Agro-Climatic Regions


  • Climate is one of the most potent factors which influence the agricultural scenario of a region
    • It plays an important role in evolving crop ecology of a region and is responsible for regional variations in agriculture
    • Effects of climatic elements are reflected in calendars, crop productivity and cropping patterns in different parts of the country
  • The Planning Commission of India in 1989, in association with the National Remote Sensing Agency has divided India into Agro-climatic regions, based on soil type, rainfall, temperature, water resources
    • In addition to resource considerations and land productivity level, relative pressure on land and environmental factors have been considered in framing the typology necessary to identify the zones


India has been divided into 15 major agro-climatic regions, as follows:

    1. The Western Himalayas
      • This region stretches over Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand
      • It consists of great variation in topography, with lofty mountains, deep valleys and steep slopes
      • The region has summer temperature of 5-30C and winter temperature reaching -4C
      • The mean annual rainfall varies from 75-150cm, except in Ladakh where it is below 30cm
      • The region Is drained by a number of perennial rivers
      • Rice, maize, wheat, barley and vegetables are grown in the terraced fields on the hill slopes
      • The region is known for temperate fruits like apples, peach, pears, almond and walnut
      • Alpine pastures above 2000m are known as dhoks/margs, and are used by Gujjar and Gaddis for rearing sheep and other animals
    1. The Western Himalaya
      • The region encompasses the eastern part of the Himalayas consisting of Sikkim, Darjeeling hill areas of West Bengal, Assam Hills, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Meghalaya
      • It is characterized by rugged topography, steep slopes, thick forests and swift rivers
      • The climate is sub-humid with annual rainfall over 200cm
      • The July and January temperatures vary from 30-10 degree Celsius
      • The soil is red-brown and less fertile
      • About one-third of total cultivated area is under shifting cultivation
      • Rice, Maize, potato and fruits are main crops
      • Tea is grown on hill slopes
      • Common issues of region
        • Shifting cultivation causing damage to soil and forest resources
        • Soil erosion along hill slopes
      • Hence, the need to check soil erosion by preventing surface run-off
      • Supportive activities like sericulture, poultry, etc. should be encouraged to supplement income of farmers in the region
    1. The lower Gangetic plains
      • This region spreads over eastern part of Bihar, West Bengal and Brahmaputra valley in Assam
      • It is made of rich alluvial soil deposited by rivers
      • The area is characterized by extremely gentle slope and oxbow lakes
      • The area has humid climate where rainfall varies from 100-200cm and temperature ranges from 12-300 C
      • The region suffers from waterlogging and marshy areas are found all over
      • Wells and canals are main source of irrigation
      • The conditions are ideal for cultivation of rice and jute crops
      • Wheat has become popular as winter crop as a consequence of the Green revolution
      • Maize, pulses, potato are other important crops
      • The development needed in this is region is improvement in rice farming, horticulture, pisciculture, livestock
    1. The middle Gangetic Plains
      • It spreads over eastern part of UttarPradesh and whole of Bihar
      • It is a gently sloping plain, made of fertile alluvial soil deposited by the Ganga
      • This is an area of hot and humid climate, where annual rainfall is 100-150 cm and temperature ranges from 10-400 C
      • Rice, Maize, millets are the main Kharif crops, while Wheat, gram, barley, peas, mustard and potato are important Rabi crops
      • Mango, guava, lichi, Banana are main fruit crops
      • There is vast scope for improvement of Kharif paddy crop in this region
      • Diversification, along with Dairying, silviculture, agro forestry can help in supplementing farmer income
    1. The Upper Gangetic plains
      • This stretches over the Ganga-Yamuna doab, Lucknow division and Rohilkhand of western Uttar Pradesh and areas in Uttarakhand
      • This is a region of sub-humid continental climate, where annual rainfall varies from 75-150 cm, and has a temperature range of 10-400 C
      • The area has developed adequate facilities for canal and tube well irrigation
      • This is an intensive agricultural region, where wheat, rice, sugarcane, millets, maize, pulses, gram, barley, oilseeds and cotton are widely grown
      • This area has gained from Green Revolution as well
      • Improvement strategy for the region include, emphasis on mixed cropping, horticulture, floriculture, improving saline soils
    1. The Trans-Ganga plain
      • This plain consists of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Chandigarh and parts of Rajasthan
      • The region has productive alluvial soil
      • The climate has semi-arid characteristics where annual rainfall varies from 40-100cm
      • Most rainfall is from South-West Monsoon, while the rest is received from the Western Disturbances during winter season
      • Being an area of continental climate, the region experiences extremes of temperature ranging from 450 C during summer, to 10C during winter
      • Perennial river provide opportunity for canal and tubewell irrigation
      • This region has some of the highest intensities of agriculture
      • Wheat, rice, sugarcane, maize, cotton, pulses are main crops
      • The area has distinction of introducing the Green Revolution in India, when HYV seeds of wheat and rice were introduced in the 1960s
      • Hence, this region faces serious problems of waterlogging, salinity, alkalinity and soil degradation due to over irrigation
      • Region also faces serious crisis of falling water table due to over exploitation of ground water
    1. The Eastern Plateaus and Hills
      • This region includes the Chotanagpur plateau, Rajmahal Hills and Chhattisgarh plains
