India has several types of soils, water resources, soil fertility levels, climate, and climatic conditions, due to which different types of crops in India. The most widely grown crops in India are field crops. The major crop-growing states in India are West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Chhattisgarh.
Table of Contents
Major Types of Crops in India
There are three 3 Major categories/ types of crops base on the season that they are grown in India:
The names given to the seasonal crop categories were provided during the Mughal rule and are in Arabic.
Another categorization of the types of crops in India is cash crops, food crops, horticulture crops, and plantation crops. The following lists enumerate some of the crops that fall in each category.
Horticulture crops (horticultural crops can be cash crops, too)
- Fruits, such as Mulberry, Apple, Mango, Guava, and Watermelon
- Vegetables, such as potato, onion, tomato, cabbage, peas
Let us look at the Rabi, Kharif, and Zaid crops in a little detail.
- Sown in winter and harvested in summer. Also referred to as spring or winter crop.
- Crops belonging to the Rabi produce grow mainly in India in the northern and northwestern regions. These are:
- Himachal Pradesh
- Jammu & Kashmir
- Uttar Pradesh.
In the Rabi season, fruits, lentils, vegetables, cereals, and plants that are grown for their seed are sown and harvested. Here are some of the crops grown under each category during the Rabi season.
- red gram
- bengal gram
Lentils / legumes / pulses (dal):
- mung bean
- pigeon pea
- urad bean
- mandarin orange
- mustard seeds
- oatmeal (Avena sativa)
- Sown in monsoon and harvested end of monsoon. These crops get their moisture from the southwest monsoon winds.
- Kharif crops mostly grow in the following states:
- West Bengal
- Andhra Pradesh
- Tamil Nadu
In the Kharif season, fruits, lentils, vegetables, cereals, and plants that are grown for their seed are sown and harvested. Here are some of the crops grown under each category during the Kharif season.
- bitter gourd
- green bean
- sponge gourd
Lentils / Pulses / Legumes (dal)
- green gram
- moth bean
- mung bean
- urad bean
- maize (corn)
- Sown all through the summer season for four months.
- Zaid is the crop growing season between the Rabi and the Kharif seasons.
- Zaid crops need dry and warm weather during most of the period of growth.
- They required long days for flowering to happen.
- Zaid crops mature early.
- It is also called the summer crop, and its main crops are the traditional summer crops
- Crops belonging to the Zaid time grow mainly in India’s northern and western regions. The states growing Zaid crops in India are:
- Uttar Pradesh
- Tamil Nadu
List of Zaid Crops:
- bitter gourd
- certain coarse cereals
- fooder crops
Food Crops and Cash Crops in India
Let us now look at the food crop and cash crop categorization of the various crops in India.
Crops, referred to as food crops, are grown for personal use or human consumption and not for marketing, for example, rice.
Crops referred to as cash crops are grown for business rather than for personal use—for example, cotton.
Let us look at these two categories in some detail.
Difference Between Cash Crops and Food Crops:
|Food Crops||Cash Crops|
|Gathered for human consumption||Most of them are harvested to be sold commercially|
|Generally grown in a small area of land||Grown on large fields|
|Cultivation cost is not very high||Cultivation cost goes up due to the need for specialized fertilizers and expensive equipment.|
|Do not influence household income in a big way.||Neither income nor employment is spread equitably across households.|
India’s Plantation Crops
India was introduced to plantation agriculture through the Europeans.
Plantation crops began with being grown on India’s east coast. Currently, they are more found in south India. Plantation crops are mostly commercial crops that are great influencers in India’s economic stability.
Several plantation crops are grown in India. These are:
- Betel Vine
- Oil Palm
Here is a list of major crops grown in India along with their top producing states
|Crops||Third Highest Producer||Second Highest Producer||Highest Producer|
|Barley||Madhya Pradesh||Uttar Pradesh||Rajasthan|
|Castor seed||Andhra Pradesh||Rajasthan||Gujarat|
|Coarse Cereals||Madhya Pradesh||Karnataka||Rajasthan|
|Food Grains||Punjab||Madhya Pradesh||Uttar Pradesh|
|Niger Seed||Chhattisgarh||Orissa||Madhya Pradesh|
|Other Pulses||Rajasthan||Uttar Pradesh||Madhya Pradesh|
|Rice||Punjab||Uttar Pradesh||West Bengal|
|Sesamum||Uttar Pradesh||Madhya Pradesh||West Bengal|
|Small Millets Kharif||Andhra Pradesh||Madhya Pradesh||Uttarakhand|
|Urad||Tamilnadu||Andhra Pradesh||Madhya Pradesh|
|Wheat||Punjab||Madhya Pradesh||Uttar Pradesh|
You need to know the various types of crops in India as this information is critical for general knowledge. Do remember that based on various factors, you can make several different categorizations of crops in India.
The highest rice-producing state of India is West Bengal.
The three categories of crops in India, based on the seasons, are Rabi, Kharif, and Zaid.
Sugarcane is a Kharif crop and is a cash crop.
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