Cash crops – the term is self-evident! Any agricultural crop grown solely for profits is known as a cash crop. National Geographic categorises such crops into six groups:
- Oil and
Some of the most common cash crops across the world are cotton, coffee, tea, coconut, rubber, fruit, lentils, rice, and maize. Cultivation of cash crops also varies from country to country, and region to region. For instance, if Australia is known to be a leader in the production of lentils, then Vietnam considers coconut as its main cash crop.
Status in India
India grows many types of cash crops, and the main ones are:
- Tobacco and
Rice, maize, pulses, tea, wheat, millets, and jute are other cash crops grown in India. Each of these crops is produced in different regions of our country and contribute to agricultural profits too.
Sugarcane is not just a major source of sugar; it is also a major cash crop. Cultivation takes place mainly in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Maharashtra to name a few states. In the financial year of 2021, India produced around 82 metric tons of sugarcane per hectare. The country also exported sugar to the tune of 4 billion US dollars in the fiscal year 2022.
Jute is also known as the golden fibre and states like West Bengal, Bihar, and Assam are a few of the top jute producers. The crops are used to make diverse kinds of products such as paper, eco-friendly items, sacks, and even furniture. In the fiscal year 2022, India produced around 1080 metric tons of jute goods.
Cotton supports the livelihood of more than 6 million farmers in India. States such as Punjab, Haryana, and Madhya Pradesh are top cotton cultivators. 36.5 million bales of cotton were produced by India in 2020 and we exported cotton to the tune of US$ 6.3 billion in the year 2020-2021.
Indian tea is a cash crop too! 65 million kg of tea have been exported during January to April 2022. The value? US$ 215 million. Assam, Darjeeling, and the Nilgiris are the major tea cultivators in India. India also exports various kinds of tea: regular, black, herbal, and green. This also makes India the second largest producer of tea in the world.
As oilseeds go, India produces soyabean, rapeseed, mustard, peanuts, castor seed, & sesame as few of the top oilseeds. In 2022, India produced more than 37 million metric tons of oilseeds and soyabean accounted for 13 million metric tons of this number. Gujarat is known for peanut production and Rajasthan for mustard and rapeseed.
Finally, tobacco is a cash crop for India too. Flue Cured Virginia (FCV) tobacco was in recent news because it fetched a record price of ₹179.19 per kg in an Andhra Pradesh auction. In 2022 fiscal year, India exported manufactured tobacco for a value of US$ 353 million. Apart from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka is known for this cash crop as well.
150 years – that is the age of the jute industry in India