NIOS Class 10 Social Studies Chapter 18 Agriculture in India, Introduction Part 3 (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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Major Crops of India

Commercial Crops

These agricultural crops are grown to sell for profit either in a raw or semi processed form. Below are some examples of cash crops.


  • This is considered as one of the most important crops as it is the actual source of sugar, Gur and Khand sari.
  • This crop mainly originates in India and belongs to the bamboo family.
  • During the manufacturing process of alcohol, papers and bagasse, the extracts of sugarcane are used as a raw material.
  • It is also capable of producing materials for petroleum, chemical and food industry.
Geographical Conditions for the Growth
  • Temperature: Hot and humid weather with an average temperature of to is needed for the growth.
  • Rainfall: Rainfall ranging from 75 - 150 cm helps in growing the best sugarcanes and areas with less rainfall than the expected range would require irrigation.
Sugarcane Production
  • Soil: It can be grown in any variety of soil that holds the moisture level. However, the most advisable texture would be deep rich loamy soil that is rich in nitrogen, calcium and phosphorous. It shouldn՚t be more acidic or alkaline either. Sugarcanes are cultivated in Flat, plain and level plateau as it provides irrigation and transportation of cane to the sugar mills. It requires more amount of manures and fertilizers for cultivation as it depletes the quality of soil easily.
  • Labour: The cultivation requires enough labourers at every stage i.e.. , sowing, weeding, hoeing, irrigation, and cutting and for carrying sugarcanes to the mills.
  • Distribution: India is said to be the second largest producer of sugarcanes next to Brazil and vast areas in India are being used for sugarcane cultivation when compared with other countries.
    • There are three important sugarcane productions in India:
      • Sutlej-Ganga plain from Punjab to Bihar - 60 % of total production of the country and 51 % of total area.
      • Black soil area from Maharashtra to Tamil Nadu along the eastern slopes of the western Ghats.
      • Coastal Andhra Pradesh and the Krishna valley.


  • One of the significant fibers across the world is cotton.
  • It is also known as Kharif crops grown in tropical and sub-tropical regions.
  • It is one of the basic raw materials for the cotton textile industry.
  • The cotton seeds are being used in Vanaspati oil industry and in fodder for milch cattle for better milk production.
Geographical Conditions for the Growth
  • Temperature: As mentioned earlier, it is a crop of tropical and sub-tropical areas. High temperature varying between and (abundant sunshine) is necessary for growth.
  • Rainfall: Mostly grows in the area having 210 frost free days in a year. Rainfall varying from 50 to 100 cm is required. Nevertheless, the crop can be grown with the help of irrigation where rainfall is comparatively less. High rainfall in the beginning and dry weather during the time of ripening results in cultivating good crops.
  • Soil: It grows well in Black cotton soil which is found in drier parts of the Deccan Plateau. Also, it can be grown in alluvial soils of Satluj-Ganga plain and laterite (red) soils of peninsular region.
  • Labour: This requires a greater number of labourers at the time of picking as the process is not mechanized till now
  • Distribution: India is said to be the third largest producer of cotton next to China and the USA and vast areas are used for cultivating cottons. Two third of total area and production is shared among four states in India. And those states are Punjab, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Haryana.
Cotton Production


  • Oilseeds are one among the commercial crops grown in India.
  • India has the largest amount of area for oilseed production in the world.
  • It serves as a raw material for hydrogenated oils, paints, varnishes, soaps and lubricants.
  • Groundnut: Groundnut which is grown both as Kharif and Rabi crop, is an important oilseed production in India.
Geographical Conditions for the Growth
  • Temperature: It requires to temperature and it grows well in tropical climate.
  • Rainfall: The favourable rainfall for groundnut cultivation is 50 - 75 cm. It can be easily affected by frost, drought, rain and water that are being stagnant. So, dry winter will help groundnut at the time of harvesting.
  • Soil: Sandy loams, red, yellow and black soil suits for groundnut cultivation.
  • Distribution: Groundnut production is widely done in India and it accounts for about one-third of the worlds to the production. Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat are the three main producers of groundnut in India.

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