Agro Climatic Regions

Agro-climatic zones of india

An “Agro-climatic zone” is a land unit in terms of major climates, suitable for a certain range of crops and cultivars.

With the 329 million hectares of the geographical area the country presents a large number of complex agro-climatic situations.

India is divided into 15 agro-climatic zones.The 15 agro-climatic zones are:

Zone 1- Western Himalayan Region: Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh

Zone 2 – Eastern Himalayan Region: Assam, Sikkim, West Bengal and all North-Eastern states

Zone 3 – Lower Gangetic Plains Region: West Bengal

Zone 4 – Middle Gangetic Plains Region: Uttar Pradesh, Bihar

Zone 5 – Upper Gangetic Plains Region: Uttar Pradesh

Zone 6 – Trans-Gangetic Plains Region: Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan

Zone 7 – Eastern Plateau and Hills Region: Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal

Zone 8 – Central Plateau and Hills Region: MP, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh

Zone 9 – Western Plateau and Hills Region: Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan

Zone 10 – Southern Plateau and Hills Region: Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu

Zone 11 – East Coast Plains and Hills Region: Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry

Zone 12 – West Coast Plains and Ghat Region: Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Goa, Karnataka, Maharashtra

Zone 13 – Gujarat Plains and Hills Region: Gujarat

Zone 14 – Western Dry Region: Rajasthan

Zone 15 – The Islands Region: Andaman and Nicobar, Lakshadweep.

Western Himalayan Region

 It includes Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Kumaun-Garhwal areas of Uttaranchal. It shows great variation in relief. Summer season is mild (July average temperature 5°C-30°C) but the winter season experiences severe cold conditions (January temperature 0°C to -4°C).

The amount of average annual rainfall is 150 cms. Zonal arrangement in vegetation is found with varying height along the hill slopes. Valleys and duns have thick layers of alluvium while hill slopes have thin brown hilly soils.

Eastern Himalayan Region

 The Eastern Himalayan region consists of Sikkim, Darjeeling area (West Bengal), Arunachal Pradesh, Assam hills, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura. It is characterised by rugged topography, thick forest cover and sub-humid climate (rainfall over 200 cm; temperature July 25°C-33°C, January 11°C-24°C). The soil is brownish, thick layered and less fertile. Shifting cultivation (Jhum) is practised in nearly 1/ 3 of the cultivated .

Lower Gangetic Plains Region

 This region spreads over eastern Bihar, West Bengal and Assam valley. Here average amount of annual rainfall lies between 100 cm-200 cm. Temperature for July month varies from 26°C-41°C and for January month 9°C-24 0C. The region has adequate storage of ground water with high water table. Wells and canals are the main source of irrigation.

The problem of water logging and marshy lands is acute in some parts of the region. Rice is the main crop which at times yields three successive crops (Aman, Aus and Boro) in a year. Jute, maize, potato, and pulses are other important crops. Planning strategies include improvement in rice farming, horticulture (banana, mango and citrus fruits), pisciculture, poultry, livestock, forage production and seed supply. An export processing zone for marine and sea foods needs to be established which should be equipped with modern facilities of freezing, canning, dehydration, and quality control.

Middle Gangetic Plains Region

 It incorporates eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar (except Chotanagpur plateau). It is a fertile alluvial plain drained by Ganga River and its tributaries. The average temperature of July month varies from 26°C- 4I°C and that of January month 9°C-24°C.The amount of annual  rainfall lies between 100 cm and 200 cm. The region has vast potential of ground water and surface runoff in the form of perennial rivers which is utilised for irrigation through tube wells, canals and wells. Rice, maize, millets in, kharif, wheat, gram, barley, peas, mustard and potato in rabi are important crops.

Upper Gangetic Plains Region

 This region encompasses central and western parts of Uttar Pradesh. The climate is subhumid continental with July month’s temperature between 26°-41°C, January month’s temperature between 7°- 23°C and average annual rainfall between 75 cm- 150 cm. The soil is sandy loam. It has 131 per cent irrigation intensity and 144 per cent cropping intensity. Canal, tube well and wells are the main source of irrigation. This is an intensive agricultural region where in wheat, rice, sugarcane, millets, maize, gram, barley, oilseeds, pulses and cotton are the main crops.

Trans-Gangetic Plains Region

The Trans Ganga Plain consists of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Chandigarh and Ganganagar district of Rajasthan. The climate has semiarid characteristics with July month’s temperature between 26°C and 42°C, January temperature ranging from 7°C to 22°C and average annual rainfall between 70 cm and 125 cm. Private tube wells and canals provide principal means of irrigation. Important crops include wheat, sugarcane, cotton, rice, gram, maize, millets, pulses and oilseeds etc.

