An “Agro-climatic zone” is a land unit in terms of major climates, suitable for a certain range of crops and cultivars. The planning aims at scientific management of regional resources to meet the food, fiber, fodder, and fuel wood without adversely affecting the status of natural resources and environment.

Agro-climatic conditions mainly refer to soil types, rainfall, temperature and water availability which influence the type of vegetations. An agro-ecological zone is the land unit carved out of agro-climatic zone superimposed on landform which acts as a modifier to climate and length of growing period.

The main objectives of agro-climatic regions are:

(i) To optimise agricultural production

(ii) To increase farm income

(iii) To generate more rural employment

(iv) To make a judicious use of the available irrigation water

(v) To reduce the regional inequalities in the development of agriculture.

The Planning Commission has categorised 15 agro-climatic zones in India, taking into account the physical attributes and socio-economic conditions prevailing in the regions.

   Zone  Names & States Major Crops;           Soil      Measures
1Western Himalayan Region: Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar PradeshRice, maize, barley, oats and wheat. Apple orchards and other temperate fruits such as peaches, apricot, pears, cherry, almond, litchis, walnut, etc. Saffron is grown in this regionResearch in better seeds and extension service for agricultural development are required.
2Eastern Himalayan Region: Assam, Sikkim, WestBengal and all North-Eastern statesThe main crops are rice, maize, potato, tea. There are orchards of pineapple, litchi, oranges and lime.Jhuming (shifting cultivation) prevails in the hilly areas.Infrastructural facilities in the region need to be improved and shifting cultivation controlled by developing terrace farming.
3Lower Gangetic Plains Region: West BengalRice 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.Region has adequate storage of groundwater with high water table.Improvement in rice farming, horticulture (banana, mango and citrus-fruits), pisciculture, poultry, livestock, forage production and seed supply.
4Middle Gangetic Plains Region:Uttar Pradesh, BiharRice, maize, millets in kharif, wheat, gram, barley, peas, mustard and potato in rabi are important crops. Fertile alluvial plain drained by the Ganga and its tributaries.Alternative farming systems, and utilising chaur lands to boost agricultural production. Reclamation of user lands, wastelands, and fallow lands for agriculture and allied activities (agro-forestry, silviculture, floriculture etc.)
5Upper Gangetic Plains Region:Uttar PradeshWheat, rice, sugarcane, millets, maize, gram,barley, oilseeds, pulses and cotton are the main crops. Soil is sandy loam. Canal, tube-well and wells are the main source of irrigation.Modernising traditional agriculture, dairy development, and horticulture. Developing multiple mixed cropping patterns.
6Trans-Gangetic Plains Region: Punjab, Haryana,Delhi and RajasthanImportant crops include wheat, sugarcane, cotton, rice, gram, maize, millets, pulses and oilseeds. The soil is alluvial which is highly productive. Canals and tube-wells and pumping sets have been installed by the cultivators and the governmentsDevelopment of genotypes of rice, maize and wheat with inbuilt resistance to pests and diseases. Promotion of horticulture; supply of quality seeds of vegetables and planting material for horticulture crops
7Eastern Plateau and Hills Region:Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa and WestBengalRainfed agriculture is practiced growing crops like rice, millets, maize, oilseeds, ragi, gram and potato. Soils are red and yellow with occasional patches of laterites and alluviums. The region is deficient in water resources due to plateau structure and non-perennial streams.Cultivation of high value crops of pulses like tur, groundnut and soyabean; improvement of indigenous breeds of cattle and buffaloes, extension of fruit plantations, renovation including desilting of existing tanks and excavation of new tanks adopting integrated watershed development approach to conserve soil and rain water
8Central Plateau and Hills Region:MP, Rajasthan, Uttar PradeshCrops grown are millets, wheat, gram, oilseeds, cotton and sunflower Soils are mixed red, yellow and black. scarcity of waterWater conservation through water saving devices like sprinklers and drip system; dairy development, crop diversification, groundwater development, reclamation of ravine lands
9Western Plateau and Hills Region:Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and RajasthanWheat, gram, millets, cotton, pulses, groundnut, and oilseeds are the main crops in the rain-fed areas, while in the irrigated areas, sugarcane, rice, and wheat, are cultivated. Also grown are oranges, grapes and bananas.Increasing water efficiency by popularizing water saving devices like sprinklers and drip system; lower value crops of jowar, bajra and rainfed wheat should give way to high-value oilseeds
10Southern Plateau and Hills Region:Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil NaduMillets, oilseeds, pulses, coffee, tea, cardamom and spices are major plantations.Encouraging horticulture, dairy development and poultry farming
11East Coast Plainsand Hills Region:Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu andPondicherryMain crops include rice, jute, tobacco, sugarcane, maize, millets, groundnut and oilseeds Soils are alluvial, loam and clay and are troubled by the problem of alkalinityIncreasing cropping intensity using water-efficient crops on residual moisture, discouraging growing of rice on marginal lands and bringing such lands under alternate crops like oilseeds and pulses
12West Coast Plains and Ghat Region:Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Goa, Karnataka, MaharashtraRice, coconut, oilseeds, sugarcane, millets,pulses, cotton, plantation crops and spices are the main crops.Soils are laterite and coastal alluvialFocus attention on raising of high value crops infra-structural facilities and promotion to prawn culture
13Gujarat Plains and Hills Region:GujaratGroundnut, cotton, rice, millets, oilseeds, wheat and tobacco are the main crops. Soils are regur and alluviumCanal and groundwater management, rain waterharvesting and management, dry land farming, agro-forestry development,wasteland development
14Western Dry Region: RajasthanBajra, jowar, and moth are main crops of kharif and wheat and gram in rabiRainwater harvesting, increasing yield level of horticultural crops, adopting high-quality germ- plasm in cattle to improve their breed;
15The Islands Region:Andaman and Nicobar, LakshadweepMain crops are coconut, rice, maize, millets, pulses, arecanut, turmeric and cassavaCrop improvement, water management; multi-purpose fishing vessels, suitable infrastructure for storage and processing of fish

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