Agriculture : Commercial Crops

  • Agriculture is essential for our survival. India produces a large variety of crops that include food crops and commercial crops. Certain crops are grown especially to sell in the market and are known as commercial crops.
  • Tea is a plantation crop and the most important beverage. India is the world’s largest producer of tea. It is a crop of tropical and sub-tropical regions. It requires warm and moist climate. The temperature required for tea cultivation is 13°C to 35°C. The main varieties of tea are Black tea, Green tea, Oolong tea, and White tea. The Brahmaputra and the Surma valley of Assam are well known for tea production.
  • Coffee is another important commercial crop of India. Today, India produces about 4% of world’s coffee. It grows well at the altitudes ranging from 1100 m to 2400 m. The temperature should be 15°C to 28°C throughout the year. Different varieties of coffee are Arabica, Robusta, Liberica, and Arabica.
  • Cotton is a tropical plant and a kharif crop. It is the raw material for cotton textile industry. It is also known as ‘universal fibre’. It requires temperature ranging from 20°C to 30°C. It requires at least 210 ‘frost-free’ days in a year. There are four commercially-cultivated species of cotton. These are:
  1. Gossypium hirsutum
  2. Gossypium barbadense
  3. Gossypium arboreum
  4. Gossypium herbaceum
  • Jute is a long, soft and shiny fibre that can be spun into coarse, strong threads. It is also known as golden fibre. Jute requires hot and humid climate and temperature up to 24–35 °C. In jute cultivation, one bale is equal to 180 kg. Corchorus Capsularis or White jute is highly adaptable jute. It is grown on lowland and uplands, both.
  • Sugarcane is a member of the grass family and the world’s largest crop. It belongs to the ‘poaceae’ grass family. Sugarcane farming requires hot and humid climate. Its temperature must be between 20°C and 30°C. Ratooning of sugarcane is a popular method of harvesting in which the lower parts of the plant are left uncut, leaving the roots intact in the soil.
  • Oilseeds constitute a wide variety of seeds, which are grown primarily for the production of oils. Groundnut is a kharif crop, which is widely used to extract oil. Coconut is a very important tropical crop, which gives us several items of everyday use. Coconut oil is widely used in manufacturing hair oil, soaps, cosmetics, etc.
  • Market gardening is horticulture in which fruits, vegetables, flowers, eggs, spices, etc., are grown for sale. India produces a wide range of spices, which include black pepper, cardamom, turmeric, garlic, chilli, etc.
  • India grows a variety of flowers. Floriculture has emerged as a highly profitable business in recent years. Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, West Bengal have emerged as major floriculture centers. About 248.51 thousand hectares area was under Cultivation in floriculture in 2014-15.

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  • Q1

    Name the main tea growing areas of Sri Lanka.

    Marks:1
    Answer:

    The major tea growing areas of Sri Lanka are Kandy, Matali, Hatton, Nuwara Eliya and Badulla.

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  • Q2

    Name the important varieties of jute.

    Marks:1
    Answer:

    The main species of jute are:
    i) Corchorus Capsularis (white jute)
    ii) Corchorus Olitorius (tossa jute) and
    iii) Mesta

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  • Q3

    What are the main varieties of tea?

    Marks:1
    Answer:

    The main varieties of tea are black tea, green tea, oolong tea and white tea.

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  • Q4

    Name the largest groundnut producing state of India.

    Marks:1
    Answer:

    Gujarat is the largest producer of groundnuts, which produces 30% of India’s groundnuts.

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  • Q5

    Name the major oilseeds produced in India.

    Marks:1
    Answer:

    The major oilseeds produced in India are groundnut, mustard, linseed, castor seed, safflower seed, soya bean, sunflower seed and cotton seed.

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