India produces different types of crops due to difference in soil and climate. At some places rice is produced more in quantity and at some other places more wheat is produced. In some regions maize, jute and in other regions sugar-cane is produced. The crops of India are divided into mainly two types:
(a) Food crops (b) Cash crops.
Rice, wheat, maize, millet, barley, mower are the examples of food grains. Jute, cotton, sugarcane, oil seeds and rubber are known as cash crops.
Rice is an important food grain of India. India is next to China in the world in the production of rice. Rice cultivation needs 25° Celsius temperature and an average of 150 centimeters of rain per year. Rice plant needs water from its plantation-stage to harvesting of paddy in its root. Rice cultivation needs fertile soil or loamy soil.
River valley and delta areas are suitable for the cultivation of rice. Rice is produced throughout the country but it is found more in Tamilnadu, A.P., Orissa, Bihar, M.P., Assam etc. Rice is produced mainly once in a year as Kharif crop. But it is cultivated thrice in a year if there is irrigation facility.
Wheat is the second food grain of India. Wheat needs medium rainfall and low cold climate. Wheat cultivation is suitable for the area which has 5 to 10 centimeters of rainfall and 10° to 15° Celsius temperature. Though wheat is produced in different soils but it is more fruitful in fertile sloping and loamy soil. Black soil is also suitable for wheat cultivation. Less rainfall at the graining stage of wheat plant and dry climate during harvesting period raises production. Irrigation facilities help wheat cultivation. Wheat cultivation is generally found in two regions (a) Punjab, Haryana, north-east of U.P. and central U.P. and river valley of Sutlej and Ganga and (b) Maharashtra, M.P. and western A.P. black soil. It is mainly a Rabi crop. Wheat has got an important role in ‘Green Revolution’.
Maize is an important khaki crop of rainy season. Maize is cultivated in different areas and in different climates but it is suitable where temperature is 35° Celsius and rainfall is 75 centimeters. Sloppy fertile soil is suitable for the cultivation of maize. Though rocky soil is unsuitable for maize cultivation, but it is cultivated in hilly areas-of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. Maize is cultivated throughout our country but it is cultivated more in Punjab, U.P., Bihar, M.P. and Rajasthan.
Cotton is a fiber-type cash crop. Cloth is produced from the fiber of cotton and oil from cotton seeds. Cultivation of cotton needs 20° to 25° Celsius temperature and 50 to 75 centimeters of rainfall. Cotton cultivation needs sloppy fertile soil or black soil which contains elements of lava.
Cotton plant needs wet climate at the time of growing and dry climate at the time of collecting seeds. So it is known as Kharif crop. India occupies fourth place in the world of cotton production. (The U.S.A., The U.S.S.R. and China are first, second and third respectively). Cotton cultivation takes place in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Punjab and Haryana of our country. Except these States, cotton cultivation also takes place in Karnataka, Tamilnadu, M.P, Rajasthan, A.P. and U.P.
Jute is another type of fiber crop. Bags, ropes and a lot of other things are made out of jute. Jute cultivation needs hot and wet climate and fertile loamy land. Temperature of 24° to 35° Celsius and 90 to 150 centimeters of rainfall is suitable for jute cultivation. In our country, jute is cultivated in Orissa, West Bengal, eastern U.P., Bihar, Assam and Tripura. More than half of the jute production of India takes place only in West Bengal. India is second to Bangladesh in the production of jute in the world.
Sugarcane is an important cash crop of India. Molasses, sugar and khandasari etc. are produced from the juice of sugarcane. India is the first; in the sugar can cultivate area point of view, in the world. Sugarcane cultivation needs temperature of 15° to 40° and rainfall of 100 to 150 centimeters and fertile loamy soil or hard soil. Sugarcane is cultivated from Kanyakumuri (southern part) to Punjab (north-west) but it is more cultivated in Uttar Pradesh. Except these States sugarcane is an important crop in Maharashtra, Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Punjab, Haryana and Bihar etc.
India is first in the cultivation of tea in the world. Tea cultivation needs hot climate, excess rainfall and sloppy soil. Due to this tea is cultivated only in excess rainfall and sloppy areas of hills. Tea is found more in Assam. But it is also cultivated in Karnataka, Kerala and Himachal Pradesh. Tea is also cultivated in Dehradun of the U.P., Ranchi of Bihar and Tripura.
Coffee cultivation needs hot and wet climate and fertile sloppy land. Coffee needs more temperature than tea. So it is cultivated in southern part of India. Coffee tree cannot bear direct sunshine and so it is cultivated under the shade of big trees and it grows rapidly beneath the big, trees. Coffee cultivation is found in the States of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamilnadu.
Rubber: Rubber is another cash crop. Rubber is needed by different industries and transport industry in this modern age. Rubber is both natural and artificial. Rubber is produced through chemical processes in an artificial way. Rubber needs equatorial climate to grow but it is now cultivated in hot and wet climate garden in natural way. Rubber is cultivated in the State of Kerala in India. Except Kerala, it is found in the Andaman Nicobar Islands, Kurgan of Karnataka State and Chicmagalur district etc.
Groundnut, mustard, rapeseed, linseed and caster help us to get our edible oil. Oil is also extracted from coconut. Out of these oils, some oils are used in the preparation of cosmetics.
India occupies the first position in the world in the production of groundnut. Groundnut cultivation needs temperature varying from 20° to 30° degree Celsius and needs 60 to 80 centimeters of rainfall. Groundnut cultivation needs loamy, sandy and light soil. Groundnuts are produced more in Tamilnadu. But this is also found in the States of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
India occupies second position in the world in the production of linseed (Argentina first). Linseed is produced in Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Linseeds are used to produce color.
Mustard cultivation takes place in West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Assam. Castor is cultivated in the southern Indian plateau. India occupies second position in the world in the production of caster (Argentina first). Coconut cultivation takes place in the costal area of India. Kerala occupies first position in coconut in India.