What is Agro-Climatic Zone?

Green Revolution provided the much needed food security to the vast population of the Indian Nation but in spite of being one of the top producers of almost all agricultural commodities, the productivity is still very low compared to many other countries in the world. In this article, we have explained the term and the importance of the Agro-Climatic Zone which is very useful for the competitive examinations like UPSC-prelims, SSC, State Services, NDA, CDS, and Railways etc.
Agro-Climatic Zone
Agro-Climatic Zone

Green Revolution provided the much needed food security to the vast population of the Indian Nation but in spite of being one of the top producers of almost all agricultural commodities, the productivity is still very low compared to many other countries in the world. The Agro-Climatic Zone is one of the tools to maximize the production from the available resources and prevailing climatic conditions, need-based, location specific technology needs to be generated. 

What is Agro-Climatic Zone?

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) defined an agro-climatic zone (ACZ) as a land unit represented accurately or precisely in terms of major climate and growing period, which is climatically suitable for certain range of crops and cultivars. In other words, it is an extension of the climate classification keeping in view the suitability to agriculture.

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Agro-Climatic Zone/ regions in India

The Planning Commission of India has divided the India into fifteen broad agro-climatic zones on the basis of physiography, soils, geological formation, Climate, cropping patterns, and development of irrigation and mineral resources for extensive agricultural planning and developing future strategies. The main objective was to integrate plans of the agro-climatic regions with the state and national plans to enable policy development based on techno-agro-climatic considerations. The agro-climatic zones in India are given below:

1. Western Himalayan Region

Area: Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and the hill region of Uttarakhand

Major Crops: Saffron, maize, barley, oats and wheat; peaches, apricot, pears, cherry, almond, litchis, walnut

2. Eastern Himalayan Region

Area: Arunachal Pradesh, the hills of Assam, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, and the Darjeeling district of West Bengal

Major Crops: Rice, maize, potato, and tea; orchards of pineapple, litchi, oranges and lime

3. Lower Gangetic Plain Region

Area: West Bengal (except the hilly areas), eastern Bihar and the Brahmaputra valley

Major Crops: Rice, jute, maize, potato, and pulses

4. Middle Gangetic Plain Region

Area: Parts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar

Major Crops: Rice, maize, millets, wheat, gram, barley, peas, mustard and potato

5. Upper Gangetic Plains Region

Area: Central and western parts of Uttar Pradesh and the Hardwar and Udham Nagar districts of Uttarakhand

Major Crops: wheat, rice, sugarcane, millets, maize, gram, barley, oilseeds, pulses and cotton

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6. Trans-Ganga Plains Region

Area: Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi and the Ganganagar district of Rajasthan

Major Crops: wheat, sugarcane, cotton, rice, gram, maize, millets, pulses and oilseeds

7. Eastern Plateau and Hills

Area: Chhotanagpur Plateau, extending over Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Dandakaranya

Major Crops: rice, millets, maize, oilseeds, ragi, gram, potato, tur, groundnut, soyabean, urad, castor, and groundnut

8. Central Plateau and Hills

Area: Bundelkhand, Baghelkhand, Bhander Plateau, Malwa Plateau, and Vindhyachal Hills

Major Crops: millets, wheat, gram, oilseeds, cotton and sunflower

9. Western Plateau and Hills

Area: Southern part of Malwa plateau and Deccan plateau (Maharashtra)

Major Crops: Wheat, gram, millets, cotton, pulses, groundnut, oilseeds, sugarcane, rice, wheat, oranges, grapes and bananas

10. Southern Plateau and Hills

Area: Interior Deccan and includes parts of southern Maharashtra, the greater parts of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu uplands from Adilabad District in the north to Madurai District in the south

Major Crops: millets, oilseeds, pulses, coffee, tea, cardamom and spices

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11. Eastern Coastal Plains and Hills

Area: Coromandal and northern Circar coasts of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa

Major Crops: Rice, jute, tobacco, sugarcane, maize, millets, groundnut and oilseeds

12. Western Coastal Plains and Ghats

Area: Malabar and Konkan coastal plains and the Sahyadris

Major Crops: Rice, coconut, oilseeds, sugarcane, millets, pulses and cotton

13. Gujarat Plains and Hills

Area: Hills and plains of Kathiawar, and the fertile valleys of Mahi and Sabarmati rivers

Major Crops: Groundnut, cotton, rice, millets, oilseeds, wheat and tobacco

14. Western Dry Region

Area: West of Aravalli (Rajasthan)

Major Crops:  Bajra, jowar, moth, wheat and gram

15.  Island Region

Area: Andaman-Nicobar and Lakshadweep

Major Crops:  rice, maize, millets, pulses, arecanut, turmeric and cassava


Agro-Climatic Zone

The agro - climatic zone division will help to achieve the optimum utilization in a suitable manner within the framework of resource constraints and potentials of each region. This classification will also help in the development of efficient farming systems and crop improvement research programmes, and establishing principles for improved resource management.

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