Agriculture : Food Grains

  • On the basis of seasons, the crops in India have been divided into Rabi, Kharif and Zaid crops.
  • Kharif season starts with the onset of monsoon. It continues till the beginning of winter. Major crops of this season are rice, maize, jowar, bajra, cotton, moong dal, urad dal, etc.
  • Rabi season starts with the beginning of winter season. It continues till the beginning of summer. Major crops of this season are wheat, barley, gram, linseed, rapeseed, mustard, etc.
  • Zaid is a summer cropping season. The major zaid crops are groundnut, major vegetables, watermelon, musk-melon, cucumbers, etc.
  • Rice is the most important food crop of India. It feeds more than half of our population. India is the second largest producer of rice in the world. 29% of the total rice area of the world is in India. Production of rice is regularly increasing in India. Major producer states are West Bengal, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. Other rice growing states include Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Assam and Maharashtra.
  • Wheat is the second most important food crop of India. India is the fourth largest producer of wheat in the world. 14% of the total cropped area in the country is under wheat cultivation. India contributes about 8% of the total world production.
  • Maize is an important coarse grain. It contains glucose and starch. It is used as both food and fodder. Maize is grown in kharif as well as rabi season. India produces only 1.7% of the total world production of maize.
  • Jowar is the third important food crop of India after rice and wheat. It provides substantial food to people living in dry areas of Deccan Plateau. It is also used as fodder in several parts of the country.
  • Bajra is a kharif crop, sown between May and August and harvested between September and January. It is the staple food for many poor people. Bajra is also used as fodder for animals. Its stalks are fed to cattle or used for thatching purposes.
  • Ragi is mainly grown in drier parts of south India. Some parts of north India contribute a small quantity. It is sown between May and August and harvested between September and January.
  • Pulses are a major source of protein in vegetarian Indian diet. As leguminous plants, they fix the atmospheric nitrogen. They are grown in rotation with other crops to restore soil fertility.

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  • Q1

    What has made farmers in China grow rice even in hill slopes?

    Marks:1
    Answer:

    Farmers in China are forced to grow rice even in hill slopes to feed the increasing population of their country.

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  • Q2

    Name the programme which was launched to increase the production of pulses in India.

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    Answer:

    National Pulses Development Programme (NPDP) was launched in 1986-87 to increase the production of pulses.

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  • Q3

    What do you mean by ‘spring wheat’?

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    Answer:

    Wheat, which is sown in spring and harvested in summer is called ‘spring wheat’. It is grown in China.

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  • Q4

    Which is the most suitable soil for the cultivation of rice?

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    Answer:

    Deep fertile clayey or loamy soils are considered best for the cultivation of rice.

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  • Q5

    What are the three cropping seasons of India?

    Marks:1
    Answer:

    The three cropping seasons of India are (i) Kharif (ii) Rabi and (iii) Zaid.

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