Crop Seasons

Southern and eastern parts of the country have the following three crop seasons for rice


It provides 10% of India’s food. About 75% of India’s jowar is grown in the plateau region of South India. Maharashtra is the largest producer accounting for nearly 42% of India’s jowar. Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab are other producers.


Pulses are the major source of protein in the diet of predominantly vegetarian population of India. About 90% of the area under pulses is rainfed. Pulses are widely produced in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Bihar, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. These are grown in kharif as well as rabi seasons. Arhar (tur), moong, urad, moth, etc. are the kharif crops while gram, peas, masur and urad are the rabi crops. National Pulses Development Programme (NPDP) was launched in 1986–87 to increase the production of pulses.


Gram is the principal pulse crop in the country. The major gram growing areas are the Malwa plateau of Madhya Pradesh, north-eastern Rajasthan and southern Uttar Pradesh. Madhya Pradesh produces the two-hs (40.0%) of the total gram output in the country, Uttar Pradesh is next to it (19.6%).


It is another important pulse crop. Major tur producers are Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. The distribution of other pulse crops varies widely.


Oilseeds constitute a very important group of commercial crops in India. The oils extracted from oilseeds form an important item of our diet and are used as raw materials for manufacturing large number of items. The total production of oilseeds groundnut, rapeseed and mustard, seramum, linseed, castorseed, nigerseed, sawer, sunwer and soyabean was 32.88 million tons in 2013-14 Gujarat (20.80%). Madhya Pradesh (20.24%), Rajasthan (18.48%) are the top three producers.


India is the second largest producer of groundnut in the world and producer of about 17% of the world’s groundnut. The total production of groundnut in 2013-14 was 9.67 million tons. Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are the main producers.

Rapeseed and Mustard

Rapeseed and mustard comprise several oilseeds such as rai, sarson, toria and taramira. The total production of rapeseed and mustard in 2013-14 was 7.96 million tons. Rajasthan (48.10%), Madhya Pradesh (11.33%) and Haryana (11.06%) are three top producers.


It is a tropical plant which grows well in areas having temperature ranging from 20°C to 30°C and rainfall varying from 65 to 85 cm. Frost is detrimental to this plant and at least 200 ‘frost-free’ days in a year are required for its successful cultivation. It can also be grown in areas of less rainfall with the help of irrigation. e ‘black cotton soil’ of the Deccan Plateau and alluvial soil of the Northern Plain are best-suited for cotton. A lot of human labour is required at the time of picking.

India is the fourth largest producer of cotton in the world after China, U.S.A. and Pakistan and produces about 8.3% of the world’s cotton. e total production in 2013-14 was 36.59 million bales ( l bale = 170 kgs). Gujarat (29.93%), Maharashtra (23.29%) and Andhra Pradesh (19.51%) are three main producers. Punjab and Haryana are the chief producers in north-western part of the country.


Jute is the second important breed crop after cotton. This crop provides cheap and strong breed which is used as a raw material by jute industry. Jute requires hot and humid climate with temperatures between 24°C and 35°C and rainfall over 150 cms. The relative humidity should be nearly 90%. Well-drained alluvial loamy soils, which are frequently renewed by floods, are best-suited to the cultivation of jute. About 74.5 per cent of the total jute is produced in West Bengal alone. Remaining jute is produced in Bihar, Assam, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Tripura and Meghalaya.


India is claimed to be the homeland of sugarcane. It is the main source of sugar, gur and khandsari and holds a preeminent position as a cash crop in the country. Sugarcane is a long-duration crop maturing in 10-12 months. It requires hot and humid climate with temperature ranging from 20°C to 30°C and rainfall ranging from 100 to 150 cms. Dry weather is necessary at the harvesting season. Frost is injurious to sugarcane. In areas of low rainfall, frequent irrigation is required. It grows well on the loams and clayey loams in the Great Plains and on black cotton soil of the Deccan Plateau. It is a fertilizer-intensive crop and exhausts the soil quickly. So, heavy dose of fertilizers is required.

India is the second largest surgarcane producing country of the world after Brazil. This crop is grown both in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the country.

