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Non-Food Crops in India

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India is a significant agricultural powerhouse. Agriculture employs over two-thirds of the country’s workforce. Agriculture is the principal industry that produces the vast majority of the food we consume. In addition to food grains, it generates raw materials for a range of businesses. Some of the most common crops are as follows:

  1. Food crops: Rice, Wheat, Millets, Maize, and Pulses.
  2. Cash crops: Tea, Coffee, Rubber, Cotton, Jute, Sugarcane, Oilseeds, and Horticulture crops.

Non Food Crops


It can be grown in tropical and sub-tropical areas under certain conditions, as it is a tropical crop. It needs a moist and humid climate with more than 200 cm of rainfall and temperatures above 25°C. Rubber is an essential component of numerous industrial operations. It is primarily farmed in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and the Meghalaya Garo hills. India was the fourth-largest producer of natural rubber in the world in 2010-11.

Rubber Uses

  1. Rubber molded products, such as rubber goods and appliances, are widely utilized in the industry (and in some residential applications).
  2. Rubber is used to make the majority of automotive tires and tubes. As a result, rubber is extremely vital in the vehicle and transportation industries.
  3. Rubber can also be found in matting and flooring applications.
  4. Rubber is frequently used in the fabrication of medical gloves and other protective equipment for medical workers.
  5. Vulcanized rubber, a form of rubber made by cross-linking polymer chains with disulfide bonds, is commonly used in sports equipment as a protective layer. The pads and guards used in the popular sport of cricket, for example, are constructed of vulcanized rubber.
  6. Uncured rubber is widely used in adhesives and cement, making it a popular choice in the construction industry.

Fiber Crops

India’s four principal fiber crops are cotton, jute, hemp, and natural silk. The first three are created from soil-grown crops, while the last is derived from silkworm cocoons fed on green leaves, particularly mulberry. Sericulture is the practice of breeding silkworms for the production of silk fiber.


Cotton is a shrub that grows in subtropical and tropical climates all over the world. The cotton ball has encircled the seed, and whenever favourable conditions arise, this cotton ball will disseminate the seeds for the culture or growth process. Cotton is said to have originated in India. Cotton is a significant raw material in the cotton textile industry. In 2008, India was the world’s second-largest cotton producer behind China. Cotton grows well in the drier areas of the Deccan plateau’s black cotton soil. It requires a high temperature, light rainfall or irrigation, 210 frost-free days, and strong sunlight to grow. It is a Kharif crop that takes 6 to 8 months to mature. The largest cotton-producing states are Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh.

Cotton Uses

  1. Cotton fabrics are used as strainers when making paneer, rasgulla, and other sweet dishes.
  2. Cotton is used to make face masks.
  3. Teabags are made from cotton materials.
  4. Semi-synthetic fabrics are also made from cotton.


Golden fibre is what it’s called. In the flood plains, where soils are regenerated every year, jute grows successfully on well-drained fertile soils. During the growing period, a high temperature is required. West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Odisha, and Meghalaya are the key jute-producing states. It is used to make mats, ropes, yarn, carpets, and other artefacts. Due to its high cost, it is losing market share to synthetic fibres and packing materials, particularly nylon.


Hemp is an annual herb that grows to be tall, aromatic, and upright. The slender cane-like stalks are hollow save at the tip and base. The blooms are tiny and greenish-yellow, and the leaves are palmately complex. Seed-producing flowers form in elongate spikelike clusters on pistillate, or female, plants. Pollen-producing blooms on staminate, or male, plants form many-branched clusters.

Sample Problems

Question 1: What is the main characteristic of commercial farming?


To achieve increased yield, bigger doses of contemporary inputs such as HYV seeds, chemical fertilizers, insecticides, and pesticides are used.

Question 2: What is a plantation crop?


A single crop is farmed on a big scale in a plantation crop. Plantations cover vast swaths of land, employing capital-intensive inputs and migratory labourers.

Question 3: Define rabi crops?


Wheat, barley, peas, gram, and mustard are Rabi crops that are sown in the winter from October to December. In the summer, from April to June, these are harvested.

Question 4: Why is agriculture considered the backbone of the Indian economy?


Agriculture is regarded as the backbone of the Indian economy, with 63 percent of the population relying on it for work and sustenance in 2001.

Question 5: Which crop is both a plantation crop as well as a beverage crop?


Tea farming is a type of plantation agriculture. It’s also a valuable beverage crop.

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Last Updated : 26 Apr, 2022
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