CATEGORIES OF CROPS IN INDIA
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. In India around 70% of the population earns its livelihood from agriculture. It fulfills the basic need of human beings and animals. It is an important source of raw material for many agro based industries. India’s geographical condition is unique for agriculture because it provides many favorable conditions. There are plain areas, fertile soil, long growing seasons and wide variation in climatic condition etc. Apart from unique geographical conditions, India has been consistently making innovative efforts by using science and technology to increase production. The particular weather and soil conditions allow for crops in India uniquely suited to it. 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.
Kharif Crops : Kharif crops sown in June-July when rains first begin. It equires lot of water and hot weather to grow. It harvested in September-October. Example: Rice, Jowar, Bajra, Maize, Cotton, Groundnut, Jute, Sugarcane, Turmeric, Pulses (like Urad Dal) etc.
Rabi Crops : Rabi Crops sown in October-November. It requires warm climate for germination of seeds and maturation and cold climate for the growth. It harvested in April-May. Example: Wheat, Oat, Gram, Pea, Barley, Potato, Tomato, Onion, Oil seeds (like Rapeseed, Sunflower, Sesame, Mustard) etc.
Zaid Crops : Zaid Crops grown between March-June between Rabi and Kharif crop seasons.These are 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 Crop : A variety of food and non food crops are grown in different parts of the country depending upon the variations in soil, climate and cultivation practices. Major crops grown in India are rice, wheat, millets, pulses etc. Total Food grains production is estimated at record 275.68 million tonnes in India.
Cash Crop : In agriculture there are few crops which are grown for profit are called as ‘Cash Crops or Commercial crops’. Cash crop is a backbone of agriculture economy of India. Sugarcane: Sugarcane is an important cash crop of India. Molasses, sugar and khandasari etc. are produced from the juice of sugarcane. Total production of cash crops in india is 82.6 million hectares in the area of 215.6 million acres.
Plantation Crop : The crops include tea, coffee, rubber, cocoa, coconut, arecanut, oil palm, palmyrah, cashew, cinchona etc. These plantation crops are high value commercial crops of greater economic importance and play a vital role in our Indian economy. Major plantation crops are Coffee, Coconut, Tea, and Rubber etc.
Horticulture crops : Fruits and vegetable acquire a place of important as protective food. They provide much needed health supporting vitamins, minerals. Horticulture is now regarded as the largest sub sector of agriculture producing high quality traditional and exotic fruits and vegetables.Total production of horticulture in India is 305.4 million tonnes.
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