Agriculture In Odisha, Crops, Farming Practices

Introduction of Information on Agriculture in Odisha: Agriculture is the world’s oldest profession is the main source of life sustenance for the human population. Agriculture is defined as the process of crops cultivation and the raising of livestock animals for producing food, feed, fiber, and other desired products. In Odisha, the agriculture sector is the major contributor to the state’s economy. Approximately 76% of the total working population in Odisha is engaged with the agriculture sector. The agriculture sector continues to be the mainstay of livelihood for human civilization. Agricultural growth is important not only for ensuring food security and reduction of poverty in rural areas but also for sustainable growth of the rest of the economy.

The horticulture sector is becoming popular in hilly districts. Odisha has immense potential in horticulture mainly in vegetable cultivation and micro-irrigation. Onion is the most important horticulture crop. Commercial floriculture crops are also increasing in Odisha. Commercial dairy farming is also an important sector in Odisha. Fresh and saltwater fisheries, especially prawn cultivation, play an important role in the economy. Agriculture exports in Odisha mainly derive from prawn farming. Then, the State Agriculture Policy will endeavor to create an enabling environment in all these spheres.

Odisha employs about 73% of it and its population in farming contributes around 30% to the Net State Domestic Product as an agrarian economy. Around 40% that is roughly around 87.46 lakh hectares area are brought to the agriculture sector every year. The area under agriculture is more in the Balasore, Jajpur, Jagatasinghpur, Kendrapara, Khurda, Nayagarh, Bhadrak, Cuttack, Ganjam, and Puri, etc are coastal districts of Odisha. The main objectives of agriculture in Odisha are;

  • To know the agricultural structure and related agriculture characteristics i.e., on operational holdings, cropping pattern, live-stock, land utilization, irrigation, agricultural credit, agricultural machinery and implements, use of fertilizers, etc.
  • To provide benchmark data required for evaluating their progress and for formulating new agricultural development programs.
  • To provide some operational holdings for carrying out a future agricultural survey.
  • The survey focuses on the use of fertilizers, manures, pesticides, and use of quality seeds.

A step by step guide to Agriculture In Odisha, List of crops grown in Odisha, Types of farming in Odisha, District wise crop production in Odisha

The major crops cultivated in Odisha are Rice, Pulses, Oil Seeds, Jute, Coconut, and Turmeric. Tea, Cotton, Groundnut, and Rubber crops are of great economic importance in other parts of Odisha. Odisha mainly contributes one-tenth of the total rice produced in the country. Some other important food grains are Oilseeds (groundnut, mustard, and castor oil) and pulses (gram, tur, and arhar). Various cash crops are also cultivated in Odisha. Some of the important cash crops in Odisha include Jute, Mesta, Sugarcane, Tobacco, Rubber, Tea, Coffee, and Turmeric. These crops are cultivated across different geographical areas of Odisha state. Odisha stands 4th in the production of jute in the country after West Bengal, Bihar, and Assam. Rice and jute crops need similar soil and climatic conditions. Jute cultivation in Odisha is confined to the coastal plains of Cuttack, Balasore, and Puri districts. Odisha has a geographical area of about 1,55,707 sq. km., and is divided into 10 agro-climatic zones depending upon the soil types, topography, rainfall, and cropping pattern.

Climate conditions for agriculture in Odisha

Odisha experiences mainly three metrological seasons. They are winter season from October to February, the summer season from March to June, the monsoon season from July to September. Odisha has a tropical climate characterized by medium to high rainfall, high temperature, and high humidity. The normal rainfall is about 1451.2 mm. Most of the rainfall received in the state is concentrated for about 3 months of the monsoon season.

Different seasons for agriculture in Odisha

Summer Season

The summer season in Odisha is derived from April till June. During the summer season the temperature level in Odisha is quite high and the sun very harsh. The maximum temperature level of Odisha, in the summer season, goes above 45°C. Sambalpur, Baragarh, Bolangir, and Kalahandi, etc., are some places experience high temperatures during summer between 40 to 46°C.

Rainy Season

In Odisha, the monsoon or rainy season starts in July and lasts till October. Usually, the coastal areas of Odisha experience cyclones and tornados during this season. The rainfall plays an important role in the climate of Odisha. Odisha also experiences a return monsoon in October and November.

Winter Season

In Odisha, the winter season is experienced for 5 months i.e., from December to March. The weather conditions in this season are chilly, though not freezing, and the minimum temperature level dips to as low as 7°C.  The winter season is not that much chilly, except in some regions.

