NIOS Class 10 Social Studies Chapter 18 Agriculture in India, Introduction Part 2 (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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Major Crops of India

India grows each and every crop, right from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Gujarat to Arunachal Pradesh. There are four types of crops and let us see in detail about the Types of Crops.

Major Crops of India
S. NoTypes of CropsMeaningMajor Crops
1Food GrainsCrops that are used for human consumptionRice, Wheat, Maize, Millets, Pulses and Oil seeds
2Commercial CropsCrops that are grown for sale either in raw or in semi-processed formCotton, Jute, Sugarcane, Tobacco and Oilseeds
3Plantation CropsCrops which are grown on Plantations covering large estatesTea, Coffee, Coconut and Rubber
4HorticultureSections of agriculture in which Fruits and Vegetables are grownFruits and Vegetables

Food Grains


  • Rice, which is Kharif or a summer crop, is the main food crop in India.
  • Rice provides food to half of the Indian Population, and it covers about one third of the total cultivated area of the country.
  • It can be grown in varied conditions.
Geographical Conditions for the Growth
  • Temperature: Rice needs hot and humid conditions for its growth. The Temperature must be high, monthly temperature, with an average temperature from to .
  • Rainfall: Rainfall that ranges between 150 - 300 cm is suitable for the growth of Rice. Areas like Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, where the rainfall is less than 100 cm, rice cultivation is done only through irrigation.
  • Soil: Rice is grown in various soil conditions. It can be primary grown in plain areas. It is also grown below the sea level in Kuttinad, which is in Kerala.
Rice Production
  • Labour: Labour is cheap for rice cultivation, because most activities are labour oriented and are not mechanized.
  • Distribution: Rice is grown and distributed in almost all states in India. The main rice producing stated are Tamilnadu, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Assam and Maharashtra. Apart from these states, rice is also grown in Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Gujarat and Kashmir Valley (See Fig 12.1)


  • Wheat is the most popular food in India next to rice, which is a Rabi or a Winter Crop.
  • It is sown in the beginning of winter and they are harvested in the beginning of summer.
  • Sowing of Wheat happens in October-November and harvesting of Wheat is done in the month of March-April.
  • This is the main food for the people in North and North-western regions of India.
Geographical Conditions for the Growth
  • Temperature: It is a crop of mid-latitude grassland. Wheat requires a cool temperature, between to when sowing, and to when reaping.
  • Rainfall: Wheat grows well, where there is an annual rainfall of 75 cm. An annual rainfall of 100 cm is the maximum limit for the cultivation of wheat. Like rice, wheat can also be cultivated through irrigation, when there is a lesser rainfall below than 75 cm. Wheat can be damaged by Frost and Hailstorms.
  • Soil: Well drained fertile loamy soil is the best soil form for the Wheat cultivation. Plain՚s areas too help for wheat production.
  • Labour: Wheat is purely mechanized and it requires less labour.
  • Distribution: Wheat productions are mainly done in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab produce more than 66 % of wheat for India.


  • Millets are warm weather crops that are grown in a short duration.
  • These are kharif crops that are used for both food and fodder, and these are sown in May-August and harvested in October-November.
  • Today in India, Millets are consumed by poor people.
  • Millets are widely known by its local names like Jawar, Bajra, Ragi, Korra, Kodon, Kutki, Hraka, Bauti, Rajgira.
Wheat Production
Geographical Conditions for the Growth
  • Temperature: These crops are grown in High temperature ranging between to .
  • Rainfall: Since millets are ‘dry land crops’ , the suitable rainfall is between 50 to 100 cm, which is ideal for cultivation.
  • Soil: They are less sensitive to soil deficiencies, and can be grown in inferior alluvial and loamy soil.
  • Distribution: Bajra and Jawar are most commonly grown in North and South India, where Ragi is consistently grown in Southern India. Jawar, Bajra, is grown in Madhya Pradesh, Gujrat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab. Ragi is generally concentrated in the southern India i.e.. , Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.


  • These crops are mostly leguminous which is rich in proteins which serves the vegetarian people in India.
  • Pulses have the capacity to fix atmospheric nitrogen in the soil.
  • There are several pulses variety in India, such as gram, tur, urd, mung, masur, kulthi, matar etc. The most important pulses are gram and tur.
    • Gram: This is the most important pulse. It comes under Rabi crop category and is sown between September and November and the same is harvested between February and April.
Geographical Conditions for the Growth
  • Temperature: It is grown in a mid-cool and a dry climate with temperature.
  • Rainfall: 40 - 45 cm rainfall is sufficient for the cultivation of gram.
  • Soil: Gram grows well in loamy soil.
  • Distribution: Gram production comes from Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Maharashtra.

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