Did you know India is the largest producer of bananas and mangoes in the world? It is also the second largest producer of wheat and rice. Agriculture has always been the backbone of our country’s economy. And ever since the Green Revolution, we have started cultivating varied types of crops. Let us educate ourselves about the most important crops grown in India.
A crop is a plant that is cultivated or grown on a large scale. Crops are generally grown so they can be commercially traded. i.e any plant that is grown and harvested extensively for profit purposes. There are two major types of crops that are grown in India. Let us take a look at these.
The word “Kharif” is Arabic for autumn since the season coincides with the beginning of autumn or winter. Kharif crops also are known as monsoon crops. These are the crops that are cultivated in the monsoon season. The Kharif season differs in every state of the country but is generally from June to September. These crops are usually sown at the beginning of the monsoon season around June and harvested by September or October. Rice, maize, bajra, ragi, soybean, groundnut, cotton are all Kharif types crops. Let us take a detailed look at few of these,
As mentioned before, India is the second largest producer of rice in the world after China. India accounts for approximately 20% of the worlds rice production. It is arguably the most important agricultural crop that grows in the country. Rice is a staple food pan India, and its cultivation is also widespread across the country.
Rice prominently grows in high rainfall areas. It requires average temperatures of 25°c and a minimum of 100 cms of rainfall. It’s traditionally grown in waterlogged rice paddy fields. Northeast plains and coastal areas are the major rice producing areas of the country.
After rice and wheat, maize is the most important cereal crop in India. It accounts for approximately one-tenth of the total agricultural produce in India. Cultivation of maize is focused in the regions of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. It requires temperatures in the range of 21°c to 27°c and rainfall of between 50 cms to 75 cms.
The Arabic translation of the word”Rabi” is spring. These crops’ harvesting happens in the springtime hence the name. The Rabi season usually starts in November and lasts up to March or April. Rabi crops are mainly cultivated using irrigation since monsoons are already over by November. In fact, unseasonal showers in November or December can ruin the crops. The seeds are sown at the beginning of autumn, which results in a spring harvest. Wheat, barley, mustard and green peas are some of the major rabi types of crops that grow in India.
India, being the second largest producer of wheat in the world, has a high dependency on this rabi crop for its agricultural income. Wheat is a staple food among Indians, especially in the northern regions.
Wheat requires cool temperatures during its growing season in the range of about 14°c to 18°c. Rainfall of about 50 cms to 90 cms is most ideal. However, during harvesting season in the spring, wheat requires bright sunshine and slightly warmer temperatures. Uttar Pradesh is the largest wheat growing state in India closely followed by Punjab and Haryana.
Learn more about Manure and Fertilizers
Mustard belongs to the ‘Cruciferae’ family and is widely used in India for cooking purposes. Also, mustard is used to extract oil, which is edible and is predominantly used in Indian cooking. It requires a subtropical climate to grow which is a dry and cool climate. The temperature range to grow mustard is between 10°c to 25°c. Rajasthan has the largest production of mustard in India.
There is a short season between Kharif and Rabi season in the months of March to July. The crops that grow in this season are Zaid crops. These crops are grown on irrigated lands and do not have to wait for monsoons. Some examples of Zaid types of crops are pumpkin, cucumber, bitter groud.
Solved Example for You
Q: Differentiate between Kharif crops and Rabi crops
|Kharif Crops||Rabi Crops|
|They are monsoon crops||They are non-monsoon crops|
|These are grown in wet and hot conditions||Require cold and relatively dry conditions to grow|
|Sowing of seeds begins in the rainy season around July||Here seeds are sown at the beginning of autumn in November or December|
|Harvesting is done in September – October||Harvesting happens in June – July|
|Examples: Rice, Maize, Bajra etc||Examples: Wheat, Mustard, Peas etc|
Q: What is the first step of farming and agriculture?
Sowing of Seeds? Wrong!
Read the Process of Soil Preparation here. The First step of Farming & Agriculture.