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Crops of India


Cash Crops:

A crop that is grown for sale rather than for personal use is called cash crops. In other word, a cash crop is an agricultural crop which is grown for sale to return a profit.

Cotton:

  • Cotton is the most important fibre crop of India. It provides the basic raw material (cotton fibre) to cotton textile industry.
  • Cotton is a kharif crop which requires 6 to 8 months to mature.
  • Cotton is the crop of tropical and sub-tropical areas and requires uniformly high temperature varying between 21°C and 30°C.
  • The modest requirement of water can be met by an average annual rainfall of 50- 100 cm. However, it is successfully grown in areas of lesser rainfall with the help of irrigation.
  • Black soils of Deccan and Malwa plateau are fertile soil for cotton.
  • About 80 per cent of the total irrigated area under cotton is in Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat and Rajasthan. But the main cotton producing states are Gujarat, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.

Jute:

  • Next to cotton, jute is the second important fibre crop of India. India is one of the principle producers of jute in the world.
  • It is widely grown in the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta. Due to best suited soils such as light sandy or clayey loams are found here.
  • The major jute producing states of India are West Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Meghalaya.
  • Jute requires high temperature varying from 24°C to 35°C and heavy rainfall of 120 to 150 cm with 80 to 90 per cent relative humidity.
  • During the period of its growth small amount of pre-monsoon rainfall varying from 25 cm to 55 cm is very useful.

Sugarcane:

  • Sugarcane belongs to bamboo family of plants and is indigenous to South Asia. In India, it is one of the most important Kharif crops.
  • Sugarcane cultivation requires a tropical or temperate climate, with a minimum of 60 cm of annual moisture. The ideal temperature for the cultivation of sugarcane is 27°C.
  • 100 to 175 cm rainfall is ideal for sugarcane production. In tropical and sub-tropical or regions sugarcane is grown abundantly due to the lengthening of the period of rainy season.
  • Loamy fertile soil mixed with salt and lime is good for sugarcane production.
  • Plain land or gentle slope is ideal for sugarcane cultivation. Uttar Pradesh is the largest producer of sugarcane in India, followed by Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Tobacco:

  • Almost all states in India grow tobacco, but the important ones are Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Bihar, West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh
  • For tobacco 50-100cm annual rainfall and 15-200C temperature during growth period is ideal.
  • After harvesting to dry the leaves it requires bright sunshine & dry weather but not less than containing 8% moisture.
  • Different types of soil are required for tobacco. Bidi tobacco is grown as a rainfed crop mostly in alluvial soils, black clayey or loamy soils. Cigar and cheroot tobaccos are cultivated on grey to red soils varying from light gravelly to sandy loams. The chewing tobacco is grown throughout the country under varying conditions of soils.

Food Crops:

The term food crops refers to the world’s major food supply derived from plants. A crop assumes human intervention through agriculture. In the main, food crops consist of grains, seeds and nuts, vegetables, fruit, and so forth.

Rice:

  • Rice is predominantly a Kharif or crop. It covers one third of total cultivated area of India. It provides food to more than half of the Indian population.
  • The temperature requires for the Rice is 16°C – 27°C and rainfall 100 to 200 cm is ideal for rice growing. But rainfall during harvest times is harmful. Annual coverage temperature around 24°C is ideal.
  • Rice is grown well on the alluvial soil or on the fertile river basins. It is also grown in mixed soil or loamy and clayey soil.
  • Plain lands or gentle slopes are suitable for the production of rice. Therefore, West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam, Uttar Pradesh are the main rice producing states of India.
  • West Bengal is the largest producer but Punjab is the largest producer of rice per hectare.

Wheat:

  • Wheat is the second most important crop of India after Rice. It’s a Rabi Crop.
  • It is a winter crop and needs low temperature. Ideal temperature for wheat cultivation is between 10-15°C at the time of sowing and 21-26°C at the time of harvesting.
  • Wheat thrives well in the rainfall varies from less 75 to 100 cm.
  • The most suitable soil for cultivation of wheat is well drained fertile loamy soil and clayey soil. Plain areas are most suitable.
  • Uttar Pradesh is the largest producer of wheat following by Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Bihar.

Jowar:

  • Among the different kinds of cereal crops in India, Jowar occupies a major prominence. Besides being a staple diet for the poorer section of the society, it is also used for animal feed and industrial raw materials.
  • Basically jowar is a tropical crop. It thrives well at a temperature between 25°C and 32°C but below 16°C is not good for the crop. Jowar crop requires rainfall about 40 cm annually.
  • Jowar is extreme drought tolerant crop and recommended for dry regions. Too much of moist and prolonged dry conditions are not suitable for jowar cultivation.
  • Jowar crop adapts wide range of soils but grows well in sandy loam soils having good drainage. Soil pH range of 6 to 7.5 is ideal for its cultivation and better growth.
  • Major Jowar producing states in India are: Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana.

Bajra:

  • It is popularly known as pearl millet. It is grown in the largest number in India. For poor people, this form of millet is supposedly the staple diet.
  • The crop has a wide adaptability as it may grow under different day lengths, temperature and moisture stress. It requires low annual rainfall ranging between 40-50 cm and dry weather.
  • Light soils of low inherent fertility good drainage, mild salinity are best type for this crop.
  • Tamil Nadu is the highest producer of this staple crop and this is followed by Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Gujarat.

Plantation Crops:

Plantation crops constitute a large group of crops. The major plantation crops include coconut, nut, oil palm, cashew, tea, coffee and rubber.

Tea:

  • India is the largest producer and consumer of black tea in the world. Tea is grown in 16 states in India. Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala account for about 95 per cent of total tea production.
  • Temperature varies from 21°C to 29°C is ideal for the production of tea. High temperature is required in summer. The lowest temperature for the growth of tea is 16°C.
  • 150-250 cm of rainfall is required for tea cultivation.
  • Tea shrubs require fertile mountain soil mixed with lime and iron. The soil should be rich in humus.

Coffee:

  • Coffee is a brewed beverage prepared from roasted seeds, commonly called coffee beans, of the coffee plant.
  • Initially, the coffee plantation was limited to Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, but now it has gradually reached Andhra and Odisha.
  • The ideal temperature is 18 to 280 It is very sensitive to cold and frost.
  • Rainfall must be varied from 125 to 250 cm.
  • Loamy soil with humus content, well drained hill slopes between 450 m to 1800 m altitude are suitable.
  • Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Nilgiri Hills, Cardamon Hills, Anamalai Hills are the areas of growing.

Rubber:

  • Basically rubber is an elastic solid material retrieved from latex of many tropical trees. However, “Hevea brasiliensis” is the most commercially cultivated rubber plant
  • The rubber plantation requires heavy and well distributed rainfall of 200 cm to 300 cm having humidity about 75%.
  • The best growing temperatures for rubber plant is from 20°C to 35°C. Freezing temperatures will halt the growth of rubber plants and strong plant is from 20°C to 35°C. Freezing temperatures will halt the growth of rubber plants and strong wind areas are not suitable for rubber farming.
  • This plantation requires at least 5 to 6 hours of sunlight Rubber Plants require highly deep weathered soils which consist of Laterite and lateritic soils. They grow best in well drained porous soils with moderate acidic in nature. However, rubber plant also thrives in red alluvial soils, if there is a good organic matter in the soil.
  • Mainly, it is grown in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
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