Top Agricultural states in India
In an heterogeneous country like India where the population stands at 1.3 billion, Agriculture stands apart to be one of the most important sectors. Agriculture with its allied sources stands apart to be one of the largest source of livelihood in a developing country like India for about 58 % of the population. Gross value added by agriculture, forestry and fishing was estimated at Rs 19.48 lakh crore (US $ 276.37 billion). Agriculture and its allied sectors account for 17.8 % of the gross value added (GVA). Around 70 % of the rural population still depends on agriculture for its livelihood, with 82 % of the farmers being small and marginal.
According to the Economic survey of India report in the financial year 2020, the total food grain production was estimated to be recorded at 295.65 million tonnes – up by 11.44 million tonnes compared to 285.21 million tonnes in financial year 2019. However pandemic has taken a toll in the food production, it is estimated to expand post the pandemic led contraction as much as 6.6 %. India is the second largest producer of the agricultural products such as wheat, rice, sugarcane, several dry fruits, and largest producer of many fresh fruits like papaya, banana, mango, potato pumpkin, squash and gourd.
Top ten agricultural states
Here we will see the leading top ten crop producer states of India and what they grow.
- West Bengal
West Bengal is the largest food grain producer in India. It is known for its rice production. It is closely followed by Uttar pradesh, Uttar pradesh and Punjab comprising nearly 2.7% of the land in India. It supports nearly 8% of the country.
The Bengal state government has emphasized the importance of cold storages , cold chains , seed industry and factories for farming. It has opened doors for several businessmen from the private sector to develop such facilities for the farmers of the state.
According to an Article published in Indian express, West Bengal chief minister relaunched a government scheme named ‘Krishak Bandhu’ for doubling the farming assistance to Rs 10000 a year. Farm labourers and sharecroppers who own one kottah (0.0165 acre) of land will get Rs 4000 a year instead of Rs 2000 as a financial aid.
Food crops grown
As mentioned earlier, West Bengal is one of the leading rice producers in the entire country. According to the statistics, rice production in Bengal was estimated to be 146.05 lakh tons on 2600 kilograms per hectare yield. Apart from rice production, Bengal is also known for cultivation of crops such as cauliflower, cucurbits, cabbage, okra, rice and jute. Some fruits that are grown there are – Mango, Litchi, Pineapple, Guava, and Orange.
Since, rice is a kharif crop and is sown in March- April and is harvested in Autumn. It is grown in varied soil conditions but clayey and loamy soil provides the ideal conditions. They are primarily grown in plain areas. Wheat, since it is a Rabi crop is sown in August and harvested in march or april. Pulses is a rabi crop which is sown mainly between September and November and harvested between February and April. It is cultivated either as a single crop or mixed.
The state is bestowed with diverse natural resources. The climate of this state greatly affects the crop production of the country due to its location, which is located in the humid tropic and bay of Bengal closely, it often faces the wrath of temperature like flood, cyclone, hailstorm etc.
In order to further strengthen the agriculture sector of the state, minister of the department ‘Purnendu Basu’ initiated the investment of the private sector in the development of infrastructure.
- Uttar pradesh
Uttar pradesh comes under one of the leading farming states in the country. Around 96 lakh hectares of land, is used to grow wheat in Uttar pradesh. It is the leading producer of sugarcane with over an annual production of 145.39 million tons and around 22.5 million tons of wheat.
Initiating a major farmer outreach, the BJP government in Uttar pradesh has launched ‘PM’s crop insurance scheme’, which helps in providing the financial cover to the crops to sustain damage due to adverse weather.
The climate of Uttar pradesh is predominantly subtropical but the weather conditions change significantly with locations and seasons depending on the elevation of the location.
Food crops grown
The main food grains cultivated in the state are – rice, wheat, maize,millet, gram and lentils. In 2017-18 the pulses production in the state was 1985 tonnes. In the financial year 2016-17, food grain production in the state was 49,144. 6 thousand tonnes.
A diverse climate enables the farmers of Uttar pradesh to grow a variety of crops. Wheat is primarily grown in districts such as Agra, Moradabad, Kanpur & Fatehpur. The major rice producing states here are – Saharanpur, Rae Bareli, Lucknow, Varanasi and Gorakhpur.
Punjab has made unparalleled progress in the agriculture sector since the advent of the green revolution. It is considered to be the most fertile state in the Indian subcontinent. It has the best climatic conditions to cultivate wheat, sugarcane, rice and vegetables. It is the third leading crop producing state in our country. Its distinct feature is the excellent irrigation system. Punjab is also known as India’s breadbasket .
Punjab is divided in into 5 agro- climatic sector:
a.) Sub- mountain undulating zone
b.) undulating plain zone
c.) central plain zone
d.) western plain zone
e.) western zone.
Crops produced in Punjab
Punjab owing to its fertile soil and favorable climatic conditions has enabled the farmers to produce a much larger quantity of crops as compared to other states. In Punjab, crops such as wheat and rice are grown in rotations during the whole year.
