• These cover about three-fourths of the total cropped area in the country and contribute to about half of the total value of agricultural production
  1. Rice
    • It is the most-important food crop, covering about one-fourth of the total cropped area
    • This is staple food for people living in the Eastern and southern parts of the country
    • Rice is grown under varying conditions in India from 80 to 300 N latitude and from sea level to about 2500 m altitude
      • It requires mean temperature of 240 C, with an average annual rainfall of 150 cm
      • The 100cm Isohyet line forms the limit of rice in rainfed areas
      • Even in areas of rainfall less than 100cm, it can be grown with irrigation, as is done in case of Punjab, Haryana and western UP
    • It is a labor intensive cultivation, and requires large supply of cheap labor
    • Rice is grown in well-watered lowland plains areas, and is called wet or lowland rice
      • Rice grown in hilly dryland areas, are called dry or upland rice
    • Deep fertile clayey or loamy soils are considered ideal for rice growth
      • Such soil requirement make it a dominant crop of river valleys, flood plains, deltas and coastal plains
      • It is a labor intensive cultivation, and requires large supply of cheap labor
    • The premier rice producing areas include the lower and middle Ganga plains, east and west Coastal Plains, Brahmaputra valley and parts of Peninsular Plateau
    • Half of rice production is from four states – West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh; of which West Bengal is the leading producer
      • Other major producers are Odisha, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Tamilnadu, Haryana, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Kerala


  1. Wheat
    • Next to rice, Wheat is the most important foodgrain of India and is the staple of Northern and North-western part of the country
    • Wheat is a Rabi crop, which is sown in beginning of winter and is harvested in the beginning of summer
    • The wheat requires an ideal winter temperature of 100-150C and summer temperature varying from 21-260 C
    • The temperature should be low at the time of sowing but as the harvesting time approaches, higher temperatures are required for proper ripening of the crop
    • It thrives in areas of annual rainfall of 75cm, and 100cm annual rainfall is the limitation for rainfall
    • The isohyet of 100cm marks the boundary between wheat growing areas on one hand, and rice growing areas on the other
    • In areas of rainfall less than 50cm, irrigation becomes necessary
    • Although wheat can be grown in a variety of soils, well drained fertile, friable loans and clay loams are the best suited soils for wheat cultivation
    • It is an extensive type of farming, which is highly mechanized and requires comparatively less labor
    • India is the second largest producer of wheat in the world, next only to China
    • In India, the production, yield and area have recorded rapid growth after introduction of Green Revolution Strategy
    • Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana are the four prominent wheat producing states; of which Punjab is the leading producer
        • Punjab, Haryana and contiguous western parts of UP have earned the distinction of being called the ‘Granary of India’
        • Other major wheat producing states are Rajasthan, Bihar and Gujarat

  1. Maize
    • This is a food as well as fodder crop in India
    • It is mainly a rainfed Kharif crop, which is sown just before the onset of monsoon and is harvested after retreat of monsoon
    • It is also grown as Rabi crop, in states such as Tamilnadu
    • It requires 50-100 cm of rainfall and it cannot be grown in areas of more than 100 cm rainfall
    • The crop grows well under temperatures varying from 21-270 C
    • Frost is injurious to maize, and this crop is grown in areas where there are about 4 months of frost free years
    • Fertile well-drained alluvial or red loams free from coarse materials and rich in Nitrogen are the best soils suited for successful growth
    • In India, Maize cultivation is characterized by inter-culture and is grown with pulses, vegetables and oil seeds
    • It is grown over 4% of the net sown area of the country
    • Two-third of the maize is produced in states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Bihar, Maharashtra and Rajasthan
    • More than one-third of the crop is mostly raised with HYV seeds
    • Among Indian states Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka has highest area under maize (15% each) followed by Maharashtra (10%)
  1. Millets
    • These are short duration(3-4 months) warm weather grasses, grown in areas where food crops cannot be successfully grown
    • Jowar, bajra, ragi, korra, kodon, kutki, sanwa, haraka, varagu, bauti and rajgira are some of the important millets grown in India
  1. Jowar
      • It is grown as both Kharif and Rabi crop
      • As Kharif crop, it grown well in areas having mean monthly temperature of 26-33C; while as Rabi crop it is grown in mean monthly temperature does not fall below 160 C
      • Requires more than 30 cm of rainfall and doesn’t grow where rainfall exceeds 100cm
      • Clayey deep regur and alluvium are best suited soils for Jowar
      • Maharashtra is the leading producer of Jowar in India, followed by Karnataka
  1. Bajra
      • It is a crop of dry and warm climate, and is grown in areas of 40-50cm of annual rainfall, having an ideal temperature of 25-30C
      • It is a Kharif crop, that can be grown on poor light sandy soils, black and red soils and on upland gravely soils
      • It is a rainfed crop and is seldom irrigated
      • More than 85% of India’s Bajra comes from four states of Rajasthan, UttarPradesh, Gujarat and Haryana; of which Rajasthan is the largest producer
  1. Ragi
  • It is an important millet grown in drier parts of South India with some parts coming from Northern part of India as well
  • It requires 20-30C temperature and 50-100 cm of rainfall
  • It is raised on red, light black and sandy loams as well as on well drained alluvial loams
  • It is mainly a Kharif crop
  • Karnataka is the largest producer, followed by Uttarakhand
  1. Barley
    • It thrives well in areas having temperature of 10-150 C, and which receive rainfall of around 75-100cm
    • Light clay and Alluvial soils are best suited for its cultivation
    • It is grown as a Rabi crop in the Great plains and valleys of the western Himalayas
    • Rajasthan is the largest producer accounting for over 40% of production in the country
    • It is also grown in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh
  2. Pulses
    • This is the most important of all pulses and accounts for 37% of the production and 28% of the total area of pulses in India
    • It prefers mild cool and comparatively dry climate with 20-25C temperature and 40-50 cm of rainfall
    • It grows well on loamy soils and is a Rabi crop
    • Most of it comes from Madhya pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra
  1. Tur or Arhar
    • It is chiefly a Kharif crop, but in areas of mild winters it is grown as a rabi crop as well
    • It requires conditions more or less similar to those of other pulses and millets
    • Maharashtra is the largest producer of Tur, followed by Madhya Pradesh
    • Other Tur producing states include, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Bihar and Tamilnadu