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support price, value, demand -

market, labor availability, historical

setting, etc.
 Climate: Rice is cultivated extensively
“Indian Agriculture – Major Crops” will when the monsoons are good. But
be a cake walk if you have understood when monsoons are weak, millets are Page
Climatology, Climatic Regions and Indian grown instead of rice.
Climatology well.  Cotton in Maharashtra, tea in | 1
Assam and jute in West Bengal
It can still be managed without the
remain the dominant crops due to
knowledge of Indian Climatology. But it
highly favorable conditions for
will take a bit longer to understand.
Green revolution, Bringing Green  Soil: Regur soils are ideal for cotton
Revolution in Eastern India (BGREI), cultivation. Cotton is the obvious
Sustainable Agriculture, Organic Farming choice in such soils when the climate
and Biofertilizers are already included in is favorable.
my Environment Notes.  Minimum Support Price (MSP): Rice
and wheat which are offered MSP are
This part is a ‘low-cost – High-Benefit’ preferred by farmers.
section for prelims.  Value: Millets in the hilly areas of HP
and Uttarakhand are replaced by high
value horticulture crops like apple.
Reference: Indian Geography by Kullar
 Demand: Rice is the preferred crop in
the densely populated regions as
Contents there is a ready market.
 Historical setting: Sugarcane is grown
Cropping Pattern .................................... 1 more extensively in North India
even though the conditions are most
Major Crops of India ............................... 3 favorable in South India.
 This is because the sugarcane
Major Food Crops of India ...................... 6
cultivation was encouraged by British
Major Cash Crops of India .....................12 as an alternative to indigo which lost
its significance and market in states
Oilseed (Cash Crop) Crops in India ........19 like Uttar Pradesh due to introduction
of artificial dyes.
India’s edible oil industry ......................22  Diversification of crops due to
surplus food grain production post
Plantation Crops in India .......................23 Green Revolution has led to
significant changes in cropping
Horticulture ..........................................29 pattern.
 Other than rice and wheat, oilseeds
Vegetables .............................................30
and pulses also became more
Cropping Pattern  Crop diversification in certain regions
has been negligible. E.g.
 Different crops grown in an area at a 1. Rice dominates in well irrigated
particular point of time is called parts of south India.
cropping pattern. 2. Wheat dominates north-western
 Cropping pattern depends on climate part of the country.
(temperature, rainfall, wind etc.), soil,
 Coarse grains like jowar, bajra, maize,  Sugarcane gives good yield in south
barley, ragi etc. are given India than in northern plains. They
comparatively less importance in need warm climates.
these regions.
Factors affecting cropping pattern
Areas of Heavy Rainfall Page
 Geographical Factors: relief, soil,
 More than 150 cm of annual rainfall. | 2
temperature and rainfall.
 East India and the west coastal
 Economic Factors: Irrigation, power,
size of land holdings, sale price of
 Animal population is fairly high due
crops, income of farmers, insurance
to availability of fodder and grazing
and investment etc.
 Political Factors/Government Policies:
 Rice, tea, coffee, sugarcane, jute
Government can encourage or
discourage certain crops due to
various reasons like drought, flood, Areas of Medium Rainfall
inflation etc.
 75 to 150 cm.
Relief  150 cm annual rainfall isohyets are
suitable for the cultivation of rice.
 Rice is the main crop on the irrigated
 75 cm annual rainfall isohyets are
hill terraces (terraced cultivation).
suitable for maize, cotton and
 Crops like tea and coffee can be
grown only on well drained slopes
 These areas are rich in natural
that receive good amount of rainfall.
resources. E.g. Eastern part of Uttar
 Rice (tropical crop) and sugarcane
Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, eastern parts
dominates well irrigated regions with
of Madhya Pradesh and Vidarbha
fairly warm climate.
region of Maharashtra.
 Wheat (temperate crop) grows well in
 Wheat is the principal rabi crop.
plain regions with moderate
 Millets are the natural priority.
temperature and rainfall.
 Wheat, maize, cotton, soyabean,
Temperature millets, etc.

 Most crops require lower temperature Areas of Low Rainfall

at the time of sowing and higher
 25 to 75 cm (Semi-arid stretches of
temperature at the time of ripening.
 Some crops require higher
 Major crops in this belt are
temperature and are sown in the
1. millets, jowar, and bajra in
summer season. Most of the growth
the northern,
period falls under the rainy season.
2. jowar in central and
These are known as kharif crops
3. ragi in the southern part.
(rice, cotton, etc.). [They are sown
 Wheat is the main rabi crop which is
just before the burst of south-west
grown in irrigated areas.
 Mixed cropping is very common in
 There are other crops which require
which pulses are mixed with
lower temperature and moisture
and are sown in the winter season
 Cropping has been developed in such
(wheat). These are known as rabi
a way that no one crop dominates.
 Millets, oilseeds (Groundnut, Size of Land Holdings
sunflower, rapeseed and mustard
etc.), pulses etc.  In case of small holdings, the priority
of the farmers would be to grow food
Soil grains for his family members
(subsistence farming).
 Rice is mainly grown in clayey soils Page
 Farmers with large holdings can opt
while loamy soils are best for wheat. for cash crops and help in crop | 3
 The regur soil of the Deccan Plateau diversification, leading to changes in
is ideal for cultivation of cotton. the cropping pattern (commercial
 Coarse grains such as jowar, bajra, farming).
maize, ragi, barley etc. are grown in  But in spite of crop diversification
inferior soils (light sandy soils, light potential, large holdings are used
black soils, red and laterite soils etc.) mostly for monoculture of rice, wheat
 Delta soils of West Bengal are etc.
renewed by floods every year and are
very fertile. They are ideal for jute Major Crops of India
cultivation. The farmers grow 2-3
crops in a year.  Cropping patterns can be better
 Soils of the Darjeeling hills contain understood by studying about major
sufficient quantities of humus, iron, crops of India.
potash and phosphorus which are  Indian Geography, types of soils in
necessary for tea bush to grow. India and Indian climatology forms the
foundation for understanding cropping
pattern and major crops of India.
 Rice is a dominant crop in regions
Crop Classification
with reliable irrigation and warm
climate (coastal plains and irrigated Crop Classification based on the type of
belts of south India). produce
 North Indian plain regions are well
irrigated and support 2-3 crops of rice
a year.
Food Crops Rice, wheat, maize, millets — jowar, bajra, ragi; pulses — gram, tur (arhar) etc.
(cereals – grass like plants with starchy edible seeds having high nutritional
Cash Crops Cotton, jute, sugarcane, tobacco, oilseeds, groundnut, linseed, sesamum, castor seed,
rapeseed, mustard, etc.
Plantation Crops Tea, coffee, coconut, arecanut, rubber and spices — cardamom, chillies, ginger,
turmeric etc.
Horticulture Vegetables — Onion, tomato, etc; and fruits — Apple, Orange, Mango, banana, citrus
fruits, etc..
Crop Classification based on climate
Tropical Temperate
Crops grow well in warm & hot climate Crops grow well in cool climate
E.g. Rice, sugarcane, Jowar etc. E.g. Wheat, Oats, Gram, Potato, apple etc.
Classification Based on growing season
Kharif/Rainy/Monsoon crops Rabi/winter/cold seasons crops Summer/Zaid crops
The crops grown in monsoon months The crops grown in winter season Crops grown in summer
Sown before monsoon and harvested Sown before retreating monsoon and Sown and harvested in
at the end of the monsoon harvested before summer. summer
June to Oct-Nov Oct to March March to June
Require warm, wet weather at major Crops grow well in cold and dry Require warm dry weather for
period of crop growth weather major growth period
E.g. Cotton, Rice, Jowar, Bajara E.g. Wheat, gram, sunflower etc. E.g. Groundnuts,
etc. Watermelon, Pumpkins,
Gourds etc.
The kharif crops include rice, maize,  Fox tail millet, Little millet, Common
sorghum, pearl millet/bajra, finger millet, Barnyard millet etc. Page
millet/ragi (cereals), arhar (pulses),
soyabean, groundnut (oilseeds), cotton etc. |4

The rabi crops include wheat, barley, oats

(cereals), chickpea/gram (pulses), linseed,
mustard (oilseeds) etc.



 Rice, wheat, maize, barley, rye and


Pulses or Legumes
 These are staple food of poor people.
 Pulses are major source of protein.
Major millets  Red gram, Black gram, Green gram,
Cowpea, Bengalgram, Horsegram,
 Sorghum or Jowar, Pearl Millet or Bajra Dewgram, Soyabean, Peas or
and Finger millet or ragi gardenpea, Garden bean etc.
Minor millets

Oil Seed Crops

 Groundnut or peanut, sesamum, b) 2 and 3 only
sunflower, castor, linseed, rapeseed & c) 1 and 3 only
mustard etc. d) 1, 2 and 3

Sugar Crops Ethanol is alcohol.

