agro-climatic zones in india map

The important agro-climatic zones in India

In this article, I will discuss the important agro-climatic zones in India with the help of maps. Agriculture plays a vital role in the overall economy of India. According to the 2011 census of India, about 54.6% of the population is engaged in agriculture and allied activities. Also, agriculture contributes about 17.4% of the gross value added (GVA) for the year 2016-17 (at current price) in India. However, the large areal extent of India gives rise to regional and intra-regional disparities. The government of India has demarcated various agro-climatic zones in India to neutralize disparities among the various regions.

Agro-climatic zones in India

According to the Planning Commission of India, there are 15 agro-climatic zones in India. These agro-climatic regions are delineated on the bases of agro-climatic features. For instance, soil type, temperature, topography, cropping and farming system and water resources. The following are the important agro-climatic zones of India.

  • The North-Western Mountainous region.
  • The North-East region.
  • The Sutlej-Yamuna Plains region.
  • The Upper Ganga Plains region.
  • The Middle Ganga Plains region.
  • The Lower Ganga Plains region.
  • The South-Eastern Plateau.
  • The Aravali-Malwa upland region.
  • The Plateau of Maharashtra region.
  • The Deccan interior region.
  • The Eastern Coastal region.
  • The Western Coastal region.
  • The Gujarat region.
  • The Western Rajasthan region.
  • The Islands of Andaman and Nicobar.

North-Western Mountainous region

  • The northern-western mountainous agro-climatic region consists of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
  • This region is covered by mountain peaks, steep slopes, Himalayan rivers, evergreen forests and deciduous forests.
  • Climatologically, the summer and winters in this region are mild and severe respectively.
  • Geographically, the agricultural activities in this region are confined to the mountain valleys, rivers terraces and gentle slopes.
  • The hilly areas are dominated by maize while the floors of the valley are dominated by rice.
  • Also, this agro-climatic zone is well-known for the cultivation of orchards. For instance, the apple orchards of J&K, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.
  • The local tribes namely, Gujjars, Bakarwal and Gaddis extensively use the alpine pastures for the rearing of sheep, goats, cattle and horses.
  • Geographically, this region is prone to landslide, soil erosion and earthquake.
  • Poor accessibility, inadequate marketing and storage facilities and poor weather are the major problems of this region.
Western Himalayan Agro-climatic region in India

Read more: Himalayas, the great mountain system

Read the complete article on the mountain Himalaya at the above link.

The North-Eastern Region

  • The north-eastern region spreads over the seven states of India, namely, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura.
  • Also, this agro-climatic region is divided further into two subdivisions namely, The Brahmaputra Valley and The Hilly states.
  • This region is marked by both the high rainfall and relative humidity with mild temperature.
  • The local tribes and forests dwellers in this zone usually practice Shifting Cultivation.
  • Rice is the major crop in the plains while tee plantation is the major cash crop of this region.
  • Also, it has a combination of soils, vary from different altitude.
  • The world’s most annual rainfall region also falls in this zone.
  • Moreover, the world’s largest river island, Majuli situated in this region.

The Satluj-Yamuna Plain region

  • The majority of this region lies in the two states namely, Punjab and Haryana.
  • The annual temperature range is high due to great continentality.
  • The average annual rainfall ranges between 50cm-60cm.
  • Due to western disturbances, this region also receives rainfall in winter.
  • Climatologically, May is the hottest month while January is the coldest month of this agro-climatic zone.
  • This region is well-equipped with canals, pumps and tube wells which help in the extensive irrigation of crops.
  • The major crops of this region are rice, sugarcane, cotton and fodder, wheat, peas, grams and oilseeds.
  • Agriculturally, it is one of the most developed regions of India.
  • However, this region faces the problems of salinization, soil erosion and water-logging.

The Upper Ganga plain region

  • The upper Ganga plain is located in Uttar Pradesh mainly over the greater parts of Ganga-Yamuna doab, Rohilkhand and Awadh plains.
  • This region is drained by the Ganga river and its tributaries.
  • During summer, this region experiences the dust storms.
  • Geologically, it is covered by the sediments and alluvial soil eroded by the perennial rivers of Himalayan origin.
  • The average annual rainfall varies between 65cm to 120cm.
  • The upper Ganga plain region receives about 80% of annual rainfall during the summer.
  • Also, it is well equipped with tube wells and pumps.
  • Canals and underground water are the major sources of irrigation of this region.
  • The major crops of this region are rice, maize, sugarcane, wheat, pulses and potatoes.
  • In terms of horticulture, it has orchards of mango, guava, peaches and litchi.
  • Like Satluj-Yamuna plains, this region also faces the problem of alkalinity and salinity of the soil.

