- 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. In the areas of less rainfall, it grows with the help of irrigation
- This is the second most important cereal crop.
- It is the main food crop, in the 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 evenly distributed over the growing season. T
- Jowar, bajra and ragi are the important millets grown in India. Though, these are known as coarse grains, they have very high nutritional value. For example, ragi is very rich in iron, calcium, other micro nutrients and roughage.
- Jowar : It is a rain-fed crop mostly grown in the moist areas which hardly needs irrigation. Major Jowar producing States were Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh in 2011-12.
- Bajra: Grows well on sandy soils and shallow black soil. Major Bajra producing States were: Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Haryana in 2011-12.
- Ragi: Is a crop of dry regions and grows well on red, black, sandy, loamy and shallow black soils. Major ragi producing states are: Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Jharkhand and Arunachal Pradesh
- 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. In some states like Bihar.maize is grown in the rabi season also.
- India is the largest producer as well as the consumer of pulses in the world.
- These are the major source of protein in a vegetarian diet.
- Major pulses that are grown in India are tur (arhar), urad, moong, masur, peas and gram.Pulses need less moisture and survive even in dry conditions.
- Being leguminous crops, all these crops except arhar help in restoring soil fertility by fixing nitrogen from the air.
Food Crops other than Grains
- It is a tropical as well as a subtropical crop.
- It grows well in hot and humid climates 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.
- In 2008 India was the second largest producer of groundnut in the world after china.
- In rape seed production India was third largest producer in the world after Canada and China in 2008.
- 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.
- 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.
- Tea is a labour intensive industry.
- In 2008 India produced 3.2 percent of the world coffee production.
- Indian coffee is known in the world for its good quality.
- The Arabica variety initially brought from Yemen is produced in the country.
- Initially 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.
- In 2008 India was the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world after China.
- India is a producer of tropical as well as temperate fruits.
- Mangoes of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, oranges of Nagpur and Cherrapunjee (Meghalaya), bananas of Kerala, Mizoram, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, litchi and guava of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, pineapples of Meghalaya, grapes of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra, apples, pears, apricots and walnuts of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh are in great demand the world over.
- It is an equatorial crop, but under special conditions, it is also grown in tropical and sub-tropical areas.
- It requires a 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 Nicobar islands and Garo hills of Meghalaya.
- 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: Cotton grows well in drier parts of the black cotton soil of the Deccanplateau. It requires high temperature, light rainfall or irrigation, 210 frost-free days and bright sun-shine for its growth. It is a kharif crop and requires 6 to 8 months to mature.
- 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, Odisha and Meghalaya are the major jute producing states. It is used in making gunny bags, mats, ropes, yarn, carpets and other artefacts. Due to its high cost, it is losing market to synthetic fibres and packing materials, particularly the nylon.