 Sugarcane and sugar beet. Answer: c) 1 and 3 only Page

Sugarcane Starch Crops or Tuber Crops |5

Byproducts of Sugar Industry  Potato, cassava, sweet potato, raddish

 Molasses, bagasse and pressmud.
 Molasses used for alcohol and yeast Fiber crops
 Cotton; Stem fiber: Jute, mesta, sun
 Bagasse for paper making and fuel.
hemp, sisal hemp etc.
 Pressmud used as soil amendment.
 Trash (green leaf + dry foliage) — the Narcotics - Stimulates Nervous System
waste is used for cattle feed.
 Tobacco, opium, betelvine and
Sugar beet arecanut.
 Sugar beet is grown in temperate Plantation Crops
 It is a tuber crop (Tubers are enlarged  Tea – leaf, Coffee – seed, rubber
structures in some plant species used (Ficus elastica) – latex, cocoa – seed,
as storage organs for nutrients - palm – oil, sugarcane, coconut etc.
carrot, radish, potato are tuber
crops). Sugar is extracted from the
tuber juice.  Ginger, garlic, chili, cumin onion,
 Sugar content in sugar beet is quite low coriander, cardamom, pepper, turmeric
compared to that in sugarcane. etc.
 It is grown in temperate region where it
can be economical compared to sugar Classification based on life of
imports. crops/duration of crops

With reference to the usefulness of the  Seasonal crops: A crop completes its
by-products of sugar industry, which of life cycle in one season (3-4 months).
the following statements is/are E.g. rice, Jowar, wheat etc.
correct?  Two seasonal crops: Crops complete
its life cycle in two seasons (6-8
1. Bagasse can be used as biomass months). E.g. Cotton, turmeric, ginger.
fuel for the generation of energy.  Annual crops: Crops require one full
2. Molasses can be used as one of the year to complete its life cycle. E.g.
feedstocks for the production of sugarcane.
synthetic chemical fertilizers.  Biennial crops: Crops requires two
3. Molasses can be used for the
year to complete its life cycle E.g.
production of ethanol.
Banana, Papaya.
Select the correct answer using the codes  Perennial crops: crops live for several
given below. years. E.g. Fruit crops, mango, guava
a) 1 only
Classification based on water  Preferred staple food in Southern and
availability North-Eastern India.
 Making quick inroads into North-
 Rain fed: Cultivation of crop mainly Western Plain.
based on the availability of rain water.  Rice growing areas are well suited for
E.g. Jowar, Bajara, Mung etc. Mixed farming (Crops + Livestock).
 Irrigated crops: Crops cultivated with Page
the help of irrigation water. E.g. Chili, (Don’t get confused between mixed | 6
sugarcane, Banana, papaya etc. farming and mixed cropping).
Classification based on length of  Unpolished rice has high nutritional
photoperiod required for floral value. It is rich in Vitamin A, B and
initiation calcium. Polished rice lacks these
Photoperiodism: Most plants are
influenced by relative length of the day & Crop Season
night, especially for floral initiation.
 Rice is a kharif crop (wet and warm
 Short-day plants: Flower initiation climate is ideal for rice cultivation).
takes place when days are short less  It is grown only in well irrigated areas
than ten hours. E.g. rice, Jowar, green in rabi season.
gram, black gram etc.  Most of the rice growing regions lie
 Long day's plants: require long days are barren during summer (April-May).
more than ten hours for floral  It can be grown as summer crop in
initiation. E.g. Wheat, Barley, etc. deltaic regions where water and
 Day neutral plants: Photoperiod does irrigation is available through the year.
not have much influence for phase E.g. Deltaic regions of West Bengal,
change for these plants. E.g. Cotton, Krishna-Godavari delta etc.
sunflower, etc.  3 crop seasons → rice is grown as
kharif, rabi and summer crop. E.g.
Major Food Crops of India Deltaic regions of West Bengal,
Krishna-Godavari delta etc.
Three crop seasons (year round irrigation)
E.g. Deltaic regions of West Bengal, Krishna-Godavari delta, parts of UP, Bihar etc.
Crop season Sowing Harvesting
Kharif crop (Rainy season) May-June Aug-Sep
Rabi crop (Winter dry season) Sep-Oct Feb-Mar
Summer dry Mar-Apr Jun-Jul
Two crop seasons (irrigation not available in summer)
South India, Coastal plains, Assam plains, etc.
Kharif crop (Rainy season) July-Aug Oct-Nov
Rabi crop (Winter dry season) Dec-Jan Mar-Apr
Single crop season (rice not grown in dry summers and cold winters)
E.g. North Western states
Kharif crop July-Sep Nov
Rabi season is dominated by wheat.
Climatic Conditions for Growth  It can be grown between 0 to 2,500
meters above sea level.
 Rice crop needs plenty of heat, rain and
 Rice cannot tolerate the cold climate  Loamy soils require frequent irrigation
that exists above 2,500 meters. and more water as the water holding
 Tropical and kharif crop: capacity is low. E.g. Delta regions,
1. requires warm climate Punjab, Haryana and North Indian
 Rice is grown almost throughout plains.
the year (2-3 crops) in hot and  Clayey soils on the other hand have Page
humid regions of eastern and good water holding capacity. E.g.
southern parts of India. Coastal plains of south India, irrigated | 7
 In the northern and hilly parts of regions of Karnataka, Telangana etc.
the country, the winters are too  Rice can tolerate acidic as well as
cold for rice cultivation and only alkaline soils.
one crop is grown (in summer) in
those areas. Labor requirement
2. requires semi-aquatic conditions
(rainfall or irrigation throughout the  Rice cultivation is traditionally labor
season; the soil should never be intensive.
dry during the growing season).  Rice is primarily grown in areas of high
 The fields must be flooded under population density (labor and ready
10-12 cm deep water at the time market).
of sowing. This requirement of  In Punjab and Haryana, rice cultivation
rice makes it primarily a crop of mainly depends upon the migrant
plain areas. laborers from Bihar and eastern U.P.
 Rice grown in well watered
Methods of Rice Cultivation
lowland plain areas is called wet
or lowland rice. Broadcasting method
 Rice can be grown in areas just
below sea level like in Kuttanad  Seeds are sown (broadcast) by hand.
region of Kerala.  Practiced in
 Terraced cultivation of rice in 1. dry and/or less fertile soils, and
followed in sloped regions. E.g. 2. areas with labor shortages.
Hills of NE states (shifting  Easiest method requiring minimum
cultivation or jhumming). input.
 The supply of water to the hill  Yields are minimum.
terraces is low and the rice grown
in hilly areas is called dry or Drilling method
upland rice.
 Average annual rainfall above 150 cm  One person ploughs the land and the
is good for the crop. other person sows the seeds.
 The 100 cm isohyet (imaginary line  Confined to dry regions of peninsular
joining the points of equal rainfall) India.
forms the limit of rice in rainfed areas.  Yields are low.
 Rice is grown in Punjab, Haryana and Transplantation method
western U.P (rainfall less than 100 cm)
with the help of intensive irrigation.  Advanced method of rice cultivation in
Soil condition for growth
 Less scope for mechanization and is
 Rice is a dominant crop of river valleys, labor intensive.
flood plains, deltas and coastal plains  Practiced in areas of fertile soil with
(plains can be easily flooded with the abundant rainfall or irrigation.
help of irrigation).
 Seeds are sown in nursery and  Weeding and fertilizing are fully
seedlings are prepared. mechanized.
 After a month the seedlings are  Heavy dose of fertilizers are required.
uprooted and transplanted to a  Very high yields are obtained.
different field.
 This is a difficult method that requires Production and productivity
heavy inputs.
 India (18%) is the 2nd
largest producer | 8
 But, it gives some of the highest
and consumer of rice in the world after
Japanese method  Low productivity: The average yield of
rice in India is 2.3 tonne/ha as against
 Highly mechanized and most advanced the global average of 4.374 tonne/ha.
rice cultivation. China (6.5), Australia (10), US (7.5)
 Mostly followed in developed countries lead in productivity.
like Japan, South Korea etc.
 Seedlings are transplanted in rows with Distribution
the help of machines.
Position +ve factors -ve factors
West Bengal 1st  Large scale alluvial deposits  Floods
 Good water resources  Yield is low
 Abundant labor force
 3 crops can be grown a year
Uttar Pradesh 2nd Same as above Same as above
Punjab 3rd  full use of Green Revolution  Land degradation –
[traditionally wheat growing  perennial irrigation water by salinity, alkalinity &
region.][Cropping pattern has canals and tube wells desertification
undergone an unprecedented  HYV seeds and fertilizers  Ground water depletion
change due to irrigation]  Highest yield (3,989  Wheat dominates
Andhra Pradesh 4th  Godavari-Krishna Delta and  Cyclone prone area.
the adjoining coastal plains.  Floods in delta regions
 Full use of Green Revolution.
 High yield (3,126 kg/hectare)
[Punjab (3,989 kg/ha) and
Haryana (3,262 kg/ha)].
 The other major producers are Odisha,  Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar
Bihar (2,258 kg/hectare), Chhattisgarh Pradesh produce best qualities of
(low yield - 1,749 kg/hectare), Assam Basmati rice.
(Brahmaputra valley), Tamil Nadu  Punjab, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Andhra
(Cauvery delta)(2,785 kg/hectare), Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh are surplus
Telangana, Haryana, Karnataka, states.
Jharkhand, etc.  They supply to deficit states – West
Bengal, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala
Trade and Delhi.
 Domestic rice production meets the Wheat
domestic demand. There is very little
surplus for external trade.  Second most important staple food for
 India now occupies second position in Indian population.
rice exports, next only to Thailand.  It is a rich source of calcium,
 India is the biggest exporter of basmati thiamine, riboflavin and iron.
 Preferred staple food in northern and  It shows great adaptability & can be
north-western parts of the country. grown in tropics as well (yields are low
in tropics).
Climatic conditions for wheat  It is a rabi crop (winter crop – requires
cool and less moist climate).
 Wheat is a temperate crop which
requires a cool climate with Page
moderate rainfall. |9
Regions Sowing months Harvesting months
1. Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and September-October January-February
West Bengal [central and southern (peninsular) agro climatic
2. Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan [North- October-November February-March
eastern plain and North-western plain agro climatic regions]
3. Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir November-December April-May
 75 cm of temporally (time) well Production
distributed rainfall is ideal.
 100 cm is the highest limit.  India is the second largest producer of
 The isohyet of 100 cm separates wheat wheat in the world next only to China.
growing areas from rice growing areas.  Wheat is grown on 13 per cent of the
 In the kharif season, rice replaces cropped area of India.
wheat in the ‘winter wheat belt’ region  India has done better in wheat by
– Punjab, Haryana etc.. achieving an yield closer to the global
 Light drizzles and cloudiness (E.g. average. It has recorded an average
Weather brought by Western yield of 2.9 tonne per hectare as
Disturbances) at the time of ripening against the global benchmark of 3.0
help in increasing the yield. tonne/ha.
 Frost at flowering time can cause heavy  However, it's still far from countries
damage. like France (7.0 tonne), US (3.11 tonne)
and China (4.8 tonne).
Soil requirement
 Well drained fertile, friable barns
(mostly alluvial) and clay loams (good  Wheat production is mainly confined to
proportion of sand) are the best for North-Western parts of the country.
wheat cultivation.  Punjab, Haryana and the western parts
 It also grows well in the black soil of of U.P. have earned the distinction of
the Deccan plateau. being called the ‘Granary of India’.
 So, wheat cultivation is more flexible
than rice cultivation as the limiting
factors are low.
State +ve factors -ve factors
Uttar Pradesh 1st  Fine alluvial soil deposited by the Wheat production to the east of
[one-third of area and mighty Ganga and its tributaries Varanasi declines due to high
production of wheat of  close network of canals, rainfall
the country] supplemented by large number of [Questions in Mains are asked
tube wells based on this kind of logic]
 the doabs are the best wheat
producing areas. E.g. Ganga-Ghagra
doab and Ganga-Yamuna doab.
Punjab 2nd  Green Revolution was utilized to the  Land degradation
[17.42 per cent of the fullest.  Ground water depletion
wheat production and  Excellent irrigation system provided
11.88 per cent of wheat by a close network of canals and the
area of India] tube wells.
 Light rainfall associated with the
western disturbances in winter.
 Fertile alluvial soil brought by the
 Punjab farmers are progressive and
willing to adopt the new farm
 Highest yield of 4577 kg/ha in India. | 10
Madhya Pradesh 3rd  Climate well suited for wheat  Less fertile soils
cultivation in winter.  Less developed irrigational
 Low yield – 2477 kg/hectare.
Haryana 4th  Same as in Punjab Same as in Punjab
 Highest yield of 4448 kg/hectare.
Rajasthan  Indira Gandhi Canal has made  Vast stretches of sandy
wheat cultivation possible in many desert
parts of Rajasthan.  scarcity of rainfall
 paucity of irrigation facilities
 land degradation
 Other important wheat producing  The cultivation of maize in India is
states are Bihar (2423 kg/hectare), characterized by inter-culture i.e.
Gujarat, West Bengal, Maharashtra, along with pulses, vegetables and oil
Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. seeds.