Maize and Ragi are the important coarse cereal crops in Odisha. Jowar, Bajra, and small millets are also cultivated in the state to a lesser extent. The major pulse crops grown in the state are Arhar, Mung, Kulthi, Biri, Gram, Field Pea, Cowpea, and Lentil. Sugarcane and cotton are also cultivated in some districts of Odisha.

Seasonal crops cultivated in Odisha

One of the largest rice-producing states in India is Odisha. The Rice, Jute, Maize, Sesame, Potato, Oilseeds, Pulses, Coconut, Mesta, Sugarcane, Tea, Rubber, Cotton, Gram, Mustard, and Soybean, etc., are the main crops cultivated in Odisha. The Odisha farmers cultivate different crops in different seasons.

During Kharif season Paddy, Maize, Ragi, Small Millets, Arhar, Biri, Mung, Cowpea, Groundnut, Til, Caster, Rice, Maize, Sorghum, Pearl Millet, Finger Millet/Ragi (Cereals), Arhar (Pulses), Soya Bean, Groundnut (Oilseeds), Sweet Potato, and Turmeric are the crops cultivated. Brinjal, Tomato, and early cauliflower are cash remunerative vegetables taken in Kharif season.

During Rabi season crops like Gram, Fieldpea, Mung, Biri, Mustard, Sunflower, Safflower, Niger, Potato, Onion, Garlic, Coriander, Wheat, Barley, Oats (Cereals), Chickpea/Gram (Pulses), Linseed, and Mustard (Oilseeds), different vegetables, Tobacco and Sugarcane are cultivated by the farmers.

Paddy Crop in Odisha
Paddy (Image source: pixabay)

Soil and land use for agriculture in Odisha

The soil in Odisha differs widely from highly acidic to slightly alkaline. The soils are acidic with a degree of acidity varying widely.

The State is divided into 4 Physiographic zones they are Coastal Plains, Central Tableland, Northern Plateau, and the Eastern Ghats. These are subdivided into 10 agro-climatic zones, are North-western plateau, North-Eastern coastal plain, North-central Plateau, East, and South-Eastern coastal plain, North-Eastern Ghat, Eastern Ghat high land, Western undulating zone, South-Eastern Ghat, Western-Central tableland, and Mid-Central tableland.

Different types of soil range from fertile alluvial deltaic soils in coastal plains, black and brown forest soils in the Eastern Ghat region, mixed red and black soils in Central tableland. They differ from highly acidic to slightly alkaline and from light sandy to stiff clays. Mainly soils are acidic with the degree of acidity varying widely. There are approximately 61.80 lakh hectares cultivated area in Odisha out of which 29.14 lakh hectares is high land, under medium land about 17.55 lakh hectares and under low land about 15.11 lakh hectares. The coverage under Paddy during Kharif is about 41.24 lakh and during Rabi 3.31 lakh hectares.

The total land area covered by different crops in Odisha;

This proves the importance of staple crop cultivation in Odisha.

  • Paddy 77.7%
  • Pulses 10.9%
  • Oil Seeds 4.9%
  • Fiber crop 1.3%
  • Other cash crops 2.1%
  • Food crops 289.66 thousand hectares
  • Vegetables 621.98 thousand hectares
  • Oilseeds – 1.15 lakh MT
  • Rice – 32.44 lakh MT
  • Total cereal – 33.50 lakh MT
  • Pulses – 2.05 lakh MT

Horticulture in Odisha

The horticulture sector plays an important role in Odisha agriculture. Mango, Banana, Cashew, Tamarind, and Turmeric forms a major part of horticultural crops. Under long-duration fruits like Cashewnut, Mango, Jackfruit, Orange, Sapota, and Litchi are cultivated in Odisha. Banana, Papaya, and Pineapple are the short-duration fruit crops in Odisha. The Horticulture department is having about 98 progeny orchards located in different districts.

Odisha is bestowed with different varieties of agro-climatic conditions favorable for the development of horticultural crops. The horticulture sector provides an excellent opportunity to raise the income of farmers in rain-fed areas and dry tracks. Then, income derived from horticulture per hectare of land is higher than in cereals and pulses, the State will utilize the field potential for expanding the area under the horticulture sector. The region under horticulture can be at least doubled with appropriate promotional policies and cropping patterns.

