(Last Updated on : 29/10/2012)
Indian food crops refer to those crops which are cultivated with the objective of selling the produce and grains for human and live stock consumption. Indian food crops are categorised into various segments and they mainly include rice
, corn (maize
), coarse grains (sorghum and millets
), and pulses
(beans, dried peas, and lentils). Various factors such as soil texture, weather conditions and use of technology influence the growth and productivity of the principal food crops in India. Around 127.5 million hectares of land in India is used to grow food grains, which is about 75 % of the total planted area. More than 33 % of cropland is used for the cultivation of rice, about 29 % for coarse grains, and the rest evenly divided between wheat and pulses.
The states which produce most of the Indian food crops are Punjab
, Andhra Pradesh
, Uttar Pradesh
, Jammu and Kashmir
, West Bengal Karnataka
, Tamil Nadu
. The major Indian food crops that are cultivated in different parts of the country are described below-
Types of Indian Food Crops
There are various types of Food Crops that are cultivated in India through out the year as well as seasonally. These are-
Rice is India's pre-eminent crop and is the staple food of the people of the eastern and southern parts of the country. 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. Rice is considered as the master crop in the coastal regions of India.
One of the major Indian food crops, Wheat has played a formative role in the unfolding of India's history. It is the northern region of the country that has conventionally dominated the cultivation of wheat. In India, the abundant wheat producers are the states of Punjab
. Wheat is cultivated in clayey soil and is extensively used for bread making and other food items. India exports sufficient quantities of all types of wheat and extensive research efforts that are underway for improving its cereals and grain output in future. In fact, in the present times, India is the second largest wheat producer in the world. 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 irrigation and fertilisers badly affect the cultivation of wheat. It is also said that the conditions of India are not suitable for the cultivation of wheat because of its short and relatively dry winter season.
Sorghum and millets
are the chief coarse grains among all the Indian food crops. They are chiefly grown in dry areas of Indian subcontinent. 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 states like Punjab, Haryana and Tamil Nadu
in Kharif as well as in Rabi season. Regur soils
are favourable for the growth of maize or sorghum. Corn and Barley are considered as the staple food grown mainly near and in the Himalayan region. Indian Pulses are an important source of protein in the vegetarian diet and is widely used in different cuisines of the nation.
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. More than a few states of the country produce maize and these states are Manipur
, some districts of West Bengal
, Madhya Pradesh
Other Food Crops
are also cultivated in country. The major oilseeds cultivated in the country consist of groundnuts and mustard seeds. Vegetable oil is the most common means of cooking. Sugarcane
is another popular Indian food
crop. Sugar is considered as a substantial ingredient of regular food intake. Sugarcane is usually grown in north and south India. Coffee
, Indian crop and tea are the two most well-liked food crops in India. Tea is mostly popular in the north-eastern region of the country, while coffee is extensively popular in south-western part of the country.
Perfect alluvial soil
, conducive climate and careful handling of these Indian food crops have lead to a stabilised Indian food industry in the recent years. Although there is still need for the development of proper irrigation system, rudimentary market infrastructure and advanced agricultural practices, in order to further improve the cultivation of Indian food crops.