Maize Distribution

 Maize is often known as Indian corn.  Two-third of the maize is produced in

 It is used as both food and fodder. states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana,
 [USA produces maize mainly to beef up Karnataka, Bihar, Maharashtra and
the cattle. Very little is used as food Rajasthan.
(Climatic regions: Gulf type)]  Karnataka is the second largest
 Maize can be grown under varied producer. This is followed by
climatic and soil conditions. Maharashtra.

Conditions for Growth Millets

 Maize is a rainfed kharif crop.  Millets are short duration (3-4

 Mostly grown in regions with semi-arid months;) warm weather grasses.
conditions (25 – 75 cm) where rice and  They are grown in less fertile areas.
wheat production is not possible.  They provide food for the poor people.
 It cannot be grown in areas of more  Jowar, bajra, ragi, etc.
than 100 cm rainfall.
 In Tamil Nadu it is a rabi crop and is Jowar (Sorghum)
sown a few weeks before the onset of
 Jowar has a high nutritional value.
winter rainy season in Sept. and Oct
[because the rains occur mostly in Conditions for Growth
November and December in eastern
TN][Prelims point].  Jowar is a rainfed crop of dry farming
 Well-drained and fertile loams free from areas.
coarse materials and rich in nitrogen  Jowar is grown both as kharif as well
are ideal. as a rabi crop.
 It does not grow where the rainfall  It is a rainfed kharif crop which is
exceeds 100 cm. sown between May and August and
 Clayey deep regur and alluvium are the harvested between September and
best suited soils for jowar. January.
 It can also be raised on gentle slopes  Karnataka is the largest producer
upto 1,200 meters height. (73.23 per cent). Page
 Uttarakhand is the second largest
Production and Distribution producer (tricky point for prelims). | 11
 Maharashtra (37%) and Karnataka  Tamil Nadu is the third largest
(26%) are largest producers.
 MP, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana,  Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh are
some other important producers.
Rajasthan, are other important
producers. Barley
Bajra (bull rush millet)
 Besides food, it is used for
 Bajra is the second most important manufacturing beer and whisky.
millet. Conditions for Growth
 Just like jowar, it is also used as food
and fodder in drier parts of the  It does not tolerate high heat and
country. high humidity.
 Grows in areas with rainfall range of 75
Conditions for Growth cm to 100 cm.
 Bajra is a rainfed kharif crop of dry  It is grown as a rabi crop in the Great
and warm climate. Plains and valleys of the western
 It is grown in areas of 40-50 cm of Himalayas.
annual rainfall. Upper limit is 100 cm.  It can be grown up to an altitude of
 Bajra can be grown on poor light sandy 1,300 meters as in Uttarakhand.
soils, black and red soils. Production and Distribution
 It is sown either as a pure or mixed
crop with cotton, jowar and ragi.  Production has declined over time (just
like most of the millets).
Production and Distribution  Rajasthan is the largest producer (40
 Rajasthan (1st), Uttar Pradesh (2nd), per cent). Uttar Pradesh is the second
Gujarat and Haryana are the important largest.
 Rajasthan accounts for 44.39 per cent
of the total production.  Pulses include a number of crops
Ragi which are mostly leguminous.
 Pulses have the capacity to fix
 Ragi is mainly grown in drier parts of atmospheric nitrogen in the soil.
south India (Mostly drier parts of
 It requires warm climate and 50-100  Gram is the most important of all the
cm rainfall. pulses.
 It is raised on a variety of soils. [Red,  It prefers mild cool (20°-25°C) and
light black, sandy, well drained alluvial comparatively dry climate (40-50 cm).
loams].  It is a rabi crop.
 It grows well on loamy soils. per cent of the agricultural production
 It is cultivated as pure or mixed with by value.
wheat, barley, linseed or mustard.
 Mixed cropping helps to check the Cotton
gram blight to some extent.
 Cotton is the most important fiber crop.
Production and distribution  Its seed is used in vanaspati industry Page
and as part of fodder for milch cattle. | 12
 Gram like millets has suffered a lot at
the hands of wheat. Conditions for Growth
 Most of the gram comes from Madhya
Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.  Cotton is chiefly a tropical and sub-
 Madhya Pradesh is the largest tropical crop.
producer (40%).  Requires uniformly high temperature
 Andhra Pradesh (Rayalseema region), (21°C to 30°C).
UP, Karnataka, are other major  It grows well within the average annual
producers. rainfall range of 50-100 cm.
 Most of the irrigated area under cotton
Tur or arhar (pigeon pea or recri gram) is in Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat and
 Tur is the second most important  High amount of rainfall in beginning
pulse. (helps in sprouting of seeds) and sunny
 It is chiefly grown as a kharif crop. and dry weather at ripening time (moist
 In areas of mild winters it is grown as a weather during ripening leads to pest
rabi crop. attacks) are very useful for a good crop.
 It is grown as a dry crop mixed with
other kharif crops like jowar, bajra, Unfavorable factors
ragi, maize, cotton, groundnut, etc. and
is seldom grown as a single crop.  The growth is retarded below 20 °C.
 Its conditions of growth are more or  Frost is enemy number one of the
less similar to those of other pulses cotton plant.
and millets.  It is grown in areas having at least 210
frost free days in a year.
Distribution  Moist weather and heavy rainfall at the
time of boll-opening and picking (rains
 Maharashtra is the largest producer of lead to fiber damage) are detrimental to
tur in India (29%). cotton as the plant becomes vulnerable
 Madhya Pradesh is the second largest to pests and diseases.
producer.  Almost 65 per cent of the area under
 Bihar has the distinction of giving cotton is rainfed with erratic and poorly
highest yield per hectare. distributed rains. It is also subjected to
severe attack of pests and diseases.
Major Cash Crops of India
Crop season
 Cash crops: crops that are grown for
sale in the market. E.g. cotton, jute,  Cotton is a kharif crop which requires
sugarcane, tobacco, oilseeds etc. 6 to 8 months to mature.
 Cash crops are the major contributors  Its time of sowing and harvesting
to agricultural GDP of India. differs in different parts of the country.
 They occupy only 15 per cent of the
cropped area but account for over 40
Region Sowing time Harvesting time Note
Punjab and Haryana Apr-May Dec-Jan To prevent crop damage
due to winter frost
Peninsular region up to Oct Jan-May There is no danger of
winter frost
Tamil Nadu Before the onset of April-May Adequate amount of Page
[both as a kharif and retreating monsoon rainfall for sprouting of
as a rabi crop] (Oct) seeds. | 13