The major crops cultivated in Odisha are Rice, Pulses, Coconut, Mesta, Rubber, Cotton, Sugarcane, Tea, Jute, Oilseeds, Gram, Mustard, Maize, Potato, and Soybean, etc. The principal problem that the Odisha agriculture sector faces is the shortage of water in many areas. The lack of irrigation facilities in these drought-prone areas creates great obstacles to the agriculture sector.

Coconut – Odisha enjoys about 450 km of coastal belt most suitable for Coconut plantation. The productivity of such crops is less than the crops in traditional areas.

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Coconut Farming in Odisha
Coconut Tree (Image source: pixabay)

Vegetable cultivation in Odisha

Odisha is the 7th-largest producer of vegetables contributing 4.9% to total vegetable production in India. Odisha produced around 8.8 MMT of vegetables. Some major vegetables grown in Odisha include Brinjal (18.1%), Tomatoes (11.2%), Cabbage (5.9%), Okra (5.6%), Cauliflower (4.3%), Onion (3.3%) and Sweet Potato (2.5%). These vegetables represent three-fourths of the total vegetable production in Odisha. In comparison to other states, Odisha is the largest producer of Sweet Potato and Pumpkin, the 2nd-largest producer of Brinjal and Cabbage, the 4th-largest producer of Okra, Bitter gourd, and Cauliflower, and the 5th largest producer of tomatoes in India.

The per capita vegetable consumption in the state is the highest in the country. There are different types of vegetable crops like tropical, sub-tropical, and temperate. Tomato, Capsicum, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Knolkhol, Carrot, Beat, Pea, Beans, and Potato are confined to winter season are the sub-tropical and temperate vegetable crops. Some other tropical vegetable crops like Brinjal, Bhendi, Cucumber, and Gourds are cultivated. Potato, Watermelon, Onion, Gourd are important vegetable crops for riverbed cultivation.

Fruits cultivation in Odisha

Fruits are cultivated on 4% of Odisha’s gross cropped area, making the state the twelfth largest fruit producer, and ranking 6th in acreage. Odisha produced about 2.4 Metric Million Tonnes of fruit crops this is about 2.6% of the country’s total fruit production. Mango is the important fruit crop produced in Odisha contributing the largest share to production at 33%. Other important fruits in Odisha are Banana, Lime/Lemon, Watermelon, Guava, and Papaya.  

Mango – Mango is cultivated all most all over the State of Odisha. Then, there are innumerable varieties of traditionally grown elite and country mangoes. Mango is a favorite crop of the tribals in Odisha, who utilize dehydrated green mangoes and mango leather by sun-drying the pulp. Some prominent mango varieties are Bombay Green, Langra, Banganpalli, Amprapalli, and Chausa, etc. The crop has alternate bearing habits for which the production varies from year to year.

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Mango Cultivation in Odisha
Mango Crop (Pic source: pixabay)

Kagzi lime – It is cultivated in specific areas of Keonjhar, Ganjam, Gajapati, Koraput, and Dhenkanal districts. Lime is an important fruit crop of the tribals. It is popular for its medicinal value. It has a wide range of varieties ranging from thin-skinned Kagzi Lime crop to thick-skinned table-type lemons.

Jackfruits – This is long duration fruit tree thriving for centuries. This is widely grown in Phulbani, Koraput, Ganjam, and Kalahandi districts. In other districts, Jackfruits are found sporadically. It was introduced by Britishers in tribal pockets of Odisha and the fruits are consumed in their different stages.

Some other fruits cultivated in Odisha are Litchi, Coconut, Pomegranate, and Custard apple but in limited acreage.

Short duration fruit crops in Odisha

Banana – Odisha has the potentiality for tall and dwarf banana varieties. The verities are very specific to the particular agro climate. Champa and Chini Champa, Chakrakelli are improved types under tall varieties. Some culinary Banana varieties are Bantal, Gaja Bantal, Paunsia Bantal, and Mendhi Bantal, etc.

Other short duration improved fruits in Odisha

Important short-duration improved fruits grown in Odisha are Papaya and Pineapple. The approximate area covered is about 20,000 hectares.

Flowers and spices are grown in Odisha

Soil and climatic conditions in Odisha are mostly suitable for successful flowers cultivation. Some important flowers cultivate in Odisha are rose, tuberose, marigold, and gladiolus. Flowers demand is also growing rapidly in the State. In Odisha, there is a huge potential for floriculture.  Turmeric, Ginger is the most important spices cultivated in Odisha.

