Major crops and cropping patterns in various parts of the country

Cropping Systems: A cropping system refers to the type and sequence of crops grown and practices used for growing them. It encompasses all cropping sequences practiced over space and time based on the available technologies of crop production. Cropping systems have been traditionally structured to maximize crop yields.

Cropping pattern: is a dynamic concept because it changes over space and time. It can be defined as the proportion of area under various crops at a point of time. In other words, it is a yearly sequence and spatial arrangement of sowing and fallow on a given area. In India, the cropping pattern determined by rainfall, climate, temperature, soil type and technology.

Current Agri-crop situation in India:

  • India is the world’s second largest producer of both rice and wheat.
  • Cultivated on 45 million hectares in kharif and rabi seasons, rice production has consistently risen over the years from 104.4 million tonnes (mt) in 2015-16 to 117.9 mt in 2019-20.
  • Wheat, a rabi crop, is planted on around 30 million hectares and its harvest stood at 107.2 mt in 2019-20, up from 92.3 mt five years ago.
  • Annual hikes in the minimum support price combined with the system of open-ended procurement through the Food Corporation of India (FCI) have contributed not only to increase in harvest size but also burgeoning public stocks of the two fine cereals.
  • Grain mono-cropping — cultivation of rice and wheat in an unbroken chain season after season — in major growing States such as Punjab and Haryana over the last 20-30 years is inflicting enormous invisible costs.
  • In the absence of scientific crop rotation, soil health has deteriorated.
  • Encouraged by free power supply, reckless drawing of groundwater for irrigation has resulted in the water table going down to alarmingly low levels.




The cropping pattern in India has undergone significant changes over time. As the cultivated area remains more or less constant, the increased demand for food because of increase in population and urbanisation puts agricultural land under stress resulting in crop intensification and substitution of food crops with commercial crops