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Geography: Indian Agriculture

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Agriculture:
India is an agriculturally important country. Two-thirds of its population is engaged in agricultural activities. Agriculture is a primary activity, which produces most of the food that we consume. Besides food grains, it also produces raw material for various industries.

CROPPING PATTERN:
India has three cropping seasons —rabi, kharif and zaid.
Rabi crops are sown in winter from October to December and harvested in summer from April to June. Some of the important rabi crops are wheat, barley, peas, gram and mustard. Though, these crops are grown in large parts of India, states from the north and northwestern parts such as Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttaranchal and Uttar Pradesh are important for the production of wheat and other rabi crops.
Kharif crops are grown with the onset of monsoon in different parts of the country and these are harvested in September-October. Important crops grown during this season are paddy, maize, jowar, bajra, tur (arhar), moong, urad, cotton, jute, groundnut and soyabean. Some of the most important rice-growing regions are Assam, West Bengal, coastal regions of Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Maharashtra, particularly the (Konkan coast) along with Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Recently, paddy has also become an important crop of Punjab and Haryana. In states like Assam, West Bengal and Orissa, three crops of paddy are grown in a year. These are Aus, Aman and Boro.
In between the rabi and the kharif seasons, there is a short season during the summer months known as the Zaid season. Some of the crops produced during ‘zaid’ are watermelon, muskmelon, cucumber, vegetables and fodder crops. Sugarcane takes almost a year to grow.
Major Crops: Major crops grown in India are rice, wheat, millets, pulses, tea, coffee, sugarcane, oil seeds, cotton and jute, etc.
Rice: It is the staple food crop of a majority of the people in India. Our country is the second largest producer of rice in the world after China. It is a kharif crop which requires high temperature, (above 25°C) and high humidity with annual rainfall above 100 cm.
Wheat: This is the second most important cereal crop. It is the main food crop, in north and north-western part of the country. This rabi crop requires a cool growing season and a bright sunshine at the time of ripening. It requires 50 to 75 cm of annual rainfall evenlydistributed over the growing season. There are two important wheat-growing zones in the country – the Ganga-Satluj plains in the northwest and black soil region of the Deccan. The major wheat-producing states are Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan and parts of Madhya Pradesh.
Millets: Jowar, bajra and ragi are the important millets grown in India.Jowar is the third most important food crop with respect to area and production. It is a rain-fed crop mostly grown in the moist areas which hardly needs irrigation. Maharashtra is the largest producer of jowar followed by Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Bajra grows well on sandy soils and shallow black soil. Rajasthan is the largest producer of bajra followed by Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Haryana. Ragi is a crop of dry regions and grows well on red, black, sandy, loamy and shallow black soils. Karnataka is the largest producer of ragi followed by Tamil Nadu.
Maize: It is a crop which is used both as food and fodder. It is a kharif crop which requires temperature between 21°C to 27°C and grows well in old alluvial soil. Major maize-producing states are Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
Pulses: India is the largest producer as well as the consumer of pulses in the world. Major pulses that are grown in India are tur (arhar), urad, moong, masur, peas and gram.Major pulse producing states in India are Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Karnataka.
Sugarcane: It is a tropical as well as a subtropical crop. It grows well in hot and humid climate with a temperature of 21°C to 27°C and an annual rainfall between 75cm.and 100cm. Irrigation is required in the regions of low rainfall.India is the second largest producer of sugarcane only after Brazil. It is the main source of sugar, gur (jaggary), khandsari and molasses. The major sugarcane-producing states are Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab and Haryana.
Oil Seeds: India is the largest producer of oilseeds in the world. Different oil seeds are grown covering approximately 12 per cent of the total cropped area of the country. Main oil-seeds produced in India are groundnut, mustard, coconut, sesamum (til), soyabean, castor seeds, cotton seeds, linseed and sunflower. Most of these are edible and used as cooking mediums. Groundnut is a kharif crop and accounts for about half of the major oilseeds produced in the country. Andhra Pradesh is the largest producer of groundnut followed by Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat and Maharashtra – linseed and mustard are rabi crops.
Tea: Tea cultivation is an example of plantation agriculture.The tea plant grows well in tropical and sub-tropical climates endowed with deep and fertile well-drained soil, rich in humus and organic matter. Tea bushes require warm and moist frost-free climate all through the year. Frequent showers evenly distributed over the year ensure continuous growth of tender leaves. Major teaproducing states are Assam, hills of Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Apart from these, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Meghalaya,
Andhra Pradesh and Tripura are also tea-producing states in the country. India is the leading producer as well as exporter of tea in the world.
Coffee: India produces about four per cent of the world’s coffee production. Intially its cultivation was introduced on the Baba Budan Hills and even today its cultivation is confined to the Nilgiri in Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Horticulture Crops: India is the largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world. India is a producer of tropical as well as temperate fruits. Mangoes of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, oranges of Nagpur and Cherrapunjee (Meghalaya), bananas of Kerala, Mizoram, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, lichi and guava of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, pineapples of Meghalaya, grapes of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, apples, pears, apricots and walnuts of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh are in great demand the world over. India produces about 13 per cent of the world’s vegetables. It is an important producer of pea, cauliflower, onion, cabbage, tomato, brinjal and potato.

