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Indian Farmers

Agriculture in India has a long history dating back to ten thousand years. And, since a major percent of India lives in villages, the villagers depend on agriculture. They are either farmers or workers on the agricultural fields. India's industries and urban business also depend on agriculture. Thus, an Indian farmer truly represents India. He can be called the real son of the soil. It is happiness of Indian farmer on what India's progress and prosperity depend.

Today, India ranks second worldwide in farm output. Agriculture and allied sectors like forestry, logging and fishing accounted for 16.6% of the GDP in 2007, employed 60% of the total workforce and despite a steady decline of its share in the GDP, is still the largest economic sector and plays a significant role in the overall socio-economic development of India.

India is the largest producer in the world of milk, cashew nuts, coconuts, tea, ginger, turmeric and black pepper. It also has the world's largest cattle population (281 million). It is the second largest producer of wheat, rice, sugar, groundnut and inland fish. It is the third largest producer of tobacco. India accounts for 10% of the world fruit production with first rank in the production of banana and sapota.

Yet, at present, Indian farmer is a worse-off, deprived and struggling to compete globally due to various critical reasons, problems and issues such as irrigation, pesticides, soil erosion, lack of technical know-how in absence of government's timely initiatives, lesser yield, financial constraints, debt, drought at times, etc. to name a few.

Climate & Crops

Across Indian subcontinent

Indian soil is vivid and varied. Different regions produce various Crops depending upon the different climate across the subcontinent. Although, it may be broadly described as tropical monsoon type. The four seasons are: winter (January-February), a hot summer period (March-May), a rainy south-western monsoon period (June-September) and a north-eastern monsoon period (October-December).

In addition, a number of micro-climatic patterns occur. The Kashmir valley and some other higher altitude regions experience a typical temperate climate, while still higher areas, such as Ladakh, Lahaul and Spiti, have a typical cold-arid desert climate.

India's climate is formed by the north-east monsoon (winter monsoon) winds which blow from land to sea and the south-west monsoon (summer monsoon) winds which blow from sea to land after crossing the Indian Ocean, the Arabian sea and the Bay of Bengal. Most rainfall in India is caused by the south-west monsoon.

India has various agro-ecological regions. This is based upon physiography, soil characteristics and taxonomy, climate, growing period, land utilization and forest types. Production wise, the first category includes states or areas that have an exceptionally high agricultural growth rate--Punjab, Haryana, and western Uttar Pradesh. The second is states or areas that have high growth rates, but not as high as the first category--Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Jammu and Kashmir. A third category has a lesser growth rate and includes Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka, Orissa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, eastern Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal. These eight states, however, comprise 55 percent of the total food-grains area.

In India, Agriculture, farming and crops can be categorized as Food-grains, Oil Seeds, and, Commercial Crops or we can further classify them into Rice, Wheat, Pulses, and Oil seeds.

India's Agro Regions & Crops

Regions, Climate, Crops

Region Climate Crops
Western Himalayas cold-arid climate limited cultivation of millets, barley and wheat.
Western plains and Kachchh Peninsula Climate is hot and arid millets and pulses are the main crops.
The Deccan plateau Hot arid climate millets, cotton and oil seeds are the main crops.
Northern plains, central highlands, parts of Gujarat plains Hot and semi-arid climate millets, wheat, pulses, maize, sugarcane and cotton are the main crops.
Central highlands, Gujarat plains and Kathiawar Peninsula Hot and semi-arid climate millets, wheat and pulses are the main crops.
Deccan plateau Hot and semi-arid climate millets, cotton, pulses and sugarcane are the main crops.
Deccan plateau and Eastern Ghats Hot and semi-arid climate millets, oilseeds, rice, cotton and sugarcane are the main crops.
Eastern Ghats and Deccan plateau Hot and semi-arid climate; oilseeds, rice, cotton and sugarcane are the main crops.
Northern plains Hot sub-humid climate pulses and sugarcane are the main crops.
Central highlands Hot sub-humid climate sorghum and pulses are the main crops.
Eastern plateau and eastern Ghats Hot sub-humid climate rice, pulses and millets are the main crops.
Eastern plains Hot sub-humid climate rice wheat and sugarcane are the main crops.
Western Himalaya warm sub-humid to humid climate wheat, millets, maize and rice are the main crops.
Bengal basin and Assam plains Hot sub-humid climate rice, jute, plantation crops are the main crops.
Eastern Himalaya warm per-humid climate rice and millets are the main crops.
North-eastern hills Warm-hot to per-humid climate forest and rice in patches are the main crops.
Eastern coastal plain Hot semi-arid to sub-humid climate rice, pulses and millets are the main crops.
Western Ghats and Coastal plains Hot humid to sub-humid climate rice, tapioca, coconut and millets are the main crops.
Islands of Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep Hot sub-humid climate Forest coconut and rice are the main crops.