Other crops and their producing states

Apple Jammu and Kashmir, and Himachal Pradesh
Aercanut Kerala, Karnataka, Assam, Meghalaya, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra
Banana Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh
Cardamon Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu
Cashew Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, West Bengal,
Punducherry, Tripura
Castor Seed Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh
Chillies Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Assam, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha
Cloves Kerala
Cocoa Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu
Coconut Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh
Ginger Arunachal Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Tamil Nadu
Gladiolous North-Eastern states, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, U.P., Maharastra, Karnataka
Grapes Maharastra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh
Guava U.P., Bihar
Hemp Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh
Linseed Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh
Mango Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala
Mushroom Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, U.P., Haryana, Punjab
Orange Maharastra (Nagpur), Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Sikkim, Meghalaya
Pepper (Black) Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu
Pineapple Assam, Meghalaya, West Bengal, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka
Poppy Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan
Patato Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Punjab
Saffron Jammu and Kashmir


It was 350.03 million tons in 2013-14. Uttar Pradesh (38.62%), Maharashtra (20.87%) Karnataka (10.26%) and Tamil Nadu (9.07%) are the three top producers. Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab and Bihar are other producers.


Tea requires about 25°C to 30°C temperature and a well-distributed rainfall of 200 to 250 cm. It grows well in the well-drained deep friable loam or forest land rich in organic matter. Stagnant water is harmful to the roots of the tea bush and as such it is grown on hill slopes. It requires plenty of cheap human labour at the time of plucking the tea-leaf. s labour is generally provided by women and children.

India is the world’s largest producer of tea contributing about 28% of total tea production of the world. Total production in 2011-12 was one million tons. Assam (53%) and West Bengal (22%) are two largest producers. About 16% India’s tea is grown in Tamil Nadu mainly in Nilgiri and Anamalai Hills. Kerala produces nearly 9% of India’s tea.


Coffee is the second important beverage crop of India after tea. There are three varieties of coffee i.e. arabica, robusta and liberica. Most of the coffee grown in India is of arabica variety. Coffee plant requires hot and humid climate with 15° to 30°C temperature and 150–200 cm rainfall. This plant succumbs to frost and needs shade at high temperature. Hill slopes, 800–1600 metres above sea-level, with rich well-drained forest loams provide ideal conditions for coffee growth. Coffee, in India, is highly localised in Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Karnataka is the largest producer of coffee in India. This state accounts for 58% of coffee area and 70% of coffee production of India. Kerala accounts for over 22% of the coffee production in India.


Rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) is a quick growing tall tree acquiring 20-30 metre height. It begins to yield latex in 5-7 years after planting. It requires hot and humid climate with temperature of 25°-36°C and annual rainfall of over 200 cm. The rainfall should be well distributed throughout the year. Dry spell, and low temperatures are harmful. Daily rainfall followed by strong sun is very useful. Deep well drained loamy soils on the hill slopes at elevation ranging from 300 to 450 metres above sea level provide best conditions for its growth. The yields decline at higher elevations and no rubber plantations are found above 700m elevation. Total production in 2011-12 was 8 lakh tons. Kerala is the largest producer and accounts for about 92% of rubber production of India. Tamil Nadu is the second largest but produces only 4% of the Indian rubber.


It is a plant of tropical and sub-tropical climates and can withstand a wide range of temperatures varying from 16° to 35°C. It normally requires 100 cm of annual rainfall but it can also be successfully grown in areas of 50 cm annual rainfall provided the rainfall is fairly distributed. Irrigation is required in areas of lower and erratic rainfall. Frost is injurious to its growth. Bright rainless weather is helpful at the curing stage. Well drained friable sandy loams, not too rich in organic matter but rich in mineral salts, allowing full development of roots are best suited for tobacco. Soil is more important than climate. In fact, soil rather than climate is the determining factor for its geographical distribution. Further it can be grown from low lying at plains upto a height of 1,800 metres. Cheap and abundant labour is required at all stages of its cultivation, starting from field preparation, transplantation., weeding, harvesting, processing and preparing it for the market. Andhra Pradesh (40.79%), Gujarat (32.27%) and Karnataka (7.77%) are the chief producers.


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