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Cash crops in India - statistics and facts

Agriculture plays a significant role in the Indian economy, and nearly 60 percent of the population is dependent on agriculture and its allied sectors. It not only provides livelihoods but also fulfils the basic needs of both animals and humans alike. Thus, nearly 16 percent of the GDP contribution comes from the agriculture sector. Contrary to staple food cultivation, cash crops are mainly produced for commercial purposes and sold in national and international markets.

India is one of the leading producers of crops in the world. Farming in the country is divided into food, cash, plantation, and horticulture crops. Nearly half of the cropping land is owned by small and marginal farmers in the country; there has been an increase in the number of women farmers and their landholding in recent years. However, as a means to make more money, cash crops come to a farmer’s rescue. Additionally, exports help in increasing income and are profitable for sustenance. For instance, India was one of the leading exporters of cotton, with an export volume of over 700 thousand metric tons.

Sugarcane, cotton, jute, oilseeds, and tobacco are common profitable cash crops cultivated. With an increase in productivity of certain crops, especially sugar, the government aids the cultivation in providing incentives. For tobacco, ITC Limited works hand in hand with farmers to procure the raw material through its agribusiness segment. Parry’s, market leader in sugar manufacturing, trains farmers on scientific methodologies to increase yield and productivity.

Generally, cropping patterns are influenced by rainfall, climate, soil conditions, access to resources, and the farmer's economic conditions. As climate change has a significant influence on crop cultivation, there has been a subsequent reduction in the income due to frequent climate anomalies and a shortage of laborers and raw materials for agro-based industries.

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Cash crops in India

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