Rajasthan is an agrarian state, where eighty percent of the total population resides in rural area and largely dependent on agriculture as the source of their livelihood. The economy of state is mostly depended on agriculture. 22.5 percent of state’s GDP comes from agriculture. Recognized as the largest state of India, Rajasthan has cultivated area of almost 20 million hectares but due to some unavoidable circumstances on 20% of the total cultivated area is irrigated. This really is a tense situation.
The weather is arid and hot. Large portion of terrain is dry. Droughts are common in Rajasthan and state has experienced some severe droughts in last few decades. Due to unstable weather conditions farmers have to depend on both rainfed and ground water agriculture. With the decreasing ground water level the cropping situation is more terrible as the farmers in the state have to survive mostly on ground water received from Punjab Rivers in the north, the Narmada River in the south and the Agra Canals from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh are the water providing sources to the dry land. Northwestern Rajasthan is irrigated by the Indira Gandhi Canal. Irrigation is done through electric pumps.
Despite of this the traditional cropping pattern is still continuing by using camels and buffaloes. Nowadays farmers are using tractors for this purpose. The use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides has increased the crop productivity and nowthe state is self sufficient in the production of food grains.
The two major crops sown in the region are Rabi crops and Khariff Crops.Rabi Crops:
Also known as winter crops are mainly the crops depended on ground water irrigation. These are the crops which are cultivated in the months of October and November and are harvested in the months of March and April. The crops sown during rabi season are Barley, Wheat, Gram, Pulses and Oil Seeds. The major oil seeds are Rape and Mustard.Khariff Crops:
Also known as rainfed crops are sown in the months of June and July and harvested in the months of September and October. These are the crops which are totally depended on rains, where there is good rain there is bumper production. The crops of this season include Bajra, Pulses, Jowar, Maize and Ground Nuts.
The areas which have huge basket of water or have maximum water sources are involved in producing high-yielding varieties of rice.
Some area of Rajasthan has black soil which is suitable for the production of cash crops like cotton. In some areas vegetables and fruit crops are grown.The major crops of Rajasthan can be mentioned as follows:Bajra(Pennisetum typhoideum)
is normally consumed by the rural poor, the tribal community migrating from one place to another. Rajasthan is the largest producer of bajra in India. Juar(Sorghum vulgare)
is an important pulse crop grown during the monsoon. Gram(Cicer arietinum)
is also one of the major pulse crop grown in rabi season.Wheat(Triticum sp.)
is the major crop of Rajasthan grown almost in whole state. Barley(Hordeum vulgare)
is the second largest crop in Rajasthan. Maize(Zea mays)
is mostly consumed by the Bhil tribes in the Aravalli region. In northern Rajasthan, maize is interestingly eaten with butter and the green leaf of the mustard plant. Groundnut
is an oilseed cash crop grown in khariff season. Sesame (Sesamum indicum)
Rajasthan is the second highest producer sesame in India. Cotton(Gossypium sp.)
recognized as a cash crop. Cotton has played an important role in making Rajasthani textile industry famous in world.List of major crops produced in different districts of Rajasthan.