Agriculture in India

Mains Marks Booster     4th August 2023        
output themes

India is a global agricultural powerhouse. It is the world’s largest producer of milk, pulses, and spices, and has the world’s largest cattle herd (buffaloes), as well as the largest area under wheat, rice and cotton. It manages to handle 65% rainfed area effectively. 

It is the second largest producer of rice, wheat, cotton, sugarcane, farmed fish, sheep & goat meat, fruit, vegetables and tea. 

Current scenario of agriculture

  • Over 70 per cent of the rural households depend on agriculture. It contributes about 18.8% to the total GDP.
  • Accounting for 18.8% (2021-22) in Gross Value Added (GVA) of the country registering a growth of 3.6% in 2020-21 and 3.9% in 2021-22.
  • Indian agriculture sector has been growing at an average annual growth rate of 4.6 per cent during the last six years.
  • The NSSO's latest annual Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) report for 2021-22 (July-June) shows the farm sector's share in the country's employed labour force at 45.5%.
  • Animal husbandry output constitutes about 30% (202021)of the country’s agricultural output. The contribution of this sector to the total GDP during 2006-07 was 5.26%.
  • Feminisation of agriculture: In India, 85% of rural women are engaged in agriculture, yet only about 13% own land. The situation is worse in Bihar with only 7% women having land rights.

Major Crops and Cropping Pattern in India

India is a country with an agrarian economy, with over 54% of the country’s land classified as arable and agriculture industry comprising half of labour market. India's climate varies from humid and dry tropical in the south to temperate alpine in the northern reaches. This diverse climate supports a variety of crops. 

Major Crops and Cropping Pattern in India

Major crops in India 






India 2nd largest producer in World. 

West Bengal is the largest producer in India.

Other major producers are Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.

It is Kharif crop which requires high temperature (above 25) and high humidity with annual rainfall above 100 cm

Loss in the productivity due to repeated areas under the same crops.

Depletion of nutrients from soils .


India is the 2nd largest Wheat producer. 

Important Wheat growing regions – Ganga – Satluj in North West and black soil region of Deccan

Second most important cereal crop

Rabi crop requires a cool growing season and 50-60cm rainfall 

Imbalance in the use of fertilizers especially nitrogen fertilizers.

Low water use efficiency, problems of soil degradation.


Second largest producer after Brazil.

Major producers are Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka,Tamil Nadu

It is tropical as well subtropical crop grows well hot and humid climate with temperature of 21-27 and annual rainfall between 75-100cm.

Depletion of Ground Water resources, soil degradation


India got 1st place in the world in cotton acreage with 120.69 Lakh Hectares area under cotton 


Gujarat is currently the leading producer of cotton in India followed by Maharashtra.

It is tropical crop grows well in hot and humid climate with temp of 21-27? and annual rainfall between 75-100cm.

Heavy use of pesticides, pest infestation, rising cost of seeds, farmer indebtedness-suicides.


Both used as food and fodder.

Third most important food crops after rice and wheat. 

Andhra Pradesh (20.9 %), Karnataka and Rajasthan are major producers 

Kharif crop which requires temp between 21-27? and grows well in old alluvial soil.

High input cost, pest infestation e.g. Fall Army Worm

Poor weed management.

MILLETS (coarse grains)

India is the largest producer of millets in the world. 

Jowar, Bajra and Ragi are important millets.

Major producers: Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh

They are rainfed crops grown mostly in moist areas which hardly needs irrigation. 

Droughts and erratic rainfall

Lack of irrigation facilities

Attack of pest and diseases, low price realization by famers


India is the largest producer, importer and consumer of pulses. 

Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra are the major producers. Arhar (Tur), Urad (Blackgram) and Moong (Greengram) are major produce of pulses in India.

Grown both as kharif and rabi crop.

Needs less moisture and survives even in dry condition.

Lack of high yielding varieties of seeds, attack of pests and diseases, unfavorable prices


Major oil seeds are Mustard, soybean, sesamum.

India is the 4th largest producer in the World.

Almost 72% of the total oilseeds area is confined to rainfed farming cultivated mostly by marginal and small farmers. 


Soil acidity problem, particularly in North east, lack of mechanization of operations