Non-Food Crops:
Rubber: It is an equatorial crop, but under special conditions, it is also grown in tropical and sub-tropical areas. It requires moist and humid climate with rainfall of more than 200 cm. and temperature above 25°C. Rubber is an important industrial raw material. It is mainly grown in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andaman and Nicabar islands and Garo hills of Meghalaya. India ranks fifth among the world’s natural rubber producers.
Fibre Crops: Cotton, jute, hemp and natural silk are the four major fibre crops grown in India. The first three are derived from the crops grown in the soil, the latter is obtained from cocoons of the silkworms fed on green leaves specially mulberry. Rearing of silk worms for the production of silk fibre is known as sericulture.
Cotton: India is believed to be the original home of the cotton plant. Cotton is one of the main raw materials for cotton textile industry. India is the third-largest producer of cotton in the world. Cotton grows well in drier parts of the black cotton soil of the Deccan plateau. It requires high temperature, light rainfall or irrigation, 210 frost-free days and bright sunshine for its growth. It is a kharif crop and requires 6 to 8 months to mature. Major cotton-producing states are – Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
Jute: It is known as the golden fibre. Jute grows well on well-drained fertile soils in the flood plains where soils are renewed every year. High temperature is required during the time of growth. West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Orissa and Meghalaya are the major jute producing states. It is used in making gunny bags, mats, ropes, yarn, carpets and other artefacts.

  • Kissan Credit Card (KCC), Personal Accident Insurance Scheme (PAIS) are some other schemes introduced by the Government of India for the benefit of the farmers.
  • Agriculture has been the backbone of the Indian economy though its share in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has registered a declining trend from 1951 onwards; yet its share in providing employment and livelihood to the population continues to be as high as 63 per cent in 2001.

  • In order to ensure availability of food to all sections of society our government carefully designed a national food security system. It consists of two components (a) buffer stock and (b) public distribution system (PDS). Food Corporation of India (FCI) is responsible for procuring and stocking foodgrains, whereas distribution is ensured by public distribution system (PDS). The FCI procures foodgrains from the farmers at the government announced minimum support price (MSP). The government used to provide subsidies on agriculture inputs such as fertilizers, power and water.

  • The new seed policy came in 1988. Total seed production is presently hovering around 100 lakh quintals.National seeds corporation (NSC), State Farm Corporation of India (SFCI), State seed Corporations and State seed certification agencies are the primary agencies working in the seed sector.
HIGHLIGHTS OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE:
  • Major kharif crops are rice, jowar, bajra, maize, cotton, sugarcane, soyabean and groundnut.
  • Major rabi crops are wheat, barley, gram, linseed, rapeseed and mustard. Rice, maize and groundnut are grown in summer season also.
  • Largest producer of Sugarcane(295.73 mt), fruits(41.5mt), coconut (13 billion nuts),arecanut, cashew nut, ginger, turmeric, black pepper
  • second largest producer of vegetables ( After China)
  • occupies first position in the production of cauliflower, second in onion and third in cabbage in the world.
  • Largest area in the world under pulse crops
  • First to evolve a cotton hybrid (H-4,By Gujarat Agricultural University in 1970)
  • Second in production of rice(88.5 mt)
  • Maximum percentage of the geographical area is arable land.
  • Among various spices grown in the country, chilly is the most widely grown spice with a share in the total production of 33.7 per cent. Turmeric has a share of 21.6 per cent in the total production of spices.
  • India is the third largest producer and consumer of fertilizers in the world after China and USA.
  • India is 100 per cent self sufficient in respect of urea and about 95 per cent in case of DAP.
  • All-India average fertilizer consumption is 89.9 kg./ha though there is wide variation from State to State. from 184 kg/ha in Punjab, 167 kg/ha in Haryana to less than 10 kg/ha in States like Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Sikkim.

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Earthen Delight said...

For now, we are planning to use it as green fodder. We may experiment with a small acreage and harvest the seeds. more information natural food please visit my site.Bajra Cultivation

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