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Rabi Crops

  • 15 Dec 2022
  • 4 min read

Why in News?

Rabi crops are at risk due to an abnormal lack of western disturbances over northwest and central India.

  • The region doesn’t have enough rainfall and moisture, which is crucial for growing wheat during the winter.

What are the Other Contributing Factors?

  • Incessant rainfall in the region in the first two weeks of October, 2022 due to several active weather systems caused this paradox.
  • A possible impact of the continuing La Niña phenomenon in the equatorial Pacific Ocean and a warming Arctic region might also have contributed.
    • One of the weather systems that brought extreme rainfall at the beginning of October was a western disturbance — extratropical storm systems that bring winter rainfall to northwest and some parts of central India from the Arctic, Mediterranean and West Asian regions.
  • A lack of western disturbances in November, 2022, and the complete absence of them in December, 2022, is primarily responsible for the lack of rain since early October, 2022.

What are Rabi Crops?

  • These crops are sown around the Retreating Monsoon and Northeast monsoon season, which begins in October and are called rabi or winter crops.
  • The harvest for these crops happens typically during April and May, during the summer season.
  • These crops are not much affected by the rainfall.
  • Major Rabi crops are wheat, gram, peas, barley etc.
  • A warm climate is required for seed germination and cold climate for the growth of crops.

What are the Other Types of Crops grown in India?

  • Kharif Crops:
    • Crops that are sown during the southwest monsoon season are called kharif or monsoon crops.
    • These crops are sown at the beginning of the season around end May to early June and are harvested post the monsoon rains beginning October.
    • These crops depend on the rainfall patterns.
    • Rice, maize, pulses such as urad, moong dal and millets are among the key kharif crops.
    • It requires a lot of water and hot weather to grow.
  • Zaid Crops:
    • Sown and harvested: March-July (between Rabi and Kharif)
    • Important zaid crops include seasonal fruits, vegetables, fodder crops etc.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Q. With reference to the cultivation of Kharif crops in India in the last five years, consider the following statements: (2019)

  1. Area under rice cultivation is the highest.
  2. Area under the cultivation of jowar is more than that of oilseeds.
  3. Area of cotton cultivation is more than that of sugarcane.
  4. Area under sugarcane cultivation has steadily decreased.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

(a) 1 and 3 only 
2, 3 and 4 only 
2 and 4 only 
1, 2, 3 and 4

Ans: (a)

Q. Consider the following crops: (2013)

  1. Cotton
  2. Groundnut
  3. Rice
  4. Wheat

Which of these are Kharif crops?

(a) 1 and 4

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1, 2 and 3

(d) 2, 3 and 4

Ans: (c)

Source: DTE

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