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Major crops in India (Rice, Wheat, Sugarcane, Cotton, Silk, Millets etc)

news-details Image Source May 03, 2021 08:04 IST · 7 min read

India has various food and non-food crops which are cultivated in three main cropping seasons which are rabi, kharif and zaid.

Crop Pattern in India

1) Rabi

Rabi crop is sown between October-December and harvested between April-June.

Major Rabi crops in India are - Wheat, barley(jau), peas, gram(chana), mustard etc.

Rabi crops are popular in - Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.

2) Kharif

Kharif crop is sown between June-July and harvested between September-October.

Major Kharif crops in India are - Rice, maize(makka), jowar, bajra, tur, moong, urad, cotton, jute, groundnut(moongaphalee), soybean etc.

Kharif crops are popular in - Assam, West Bengal, coastal regions of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Maharashtra.

3) Zaid

Zaid crop is sown and harvested between March-July (between Rabi and Kharif).

Zaid Kharif crops in India are - Seasonal fruits, vegetables, fodder crops etc.

Zaid crops are popular in - Most of the northern and northwestern states.

Major crops in India


Sugarcane is primarily cultivated for its juice from which sugar is processed, it is also grown for biofuel production, especially in Brazil, as the canes can be used directly to produce ethyl alcohol (ethanol).

India is the second largest producer of sugarcane after Brazil. Top Sugarcane Producing States in India are Uttar Pradesh > Maharashtra > Karnataka > Tamil Nadu > Bihar.

Sugarcane can be grown on all variety of soils ranging from sandy loam to clay loam given these soils should be well drained. It requires 75-100 cm rainfall and 21-27°C temperature with hot and humid climate.

Scheme for Extending Financial Assistance to Sugar Undertakings (SEFASU) and National Policy on Biofuels are two of the government initiatives to support sugarcane production and sugar industry.


Rice is grown on deep clayey and loamy soil, it requires 150-300 cm rainfall and 22-32°C with high humidity.

India is the second largest producer of rice in the world after China. Top Rice Producing States in India are - West Bengal > Punjab > Uttar Pradesh > Andhra Pradesh > Bihar.


India is the second largest producer of Wheat after China. Top Wheat Producing States in India are Uttar Pradesh > Punjab > Madhya Pradesh > Haryana > Rajasthan.

Wheat can be grown on Well-drained fertile loamy and clayey loamy (Ganga-Satluj plains and black soil region of the Deccan). It requires 75-100 cm rainfall and 10-15°C (Sowing time) and 21-26°C (Ripening & Harvesting) temperature with bright sunlight.

Millets (Nutri-Cereals)

India, Niger, and China are the largest producers of millet in the world, accounting for more than 55% of global production. For many years, India was the world's major producer of millet. However, in recent years, millet production has increased dramatically in Africa.

Top Millets Producing States in India are - Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Karnataka.

Jowar - Maharashtra > Karnataka > Madhya Pradesh.
Bajra - Rajasthan > Uttar Pradesh > Haryana.
Ragi - Karnataka > Tamil Nadu.

Millets require 50-100 cm rainfall and 27-32°C temperature, and can be grown in inferior alluvial or loamy soil because they are less sensitive to soil deficiencies.

Jowar - Rain-fed crop (relies on rainfall for water) grown in the moist areas with less or no irrigation.
Bajra - Sandy soils and shallow black soil.
Ragi - Red, black, sandy, loamy and shallow black soils. (dry regions)

Jowar, Bajra and Ragi are also known as coarse grains, which have high nutritional value.

Ragi is very rich in iron, calcium, other micro nutrients and roughage.

Sorghum is a genus of about 25 species of flowering plants in the grass family Poaceae. Some of these species have grown as cereals for human consumption and some in pastures for animals.


Maize is grown on old alluvial soil, it requires High rainfall and 21-27°C temperature.

USA, China, Brazil are top producing countries of Maize, India is the seventh largest producer worldwide.