Livestock and poultry sector in Odisha

The livestock sector growth in Odisha has been phenomenal in the last one and half decades. The sector contributes about 7.25% of the state’s net domestic product and, the development of the livestock sector is the critical pathway to rural prosperity. Though, livestock sector policy so far had only a marginal presence in the sectoral economy.

Odisha has approximately 0.3 million crossbred cattle, and 0.2 million buffaloes in milk, producing around 1.3 million tonnes of milk, and cows are contributing the major share about 1.1 million tonnes. The state has a high potential to enhance cattle and goat productivity with the below technologies;

  • Backyard poultry birds like Vanaraja, Gramapriya, and CARI Priya for 100 % increase in egg production over indigenous birds and Ganjam goat breed used for improved meat production
  • Cystoscope assisted Artificial Insemination for an improved conception rate of about 20%
  • Urea-ammoniation of straws and bypass protein technology for 10 to 15% improvement in productivity
  • Field-based diagnostic kits and vaccines for main diseases of livestock and poultry

Backyard poultry farming in Odisha

Backyard poultry plays a significant role in Odisha for adding sustainability to the livelihood of poor farmers. This not only provides the much-required animal protein to the rural poor but also acts as a source of readymade cash to the urgent need of the poor family. Also, it provides unemployed youth and women with a profitably earning. Local chicken breeds are ideal mothers and good sitters and possess natural immunity against common diseases.

Millions of people in Odisha can be done backyard chicken production has an important contribution to a sustainable livelihood. It requiring hardly any infrastructure set-up is a potent tool for upliftment of the poorest of the poor. Small-scale poultry farming has the potential to stimulate the economic growth of resource-poor households. It can enhance household food security and then contribute to poverty reduction through the provision of supplementary food, income, and employment. Backyard poultry sector development can reduce the high infant and mother mortality rate through the restoration of the nutritional status of the rural population.

Water requirement for agriculture in Odisha

Odisha is endowed with an abundant water supply. It is also blessed with an excessive network of rivers and streams. Mahanadi and Subarnarekha are major rivers in Odisha. Though, irrigation is the most important driver of agricultural growth in Odisha. Sprinkler irrigation is ticking up for growing several commercial crops.

Irrigation plays an important role in increasing the yield of the land. It has been assessed that even a 10% increase in the present level of water use efficiency in irrigation projects can help to provide lifesaving irrigation to crops in large areas. The concept of maximizing crop yield and income per unit of water would be used in all crop production programs.

The fisheries sector in Odisha

Mostly the fisheries sector lies under freshwater and brackish water resources. Freshwater resources of Odisha are estimated to be 7.5 lakh hectares.

Odisha is an important maritime state on the east coast with a coastline of about 480 km and about 32,000 hectares of area with coastal aquaculture potentials. Odisha has 1.98 lakh hectares of reservoirs, 4,500 km of rivers and canals, and 1.14 lakh ha of ponds and tanks. The total annual fish production in Odisha is 3.06 lakh tonnes.

Integrated farming in Odisha

Usually, Indian farmers adopted an integrated farming system for their livelihood. However, agro-climatic conditions are mainly responsible for the existence of particular crops, and cropping patterns, industrialization, commercialization, and mechanization have played a major role in farmers’ decision-making for growing particular crops.

An integrated approach has several distinct advantages such as security against complete failure of a system, optimum utilization of farm resources, minimization of dependence for external inputs, and efficient use of natural resources, etc. To minimize the risk of the farmers, an integrated farming approach will be encouraged in the state. A proper combination of different farm production systems will be promoted in Odisha like agriculture, horticulture, livestock, poultry, agroforestry, and sericulture.

Information about agriculture in Odisha

  • Usually, agriculture in Odisha plays the main role in the state’s economy. The chief occupation of people in Odisha is Agriculture. About 76% of the total working population in India is engaged in agriculture and agriculture-related industries. The major thing required for agriculture is soil and weather conditions.
  • The most cultivating areas in Odisha are Balasore, Bhadrak, Cuttack, Ganjam, Kendrapara, Khurda, Nayagarh, Jajpur, Jagatasinghpur, and Puri, etc.
  • Favorable climate conditions and the presence of rich soils account for the growth of flower crops in Odisha.
  • In Odisha, rice is cultivated under diverse ecosystems and a wide range of climatic conditions.

