Agricultural Regions

India can be divided into following agricultural regions:

Rice-Jute-Tea Region

This vast region includes lowlands, valleys and river deltas in the states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Meghalaya, West Bengal, Odisha, northern and eastern Bihar, parts of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh and Tarai region of Uttar Pradesh. The rainfall varies from 180 to 250 cm. Rice is the predominant crop due to fertile alluvial soils, abundant rainfall and high summer temperatures. Jute is mainly grown in the Hugli basin of West Bengal but some areas have been brought under jute cultivation in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Odisha and Tarai region of U.P. Tea is mainly grown in Assam. Darjeeling and

Millets and Oilseeds Region

This region includes areas of poor soils and broken topography in Karnataka plateau, parts of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh Telangana and eastern Kerala. The rainfall varies fr om 75 to 125 cm. The millets include bajra, ragi and jowar while the oilseeds grown are groundnut and caster. Pulses are also grown. Mangoes and bananas are important fruit crops.

Fruits and Vegetable Region

This region extends from Kashmir Valley in the west to Assam in the east. The rainfall varies from 60 cm in the west to 200 cm in the east. Apple, peach, cherries, plum, apricot are grown in the west while oranges are important in the east. Besides, rice, maize, ragi, potatoes, chillies and vegetables are also grown.

Major Crops

Varied soil and climatic conditions in different part of the country enable India to produce a large variety of crops. A brief description of major crops is given here.

Food Crops

Food crops include rice, wheat, coarse grains and pulses.

Rice

Rice is the most important food crop of India which feeds more than half of our population. India is the second largest producer of rice in the world after China and contributes nearly 22% of the world’s production of rice. Rice is the staple food of millions of Indians living in moist areas. It grows well in areas having mean monthly temperature of 24°C and an average annual rainfall of 150 cm. It is mainly an irrigated crop in areas having less than 100 cm rainfall. As a matter of fact, the 100 cm isohyet divides the country in two broad agricultural zones. e area receiving more than 100 cm of rainfall is predominantly rice zone and the area receiving less than 100 cm of rainfall is largely the wheat zone.

Deep fertile clayey or loamy soils are considered ideal for rice cultivation. The successful growth of rice requires plenty of labour.Rice can be grown even in Himalayan valleys and terraced slopes upto a height of 2,440 metres if sufficient amount of water is made available at the right time. The total production of rice in 2011-12 was 104.3 million tons. West-Bengal (14.24), Uttar Pradesh (13.45) and Punjab (11.3) are the three top producers. e other producing states are Andhra pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Punjab, Harayana and Uttar Pradesh depend heavily on irrigation for rice cultivation.

Wheat is the second important food crop of India after rice. It is the staple food of the people living in the north-western part of India. It is rabi crop in India and is sown after the withdrawal of monsoon in the last week of October or early November. It requires 10°C temperature at the time of sowing and 15°C to 20°C temperature at the time of ripening. It grows well in areas having average annual rainfall of 50-70 cm. Isohyte of 100 cm is the limit of wheat producing areas. It can be grown even in areas of 20 cm rainfall provided sufficient irrigation is available. Well-drained loams and clay loam are considered ideal for wheat cultivation. It does not require much human labour because of large scale mechanisation of wheat culture.

The total production of wheat in 2012-13 was 92.46 million tons. Uttar Pradesh (32.77), Punjab (17.42%) and Haryana (14.20) are three chief producers. Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar are other producers.

Maize

Maize is an important coarse grain which contains glucose and starch. This is primarily used as fodder for meat animals. Maize is also used as food by poor people. It requires 21°C to 27°C temperature and 75 cms rainfall. Irrigation is required in areas of lesser rainfall. It grows well in loamy soil of river plains.

The total production of maize in 2011-12 was 21.6 million tons. Karnataka (18.96%), Andhra Pradesh (17.43%) and Maharashtra (10.66%) are three top producers. Rajasthan, U.P., Bihar, M.P. are other producers.

Bajra

Bajra serves as food for poor people and fodder for animals. It requires 25°C to 30°C temperature and 40 to 50 cm of annual rainfall for successful growth. It is generally grown on poor light sandy soil. The main producers of this crop are Rajasthan (53%), Maharashtra (14%), Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Harayana. Amongst the other producers are Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Haryana, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh.

Jowar

Jowar is both a kharif as well as rabi crop in India. It requires temperature varying from 25°C to 30°C and annual rainfall of 45 cm for its successful growth. It can be grown in a variety of soils including red, yellow, loamy and alluvial soils but black clayey loams of the Peninsular Plateau are the best for its cultivation.

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