Top Maize Producing States in India are - Karnataka > Maharashtra > Madhya Pradesh > Tamil Nadu > Telangana.


Pulses are grown on sandy-loamy soil, it requires 25-60 cm rainfall and 20-27°C temperature.

India is the largest producer as well as the consumer of pulses in the world. Top Pulses Producing States in India are - Madhya Pradesh > Rajasthan > Maharashtra > Uttar Pradesh > Karnataka.

Major pulses grown in India are tur (arhar), urad, moong, masur, peas and gram.

Oil Seeds

Oil Seeds are grown on loam to clayey loam and well drained sandy loams, it requires 30-75 cm rainfall and 15-30°C temperature.

Top Oilseeds Producing States in India are - Madhya Pradesh > Rajasthan > Gujarat > Maharashtra > Uttar Pradesh.

Main oil-seeds produced in India are groundnut, mustard, coconut, sesamum (til), soyabean, castor seeds, cotton seeds, linseed and sunflower.

Horticulture Crops

India is the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables after China, it produces both tropical and temperate fruits.

Fruits States
Mangoes Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal
Oranges Nagpur and Cherrapunjee (Meghalaya)
Bananas Kerala, Mizoram, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu
Litchi and Guava Uttar Pradesh and Bihar
Pineapples Meghalaya
Grapes Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra
Apples, Pears, Apricots and Walnuts Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh


Tea is grown on deep and fertile well-drained soil, rich in humus and organic matter, it requires 150-300 cm rainfall and 20-30°C temperature.

Slopes of eastern hills have humid climate and evenly distributed rainfall without water logging which are optimal conditions for terrace farming of tea.

The four biggest tea-producing countries today are China, India, Sri Lanka and Kenya.

Top Tea Producing States in India are - Assam > West Bengal > Tamil Nadu.


Coffee is grown on well drained, deep friable loamy soil, it requires 150-250 cm rainfall and 15-28°C temperature.

Brazil, the top coffee producing country, India is the seventh largest producer.

Hills with well-defined shade canopy, comprising evergreen leguminous trees provide the optimal condition for coffee cultivation that is why it is mainly concentrated in the hilly regions.

Indian variety of coffee Arabica is famous worldwide.

Top Coffee Producing States in India are - Karnataka > Kerala > Tamil Nadu.


Coffee is grown on rich well drained alluvial soil, it requires 200 cm rainfall and above 25°C temperature with moist and humid climate.

The world's leading producer of natural rubber is Thailand, followed by Indonesia, Vietnam and India.

Top Rubber Producing States in India are - Kerala > Tamil Nadu > Karnataka.

It is an equatorial crop, but under special conditions, it is also grown in tropical and sub-tropical areas.


Jute is grown on well drained alluvial soil, it requires 150-250 cm rainfall and 25-35°C temperature.

It is mainly concentrated in eastern India because of the rich alluvial soil of Ganga-Brahmaputra delta.

India is the largest producer of jute. Top Jute Producing States in India are - West Bengal > Bihar > Assam > Andhra Pradesh > Odisha.

Common Plant Diseases

Name of the Crop/Plant Bacterial Disease
Beans, Rice Blight
Cotton Black Arm
Tomato Canker
Potato Ring Rot, Brown Rot
Name of the Crop/Plant Fungal Disease
Sugarcane Red Rot
Bajra (Pearl Millet) Ergot, Green Ear, Smut
Pigeon Pea, Cotton Wilt
Ground Nut Tikka
Rice Blast
Paddy, Papaya Foot Rot
Wheat Rust, Powdery Mildew
Coffee Rust
Potato Late Blight
Grapes, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Bajra, Mustard Downy Mildew
Radish, Turnip White Rust
Name of the Crop/Plant Viral Disease
Potato Leaf Roll, Mosaic
Banana Bunchy Top
Papaya Leaf Curl
Tobacco Mosaic
Carrot Red Leaf