Approximately 140-145 lakh hectares of land is cultivated in the kharif season and 60-65 lakh hectares is cultivated in rabbi season.
The main crops cultivated in the kharif season include the following:
The Proportion of total land usage in Maharashtra
Name of Crop
( In lakh hectares )
Of the total 60-65 lakh hectares land cultivated in rabbi season, rabbi sorghum is cultivated in 30-35 lakh hectares and wheat is cultivated in 8 lakh hectares. The cultivation of sorghum, which is the most important crop in Maharashtra, includes a total of 50-55 lakh hectares of land.
Main Cash Crops
Cotton, sugarcane, tobacco, turmeric and vegetables are the main cash crops in Maharashtra. Since industries like textile mills and sugar factories are dependent on cotton and sugarcane, these cash crops are considered most important. In fact, the State’s politics, whole of the agro-based economy in Maharashtra, as well as many agricultural industries are to a large extent dependent on the production of these crops.
A total of six and a half to seven lakh hectares of land is under the cultivation of sugarcane in the State. Almost 14% of the country’s share of sugarcane is cultivated in the State. Maharashtra ranks second in the State-wise cultivation of sugarcane. The cooperative sugar industries linked with this crop constitute the main factor of agriculture in the State.
Cotton is another most important cash crop in Maharashtra. Out of the total cultivation of cotton in the country, 36% of the total area is in Maharashtra. Cotton is cultivated in an area of 15.9% of the cultivable land in the State, that is, 30-35 lakh hectares. In India, Maharashtra ranks first in the production of cotton. 60% of the total cotton is produced mainly in Vidharbha, 25% in Marathwada, while 10% is produced in Khandesh.
The increase in food produce over the last two decades
(Figures in lakh M.T.)
* Cotton is in lakh bales
The climate of Maharashtra is conducive for horticulture, as inadequate rainfall does not have an adverse effect on production of fruits. The horticulture scheme that became effective in Maharashtra from 1990s onwards has helped in the transformation of the drought-prone as well as rain-shadow regions. V. G. Raul, the famous agricultural expert from Solapur district, provided research support to this scheme. The leading administrators during that period also took efforts to make it successful. This led to the development of horticulture not only in Solapur district but all over the State as a result of this policy.
Fruit-production constitutes 25% of the total agricultural produce in the State. Approximately, 103 lakh tons of fruits are produced every year. Maharashtra ranks first in the country in the production of fruits. Bananas constitute 25% of the total fruit-production in the country, whereas the production of grapes, pomegranates and oranges is highest in Maharashtra as compared to other parts of the country. Other fruits like mango, coconut, cashew-nuts are also produced to a large extent in Maharashtra.
The fruits from Maharashtra are in great demand in other States as well as in other countries. Hence, seven export centres have been established under the Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board to raise the quality of production, to take care of export-related problems and provide for basic facilities. These seven centres are:
Export Facility Centre
Grapes (Wine producing)
In Pune district, Indapur has an Export Facility Centre for onions and Talegaon has one for the export of flowers.
By the end of March 2007, 13.95 lakh hectares area in Maharashtra was under horticulture.
Area under Horticulture and Fruit Production (2006-07)
(Area in ’000 hectare, production in ’000 metric tonnes)