Jan-Feb in the Aug-Sep TN remains dry during

regions of irrigation Aug-Sep. So the picking
period is free of rains
 Most of the crop is grown mixed with  It is largely grown in Punjab, Haryana,
other kharif crops (maize, jowar, ragi, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Madhya
sesamum, castor, groundnut etc.). Pradesh, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.

Soil Medium staple cotton

 Deep black soils (regur-lava soil) of  The length of its fiber is between 20
the Deccan Plateau, Malwa Plateau and mm and 24 mm.
those of Gujarat are best suited for  About 44 per cent of the total cotton
cotton cultivation. production in India is of medium
 It also grows well in alluvial soils of the staple.
Sutlej-Ganga Plain and red and  Rajasthan, Punjab, Tamil Nadu,
laterite soils of the peninsular region. Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh,
 Cotton quickly exhausts the fertility of Karnataka and Maharashtra are its
soil. main producers.

Labor Short staple cotton

 Since picking of cotton is not yet  This is inferior cotton with fiber less
mechanized, a lot of cheap and efficient than 20 mm long.
labor is required.  It is used for manufacturing inferior
 Normally the picking season is spread cloth and fetches less price.
over a period of about three months.  About 6 per cent of the total production
is of short staple cotton.
Types of Cotton  U.P, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan,
Haryana and Punjab are its main
 Three broad types of cotton are producers.
generally recognized on the basis of the
length, strength and structure of its Distribution
 India has the sole distinction of
Long staple cotton growing all the three cultivated species
of cotton.
 It has the longest fiber whose length  In India, cotton is grown in three
varies from 24 to 27 mm. distinct agro-ecological zones, viz.,
 The fiber is fine and lustrous and is 1. Northern (Punjab, Haryana and
used for making superior quality cloth. Rajasthan),
 It fetches the best price. 2. Central (Gujarat, Maharashtra
 About half of the total cotton produced and Madhya Pradesh) and
in India is long staple.
3. Southern zone (Andhra Karnataka).
Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and
State Position Factors
Gujarat 1st in production (25%)  Regur – black cotton soil
 80-100 cm annual rainfall
Maharashtra 2nd in production (22%)  Regur – deep black cotton soil Page
 suffers from low productivity
Andhra Pradesh 3rd in production (21%)  Conditions not as favorable as in | 14
Gujarat and Maharashtra
 Haryana is the fourth largest producer  The initial field trials were encouraging
of cotton in India. as the crop required less pesticides and
 India exports inferior quality cotton insecticides. The production and the
mainly to U.K., where it is mixed with area under cotton also increased
superior quality cotton there. considerably.
 India has been a big importer of  But with time yields decreased sharply
superior quality long staple cotton due to other pest population which
mainly from the USA, Russia, Sudan could not be controlled by bt cotton. [Bt
and Kenya. toxin controls only bollworm. Cotton
attracts more than 100 different
Production species of pests].
 Other concern with Bt cotton is that
 India has the largest area under cotton the bollworm may develop resistance
cultivation in the world. like it happened in China.
 But in production it is world's third
largest producer after China and the Jute
 Jute is the second most important fiber
Bt Cotton
crop of India after cotton.
 Maharashtra has the largest area  It is used for manufacturing gunny
under Bt cotton, followed by Andhra bags, ropes, carpets, rugs, tarpaulins,
Pradesh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. etc.
 In North, Punjab and Haryana are  There was great demand for jute
known for Bt cotton cultivation. because of its low price, softness and
 Bt stands for the bacterium Bacillus
thuringiensis (not biotechnology).  The introduction of synthetic
alternatives has resulted in decline of
 Bacillus thuringiensis produces a
demand for jute.
toxin called bt toxin which is
detrimental for certain kind of pest Conditions for Growth
(bollworms) that infects cotton crop.
 This trait of Bacillus thuringiensis is  Jute is the crop of hot (24°C to 35°C)
induced into cotton by genetic and humid climate (120 to 150 cm)
modification. with 80 to 90 per cent relative humidity
 And the genetically modified cotton during the period of its growth.
that has the ability to produce bt toxin [Relative humidity:
is called as bt cotton.]
 The Bt cotton was first tested in U.S.A.  Lot of water is required for growing the
and it to cultivation there in 1995. crop.
 China (1997) and India (2002) also  Sowing and raising of saplings are
followed the cultivation of Bt cotton. carried out in the pre-monsoon season
with 25 cm to 55 cm of rainfall. This is  All the processes mentioned about are
done to take full advantage of the done by human hand. Therefore jute is
monsoon season. cultivated only in areas of high
 Jute is generally sown in February and population density.
harvested in October (crop takes 8-10
months to mature). Production
 Alluvial (light sandy or clayey barns)
 After partition, 75 per cent of the jute | 15
are considered to be best suited soils
producing areas went to Bangladesh.
for jute.
 But, most of the jute mills remained
 Just like cotton, jute also exhausts
in India.
the fertility of soil rapidly.
 There had been rapid increase in area,
 It is necessary that the soil is
production and yield between 1950 to
replenished annually by the silt-laden
flood water of the rivers.
 Negative trends were observed in area,
Processing of Jute production and yield from 1981 till
 Large supply of cheap labor and lot of  This is due to changes in weather
water are necessary for processing the conditions, increase in rice cropped
jute fiber post-harvest. area, introduction of synthetic
 The plants bundles (Sheaf) are alternatives to jute etc.
immersed in stagnant water for about 3  Currently India accounts for about 56
weeks for retting (soak in water to per cent of world jute production.
soften it).  Bangladesh is second with 25 per cent.
 High temperature of water quickens the
process of retting. Distribution
 After retting is complete, the bark is
peeled from the plant and fiber is  Over 99 per cent of the total jute of
removed. India is produced in just five states of
West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Andhra
 Stripping, rinsing and cleaning of the
Pradesh and Odisha.
fiber is done.
 Fiber is dried in the sun and pressed
into bales (a large wrapped or bound bundle).
West Bengal (75% of India’s jute  hot and humid climate
production)  alluvial, loamy soil
Bihar (18.5 %)  cheap abundant labor
Assam (Brahmaputra and Surma  enough jute mills located in the Hugli
valleys) basin
 Andhra Pradesh (delta area) and  Largest value of production among all
Odisha are other important producers. the commercial crops in India.
 It is the first choice of the farmers
Trade wherever geographical conditions favor
its growth.
 India imports raw jute from
 Sugarcane is indigenous to India. It
Bangladesh as the local produce is not
belongs to bamboo family.
sufficient to feed the jute mills. It
 Thickened sugarcane juice is used to
exports jute hessian to Bangladesh.
make sugar, gur (jaggery) and
Sugarcane khandsari.
 Requires hot (21°-27°C) and humid (75-
150 cm) climate.

