Madhya Pradesh is primarily Kharif crops growing state. Kharif crops occupy about 54.25 percent whereas Rabi crops occupy about 45.75 percent area out of the total cropped area in the state. Near about 41 percent of the cropped area is generally occupied by cereal crops, while pulses occupy nearly 21 percent area and oilseed occupies about 27 percent of the total sown area. Vegetables, fruits, fodder and other horticultural crops occupy rest of around 11 percent land area. Wheat is the largest cultivated crop of Madhya Pradesh, followed by Paddy and Jowar.
The major crops of the state are categorised into three major types and these are Food Grains, Oilseeds and Cash Crops. Some of the major crops of Madhya Pradesh have been discussed below-
Wheat is considered as the major crop of the state in terms of area and production. Wheat occupies the highest area under Rabi crops. The wheat producing areas of Madhya Pradesh come under the wheat belt of the country, where about 75 cm to 127 cm rainfall occurs. Wheat is usually grown during October and November and harvested during February and March. The main wheat growing districts of the regions are Sehore district, Vidisha district, Raisen district, Shivpuri district, Gwalior, Ujjain, Hoshangabad district, Sagar district, Tikamgarh district, Satna district , and Indore district.
Paddy stands second after Wheat in terms of area coverage and production. Since this crop needs about 100 cm to 125 cm rainfall, it is grown only in the eastern part of Madhya Pradesh extensively. In other parts of the state, where irrigation facilities are available, paddy is grown. Another significant crop grown in Madhya Pradesh is rice. In this state, there are many agricultural colleges, which are working towards the qualitative and quantitative development of rice. About 2.50 hectares land of the state is irrigated for the cultivation of these major crops. The irrigated area under rice is available in Balaghat district, Jabalpur district, Gwalior district, and Bhind district. In the eastern zone, Satna district, Rewa district, Sidhi district, Shahdol district, Dindori district and Mandla district, in the southern zone Balaghat district, Seoni district, in the central zone Jabalpur, Damoh district, and in the northern zone Bhind district, Morena district, Gwalior district and Shivpuri district are the major rice producing areas.
Jowar is an important crop of Madhya Pradesh. It is a crop basically grown in the dry regions. It is grown in both Rabi and Kharif seasons. It is the main crop of the western region of the state. Jowar is sown during the outbreak of monsoon in between June and July and harvested in September and October. The climatic conditions are favourable for growing Jowar crops in the western part of the state. The main Jowar growing districts are Mandsaur district, Ratlam district, Ujjain, Rajgarh district, Shajapur district, Dewas district, Indore district, Khargone, Khandwa district, Shivpuri, Morena, Gwalior, Guna District, Bhind district, etc.
Another important crop of Madhya Pradesh is Gram, which is a Rabi crop. Sown in the month of October, it is harvested in March. The climate must be wet during the sowing period of Gram and during the harvesting period the climate should be dry. In Madhya Pradesh, different varieties of Gram are grown. The main gram producing areas in the state are Hoshangabad, Narsinghpur, Chhindwara district, Guna, Vidisha District, Ujjain, Mandsaur, Dhar district, Bhind, Morena, Shivpuri and Rewa district.
Groundnut is Kharif crop, which is used as oilseed. The production of groundnut in the state takes place in the Malwa plateau and low land of Narmada valley. The state ranks sixth in production of groundnut in India. The main groundnut growing districts are Mandsaur, Dhar, Ratlam, Khargone, Jhabua, Betul, Chhindwara, Ujjain, Rajgarh, and Shajapur.
Madhya Pradesh stands first in the production of Soyabean in India. The chief Soyabean producing districts are, Chhindwara, Seoni, Narsinghpur, Indore, Dhar, Ujjain, Ratlam, Shajapur, Guna, Bhopal, Hoshangabad, Jhabua, Vidisha, Mandsaur, Balaghat, Satna, Neemuch, Betul and Sheopur.
Cotton is the second largest cash crop after soyabean in Madhya Pradesh. The main cultivation areas of cotton are Khargone, Khandwa, Dhar, Indore, Ujjain, Dewas, Mandsaur, Ujjain, Shajapur, Ratlam, Sehore and Jhabua districts. The indigenous and American varieties, both are grown in the state. The Regur soilor Black soil of western region of Madhya Pradesh is favourable for the production of cotton.
Apart from the above mentioned, a range of other Crops are also cultivated in Madhya Pradesh that not only meet the local demand for food crops but also contributes to the national output. The state government is taking adequate measures to provide better infrastructure and irrigational facilities to enhance further cultivation.
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