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Agriculture in Odisha

Odisha is a major agricultural state of India. The agriculture sector contributes only about 30% of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP), with more than 60% population dependence resulting in low per capita income in the farm sector. The cropped area is about 87.46 lakh hectares out of which 18.79 lakh hectares are irrigated. Climate and soil play a vital role in Odisha's agriculture economy. Thus a major portion of the farm land depends on rain for water feeding the crop. The rivers of Odisha are mostly rain fed, many times it happens that the farmers have to be dependent on the irrigation and as a result of it major parts of the overall cultivated land are being irrigated. Also the area under agriculture is comparatively more in the coastal districts of Odisha i.e. Balasore, Bhadrak, Cuttack, Ganjam, Jajpur, Jagatasinghpur, Kendrapara, Khurda, Nayagarh, Puri etc.

Agriculture is a vital sector and a major indicator of the state's economic status, agriculture remains the mainstay of Odisha's economy and sustenance of the life of the people. The common crops cultivated in the state are rice, pulses, oil seeds, jute, roselle, sugarcane, coconut and turmeric are important crops. The sate contributes one-tenth of the rice production in India. Apart from food grains various cash crops like jute, mesta, sugarcane, tobacco, rubber, tea, coffee and turmeric are also cultivated in the state. Odisha stands fourth in the production of jute in the country after West Bengal, Bihar and Assam.

Major agricultural crops in Odisha:

Rice: The crop is largely grown in the districts of Balasore, Cuttack, Mayurbhanj, Puri and Bhadrak. 

Pulses: The most important pulses grown in Odisha are gram, tuar, arhar etc.. Pulses are cultivated in the districts like Balasore, Bhadrak, Ganjam and Mayurbhanj in large excess. 

Oil Seeds: The crops like, groundnut, mustard, castor and linseed are the main oil seeds grown in Odisha. These are best produced in the districts of Balasore, Kalahandi, Sambalpur, and Dhenkanal. 

Cash Crops: Among cash crops, fibre crops are especially important. Jute accounts for the maximum areas. A considerable amount of Roselle is also cultivated in Odisha. Cultivation of jute is primarily confined to the coastal plains of Cuttack, Balasore and Puri districts. It dominates in the districts of Cuttack, Ganjam, Bolangir and Koraput districts. Sugarcane is the second most important cash crop in Odisha in area as well as production. It is grown in irrigated areas. Odisha stands eight in sugarcane production in India. A considerable amount of sugarcane is cultivated in Cuttack, Sambalpur, Bolangir, Kalahandi and Puri districts. Odisha also produces a small quantity of tobacco. The new cash crops, the most important is cashew, which has been planted extensively in the low level latiritic plateaus at the foothills of the Eastern Ghats.

The Cashew Plantation Board is responsible for the development of cashew cultivation in the state. Cashew is also being planted on the sand-dunes on the entire coastal belt. This is because of the suitable edaphic and climatic conditions in these areas.

Rubber Plantations: To protect the degraded hill slopes of Eastern Ghats, rubber plantation have been taken up by Rubber Board. Bright prospect for the growth and development of natural Rubber exists in the northern Odisha Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar and Balasore due to favourable agro-climatic conditions. Odisha is a non traditional area for rubber plantations. Inland hill areas of Cuttack, Puri Ganjam and Dhenkanal districts have agro-climatic conditions suitable for rubber cultivation.

Cotton: Cotton cultivation has been taken up extensively in Koraput, Bolangir and Kalahandi districts where suitable soil and climate conditions are found. Sea Island cotton can be grown in the Ballipal region of Balasore district.

Fruits: Mango, Guava, Citrus, Banana, Litchi, Pineapple and Papaya are the major fruits grown in the state. Mango, Guava, Banana, Papaya are grown all over the state where as Orange and Litchi in certain areas. There has been substantial increase in production of major fruit crops like mango, citrus, litchi, banana, papaya & coconut. Many of the plantations are old, senile and un-productive due to lack of proper care and maintenance, which resulted in reduction in fruit production.

Vegetables: The soil and climatic conditions of Odisha is favourable for growing a variety of vegetables throughout the year. Major vegetables cultivated in the state are brinjal, tomato, onion, cole crops, okra and gourds.

The state is blessed with abundant water resources & extensive network of rivers & streams. For effective utilization & management of water resources, river basin plans for all the eleven river basins of the state have been prepared and steps are being taken to set up River Basin Organization.

Irrigation is the main input of Agriculture without which Agriculture can not sustain its full growth. Irrigation Development not only correlates to Agriculture but also to other Socio-Economic aspects like industry, navigation, hydropower, pisiculture,water supply etc. With this objective, top priority has all along been given in Five-Year Plans for irrigation development. Attempts have been made to achieve irrigation development in planned manner by implementing different schemes such as AIBP, RIDE, BKVY, RR&R, Bharat Nirman & RLTAP etc.

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