Organic farming in Odisha

Organic farming is being ecologically, economically and socially sustainable holds great promise for inclusive and sustainable economic growth of the state. Sustainable soil management health and natural resources are unique features of organic farming. So, the Customization of scientific organic technologies is a long way in developing sustainable farming systems in Odisha. The remunerative marketing of organic produce in the domestic and export market would increase the farmer profitability transitioning to certified organic production. Organic farming yields various vital advantages such as improving soil fertility, soil structure, biodiversity, and reducing erosion. These organic practices are bringing a good opportunity to productivity as well as economic efficiency.

Odisha government has planned to introduce a set of new operational guidelines for organic farming to prevent the use of synthetically compounded fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators, and genetically modified organisms. For organic farming in Odisha, Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Rayagada, Koraput, Mayurbhanj, Gajapati, Nayagarh, and Keonjhar are the selected districts. An area of 250 hectares will be allotted for farming in each district.

Problems of agriculture in Odisha

In Odisha, agriculture is characterized by low productivity on account of different factors. These factors include problematic soil like acidic, saline & waterlogged, lack of assured irrigation, low seed replacement rate, low level of fertilizer consumption (63 kg/ha. against the national average of 140 kg/ha.), and low level of mechanization, etc. Huge gaps in yield potential and the technology transfer provide a good opportunity to the State to increase productivity and production substantially.

Increasing public investment in agricultural infrastructure that includes irrigation, establishing appropriate farming systems, developing suitable crop varieties, designing region and crop-specific plans and strategies are suggested for moderating spatial inequalities and also achieving a less unbalanced regional growth in the agriculture sector.

Agriculture Schemes in Odisha

The Government of Odisha in India has come up with several programs called schemes (yojana) from time to time for the people of the State. Some of the important schemes that are being implemented in Odisha such as National Food Security Mission (NFSM), Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), and Sustainable Development of Sugarcane based Cropping Systems (SUBACS), System of Rice Intensification (SRI), Technology Mission on Cotton, Technology Mission on Sugarcane, Jute Technology Mission(MMII), National Project on Management of Soil Health and Fertility, e-Pest Surveillance, and National Horticulture Mission, etc., which play a vital role in making farming sustainable and obtain maximum return per rupee invested in the farmland. Some other schemes for agriculture in Odisha are Mukhyamantri Krishi Udyog Yojana, Odisha Fish Pond Yojana, and Mukhyamantri Abhinav Krishi Yantripati Samman Yojana.

Frequently asked questions about agriculture in Odisha

What are the main crops grown in Odisha?

The major crops grown in Odisha are Rice, Pulses, Oil Seeds, Jute, Coconut, Tea, Cotton, Groundnut and Rubber, and Turmeric.

What is the importance of agriculture in Odisha?

Odisha is an agrarian state. More than 83% of its total population lives in rural areas and depends primarily on agriculture for livelihood. The performance of the agriculture sector determines the food and nutrition security of the population and is important for reducing poverty and achieving inclusive growth.

What type of crop is rice in Odisha?

As 65% of the total rice area is rain-fed, rice is grown as a rain-fed crop and is mostly dependent on monsoon rainfall.

Which soil is found in Odisha?

Red soil is found in Odisha and it is rich in potash content but lacks phosphate, humus, and nitrogen content.

Is goat farming profitable in Odisha?

The goat farming business provides a good profit for unemployed people.

Which is Odisha’s traditional livestock?

Ghumusari cattle breed is one of the indigenous breeds in Odisha, which has been contributing to the welfare of the farming community in general and landless, small, and marginal farmers in particular in its native tract.

Which cow breeds best for Odisha?

Binjharpuri is also known as “Deshi”. It is a cattle breed found in the Jajpur, Kendrapara, and Bhadrak districts of Odisha. These are medium-sized, strong, and chiefly white.

How many types of goats are there in Odisha?

Odisha has about 1 million sheep and goats like the black Bengal goat and the Ganjam goat.

Which goat is best for farming in Odisha?

The goat breeds available in Odisha are Black Bengal goat, Malkangiri goat, Koraput Hill goat, Ganjam Hill goat, Raighar goat, Narayanapatnam goat, Phulbani goat, and Dorangi goat.

Which vegetables grow in Odisha?

Vegetables cultivated in Odisha like Tomato, Capsicum, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Carrot, Beat, Pea, Beans, Potato, Brinjal, Bhendi, Cucumber, Watermelon, and Gourds, etc.



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