[Sugar beet (tuber crop) is the temperate

alternative for sugarcane]

 It requires 10 to 18 months to mature Page

depending upon the geographical
| 16
 Too heavy rainfall results in low sugar
content & deficiency in rainfall
produces fibrous crop.
 Temperature above 20°C combined
with open sky in the second half of the
crop season helps in acquiring juice
 Two-thirds of the total sugarcane and its thickening.
produced in India is used for making  Short cool dry winter season during
jaggery and khandsari and the rest ripening and harvesting is ideal.
goes to sugar factories.  Frost is detrimental to sugarcane.
 Molasses, bagasse and pressmud are  It must be harvested before frost
the byproducts of sugar industry. season in northern parts where frost is
a common phenomenon.
 On the other hand, hot dry winds like
“Loo” are hostile to sugarcane. (Both
frost and loo are absent in South
India. So south is ideal)
 Coastal plains and western side of
western ghats are generally avoided as
the gusty winds (monsoon winds)
 Molasses provides raw material for damage the crop.
manufacturing alcohol (ethanol).
 It is also an efficient substitute for Soil
certain petroleum products.  Sugarcane can tolerate any kind of soil
 Bagasse (cane residue) is used for that can retain moisture.
manufacturing paper and also as fuel  Sugarcane exhausts the fertility of the
in the mills. soil.
 Bagasse is more useful if it is used in  Flat plain or level plateau is an
paper manufacturing rather than as advantage for sugarcane cultivation
fuel. [it can help to save trees; as fuel,
(facilitates irrigation and transportation
it is very inefficient] of cane to the sugar mills).
 Pressmud is used as soil amendment
(compost) to increase fertility of the Labor
 Cheap abundant labor is a prerequisite
Conditions for Growth for successful cultivation of sugarcane.

Climate Production

 Sugarcane is predominantly a tropical  India has the largest area under

crop. sugarcane cultivation in the world.
 But in production India lags behind left over in the field from the first crop.
Brazil – world's largest producer of [Prelims point]
 Productivity is quite low compared to  In this system the sugarcane is cut
Columbia, Peru, Indonesia, Egypt, etc. leaving the root intact in the soil. This
 Shortages of fertilizers, improper and is widely practiced in different parts of
the country. Page
untimely us of fertilizers, uncertain
weather conditions, inadequate  Advantage of ratooning: Low cost of | 17
irrigation, poor varieties of cane, small production, relatively shorter
and fragmented holdings and backward maturation period, low cost inputs and
methods of cultivation are some of the time is saved as there is no need for
major causes of low yields in India fresh sowing and growing of roots.
(This is common for rice and  However, productivity decreases with
sugarcane). each passing year and ratooning
 Sugarcane Research Institute, becomes uncommercial after one or two
Coimbatore introduced the system of years.
ratooning to reduce the costs of Distribution
sugarcane cultivation.
 Three distinct belts of sugarcane
Ratoon crop is the second or any other
cultivation can be identified in India.
successive crop obtained from the roots
1. Sutlej-Ganga plain Low yield
from Punjab to Bihar  High summer temperatures ranging from 30° to 35°C leads
(51 per cent of the to low growth and fibrous crop.
total area and 60 per  Loo (dry scorching wind in May and June with a desiccating
cent of the country's effect) hampers the normal growth of the cane.
total production)  In winter months (December and January) the crop is likely
to be damaged by severe cold and frost.
 Crushing cannot be done in winter. [only 8 month crushing
season. Factories remain idle for 4 winter months]
2. Black soil belt from High Productivity
Maharashtra to Tamil  No winds like ‘loo’ during the summer.
Nadu along the  Reasonably high temperature during winter.
eastern slopes of the  Frost free climate throughout the year.
Western Ghats (to  Yearlong crushing. [factories keep running throughout the
protect from high year]
speed monsoon
3. Coastal Andhra and  Maritime winds in the coastal areas moderate climate and
the Krishna Valley lead to better sugar content. + all points of (2)
South India offers more favorable  With the introduction of cheap aniline
climatic conditions for the growth of dyes, indigo lost its market by the time
sugarcane, but the most important of WW I.
sugarcane belt lies in north India. What  Consequently, indigo’s place was taken
is the reason for this paradoxical by sugarcane cultivation in the north.
Other factors
 Before the World War I, the northern
plain area was mainly used for growing  Sugarcane needs good irrigational
indigo. facilities throughout the year. Such
facilities were available in the north More sugarcane cultivation = More sugar
due to perennial river systems. mills.
 On the other hand, south has only
non-perennial rivers. Also, irrigational  Most favorable weather conditions (loo
facilities were previously nonexistent in and frost absent).
most parts of the south.  Development of extensive irrigational
facilities in the past few decades. Page
 In the southern states, sugarcane had
to face tough competition for land from  Yearlong crushing season. (In north, | 18
a number of other cash crops such as winter = very cold = There is no
cotton, tobacco, groundnut, coconut, Crushing period in winter)
etc.  High maritime influence = moderate
climate = doesn’t reduce sugar content
Do you agree that there is a growing (very high temperature and low rainfall
trend of opening new sugar mills in leads to fibrous crop).
southern states of India? Discuss with
justification (5 marks) (100 words)(2013
Uttar Pradesh  36 per cent of production  Vast alluvial plains
 Western part of the state  Large scale use of irrigation and
[Ganga-Yamuna Doab] forms fertilizers
the core of sugarcane  Suitable climate (but not as
production suitable as south Indian climate)
 There is no Crushing period in
Maharashtra  24 per cent of the production  Superior sugar recovery due to
year round crushing period.
 Yields are high compared to that
in UP.
Karnataka  10.7 per cent of the  Most of the sugarcane is grown
production and over 8 per with the help of irrigation.
cent of the area
TN  10.69 per cent of the  High productivity (coastal region).
production and nearly 7 per
cent of the area
Andhra Pradesh  Coastal areas having fertile soil.
 Bihar, Gujarat (its recovery of 10.31  Tobacco was brought to India by the
per cent of sugar is one of the highest Portuguese in 1508.
among the major sugar cane producing  Tobacco is mainly used for smoking
states of India), Haryana, Uttarakhand and also for manufacturing
(mostly hilly and mountainous – not insecticides.
much suitable. However, parts of  Returns from this crop are high.
Haridwar, Nainital and Dehra Dun
districts are plain areas or areas Conditions for Growth
located at the foothills), Punjab (wheat
took over the sugarcane regions) are Climate
other important producers.  Tobacco is a plant of tropical and sub-
Tobacco tropical climates.
 It can withstand a wide range of
temperature varying from 16° to 35°C.
As a result it can be grown in many Nicotiana Nicotiana Rustica
agro climatic regions of India. Tobacum
 Tobacco needs fairly well distributed Tropical climate Needs relatively
rainfall with an annual average of is ideal cool climate
about 100 cm. Widely grown in Mainly grown in
 It can be grown from low lying plains many regions of northern and north- Page
up to a height of 1,800 meters. India eastern parts of the
 Frost is injurious to its growth. country | 19
 Bright rainless weather is helpful at the Tall and has long Comparatively
curing stage. broad leaves shorter and has
round and puckered
Soil (contract into wrinkles)
 For tobacco, soil is the most
Good quality Low quality
important geographical distribution
compared to
factor rather than the climate.
Nicotiana Tobacum
 Well drained friable sandy loams are
Used for cigarette, Used for chewing and
ideal for cultivation.
hookah etc. snuff
 Soils should be rich in mineral salts
90 per cent of the 10 per cent of the
(facilitate full development of roots) but
total tobacco total production
not in organic matter.
production in
Labor India
 Cheap and abundant labor is required
at all stages of its cultivation.  India is the third largest tobacco
producing country after China and
Types of Tobacco Brazil.
 India is followed by USA, Malawi,
 Mainly two types of tobacco are grown Indonesia and Argentina.
in India.
1. Nicotiana Tobacum Distribution
2. Nicotiana Rustica
Gujarat 65 per cent of the production
90 per cent of Gujarat's tobacco comes
from Kheda and Vadodara districts.
Andhra Pradesh 31 per cent of the production Yield is higher than the yield of Gujarat
and much lower than that of Uttar
 The other tobacco producing states in  Only 20 per cent of the total production
India are Uttar Pradesh (15%), of India is traded externally.
Karnataka (13%) Bihar (2%), Tamil  Bulk of India's tobacco export consists
Nadu, and Maharashtra. of unmanufactured tobacco.
 Uttar Pradesh gives the highest yield  Russia and U.K. purchase about two-
– more than two times the national third of our total tobacco exports.
average.  About 90 per cent of the tobacco export
trade is handled by Chennai alone.

