India is a top producer of many crops and been tagged as the second-largest agriculture-based country in the world. Most of the crops are grown here and exported to different parts of the world. Crops in India are divided by seasons into Rabi, Kharif and Zaid crops. Agriculture has always been the backbone of the Indian economy. And ever since the green revolution, we have started growing and cultivating varied types of crops. Crops are usually grown so that they can be commercially traded which means that any plant which is grown or harvested is highly for-profit purposes. The major crops in India can be divided into four categories which are food crops, cash crops, plantation crops, and horticulture crops. Let us take a look at each one of them in detail below.
Food Crops: Food crops are the crops that are grown for the sole use of human consumption. Food crops or food grains majorly consist of crops like rice, wheat, maize, millets, and pulses. There are different varieties of food and non-food crops grown in different parts of the country highly depends highly on variations in soil, climate and cultivation practices. Rice is the staple food in our country for the majority of the people. And India is also the second-largest producer of rice in the world after China. Coming to wheat, wheat is also an important cereal crop. It is the main food in the north and northwestern part of the country.
Wheat is a rabi crop and requires a cool growing season and bright sunshine at the time of ripening. The major wheat-producing areas are Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan and few parts of Madhya Pradesh as well. Pulses are a major source of protein in a vegetarian diet and all these crops help in restoring soil fertility by fixing nitrogen from the air. Maize is also one of the food crops which is used both as food and fodder and comes under the category of Kharif crops which requires a temperature between 21 degrees Celsius to 27 degrees Celsius and grows very well in alluvial soil.
Cash Crops: Cash crop is also known as profit crop which is grown to sell for profits in agriculture. And usually, it is purchased from parties who do not belong to the farm. Prices for major cash crops are set in commodity markets with a global scope and with variation to settle the demand and supply of the same. India faces a lot of poverty when it comes to farmers as they do not get good output from what they grow and the mediator who imports or exports merely takes the advantage of the farmers were not educated. Issues involving subsidies and trade barriers have become very much controversial. And this makes a developing nation difficult to export its goods overseas.
Cotton is a major cash crop in India and grows in an equable and dry climate. Black cotton soil has been the best soil to cultivate cotton. Regions like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Punjab, and Haryana are well known to grow cash crops. India is the second-largest producer of sugarcane in the world. Sugarcane is a cash crop that requires a hot and humid climate and grows in regions like Bihar, Punjab, Haryana and Tamil Nadu. Oilseeds produced in India like groundnut, coconut, sesame are diversified in cash crops and Madhya Pradesh ranks first in the total oilseeds production followed by Rajasthan and Gujarat.
Plantation Crops: Among the four major plantation crops, India produces a maximum of the coconut, followed by cashew nut and areca nut. After Vietnam, India is the major producer of cashew nut and Maharashtra is the largest producer when it comes to state productions followed by Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. It is estimated that the total production of cashew is around 0.57 million tons from an area of 0.24 million hectares. After Indonesia and the Philippines, India is the third-largest producer of coconut. Coconut is grown in an area of 1, 93 million hectares wit production of 12 thousand million nuts and productivity of approximately 6.5 thousand nuts per hectare.
Tea which is the most favorite for every person in our country is also defined as a cash crop and is majorly grown in hillsides or hilly areas. It usually implies a deep, fertile, well-drained soil and a high-level temperature. Our country has been considered as a treasure house of valuable medicinal and aromatic plant species. However, plantation crops play an important role because of the export potential as well as domestic requirements and employment generation in the rural sector.
Horticulture Crops: Horticulture is not only an integral part of the food and nutritional security but also an important and essential ingredient of economic security. The diversity in physiographic, climatic and soil characteristics enables India to grow a large variety of horticulture crops. India is one of the world’s largest producers of vegetables. As per the research, India’s horticulture production is estimated to rise by 1 percent to record 314.67 million tons in 2018-19 on higher area, the government declared. The area under coverage rose to 25.87 million hectares from 25.43 million hectares. Tomato production is estimated to rise from 2 percent as compared to the year 2017 and 2018. Nearly 50 percent of the total area in the country is occupied by Mango even though it’s a seasonal fruit. It is adaptable to a wide range of soil and climatic conditions and the maximum production comes from states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Kerala, and others.
Horticulture crops usually consist of all fruits and vegetables grown, out of which Mango, Grape, Banana, Mushroom and other vegetables are produced high in quantity as well as quality depending upon their specifically required weather conditions. A positive factor in the cultivation of vegetables is that most of the vegetables are short-duration crops. And as a result, they can be produced in succession, on the same plot and all the family labor can be usefully employed. More than 50 varieties of vegetables are grown on an area of about 4 million hectares in India. Hence, the above mentioned were all the major categories of crops in India and their respective specifications for the same related to their plantation and business generated from each type of crops.