(Last Updated on : 09/06/2017)
Indian Food Crops
refer to those crops which are cultivated with the objective of selling the produce for human and livestock
consumption. Indian food crops are categorized into various segments and they mainly include rice
, coarse grains (sorghum, millets
and barley) and pulses
. Various factors such as soil
and use of technology, influence the growth and productivity of the Indian food crops. Around 127.5 million hectares of land in India is used to grow food grains
, which is about 75 percent of the total planted area. More than 33 percent of cropland is used for the cultivation of rice, about 29 percent is used for the cultivation of coarse grains and the rest of the land is evenly divided between wheat and pulses. The Indian states
which produce most of the Indian food crops are Jammu and Kashmir
, Uttar Pradesh
, Andhra Pradesh
, Tamil Nadu
, West Bengal
. The major Indian food crops are cultivated throughout the year as well as seasonally. These food crops are described below.
Rice is India's pre-eminent crop and is the staple food of the people of eastern India
and southern India
. It is considered as the master crop in the coastal regions of India.
Rice is grown all across the nation and is available in umpteen varieties. In India, almost 2, 00, 000 varieties of rice exist. Rice is cultivated under extensively changeable conditions of climate and altitude. This dominant crop is basically rain-fed is those zones where the annual rainfall distribution
is above 125 cm. Those regions are suitable for the cultivation of rice where the average temperature does not fall below approximately 20 degree Celsius.
Wheat is one of the major Indian food crops and has played a formative role in the unfolding of the history of India
. At present, India is the second largest wheat producer in the world. It is northern India
which has conventionally dominated the cultivation of wheat. In India, the abundant wheat producers are the states of Punjab and Haryana. When fertilizers and proper irrigation
methods are applied to certain varieties of crops (excluding the dwarf ones), they tend to grow taller. However, regular usage of fertilizers and irrigation badly affect the cultivation of wheat. It is also said that the conditions in India are not suitable for the cultivation of wheat because of its short and relatively dry winter
season. Wheat is cultivated in clayey soil and is extensively used for bread
making and other food
It is important to note that India exports sufficient quantities of all types of wheat.
The chief coarse grains grown in India are sorghum and millets. They are chiefly grown in dry areas of the Indian subcontinent. Regur soil
s are favorable for the growth of sorghum or maize. Maize is a common food crop in northern and western India
. It is mainly grown as a Kharif crop in the country. Dry and cool weather is suitable for the growth of maize. North-east Indian states
producing maize are Manipur
. Some districts of West Bengal, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh
and Karnataka also produce maize.
Jowar is mainly grown in those areas where the average annual rainfall is less than 100 cm. This is particularly a rain-fed crop mainly cultivated in the states like Punjab, Haryana and Tamil Nadu, in Kharif as well as in Rabi season. Barley is considered to be a staple food crop grown mainly near and in the Himalayan
Pulses are an important source of protein in the vegetarian
diet and are widely used in different cuisines
of the nation. Beans, dried peas and lentils come under the category of pulses.
Other Food Crops
are also cultivated in India. These major oilseeds consist of groundnuts and mustard
seeds. Vegetable oil is the most common means of cooking
is another popular Indian food crop. It is usually grown in north and south India. Sugar is considered to be a significant ingredient in regular food intake. Tea
are the two most well-liked Indian food crops. Tea is mostly popular in north-eastern India, while coffee is extensively popular in south-western part of the country.
Improvement in the Cultivation of Indian Food Crops
Improvement in the cultivation of Indian food crops and stability achieved in the Indian food industry in the recent years can be attributed to factors like perfect alluvial soil
, favorable climate and careful handling of food crops. Development in the irrigation system, rudimentary market infrastructure and advanced practices in agriculture
can further improve the cultivation of Indian food crops.