 India is world's fourth largest

Oilseed (Cash Crop) Crops in
exporter of tobacco. India
 Major oilseeds include groundnut,  Its oil cake is used as an important rich
linseed, sesamum, castor seed, cattle feed.
rapeseed, mustard, sunflower and  It is often a rotation crop because of its
soyabean. atmospheric nitrogen fixing abilities.
 Oil extracted from oilseeds is used in
diet and as raw material for Conditions for Growth
manufacturing paints, varnishes,
hydrogenated oil, soaps, etc.  It is a tropical crop that requires 20°- | 20
30°C temperature and 50-75 cm
 Oil-cake which is the residue of
oilseeds forms an important cattle-feed
and manure.  Isohyet of 100 cm marks the upper
limit for groundnut cultivation.
 India has the largest area (18-20 % of
the net sown area) and production of  It is mainly a kharif crop but it also
oilseeds in the world. cultivated during rabi season.
 There had been a gradual increase in  It is highly susceptible to frost,
area, production and yield of oilseeds, prolonged drought, continuous rain &
with the passage of time. stagnant water.
 The production of oilseeds has always  Dry winter is needed at the time of
fallen short of our demand and India ripening.
has always been a net importer of  Well drained sandy loams, red, yellow
oilseeds. and black cotton soils are well suited.
 There is a very little scope for bringing Production and Distribution
additional area under oilseeds.
Increasing productivity is the only way  India (17.4%) is the second largest
to meet the domestic demand. producer of groundnut. [China 40%].
 Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan,  Unlike rice and wheat, there is no fixed
Maharashtra & Gujarat are the main cropping area for groundnut.
producers of major oilseeds accounting  Groundnut is a rainfed crop and
for over two-third of the area and three- fluctuations in its production is usual.
fourths of the production.  Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat
 Other producers include Andhra and Rajasthan are the four main
Pradesh, UP, Haryana, Karnataka, producers.
Tamil Nadu (gives maximum yield in  These four states together account for
oil seeds) West Bengal, Odisha, Assam, over 70% of total production of India.
etc..  Andhra Pradesh (23%) is the largest
producer of groundnut in India.
 Tamil Nadu (18%) is the second largest
 Groundnut is the most important producer.
oilseed of India.  Gujarat, Rajasthan, Karnataka and
 It accounts for nearly half of the major Maharashtra are the other important
oilseeds produced in India. producers.
 Groundnut kernels are rich in proteins Trade
and vitamins and have high calorific
value.  India's exports have drastically fallen
 It contains 40-50% oil which is used due increased domestic consumption.
as edible oil or hydrogenated vanaspati.
 The oil is used for manufacturing Sesamum
margarine, medical emulsions, soap
 They are mainly grown as rabi crop in
pure or mixed form with wheat, gram
and barley.
 Like wheat and gram, they thrive only
in cool climate of the Sutlej-Ganga
plain. Page
 Very small quantity is grown in the
peninsular India. | 21
 Rajasthan with 46 per cent production
stands first in India.
 Haryana is the second largest
 Sesamum contains 45 to 50 per cent
producer. Madhya Pradesh is the third.
 Sesamum oil is used for cooking and Linseed
for manufacturing perfumery and
medicines.  Linseed has 35 to 47 per cent oil
Production and Distribution
 Linseed oil has a unique drying
 India accounts for one-third of the property and is used for manufacturing
world production and is the largest paints, varnishes, printing ink, oilcloth,
producer. and water-proof fabrics.
 Since it is a rainfed kharif crop the
production fluctuates greatly with time.
 Sesamum is produced in almost all
parts of the country.
 West Bengal is the largest producing
state (one-third of the total production
of India).
 The other major producers are Gujarat,
Rajasthan, Maharashtra, etc.
Conditions for Growth
Rapeseed and mustard
 It is a rabi crop.
 This crop can be grown under varied
geographical conditions.
 But it prefers cool (20°C) and moist
climate (75 cm).
 It can be cultivated up to a height of
800 meters above sea level.
 Madhya Pradesh (1st - 29%), Bihar
(2nd), Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and
Maharashtra are the main producers.
 The oil content of rapeseed and Castor seed
mustard is 25-45%.
 It is used for cooking, as preservative
for pickles and lubricants.

Conditions for Growth

 Advantages of dalda: Good
shelf life of foods, quite cheap
compared to edible oils.
 Disadvantages of dalda:
saturated fats are very bad
for health
-lipids-fatty-acids-healthy- | 22
 Oil seeds = Yellow Revolution
 Castor seed contains 50 per cent oil. [National Dairy Development Board
 The oil is used as hair oil, for lighting, (NDDB) played an important role].
manufacturing soap, leather tanning
In 1970s
 Oil-cake is used as manure and leaves  groundnut accounted for almost 60
of the plant are fed to silk worms. per cent of India’s edible oil
Conditions for Growth
 groundnut was followed by mustard,
 It is a rainfed kharif crop in the north cottonseed, coconut, sesame, etc.
and a rabi crop in the south. (industry was based totally on
domestically produced oilseeds).
 Gujarat, Rajasthan and Telangana are
the main producers. Present

India’s edible oil industry  groundnut oil’s share declined –

hardly 1 per cent
 Indians used broadly these edible oils  mustard’s share declined to 10 per
1. ‘vegetable’ oils obtained from cent.
crushing local oilseeds  Palm, soyabean and sunflower
 mustard in northern and dominated (industry shifted towards
eastern India; imported oilseeds and oil).
 groundnut in Gujarat, 1. palm oil (45 per cent)
Maharashtra, Karnataka and 2. soyabean (20 per cent)
Andhra Pradesh; 3. sunflower (rest).
 sesame and groundnut in
Tamil Nadu; and
 coconut in Kerala
2. ‘animal’ fat – ghee from milk.
3. dalda – hydrogenated vegetable
 hydrogenation — adding
hydrogen to convert
“unsaturated” liquid fats
into “saturated” solid fats.
 hydrogenation is done to
harden or raise the melting
point of the oil.
 Just as ghee, dalda has
higher melting and smoke
point (at which the molecules
start breaking down).
Imported Oil  Most of it is used predominantly by the
food industry. Why? Because it’s cheap
 Virtually the whole of the country’s and suits all types of frying.
palm oil consumption is imported.  Vanaspati manufacturing, too, is now
 Sunflower (92 per cent) and soyabean entirely based on palm oil.
(71 per cent) are also imported.  Being cheap also makes palm oil ideally Page
 Solvent extraction is replaced by suited for adulterating other oils (palm
refineries importing crude palm, oil is a neutral oil, with no aroma of its | 23
soyabean oil etc. own and can easily mingle with other
 Most of the refineries are located at oils).
Mundra, Kandla, Mangalore, Chennai,
Krishnapatnam, Paradip and Haldia. Plantation Crops in India
All port cities. Why?
 Plantation crops are those crops which
1) Easy to import oil – the main are grown on plantations covering large
reason, estates.
2) Refining and discarding the waste  They take 3-5 years to bear returns
reduces transportation cost after they are sown.
 The future for indigenous production  They continue to bear returns for the
lies only in next 35-40 years after the first harvest.
1) mustard (because of its high oil  They cover small area in India but are
content), of high economic value.
2) cotton-seed (thanks to the Bt  Tea, coffee (beverage crops) & rubber
revolution) and are the principal plantation crops.
3) rice bran (extensive rice cultivation).  Spices, palm plantations and coconut
plantations are the other important
Edible oil consumption ones.