According to the 2015 – 16 data, the total rice productions was 1,04,408 metric tons in india out of which Punjab alone produced 11,823 units. Vegetables grown in Punjab are – Potatoes & Onions of which potatoes are farmed in 91,627 hectares of land. Although the fruit demand in the states are met mainly through import, some fruits are grown in the states that are – kinnow, mangoes, peach & Litchi .
Gujarat is one of the fastest developing states in India .The state registered a 12.8 percent annual growth in the last five years. Around 650.67 thousand hectares of land was used for the vegetables, 699.06 thousand hectares of land was used for spices, 439.8 thousand hectares of land was used for fruits, 20.38 thousand hectares of land was used for flower.
Gujarat government in 2021 has launched a scheme ‘Gujarat Kisan Suryoday Yojana’ for farmers. In this scheme the government will spend Rs 3500 crore over the next 3 years to provide solar power to farmers for irrigation during daytime.
The annual rainfall ranges from 625 mm to more than 1500 mm with an average annual rainfall of 972 mm. Despite huge advancements only 34.4 % of area is irrigated.
Major kharif crops grown in the state are – cotton, groundnut, sesamum, castor, bajra, maize and certain vegetables. Sugarcane is also grown in some districts. Major rabi crops grown here are – wheat, rice, maize and mustard. Gujarat is among the top 3 producers of mustard, castor & onion.
In recent years Haryana has emerged as one of the leading contributors of agriculture in the state. Around 70 % of the locals here are engaged in the agriculture sector. The state makes an incredible contribution of 14 % in the central pool.
The farmers in Haryana collectively produced a total collection of 11.3 million tonnes of wheat and 4.15 million tonnes of rice. Horticulture crops cover over 4.90 lakh hectare area. The total vegetable production in Haryana stood at 61.57 lakh metric tonnes.
In 2021, Haryana government started a new scheme for state farmers named ‘Krishi Yantra Anudan Yojana’. Under this scheme, the government provides agriculture equipment at subsidy rates where 40 to 50 % subsidy is mentioned to be provided to the farmers.
The normal annual rainfall is about 300 mm in the southwest and this increases towards the north and eastern areas up to 600 to 1100 mm.
Northwestern zone – This zone covers arid and sub- humid areas of ambala, yamuna, panchkula, kaithal.
South western zone – This zone covers sirsa, fatehabad, hisar, bhiwani. The annual rainfall ranges from 200 to 500 mm.
The major kharif crops grown here are – rice, bajra, maize, and cotton. For the proper growth of these the ground is prepared in April and May and seeds are sown in the commencement of rain in June.
The major rabi crops grown here are – wheat, tobacco, linseed, rapeseed and mustard. The ground is prepared by the end of October or beginning of November and crops here are harvested by March.
- Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh is the major producer of pulses in india. It acts as a major source of income for the about 60 – 75 percent of the people in rural area. As per the 2011 census, the estimated no. of cultivators in the state are 98.44 lakh . The Gross cropped area calculated in 2015-16 was estimated to be around 2.38 lakh hectares.
The Madhya Pradesh government has launched the ‘kisan anudan yojana’ scheme to provide subsidies to the farmers. Under this scheme all the farmers can apply online to obtain farming tools for their farms .
Climate in the state
There are 11 Agro climatic zones in Madhya Pradesh:
a.) Malwa Plateau: Indore, Ujjain
b.) Vindhyan Plateau: Bhopal, Sehore
c.) Central Narmada Valley: Narsinghpur districts, Hoshangabad.
d.) Satpura Plateau: Betul, Chhindwara districts
e.) Jhabua Hills: Jhabua, Jobat
f.) Gird Region: Gwalior, Bhind
g.) Kymore Plateau: Sidhi, satana
h.) BundelKhand Region: Tikamgarh, Karela
i.) Nimar Valley: Khandwana, Harda district
j.) Northern hills of chhattisgarh: Shahdol, Dindori Districts
k.) Chhattisgarh Plain: Balaghat district
Crops grown in the state
The state is one of the leading producers of soybean and wheat. Wheat is mainly grown in the districts of sehore & vidisha. Agro-climatic conditions enable the state to grow a large variety of cereals, pulses , oilseeds and cash crops. Various tropical fruits like coriander, chilli and garlic are also grown here.
Assam as compared to other states in the list is the least developed state. It is highly dependent on agriculture. Around 70 % of the population relies on the agriculture sector for their livelihood, thus making it the most important sector in the state.
The Assam government has launched several schemes to assist the farmers in their state in every way possible. ‘Assam Farmers interest relief scheme’ is one such scheme which will extend support to farmers who are prompt in repaying their loans, by providing a 4% interest subsidy on short –term crop loans up to Rs 2 lakhs.
Crops grown here
Assam is the largest producer of tea in the entire country. It is accountable for nearly 52 % of the tea production in the country. Rice is grown as a seasonal crop in Assam. The agro-climatic conditions of Assam greatly favors the cultivation of rice in the state. Apart from it, Sugarcane is another important crop grown in Assam.
