India, area wise is the seventh largest country in the world after CIS, Canada, Brazil, U.S.A., Australia and China. India is 12 times larger than the U.K., 8 times larger than Japan and 4 times larger than Pakistan.
India’s Gondwanaland was in fact a part of Australia, Africa and South America. It was a big chunk of landmass, millions of years ago (250 million years). The Himalayas arc a later adjunct to the oldest part of Gondwanaland.
These are one of the youngest fold mountains of the world. From this point of view India is one of the uniquest countries of the world.
India has tropical monsoon climate. It is confined to the northern hemisphere. The Tropic of Cancer passes through it midway.
The high Himalayas have a Arctic climate. There is arid climate in Rajasthan, cold dry desert climate in Ladakh and equatorial type of climate in Southern India. The highest rainfall in the world is experienced at Mausinram near Chirapunji in Meghalaya.
India is reckoned among developing countries. Earlier a socialist-democratic model with controls on the exploitation of resources was adopted so that the poor masses of the country could also get a share in the national wealth.
Presently the country is opening up to the global economy. Foreign companies have entered the economic structure of the country Development of science and technology is on the anvil.
India is mainly an agricultural country. It is on its way to industrialization. It has started use of modern methods of agriculture. There exists rich peasantry in Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra and U.P using modern farm technology.
The tribals in Assam, Nagaland, Southern M.P, Jharkhand etc. still employ old and crude agricultural practices. Jhumming is still in operation in many interior parts of interior India.
Out of India’s total geographical area of 328 million hectares, the area under land utilization is 304 million hectares. From this area, 67-4 million hectares are under forests and 175 million hectares net are sown.
The C.I.S. countries grow wheat on nearly 50 million hectares of land which is the largest area used by any country in the world for wheat cultivation. India uses 23-5 million hectares to wheat culture which is less than half of that of C.I.S. countries.
India produces 8-4% of world’s wheat which is less than half of that of C.I.S., 2/3rd of that of the U.S.A. and half of that of China. All other countries trail behind India. In other words India is the 4th largest producer of wheat.
However, Indian yield is very poor. The per hectare production of wheat in Germany is 6620 kg. India’s yield is less than one-third of that of Germany as well as that of France. India’s yield is below that of China (3180), Italy (2920), USA (2660), Canada (2260), in kg. etc.
India grows rice on about 42 million hectares of land, largest in the world. China follows India with 33 million hectares while Indonesia and Bangladesh trail far behind in rice acreage.
So far as the production is concerned, China stands first with T885 million tonnes and India second (11.3 million tonnes), Indonesia is third (44-5 million tonnes) and Bangladesh (28 million tonnes) fourth. Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and Japan are other rice producing countries.
Japan leads the world in respect of per h.a. yield of rice with 6330 kg/hectare. Korea (6260 kg/hectare), USA (6170 kg/hectare), China (5730 kg/hectare) and India’s yield (2640 kg/hectare) lags behind Japan.
India grows maize in 5-9 million hectares of land. This acreage is one- fourth of that of the U.S.A., less than one-third of China and half acreage of Brazil.
India’s production is 2% of world’s maize production. It is 21 times less than that of the USA, 9 times less than that of China and Brazil. South Africa and France are very close to India’s production.
India’s yield (1610 kg/hectare) is very low. It is nearly one-fifth of that of the USA (7440 kg/hectare) and Italy and about one-fourth of that of Canada. India is among those countries of the world whose yield of maize is one of the lowest.
India does not occupy any significant place in the production of oats because India’s climate is not suitable for its cultivation.
India’s production of barley is 8-1% of the world’s production. CIS is the leader. However, India is second to C.I.S. No other country equals India except Canada (7-5%) and Germany (7-8%). India produces 4 times more than China.
India is the leading producer of millets in the world. It produces nearly 38-6% of the world’s millets. China is second (14-8%) while Nigeria (Africa) ranks third (13-4%).
India produces about 10% of world’s cotton which is 2-5 times less than that of China and about half of that of the USA. Erstwhile USSR produced 1-5 times that of India but all other countries trail behind India in cotton production.
India is a leader in jute cultivation. India produces about 50% of the world’s jute. Bangladesh is second and produces about 50% of India’s production.
China is the third largest producer of jute in the world. Thailand, Brazil, Myanmar and Nepal also grow jute.
In hemp production India ranks second to China in the world. India produces one-third of China’s hemp production. Romania is third and close to India but other countries do not produce hemp to any significant extent except Italy and Philippines.
Malaysia is the top producer of natural rubber in the world (28%). India produces less than 1/7th of that of Malaysia. Indonesia, Thailand, Brazil etc. are other rubber producing countries.
India is the largest producer of groundnut in the world about 31% of the world. China is a close second. The USA is third. It produces l/5th of that of India. India’s yield (kg/hectare) is very low. It is 900 kg/hectare and is about 40% of that of the USA as well as that of China.
India produces only about 13% of the world’s production. Canada is the leader and produces double than that of India. Argentina exceeds in production as compared to India. All other countries are well behind India.
India is a leader in the world in the production of tea. It produces about 28% of the world’s tea. China is a close second with 22%. Sri Lanka is a poor third (9-2%). The interesting thing is that India besides being first in production has also the highest yield in the world (1720 kg/hectare).
Only Japan stands closer to India in matters of yield (1520). Tea constitutes an important item of export from India and Sri-Lanka.
Brazil is the world leader, whose production is around 1-4 million tonnes, i.e., 24-2 % of the world’s production. India produces only 2% of the world’s coffee. India is one of the poorest producers of coffee in the world.
China leads in the production of tobacco. It produces nearly 2-27 million tonnes’. India is the third largest producer of tobacco in the world. The USA stands second largest producer of tobacco. India produces about 60% of that of the USA. India exports a little tobacco.
India is world’s second largest producer of sugarcane. Brazil, China, USA, Fiji, Cuba, Mexico etc. arc other sugarcane producing countries.
The C.I.S. is the leading producer of sugar beet. France, USA and Germany are other producers in the world. India does not grow beet.
Japan is one of the leading producers of fish in the world producing 11-9 million tonnes, about one-eighth of the world fish. The C.I.S. also nets almost the same amount. India’s production is one-fourth of that of Japan.
Quality-wise India is very poor because the marine area of India is in the tropics and methods of fishing are old and crude.