 India is the world’s second largest Tea

consumer of edible oil next to China.
 Tea is the dried leaf of a bush. It
contains theine (stimulant).
 Tea bush is indigenous to China. It was
introduced in India in 1840.
 The first commercial tea plantations
were set up in the Upper Assam (upper
Brahmaputra valley).
 Lower Assam and Darjeeling were also
opened up to tea plantations few years
 Later on, tea plantations were set up in
Nilgiri Hills of South India, Terai
along the foothills of the Himalayas
and in some places in Himachal

Conditions of Growth

Palm oil  Tea bush is a tropical and sub-tropical

 Most of the tea plantations in India are  Pruning (trim by cutting away dead or overgrown
found at elevations ranging from 600 branches or stems) of the plant is an
to 1,800 meters above sea level. essential part of tea cultivation. It helps
 Climate and soil drainage are the in maintaining the proper shape and
determining factors for tea cultivation. height of tea bush.
 The aim of pruning is to have new Page
Climate shoots bearing soft leaves and to
facilitate the plucking of leaves by | 24
 Yield and the quality of tea are greatly
women laborers from the ground.
influenced by the climatic conditions.
 It thrives well in hot (20°-30°C) and Production and distribution
humid climate (150-300 cm).
 The rainfall should be well distributed  India (17%) is the third largest
throughout the year. producer of tea in the world, next to
 High humidity, heavy dew and China and Turkey.
morning fog favor rapid development  Tea cultivation in India is highly
of young leaves. concentrated in a few selected pockets.
 Temperatures above 35°C and below 1. North-East India.
10°C are harmful for the bush. 2. South.
 Alternate waves of warm and cool 3. North-West India.
winds are very helpful for tea leaves.
 Tea is a shade-loving plant and North-Eastern India
develops more vigorously under shade.
 It is more or less a triangular area
Soil mainly in Assam and West Bengal.
 This is the most important tea
 Tea bush grows well in well drained, producing region of India.
deep, friable loams.  About three-fourth production of
 Virgin forest soils rich in humus and India’s tea comes from here.
iron content are considered to be the  Tea plantations are small in number
best. but fairly large in size.
 Relatively large proportion of  Some tea gardens are also found in
phosphorus and potash in the soil Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and
gives special flavor to tea as is the case Manipur.
in Darjeeling.
 Stagnant water or waterlogging is Assam
injurious to its roots. It is, therefore,
 Assam (51%) is the largest producer of
grown on hill slopes.
tea in India.
 However, it grows equally well in the
valleys if the drainage is good. Brahmaputra Valley
Tea cannot be grown on plains (T/F) –  The area provides the most ideal
Answer ‘F’ conditions for tea cultivation.
Labor Favorable conditions
 Tea requires abundant supply of cheap 1. Summer temperature of 30°C and
and skilled labor at every stage. winter temperature never falling below
 It is one of the largest employers of 10°C.
women among the organized industries 2. Frost free weather throughout the year.
of India. 3. 300-400 cm annual rainfall extended
over 9 months.
 The Brahmaputra Valley extending  The temperature beyond 1,800 m
from Sadiya to Goalpara comprises the elevation is low and does not support
main tea producing belt. It accounts for tea cultivation.
44 per cent of India's tea.
 Tea estates are located on the raised South India
grounds (upto 450 meters) so that
 Nilgiri, Cardamom, Palani and Page
annual inundations and stagnant
Anaimalai hills in TN, Kerala and | 25
water during the rainy season do not
Karnataka extending from 9°N to 14°N
harm the crop.
latitudes are the important tea
Surma Valley producing areas.
 This region accounts for 25%
 Surma Valley lying in Cachar district production and about 44% of area
produces about 5 per cent of country's under tea in India.
tea.  Tea gardens are located on the hill
 The climates here is not as favorable as slopes of the Western Ghats between
in the Brahmaputra valley. 300 and 1,800 m altitude.
 The tea gardens are scattered over  The tea estates are quite large in
small mounds or well drained flats number but quite small in size.
along the Brahmaputra river and its  The temperatures are uniformly high
tributaries. and the annual rainfall exceeds 400
 Here the rainfall is 300-400 cm and no cm.
month is completely dry.  There is no fear of frost in south India
and weather conditions are quite
West Bengal
 West Bengal (23%) is the second  Therefore, the productivity is higher,
largest producer. although the quality of tea is inferior.
 Entire tea of WB is produced in  In South India, Tamil Nadu is the
Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Koch largest producer of tea.
Bihar.  Kerala is another important producer.
 These districts are contiguous to the Some tea is produced in Hassan and
main tea producing belt of Assam. Chikmaglur districts of Karnataka.
 Karnataka has the distinction of giving
Duars in Koch Bihar and Jalpaiguri the highest yield of over 25 quintals per
districts hectare.
 16 km wide strip at the foot of the North West India
 Some of tea is produced in Dehra Dun,
Darjeeling district Almora and Garhwal districts of
Uttarakhand and in Kangra Valley and
 Darjeeling tea is the most valued tea
Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh.
because of its special aroma.
 Green tea is produced in Kangra
 Annual rainfall of 300 cm, moderate
valley of Himachal Pradesh.
temperature, soils rich in potash and
 Tea in small quantity is also produced
phosphorous give a special flavor.
in Ranchi and Hazaribagh districts of
 But the yields are quite low compared
Chota Nagpur plateau in Jharkhand.
to other tea producing areas in the NE.
 Tea estates are found within 900-1,800 Trade
m elevation.
 India is also one of the leading elevations from 600 to 1,600 meters
exporters of tea in the world. above sea level.
 India’s exports are falling due to  Northern and eastern aspects of
increasing domestic consumption and slopes are preferred as they are less
competition. exposed to strong afternoon sun and
 90 per cent of the tea bushes are in the the south-west monsoon winds. Page
age group of 40-50 years, and are not  Well drained, rich friable loams rich in
capable of giving high yields. humus and minerals like iron and | 26
 India is facing tough competition from calcium are ideal for coffee cultivation.
Sri Lanka, China, Kenya etc..  Coffee cultivation requires plenty of
 Russia, U.K., the USA, are major cheap and skilled labor.
importers of Indian tea.
Production and Distribution
 Tea exports to West Asia—North Africa
region jumped mainly due to increased
 India (3.5%) is the seventh largest
exports to Iraq under the 'Oil-for-Food
producer of coffee.
 Brazil (25%), Colombia (15%) and
 Kolkata is the chief port of tea export
Indonesia (7%) are the important
from India.
 The other major ports through which
 Coffee Arabica (49%) and Coffee
tea is exported are Chennai, Mangalore
Robusta (51%) are the two main
and Kochi.
varieties grown in India.
Coffee  Coffee plantations are confined to
small area in south India comprising
 Coffee is the next important beverage hill areas around Nilgiris.
crop after tea.  Almost the entire production is shared
 It is indigenous to Abyssinia Plateau by three states namely Karnataka
(Ethiopia). (71%), Kerala (22%) and Tamil Nadu
 Its seeds were brought to India by Baba (6.5%).
Budan from Arabia in the 17th  In Karnataka, plantations are about
Century. 1,370 meters above sea level where
 Coffee was first raised in the Baba rainfall is 125-150 cm. Kodagu and
Budan Hills of Karnataka. Chikmagalur account for over 80% of
 British planters established large coffee the state's total output.
estates in 1820s near Chikmagalur  Most of the coffee plantations in Kerala
(Karnataka), Waynad, Shevoroys and are at an altitude of 1,200 m where
Nilgiris in TN. annual rainfall is over 200 cm.
 About half of Tamil Nadu's coffee is
Conditions for Growth produced in Nilgiri district.