This crop is grown particularly in the Karbi Anglong & Nagaon area in the state. Another important crop grown here is Jute which is used to manufacture a variety of clothing and ropes. Vegetables of almost all kinds are grown locally here like summer seasonal vegetables such as lady’s finger, cucumber, squash and long beans. Some of the other main types of vegetables grown here are winter seasonal vegetables such as Indian mustard, spinach, coriander & cabbage .
Assam receives an average annual rainfall of 2818 mm.
Assam has six agro-climatic zones:
a.) North bank plain Zone
b.) Upper Brahmaputra valley zone
c.) Central Brahmaputra valley zone
d.) Barak Valley Zone
e.) Hills Zone
f.) North bank Plains Zone
- Andhra pradesh
In Uttar pradesh, 62 % of the population is directly or indirectly related to the agriculture sector. Additionally Uttar pradesh has been the major producer of fish in India. Out of the total area, around 1.5 million hectares of land is allotted for horticulture. About 708 thousand hectares of land was reserved for the production of fruits alone, the production of vegetables is accounted for 248.04 thousand hectares of land in the state.
Andhra pradesh chief minister in 2020 launched ‘Rythu Bharosa Kendralu’ project to assist the farmers of his state. This project would act as a one stop shop to address all the needs of farmers across the state. This would help the farmers in every step from purchase of seed to sale of their final produce.
Crops grown here
Rice, cotton, sugarcane, chilli pepper, mango and tobacco are some of the crops that are grown locally here. Uttar pradesh is an exporter of several agricultural products .
The state is comparatively rich in livestock and poultry wealth with 0.39 million crossbred cattle, 1.2 million non- descript cattle and 3.9 million buffaloes, producing an estimated 7.7 million tonnes of milk annually. The meat production of the state is calculated to be around 0.45 million tonnes per year. Uttar pradesh has also been a major contributor of both the coastal and freshwater aquaculture.
The average annual rainfall of Uttar pradesh is estimated to be around 1094 mm.
Uttar pradesh has six agro-climatic zones on the basis of rainfall.
a.) Scare rainfall zone
b.) Southern zone
c.) North coastal zone
d.) Godavari zone
e.) Krishna zone
f.) High Altitude zone
Agriculture is one of the most important sectors of the economy in Karnataka. A total of 123,100 square kilometer of land is cultivated in Karnataka constituting of about 64.60 % of the total geographical area of the state. Despite it being one of the most technologically advanced states, the amount of area irrigated is only 26.5 % of the sown area. The state has mainly three agricultural seasons – kharif, rabi, and summer.
In 2021, the chief minister of Karnataka has announced a new government scheme named ‘Karnataka Raitha Siri’ scheme. Through this scheme the Karnataka government has to provide 10 thousand per hectare to all the millet farmers. Two more schemes namely ‘Raith Kanaja Scheme’, and ‘Gruhalaxmi crop loan Scheme’ were launched by the government to help the farmers of the state.
Crops grown here
The primary crop grown here in Karnataka is Rice which is a staple food in that state. Food, maize, cardamom, and chillies are also produced on a large scale in the state. Karnataka happens to be one of the largest producers of coffee, cereals, and silk in india. Sugarcane and tobacco are also grown here.
Karnataka is divided into 10 agro- climatic zones
a.) Coastal zone
b.) North east transition zone
c.) Northeastern dry zone
d.) Northern Dry Zone
e.) Central Dry zone
f.) Eastern Dry Zone
g.) Southern Dry Zone
h.) Southern transition Zone
i.) North transition Zone
j.) Hill Zone
Chattisgarh is popularly known as the rice bowl of central india. According to one website, the state of chattisgarh had a total crop production area of around 805 thousand hectares of which over 500 thousand hectares were used for the cultivation of vegetables, 225.8 thousand hectares of land were used for the cultivation of fruits, around 14.57 thousand hectares of land were used for flowers and about 15.58 thousand were used for the cultivation of spices.
The government of chhattisgarh would give up to 13000 an acre a year under the new income support programme named ‘Rajiv Gandhi kisan Nyaya Yojana’. In the first installment 1,500 crore would be distributed among 18 lakh farmers. The annual cost of this scheme would be 5,700 crore.
a.) Fruit crops – Lime, Cashew- nut, Guava, Cheku, Mango
b.) Vegetable crops- Cabbage, Beans, Cauliflower, etc.
c.) Spices – Ginger, Turmeric, Methi, Garlic.
d.) Flowers – Marry-gold, Gaillardia, Gladiolus
e.) Medicinal Plants – Jamarosa, Pamarosa, Lemongrass
The climate of the state is dry and humid. The average rainfall of the state is around 1400 mm of which more than 90 % is received during the south-west monsoon (June- September).
India is an agrarian economy. Agriculture not only acts as a backbone for the states mentioned in this list but also acts as an important pillar for the development of our country’s economy. Challenges and hurdles faced by the farmers in our country must be taken seriously and adequate solutions must be provided for the respective problems.
The crops produced in these states not only play a crucial part in ensuring an adequate food supply within their state but it also significantly contributes to the total food production in the country.