Only 10 % of total land area worldwide is arable. Almost half the arable land around the world (1512) million hectares totally in 2000 was in four countries, namely the USSR (227.5 million ha), USA (187.8 m ha), India (164.9 m ha), and China (97.5 m ha). India has more arable land than more populous China, yet enough hasn’t been done on the farm front. India stands 7th on the globe in terms of total geographical area but 2nd in terms of cultivated land. Nevertheless, agriculture, which makes up about about 26 percent of India’s national earnings are the kingpin on the national economy.
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- Kharif Crop: It is sown in July and harvested in October. Major Kharif crops include – Rice, Maize, Jowar, Bajra, Cotton, Sugarcane, Soyabean, Seasamum and Groundnut.
- Rabi Crop: It is sown in October/November and harvested in March/April. The major rabi crops include: Wheat, Jowar, Barley, Gram, Mustard, Tur and Rapeaseed.
- Zaid Crop: It is sown in march and harvested in June. Such crops include Melon, Watermelon, vegetables, cucmber, moong and urd.
- Commercial Crops: These crops are also known as cash crops. These are grown for trade rather than for self-consumption by the farmers.
- Tea: India is the largest producer and consumer of tea in the world and accounts for about 27% of world production and 13% of the world trade. Export of tea is around 20% of domestic production.
- Coffee: Although India contributes only 4% of the world production, Indian coffee has created a niche for itself in the international market, particularly Indian Robustas, which is highly preferred for their good blending quality, Arabica coffee from India is good blending quality. Arabica coffee from India is also well received in the international market.
- Natural Rubber: Rubber is primarily produced in the state of Kerala and adjoining Kanyakumari districts of Tamil Nadu traditional rubber growing areas of the country. Rubber is also produced in Tripura, Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Goa and coastal Karnataka.
India was the second largest producer of both fruits and vegetables in the world. India occupies first position in the production of cauliflower, second in onion and third in cabbage. The National Horticulture Mission (NHM) aims at doubling horticultural production by 2012. Under the NHM, action plans for 18 states, 2 Union Territories and 10 national level agencies have been approved during 2006-07.
NATIONAL HORTICULTURE MISSION (NHM)
The Department of Agriculture and Cooperation has launched a Centrally sponsored scheme called National Horticulture Mission (NHM) during 2005-06 for holistic development of this sector ensuring horizontal and vertical linkages with the active participation of all the stakeholders. The Mission’s objectives are: enhance horticulture production through area-based regionally differentiated strategies: improve nutritional security and income support to farm households; establish convergence and synergy among ongoing programs for horticulture development; and promote, develop and disseminate technologies.
Click Here to Learn about the Major Food Crops In India.