crops are rice, jute, and sugarcane.
- The cereals occupy about 54% of total cropped area in India.
- India produces about 11% cereals of the world and ranks 3rd in production after China and U.S.A.
- Indian cereals are classified as fine grains (e.g. rice, wheat, etc.) and coarse grains (e.g. jowar, bajra, maize, ragi, etc.).
Types of Farming
- On the basis of main source of moisture for crops, the farming can be classified as irrigated and rainfed.
- On the basis of adequacy of soil moisture during cropping season, rainfed farming is further classified as dryland and wetland farming.
- In southern states and West Bengal, the climatic conditions facilitate the cultivation of two or three crops of rice in an agricultural year.
- In West Bengal farmers grow three crops of rice called ‘aus’, ‘aman,’ and ‘boro’.
- India contributes more than 20% to world’s rice production and ranks 2nd after China.
- About one-fourth of the total cropped area of India is under rice cultivation.
- West Bengal, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh are the leading rice producing states.
- India produces about 12% of total wheat production of the world.
- About 85% of total area under this crop is concentrated in north and central regions of the country, i.e., the Indo-Gangetic Plain, Malwa Plateau, and the Himalayan regions especially up to 2,700 m altitude.
- About 14% of the total cropped area in the country is under wheatcultivation.
- Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh are wheat producing states.
- The coarse cereals together occupy about 16.50% of total cropped area in the country.
- Maharashtra alone contributes to more than half of the total jowarproduction of the country.
- Bajra occupies about 5.2% of total cropped area in the country.
- Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Haryana are the leading Bajra producer states.
- Maize is a food as well as fodder crop grown under the semi-arid climatic conditions and over inferior soils.
- Maize occupies about 3.6% of the total cropped area of India.
- Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh are the leading maize producers in the country.
- Pulses are the legume crops, which increase the natural fertility of soils through nitrogen fixation.
- With one-fifth of the total production of pulses in the world, India is a leading producer.
- Pulses occupy about 11% of the total cropped area in the country.
- The cultivation of pulses in the country is largely concentrated in the drylands of Deccan and central plateaus and northwestern parts.
- Gram and Toor are the main pulses cultivated in India.
- Gram covers only about 2.8% of the total cropped area in the country.
- Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Rajasthan are the main producers of gram.
- Toor (Arhar) is also known as red gram or pigeon pea.
- Toor occupies only about 2% of total cropped area of India.
- Maharashtra alone contributes to about one-third of the total production of toor.
- Groundnut, rapeseed and mustard, soyabean, and sunflower are the main oilseed crops grown in India.
- Oilseeds occupy about 14% of total cropped area in the country.
- Drylands of Malwa plateau, Marathwada, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Telangana, Rayalseema region of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka plateau are the major oilseeds growing regions of India.
- India produces about 18.8% of the total groundnut production in the world.
- Groundnut covers about 3.6% of total cropped area in the country.
- Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra are the leading groundnut producer states in India.
- Rapeseed and mustard comprise several oilseeds such as rai, sarson, toria,and taramira.
- Rapeseed and mustard oilseeds together occupy only 2.5% of total cropped area in the country.
- Rajasthan alone contributes to about one-third production (of oilseeds) while Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, West Bengal, and Madhya Pradesh other leading producers.
- Sunflower cultivation is concentrated in the regions of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and adjoining areas of Maharashtra.
- India grows both the short staple (Indian) cotton as well as the long staple (American) cotton called narma in north-western parts of the country.
- India accounts to about 8.3% of world’s total production of cotton.
- India ranks 4th4th in the world for production of cotton after China, U.S.A., and Pakistan.
- Cotton occupies about 4.7% of total cropped area in the country.
- The major cotton growing areas in India are parts of Punjab, Haryana, and northern Rajasthan in the north-west; Gujarat and Maharashtra in the west; and plateaus of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu in the south.
- Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, and Haryana are the leading cotton producing states.
- India produces about three-fifth of the total jute production of the world.
- West Bengal contributes about three-fourth of the total production of jute in the country.
- India is the second largest producer of sugarcane after Brazil.
- Sugarcane occupies 2.4% of total cropped area in the country and contributes about 23% to the world’s production of sugarcane.
- Uttar Pradesh produces about two-fifth of sugarcane of the country; other leading producers are Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh.
- Tea is a plantation crop and used as a major beverage in India.
- Black tea leaves are fermented whereas green tea leaves are not fermented.
- Tea leaves have rich content of caffeine and tannin.
- Tea is grown over the undulating topography of hilly areas and well drained soils in humid and sub-humid tropics and sub-tropics.
- In India, tea plantation started in 1840s in the Brahmaputra valley of Assam, which still is a major tea growing area in the country.
- With 28% of the world’s total production, India is a leading producer of tea.
- India ranks third among tea exporting countries in the world after Sri Lanka and China.
- Assam accounts for about 53.2% of the total cropped area and contributes more than half of total production of tea in the country; West Bengal, and Tamil Nadu are the other leading tea producers.
- There are three varieties of coffee − arabica, robusta, and liberica.
- India generally grows superior quality of coffee i.e. arabica, which is in great demand in the International market
- India produces only about 3.2% coffee of world’s total production and ranks 7th after Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, Indonesia, Ethiopia, and Mexico.
- Coffee in India is cultivated in the highlands of the Western Ghats in the states of Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.
- Karnataka alone contributes more than two-third to the total production of coffee in India.
- New seed varieties of wheat (from Mexico) and rice (from Philippines) known as high yielding varieties (HYVs) were introduced during mid-1960s in India (Green Revolution).
- About 57% of the land is covered by crop cultivation in India; however, in the world, the corresponding share is only about 12%.
- On the other hand, the land-human ratio in the country is only 0.31 ha, which is almost half of that of the world as a whole i.e. 0.59 ha.
- However, major problems of the Indian agriculture system are −
- Dependence on erratic monsoon;
- Low productivity;
- Constraints of financial resources and indebtedness;
- Lack of proper land reforms;
- Small farm size and fragmentation of landholdings;
- Lack of commercialization; under-employment; and
- Degradation of cultivable land.
- Further, lack of development of rural infrastructure, withdrawal of subsidies and price support, and impediments in availing of the rural credits may lead to interregional and inter-personal disparities in rural areas.
- Intensive Agricultural District Program (IADP) and Intensive Agricultural Area Program (IAAP) were launched to overcome the agricultural problems in India.
- Planning Commission of India initiated agro-climatic planning in 1988 to induce regionally balanced agricultural development in the country.
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