 Coffee plant requires hot (15°C and Trade

28°C) and humid climate (150 to 250
cm).  India exports coffee to a large number
 It does not tolerate frost, prolonged of countries including U.K., the U.S.A.,
drought, high temperature (>30°C) and Russia, Australia, Iraq and a large
strong sun shine. number of countries of continental
 Like tea, it is also generally grown Europe.
under shady trees.
 Stagnant water is harmful. So, this
crop is grown on hill slopes at
 Rubber is obtained from the latex of Areca stem is used for construction
Hevea brasiliensis and many other purposes and leaves for thatching.
tropical trees.  It is a tropical tree which, on maturity,
 Hevea brasiliensis is a quick growing attains a height of 20-25 meters.
tall tree (20-30 meter height).  It flourishes well in warm (15° to 35°C)
 It begins to yield latex in 5-7 years after and humid climates (200-300 cm). Page
planting.  It grows on a variety of soils ranging
 The first rubber plantations were set from well-drained laterite, red loamy to | 27
up in Kerala in1895. alluvial soils. Its cultivation can be
done from sea level to 1,000 meters.
Conditions for Growth  India is the largest producer of
arecanut in the world.
 Hevea brasiliensis requires hot (25°-
 Kerala (37%), Karnataka, Tripura,
35°C) and humid climate (200 cm).
Assam and Meghalaya are the major
 The rainfall should be well distributed producing states.
throughout the year.
 Assam produces about one-fourth of
 Deep well drained loamy soils are best India's arecanut.
suited for rubber plantations.
 Most of the arecanut is consumed
 Suitable soil and climatic conditions within south Indian states and only a
occur on the hill slopes at elevations small quantity is exported mainly to
ranging from 300 to 450 meters above Nepal, UAR, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia
sea level. etc.
 The yields decline at higher elevations
due to fall in temperature and less Coconut
mature soils.
 Practically no rubber plantations are  Coconut is a perennial crop. It has a
found above 700 m elevation. long period of economic life span of
more than 60 years. It also has a long
Production and Distribution gestation period of 5-7 years.
 Coconut is predominantly a tropical
 India (9%) lags behind Thailand and crop.
Indonesia in natural rubber  It requires warm (25° to 30°C) and
production. fairly moist (125 to 130 cm) climate.
 Small holdings account for 88 per cent  It is predominantly grown under
of area and production of rubber in rainfed condition in Kerala (26.6%)
India. and parts of coastal Tamil Nadu
 The average productivity realized by (20%), Karnataka (12%) and Andhra
small holders is much higher than that Pradesh.
produced by the large estates.  Well drained rich loamy soils are best
 Almost entire rubber is produced in suited for its cultivation.
Kerala (92%), Tamil Nadu (3%) and  It grows well on sandy loams along sea-
Karnataka (2%). Tripura (2%) is the coasts and in adjoining river valleys.
fourth largest producer. Andaman &
 India is the third largest coconut
Nicobar Islands also produce small
producing country next to Philippines
quantities of rubber.
and Indonesia.
 Arecanut is used for chewing with betel
leaves and in pan masala (supari).  Pepper, cardamom, chillies, turmeric,
ginger etc. are some of the important
spices produced in India. They are used Production, distribution and exports
for flavoring foodstuffs.
 Well drained sandy, clayey or red loams  India produces a major part of the
and laterites are best suited soils for world's total cardamom.
the cultivation of most of the spices  The entire production comes from three
mentioned above. states viz., Kerala (53%), Karnataka
(42%) and Tamil Nadu. Page
 These soil conditions exist
predominantly in the hilly regions of  In Kerala, the crop is largely | 28
Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. concentrated in the Cardamom hills.
 India is a an exporter of spices. There  India stands second after Guatemala in
has been a constant increase in area export of cardamom.
and production of spices in India.
 Chilli requires temperatures ranging
 Black pepper, “the king of spices” is the from 10° to 30°C and moderate annual
most important dollar earning spice. rainfall of 60 to 125 cm.
 Warm (10°C-30°C) and humid (200-300  Too scarce or too heavy rainfall is
cm) climate is required for its harmful.
cultivation.  It can be grown on a wide variety of
 The plant grows as a vine and needs soils including black cotton soil, and
support of other trees for its growth. different types of loamy soils. It can be
 The plant can be grown on a variety of grown upto elevations of 1,700 metres.
well drained soils.  Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are the
 It thrives well on deep, friable, well largest producers of chillies.
drained loamy soils.  Guntur, East Godavari and West
 It can be grown from almost sea level to Godavari in are the major chilli
an altitude of 1,200 m. producing districts in AP.

Production and Distribution Ginger

 India is the second largest producer of  It is grown in tropical and sub-tropical

pepper in the world after Indonesia. climates.
 Its distribution is highly concentrated  It requires 10° to 25°C temperature and
in Kerala (94%), Karnataka and Tamil 125-250 cm rainfall.
Nadu.  Well drained sandy, clayey or red loams
and laterites are best suited soils for its
Cardamom cultivation.
 It can be grown from sea level to an
 Cardamom – ‘queen of aromatic spices’ altitude of 1,300 m above sea level.
– is mainly used for medicines.  India (80%) is the largest producer of
 It grows well in hot (15°C-32°C) and ginger in the world.
humid (150-300 cm) climates.  Meghalaya, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala,
 Well drained forest loams, red & laterite etc. are the main producers.
soils with plenty of humus are ideal.
 Tropical rain forests at an altitude of Turmeric
800-1,600 meters above sea level
provide the most congenial  Turmeric is native to tropical South-
environment for its growth. East Asia.
 It is a shade loving plant and is grown  India is an important producer of
under shady trees. turmeric in the world.
 Andhra Pradesh (more than half) is the  Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh,
largest producer. West Bengal, Odisha, are the main
 India is the second largest producer of Page
fruits and vegetables in the world after  Apple is a temperate fruit crop.
China.  It requires sunny climate with gentle | 29
 Horticulture sector contributes about winds. Partial sun reduces yields.
25-30 per cent of GDP from  It requires average temperature (~22°C)
agriculture. during the growing season.
 India is the largest producer of  In the non-growing season, apple crop
bananas and mangoes. can tolerate very low temperatures.
 Low temperature, rain, fog and cloudy
Cashewnut weather hampers growth at the time of
 Cashew kernel is used as a dry fruit.  Well distributed 100-125 cm rainfall
 Cashew requires average temperature throughout the growing season is
(16°C and 25°C). optimal.
 It can grow in regions with a wide  Apple orchard regions should be free
range of rainfall (50 to 350 cm). from hail storms and frost.
 It is grown widely on the poor laterite  Well drained loamy soils rich in humus
soils on the west coast and on sandy are most suitable for apple cultivation.
soils on the east coast.  These soil and climatic conditions are
 At present, India holds first position in found on hill slopes at altitudes
the world in the production of cashew. ranging from 1,500-2,700 m.
 Coasts of Maharashtra (29.9%), Andhra  In most areas apple orchards have
Pradesh (15.7%), Odisha, Kerala, replaced millet crops which are of low
Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are the value.
major producers.  Kullu and Shimla districts in Himachal
 India is the largest exporter of Pradesh, the Kashmir Valley and hilly
cashewnut kernel in the world. areas of Uttarakhand are important
apple growing areas.
 Mango is the native to the Indian
monsoon lands.  Banana is a tropical and sub-tropical
 More than half of the world’s mangoes crop.
are produced in India. It is also the  It requires average temperature (~25°C)
largest exporter. throughout in growth period.
 Alfonso mango is an important export  The rainfall should be fairly above 150
variety. cm.
 Mangoes are grown in areas with  Although cultivation is spread all over
temperature from 20°C-30°C & rainfall India. But peninsular India provides
75-250 cm. ideal conditions for its cultivation.
 It can grow in almost all soils of India.  Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra account
 It is largely grown in groves near towns for about half of total production.
and villages where it has a ready
market [Mango is a highly perishable Orange
 Orange is widely grown both in north  Pear is another temperate fruit,
and south India. mainly grown in Kashmir, Kumaon
 Soil is the important factor for region of Uttarakhand and Himachal
orange than climate. Pradesh in the north and the Nilgiri
 Most of orange orchards are rainfed. hills in the south.
 They are located at heights from 600 to  These areas offer suitable conditions of Page
1,500 m. cold winters, cool summers, moderate
 Well-drained sandy soils which permit rainfall, high percentage of cloudiness | 30
root penetration up to 2-4 meters are and mist.
best suited for orange cultivation.
 Although orange is grown in almost all Apricot
the states, its cultivation is more
prominently concentrated in the hilly  Apricot is also a temperate fruit which
region of Uttarakhand. requires 130 to 200 cm rainfall.
 Kangra valley of Himachal Pradesh,  It is mainly grown in Kashmir valley,
Darjeeling in W. Bengal, Khasi and Himachal Pradesh and Kumaon region
Jaintia Hills in Meghalaya, Kodagu of Uttarakhand.
district of Karnataka are the important
orange growing regions.
 Strawberry, almond and walnut are
other important temperate fruits.
 Grape is a sub-tropical vine plant.  The hilly areas of J & K., H.P. and
 It requires long summer and short Uttarakhand are the main producers.
winter  Strawberry fields are under semi-
 Moderately fertile well drained soil is aquatic to aquatic conditions for at
required. least three months.
 Relatively low water supply during the  Nainital district is the largest producer
growing period is good for the crop. of strawberry.
 Bright sunshine during maturity is
 In northern India, it is grown in
 India and China are the most
summer only.
important vegetable producers in the
 In south India the plant grows
throughout the year and gives two
 As most of the vegetables are
crops a year.
perishable, they are grown around
 Grapes can be grown anywhere in
areas where there is ready market.
 Cereals are preferred over vegetables
Peach cultivation in regions with labor
 Peach is temperate fruit that is highly
perishable (more than apple).
 The main areas of peach cultivation are
in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and
Kashmir Valley.