Middle Ganga plain region

  • This region stretches over the eastern Uttar Pradesh and the greater parts of Bihar.
  • The Middle Ganga plains are marked by hot and humid summer and mild winter.
  • The mean maximum temperature in summer is about 4⁰C while the mean minimum temperature in winter is about 5⁰C.
  • This region receives most of the rainfall from the south-west monsoon originated in the Bay of Bengal.
  • The average rainfall is about 100cm to 150cm.
  • Geographically, the majority of this region is covered by fertile alluvial soil.
  • Agriculturally, rice, wheat, pulses, sugarcane and oilseeds are the major crops of this region.
  • However, about 24% of the flood-affected area lies in this region (mainly in Bihar).
  • Due to high marginal farmers and small landholding, the modern techniques of farming are not practised in this agro-climatic region.
  • Also, Bihar faces the problems of both floods and drought simultaneously which reduce the overall productivity of farmers.
the climate in india
The climate in India

The Lower-Ganga plain region

  • Geographically, this region lies in the lower portion of West Bengal.
  • Due to predominance of floods, this region is covered with fine clayey to silty-clay of soils.
  • Climatologically, it has a hot and humid climate.
  • The mean minimum temperature is about 15⁰C.
  • Agriculturally, the Lower-Ganga plain is suitable for the cultivation of rice and jute plantation.
  • Being a coastal region, it enjoys the benefits of Pisciculture and its allied sector.
  • Due to the occurrence of natural disasters like cyclones and floods, the farmers of this zone are very poor.

The Aravali-Malwa Plateau region

  • The Aravali-Malwa plateau region spreads over the western Madhya Pradesh and the eastern parts of Rajasthan.
  • Geologically, the southwestern part of this region has black soil.
  • The average annual rainfall of this zone ranges between 50cm to 100cm.
  • Cotton, soybean, millets, maize and pulses are the major crops of this region.
  • Due to lack of irrigational facilities, the agriculture of this region is dependent on the south-west monsoon of India.
  • Also, this region is marked by residual mountain hills and hard rocks.

Maharashtra Plateau region

  • The plateau of Maharashtra spreads over the Maharashtra and western Madhya Pradesh.
  • It has rich black soil which is suitable for cotton cultivation.
  • Being a rain-shadow region, it faces the problem of drought.
  • The major crops of this region are cotton, pulses, oilseeds, wheat, grams and millets.
  • Due to limited irrigational facilities, millet is the staple crop of this region.

The Interior Deccan region

  • This region lies in the three states namely, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
  • Like the Maharashtra Plateau region, it is also a drought-prone area due to high variability of rainfall pattern.
  • Geologically, it has red and yellow soil.
  • The major crops of this region are millet, ragi, rice, cotton, groundnuts and pulses.

The Eastern Coastal region

  • This region lies between the districts of Balasore and the Kanyakumari.
  • The eastern coastal agro-climatic region is covered with the rich alluvial soil deposited by the rivers namely, Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna and Kaveri.
  • The annual rainfall of this region varies between 100cm to 120cm.
  • Rice and Jute are the major crops of this region.
  • Being a coastal region, it has a huge potential for Pisciculture and Aquaculture.

The Western Coastal regions

  • The western coastal agro-climatic region spreads over the three states namely, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala.
  • This region receives high rainfall during the southwest monsoon.
  • The important crops of this region are rice, coconut, spices and cashew nuts.

The Gujarat region

  • The coastal area of Gujarat agro-climate region is humid while the interior parts of this region are dry.
  • The average rainfall is about 100cm.
  • Geologically, the major parts of this region have black soil.
  • The agro-climatic condition of this region is suitable for the cultivation of cash crops like Groundnuts and cotton.

The Western Rajasthan Region

  • The western Rajasthan region mainly consists of the deserts namely, the Thar desert of Marwar and the Aravali’s of Mewar.
  • Geologically, it has sandy soil which is marked by sand dunes.
  • This region is drained by ephemeral rivers like Luni rivers.
  • Also, it consists of residual hills and hard rocks.
  • Due to inadequate irrigation facilities, the inhabitants of this region practise subsistence farming.

The Indra Region

  • The Indra region lies in the states of Rajasthan, particularly in the Ganganagar and Bikaner districts.
  • This region is marked by water-logging and salinization.
  • It receives the rainfall during the southwest monsoon in India.

The Islands of Andaman and Nicobar region

  • Being surrounded by water bodies, this region enjoys the moderating effect of the Indian Ocean.
  • This region has tropical climate endowed with tropical rainforests.
  • Climatologically, it has moderating temperature with high humidity.
  • It receives rainfall in both the southwest monsoon and retreating monsoon.
  • Having a tropical climate, this region is suitable for the cultivation of tropical crops.
  • The important crops of this agro-climatic region are spices, coconut, rice, maize, oilseeds and pulses.
  • It has great potential for both Aquaculture and Silviculture.
  • The hot and humid climate provides the breeding ground for the mosquitoes which cause diseases like Malaria and Dengue.
southwest monsoon and retreating monsoon
Southwest monsoon and Retreating monsoon

What are climatic zones in India

Read a full article on What are the climate zones in India?

The objectives of Agro-climatic zones of India

  • To bring a balance in demand and supply of major commodities.
  • Utilizing the full potential of each agro-climatic zones of India.
  • To generate employment in India.
  • To promote the idea of sustainable utilization of natural resources (land, water and forests).
  • To maximize the net income of farmers.
  • To provide a framework for economic planning.

FAQ: Agro-climatic zones in India

How many agro-climatic zones are there in India?

agro-climatic zones in india map

After conducting a study on regionalisation, the Planning Commission of India has demarcated 15 agro-climatic zones in India.

Name the Agro-climatic zones in India which receive maximum rainfall?

The North-Eastern Hill agro-climatic region receives maximum rainfall.

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