Agriculture plays a vital role in the Indian economy. Agriculture is the backbone of our country. It includes farming of crops, animal husbandry, pisciculture, agro-forestry etc. Over 58% of rural households primarily depend on agriculture. Agriculture along with fisheries, forestry and other allied sectors contribute around 14% to the overall GDP of our country. The particular weather and soil conditions allow for crops in India uniquely suited to it. Let us take a look at the major crops in India.
Crop Seasons in India
India is the top producer of many crops in the world. There can be many ways to divide the types of crops (based on area, season, economic value etc.). Based on seasons, the crops in India are divided into three types; Rabi, Kharif and Zaid.
- Sown in June-July when rains first begin (Monsoon crop).
- Harvested in September-October.
- Requires lot of water and hot weather to grow.
- Example: Rice, Jowar, Bajra, Maize, Cotton, Groundnut, Jute, Sugarcane, Turmeric, Pulses (like Urad Dal) etc.
- Sown in October-November
- Harvested in April-May.
- Requires warm climate for germination of seeds and maturation and cold climate for the growth.
- Example: Wheat, Oat, Gram, Pea, Barley, Potato, Tomato, Onion, Oil seeds (like Rapeseed, Sunflower, Sesame, Mustard) etc.
- Grown between March-June between Rabi and Kharif crop seasons.
- Early maturing crops.
- Example: Cucumber, Bitter Gourd, Pumpkin, Watermelon, Muskmelon, Moong Dal etc.
Categories of Crops in India
The major crops can all be divided into four main categories depending on their usage.
- Food Crops (Wheat, Maize, Rice, Millets and Pulses etc.)
- Cash Crops (Sugarcane, Tobacco, Cotton, Jute and Oilseeds etc.)
- Plantation Crops (Coffee, Coconut, Tea, and Rubber etc.)
- Horticulture crops (Fruits and Vegetables)