Cash crops in India


Farmers produce food for both personal use and trade. Crops cultivated for resale are known as cash crops, whereas those grown for human use are known as food crops. Cash crops were previously grown on tiny areas on farms, but they are now being widely adopted in industrialized countries.

Cash crops in India

Cash crop examples: Sugarcane, tobacco, cotton, jute, and oilseeds are just a few examples.

Food crop examples: Wheat, maize, rice, millets, and pulses are only a few examples.

India is renowned as an agricultural country, with agriculture employing 60% of the people. Farmers in India are completely reliant on agriculture and their livestock. One of the most significant sectors in their day-to-day lives is cash crops. Commercial purposes include cattle, basic foods, and cash crops.

In India’s agriculture industry, cash crops are critical to the country’s economic prosperity.

Importance of cash crops Note:  Cash crops are essential for any country since they aid in the trade of raw materials and provide employment. It also assists small-scale farmers in generating their own money.


Tobacco was the first major cash crop introduced in Jamestown Colony, Virginia, by merchant John Rolfe in 1610 CE.

Cash crops such as cotton, indigo, and opium plant cultivation increased in India during the Mughal Empire (1526-1757 CE)

Major cash crops of India:

Major cash crops in India

There are many other types of crops in India, however these are the most important cash crops.


It contributed 7% of the value in the agriculture industry and covered around 4 lakh acres of land in India. After textiles, sugarcane is the second greatest source of raw material for the agro-based sector.

Sugarcane production is expected to reach 30.56 million tonnes from October 2020 to May 2021.

The first eight months of this year’s production totaled 305.68 lakh tonnes, owing mostly to increased output in Maharashtra.


 It contributes a total of Rs 11,79,498 crores to the Indian economy and employs 4.57 million people. Tobacco is grown on 0.25 percent of Indian land, and there are 96,865 tobacco growers registered in India.

Andhra Pradesh is the state that produces the most tobacco.


 It is India’s most significant fiber and cash crop, employing 40-50 million people. It encompasses about 13 million hectares of cultivable land. CAI (Cotton Association of India) announced in a statement that production stood at 360 lakh bales from October 2020 to September 2021.

Gujarat is the state in India that produces the most cotton, followed by Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Haryana, and many more.

It is grown on black soil, sometimes referred to as cotton dirt.


In India, it is the second most significant cash crop after cotton in terms of commerce and industry. Jute is grown on around 8 million hectares of land. Jute is mostly produced in Assam, Meghalaya, West Bengal, and other states of India.

In 2020-21, 55 lakh bales will be produced, compared to an average of 65-70 lakh bales in previous years.


The second most profitable cash crop in the Indian economy is oilseed. Oilseed production needs around 27 million hectares of land. In India, West Bengal produces the most oilseeds, followed by Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and other states.

India is expected to produce 37.31 million tonnes of oilseeds from 2020 to 2021.

Advantages and disadvantages of cash crops:


  1. The high output of cash crops creates jobs for those who are looking for work.
  2. Cash crops contribute to the country’s economic stability.

Disadvantages :

  1. Due to the increasing demand for cash crops, it resorts to using chemicals that are hazardous to one’s health.
  2. Chemical pesticides harm product quality.
  3. Due to population growth, there is a shortage of agricultural land for the production of income crops.
  4. Land fertility declines as a result of the increased use of chemical fertilizers to increase cash crop output.

List of cash crops in India:

 Approximately most of the crops are known as cash crops.

List of Cash Crops in India

Here is the list of cash crops in India:


The largest producing states in India include Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.


 The states that produce the most cotton include Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.


 Jute is produced in West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Orissa, and Meghalaya.


 Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Rajasthan are the leading producers of groundnuts.


 Assam, West Bengal, and Odisha are the states where it is mostly grown.

 Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, and Rajasthan are among the states that grow maize.
 In India, millet is grown on around 14 million hectares of land. Millets are used in flour, biscuits, and flakes, among other things.
Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Andhra Pradesh are among India’s top pulse growers.


 India is both the world’s second-largest producer and consumer. Assam, Darjeeling, Meghalaya, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka are some of the most important tea-growing states.

1.Sustainability of cash crops:

Around 70% of the world’s food was grown by 500 million small-scale farmers. Due to a lack of literacy and financial resources, they have no idea how to grow their business. They are unable to store cash crops to subsist due to a lack of energy and income. They put in more work yet get compensated less. As a result, they are uninformed of proper agricultural and commercial practices.

In general, they don’t have much more understanding regarding the long-term viability of cash crops.

2.Black market cash crops:

Opium poppies:

Morphine, derived from opium, was the first medicinal medication identified by Friedrich Serturner in 1804 and given the name morphine. It’s a non-synthetic narcotic cash crop with a strong addictive factor.

Burma produces the most opium in the world, followed by Iran and Afghanistan.


It’s an energy booster that also helps with headaches, toothaches, and stomach cramps, among other things. It also aids in the reduction of hunger and weariness. According to estimates, coca production will reach 5.024 million tonnes in 2020-21.

Peru is the world’s largest coca leaf producer, followed by Bolivia and Colombia.


Marijuana, also known as Cannabis, is used to treat a variety of conditions including Alzheimer’s illness, appetite loss, cancer, Crohn’s disease, anorexia, epilepsy, glaucoma, and more.

Afghanistan is the most popular marijuana-producing country.

Q & A:

What are global valuable cash crops?

Ans:- Cannabis(black market cash crops) is the world’s most valuable cash crop, trailed by rice, maize, and wheat.

what are the most profitable cash crops in India?

Ans:- Although all crops are profitable, the most profitable in India are sugarcane, cotton, wheat, and tobacco.

What are short-term cash crops?

Ans:- Short-term cash crops are oilseeds, radish, sorghum, oats, yellow mustard, and other crops that are cultivated in 45 to 60 days or less than that period.

what are universal cash crops?

Ans:- According to Universal Cash Crops India Private Limited, sandalwood, teak, mango, olive, and jatropha (biodiesel) offer high return potential while simultaneously benefiting the environment.

What are the best cash crops for small farms?

Ans:- Cultivation of Bamboo, mushrooms, Lavender, Garlic, Christmas trees, flowers, Ginseng, groundcovers, herbs, decorative grasses, and many more crops that are ideal for income crop production on small farms.

What are the fastest-growing cash crops?

Ans:- Bamboo farming is the finest for rapid growth in the agricultural area; they grow 4 inches per day and maybe kept for at least 40 years.



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