      • It consists of red and yellow soils, with patches of laterites and alluviums
      • Region receives an annual rainfall varying from 75-150cm, and temperature ranging from 10-400 C
      • Region is deficient in surface water due to non-perennial streams and ground water; due to hard and impermeable rocks
      • Agriculture is mainly rain fed, in which rice, maize, millets, ragi, gram, oilseeds, tobacco, potato are main crops
      • Areas of improvement include introduction of HYV seeds, cultivation of oilseeds, pulses, water harvesting and water shed development
    1. The central plateaus and Hills
      • This region is spread over eastern part of Madhya Pradesh and adjoining parts of Rajasthan, which include parts of Bundelkhand, Baghelkhand, Malwa Plateau and Vindhyanchal hills
      • The region is characterized by semi-arid climatic conditions where annual rainfall varies from 50-100cm, and temperature varies from 10-40 C
      • The soils are mixed red, yellow and black types
      • Crops like millets, wheat, grams, pulses, oilseeds, cotton and sunflower are grown
      • Water scarcity is main issue of the region and hence the need of water conservation through devices like sprinklers and drip system
      • Opting for dry farming, crop diversification, dairy development and poultry are other possible options
    1. The Western Plateaus and Hills
      • The region spreads over the southern part of Malwa plateau and the Deccan plateau of Maharashtra
      • This is the region of black soil known as regur
      • The region is characterized by semi-arid climate with average annual rainfall varying from 25-75cm
      • Irrigation facilities are inadequate in this region, and only a little over 12% of cropped area enjoys irrigation facilities
      • Hence, crops depend on rainfall and are drought resistant as well
      • Jowar, cotton, sugarcane, rice, bajra, wheat, gram, pulses are main crops
      • Agricultural production can be increased by adopting water saving devices like sprinklers in the region
    1. The Southern Plateaus and Hills
      • It includes southern Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and northern Tamilnadu
      • The area has semi-arid climate with annual rainfall of 50-100 cm, and temperature ranges from 13-400 C respectively
      • Since rainfall is less, and temperatures remain high, this is essentially an area of dry farming where millets, pulses, oilseeds, coffee, tea, cardamom
      • Development of poultry, dairy farming, horticulture, use of water saving devices can improve situation in the region
    1. The East Coastal Plains and Hills
      • The region extends all along the eastern coast from Odisha to Kanniyakumari
      • The northern part of this region is called Northern Circar and southern part called Coromandel coast
      • It is formed by the depositional works of Mahanadi, Godavari, Kaveri, and Krishna rivers; and hence deltas are the chief characteristics of this region
      • The region has sub-humic marine climate where annual rainfall varies between 75-150cm
      • As it’s a coastal area, there is small range of temperature from 20-300 C
      • The soils are alluvial, loam and clay; but soils here suffer from problems of alkalinity
      • The main crops are rice, jute, tobacco, sugarcane, maize, millets, pulses, groundnut and oilseeds
      • The strategies for agricultural development are discouraging mono-culture of rice and encouraging crop diversification
    1. The Western Coastal Plains and Western Ghats
      • The region extends from Tapi Estaury in north to Kanniyakumari in the south and covers coastal areas of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala
      • Its northern part is known as Konkan and southern part is called Malabar
      • The average rainfall exceeds 200cm, and temperature ranges from 18-320 C
      • Rice, coconut, oilseeds, sugarcane, millets, pulses and cotton are main crops
      • Strategies for development include devoting more area to high value crops such as spices, pulses, fruits
      • Improvement in drainage, improving infrastructure, and promotion of prawn culture in brackish water could help too
    1. The Gujarat plains and Hills
      • The region encompasses the plains and hills of Kathiawar and the fertile valleys of Mahi and Sabarmati rivers
      • This is an arid & semi-arid region where average annual rainfall varies from 50-100cm, and temperature ranges from 15-420 C
      • Soils are regur in plateau region, alluvial in coastal plains
      • Groundnut, cotton, rice, millets, oilseeds, wheat and tobacco are the main crops
      • Wheat is the main rabi crop in irrigated areas of the region
      • The whole region is famous for production of oilseeds
      • Development strategies for the region include surface and ground water management, rain water harvesting dry land farming, agro-forestry and development of fisheries in coastal zones and deltas
    1. The Western Dry region
      • This region stretches over the western part of Rajasthan(west of the Aravalli range)
      • It is an arid region, and annual rainfall doesn’t exceed 25cm
      • Winters get as cold as 50 C and summers are as hot as 40C
      • Most of the region is sandy desert
      • Bajra, jowar are chief Kharif crops; while wheat and gram are grown in Rabi season
      • Here, livestock rearing is main occupation of people
      • Irrigation by Indira Gandhi Canal has changed the cropping pattern and raised income level of farmers
      • Main development strategies include emphasis on crop improvement and water management
    1. The Island region
      • The region includes Andaman and Nicobar Island in the Bay of Bengal and Lakshadweep Islands in the Arabian Sea
      • This region has uniform equatorial climate where average rainfall exceeds 200cm, and mean annual temperature ranges around 300 C
      • Soils vary from sandy along coast, to clayey loam in valleys and lower slopes
      • Rice is main crop followed by maize, jowar, bajra, pulses and plantation crops like arecanut, cassava, turmeric etc.
      • Nearly half of cropped area is under coconut
      • Main development strategies should focus on crop improvement, water management and fisheries