Eastern Plateau and Hills Region

 It comprises the Chotanagpur plateau Rajmahal hills, Chhattisgarh plains and Dandakaranya. The region enjoys 26°C-34°C of temperature in July, 10°C-27° C in January and 80 cm-150 cm of annual rainfall. Soils are red and yellow with occasional patches of laterites and alluviums.

Central Plateau and Hills Region

This region spreads over Bundelkhand, Baghelkhand, Bhander plateau, Malwa plateau and Vindhyachal hills. The climate is semi-arid in western part to sub-humid in eastern part with temperature in July month 26°C-40°C, in January month 7°C-24°C and average annual rainfall from 50 cm- 100 cm. Soils are mixed red, yellow and black growing crops like millets, gram, barley, wheat, cotton, sunflower, etc.

Western Plateau and Hills Region

This comprises southern part of Malwa plateau and Deccan plateau (Maharashtra). This is a region of the regard soil with July temperature between 24°C-41 °C, January temperature between 6°C- 23°C and average annual rainfall of 25 cm-75 cm. Net sown areas is 65 per cent and forests occupy only 11 per cent. Only 12.4 per cent area is irrigated. Jowar, cotton, sugarcane, rice, bajra, wheat, gram, pulses, potato, groundnut and oilseeds are the principal crops. The area is known for its oranges, grapes and bananas.

Southern Plateau and Hills Region

 It incorporates southern Maharashtra, Karnataka, western Andhra Pradesh and northern Tamil Nadu. The temperature of July month lies between 26°C to 42°C, that of January month between 13°C-21°C with annual rainfall between 50 cm-100 cm. The climate is semi-arid with only 50 per cent of area cultivated, 81 per cent of dry land farming, and low cropping intensity of 111 per cent. Low value cereals and minor millets predominate. Coffee, tea, cardamom and spices are grown along the hilly slopes of Karnataka plateau.

East Coast Plains and Hills Region

This region includes the Coromandel and Northern Circar coasts. Here climate is sub-humid maritime with May and January temperatures ranging from 26°C-32°C and 20°C-29°C  respectively and annual rainfall of 75 cm-150 cm. The soils are alluvial, loam and clay facing the menacing problem of alkalinity.

West Coast Plains and Ghats Region

 This region extends over the Malabar and Konkan coasts and the Sahyadris and is covered by laterite and coastal alluvials. This is a humid region with annual rainfall above 200 cm and average temperatures of 26°C-32°C in July and 19°C-28°C in January. Rice, coconut, oilseeds, sugarcane, millets, pulses and cotton are the main crops. The region is also famous for plantation crops and spices which are raised along the hill slopes of the Ghats.

West Coast Plains and Ghats Region

 This region extends over the Malabar and Konkan coasts and the Sahyadris and is covered by laterite and coastal alluvials. This is a humid region with annual rainfall above 200 cm and average temperatures of 26°C-32°C in July and 19°C-28°C in January. Rice, coconut, oilseeds, sugarcane, millets, pulses and cotton are the main crops. The region is also famous for plantation crops and spices which are raised along the hill slopes of the Ghats.

Western Dry Region

 It comprises western Rajasthan west of the Aravallis. It is characterised by hot sa ndy desert, erratic rainfall (annual average less than 25 cm), high evaporation, contrasting temperature (June 28°C- 45°C, and January 5°C-22°C), absence of perennial rivers, and scanty vegetation.

 Ground water is very deep and often brackish. Famine and drought are common features. Land-man ratio is high. Forest area is only 1.2 per cent. Land under pastures is also low (4.3 per cent). Cultivable waste and fallow lands account for nearly 42 per cent of the geographical area. Net irrigated area is only 6.3 per cent of net sown area which is 44.4 per cent of the geographical area. Bajra, jowar, and moth are main crops of kharif and wheat and gram in rabi. Livestock contributes greatly in desert ecology.

The Islands Region

 The island region includes Andaman-Nicobar and Lakshadweep which have typically equatorial climate (annual rainfall less than 300 cm the mean July and January temperature of Port Blair being 30°C and 25°C respectively). The soils vary from sandy along the cost to clayey loam in valleys and lower slopes.

The main crops are rice, maize, millets, pulses, areca nut, turmeric and cassava. Nearly half of the area is under coconut. The area is covered with thick forests and agriculture is a backward stage. The main thrust in development should be on crop improvement, water management and fisheries. Improved verity of rice3 seeds should be popularised so as to enable farmers to take two crops of rice in place of one. For fisheries development multi-purpose fishing vessels for deep sea fishing should be introduced, suitable infrastructure for storage and processing of fish should be built up, and brackish water prawn culture should be promoted in the coastal area.


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