Rice cultivation is an essential agricultural activity in India as rice is an important staple food for most of the population. Rice is planted in various regions nationwide, from the Gangetic plains in the north to the coastal areas of the south. Most rice cultivation in India occurs in the rainy season, from June to September, known as the Kharif season. India is the second-largest producer of rice in the world, after China, with an estimated annual production of around 129 million metric tons in 2022.
The Indian government has devised several initiatives to promote rice farming and improve productivity and sustainability. Despite the challenges rice farmers face in India, such as low productivity, rising input costs, and water scarcity, the country remains one of the world's leading producers and consumers of rice. This blog will look at the top 10 rice producing states in India.
The diet of the Indian population is incomplete without rice. It is mainly because rice is rich in nutrition and provides suitable energy to the human body. There is a long list of rice types available in India that come with their unique taste, size, and aroma. In the year 2021-22, rice was exported to 150 nations internationally. The major importers of Indian rice are the USA, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iraq, and Iran. India is known to export two major rice types from top rice producing states in India: Basmati Rice and Non-Basmati Rice.
As it is not possible to list all types of rice, we will discuss some of the important ones:
Rice is one of India's most important food crops, providing a staple food for millions of people across the country. This is why it is important to know about the largest paddy producing state in India. Check out the following list to know which states produce rice in India.
West Bengal is the highest rice producing state in India, accounting for around 16.76 million metric tonnes of the country's total rice production in 2021-22. The state is known for its high-yielding rice varieties, including Saraswathi, Jamini and Jalprabha. West Bengal produces more than 13% of the total rice in India, with Burdwan, Murshidabad, and Nadia being the top rice-producing districts. Being the highest rice producing state in India, the economy of West Bengal is highly dependent on rice cultivation.
Uttar Pradesh is the second-largest rice-producing state in India, with an annual production of around 15.27 million metric tons. It accounts for approximately 12% of the country’s total rice production. The state produces a wide variety of rice, including Basmati, which is highly prized for its fragrance and flavour. It has been among the largest rice producing states for a long time now. The districts of Bijnaur, Kushinagar, and Pilibheet are the top rice-producing districts in Uttar Pradesh.
Punjab is one of India's most productive agricultural states, and rice is one of its essential crops. The state produces around 13 million metric tons of rice annually and has around 10% share in all India rice production. The districts of Fatehgarh, Sangrur, and Ludhiana are the top rice-producing districts of the state. Punjab is also known for its high-quality Basmati rice, exported to countries worldwide. This is why this state is one of the vital rice producing states in India.
Telangana is a relatively new state, having been formed in 2014, but it has quickly become one of the top rice-producing states in India. It is known to produce around 10.22 million metric tons of rice in a single year. Also, the top rice-producing districts of the state include Nalgonda, Suryapet and Siddipet.
Odisha is a coastal state in the eastern part of the country, and its staple food is rice. This crop is a major part of the state’s history, culture, and economy. Rice production is a crucial determinant of the food security of Odisha. In addition, a major portion of the population is employed in rice cultivation. The annual contribution of the state is around 8.81 million metric tons. You will find the leading rice production in districts like Gajapati, Baragarh and Sonepur.
Rice is a major crop cultivated during the Rabi and Kharif seasons in Andhra Pradesh. It is observed that the farmers are moving towards red and black rice due to their increased demand. The best part is that these crops can get premium prices while the input costs are low. The total rice production of Andhra Pradesh is close to 7.88 million metric tons.
As it is a maximum rice producing state in India, you will get a range of rice varieties like Sona Masoori, Chitti Mutyalu and Swarna. Also, the top districts that lead in rice production include East Godavari, West Godavari, and Krishna.
Chhattisgarh was formed in 2000, and it has rapidly grown to become one of the major rice producing states in India. The state has developed three agro-ecological zones, namely, the northern region of Surguja, Bastar plateau and Chhattisgarh plain. As these zones have different rainfall distribution, intensity, irrigation systems and soil topography, they also differ in rice productivity.
Chhattisgarh is among the major rice producing states in India, with an annual rice production of 7.16 million metric tons. Its top districts that are involved in rice cultivation are Janjgir, Bilaspur and Rajnandgaon.
Tamil Nadu is among the major rice producing states in southern India, with an annual production of 6.88 million metric tons. The main reason behind extensive rice cultivation in Tamil Nadu is its favourable climatic condition. Also, rice is a huge part of the culture of Tamils. Pongal is the most celebrated festival in the state. Pongal is the name of the dish made of lentils and rice that is mainly cooked on the day of this festival.
The leading rice varieties of Tamil Nadu are Samba, Black rice and Kullakar rice. Some of the highest production of paddy in India is in the districts of Tiruvallur, Tiruvarur and Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu.
Bihar is a densely populated state in eastern India. The state is located on the river plains of the Ganga basin. This is why it is rich in fertile alluvial soil, making it one of the major rice producing states in India. Bihar has around 3.2 million ha of land under rice cultivation, producing around 6.75 million metric tons annually. Rice cultivation in Bihar mainly depends on rainfall in both shallow lowlands and upland ecosystems.
The leading varieties of rice cultivated in Bihar are Pusa 2-21, Gautam, and Pusa-2-21. In addition, the districts of Rohtas, Buxar and Patna are famous for producing large amounts of rice.
Rice is an essential crop for Assam, making up 96% of its food grain production. The annual rice production of the state was 5.21 million metric tons in the year 2020-21. The state is known for its rice-rich genetic diversity. Due to different climatic characteristics and physiographic features, there are three rice-growing seasons in Assam: Boro (Nov/Dec – May/June), Sali (June/July – Nov/Dec) and Ahu (Feb/March – June/July).
You will find different types of rice in Assam, including Chokuwa, Bora and Joha. Also, the major districts involved in rice cultivation are Cachar, Hailakhandi and Karimganj.
Rice is major foodgrain in India after wheat. It is a staple diet of many states and holds cultural and religious significance in India. India’s climate is favourable to rice cultivation in India and is largely dependent upon South-West Monsoon in North, East, and Central India, and on North-East Monsoon in Southern India. The top three rice cultivating states are West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, and Punjab.
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