Rabi Crops and Kharif Crops - Season, Examples, UPSC PDF

By K Balaji|Updated : November 16th, 2022

Zaid, Rabi crops and Kharif crops are a major division of the crops based on the seasons per year. Various types of crops are produced in India, such as rice, wheat, sugarcane, oil seeds, tea, coffee, jute, cotton, millet, pulses, etc. Their division depends on the temperature, moisture, and water requirements per season. We have facilitated the complete details pertaining to the rabi crops and kharif crops.

It is commonly seen that questions based on Rabi crops and Kharif crops are asked in the UPSC-based exams. For example, “orange is Rabi or Kharif crop?”, “select the Rabi crop from the following list”, etc. Answering these questions can be confusing. This article will help candidates to master the topic of rabi crops and kharif crops, understand the basic comparison between them, and will help answer these questions correctly.

Table of Content

Overview of Rabi Crops and Karif Crops

In India, there are three major types of crops: Zaid, Rabi crops and Kharif Crops. The Rabi crops and Kharif crops are the major sources of subsistence in India. The Rabi crops are spring crops, whereas the Kharif crops are monsoon crops.

 

What are Crops?

Crops are special kinds of plants or their products. The crops are primarily produced and harvested for subsistence or commercial trading purposes. In India, farming came into existence around 9000 BC, where wheat, barley and jujube were primarily cultivated.

Rabi and Kharif Crops UPSC PDF

Crops can be of the following categories:

  • Food crops
  • Feed crops,
  • Fibre crops,
  • Oil crops,
  • Ornamental crops, and
  • Industrial crops.

Important Rabi and Kharif Crops Name

The above-mentioned 6 different types of crops can further be classified into three major categories as per the season they are cultivated and harvested in. The season-based category of crops is Zaid, Rabi and Kharif crops. The table provided below consists of the important Rabi and Kharif crop names sown in India in their respective seasons:

Kharif Crops Name

Rabi Crops Name

Jowar

Onion

Castor

Cumin

Guar (F)

Lucerne

Arhar

Oat

Soyabean

Tomato

Hy Cotton

Wheat

Chilly

Fenugreek

Nagali

Coriender

Sesamum

Mustard

Maize

Fennel

Urid

Potato

Cotton

Gram

Paddy

Maize

Bajri

Isabgol

What is Kharif Crop?

Kharif crop is a monsoon crop cultivated in the Indian subcontinent during the monsoon season. The word is taken from the Arabic language, where Kharif means autumn. The significance of this word is that a crop is sown in monsoon and reaped close to Autumn. The sowing of Kharif started with the first rain of the monsoon.

About Kharif Crops

Kharif crops require a heavy amount of water to cultivate, which is why they are sown in the rainy season with abundant rainfall. A few of the Kharif crops are Peaches, Brinjal, and Cotton. Sarda, Sponge gourd, Guar, etc.

Kharif Season Months or Kharif Crops Season

Kharif crop is sown in the monsoon season. The sowing of the Kharif crop beings with rainfall in Late May or the start of June. The Kharif season ends with the harvesting of the crops during October–November.

  • The major factor in this crop is the monsoon, as the water requirement for the Kharif crop is high, which is fulfilled by rain precipitation.
  • In India, Monsoon enters around May, reaching Mumbai around June and Delhi at the end of June.
  • The ending of the monsoon may extend to the latest January. The good monsoon season brings a boom in the Indian economy as around 600 million people participate in agriculture and 20% of the national GDP depends on agriculture.

Kharif Crops Examples

In India, there are vast types of Kharif crops. Types of Kharif crops are not the same throughout the country. Depending on the location, weather conditions, natural vegetation, and soil conditions, different Kharif crops are produced all over India. These crops heavily depend on the amount of rain.

List of Kharif Crops

Check out more than 20 examples of Kharif crops provided here. The list of Kharif crops is given below for various categories of crops produced in various parts of India. 

Fruits

Vegetables

Seed Plants

Cereals

Almonds

Plums

Bitter gourd (karela)

Arhar (tur)

Jowar

Apples

Pears

Bottle gourd

Black gram (urad)

Maize (corn)

Jaman

Phalsa

Turmeric

Soybean

Millet

Bananas

Papaya

Chili

Cowpea

Rice (paddy and deepwater rice)

Apricots

Peaches

Brinjal

Cotton

 

Coconut

Sarda

Sponge gourd

Guar

 

Cantaloupe

Sugarcane

Green bean

Green gram (moong)

 

Chikoo

Walnut

Ladies' fingers

Groundnut

 

Guava

Watermelon

Tinda

Sesame (til)

 

Figs

Luffa

Tomato

Mung bean

 

Mango

Orange

 

Fennel (Saunf)

 

Litchi

Muskmelon

 

Urad bean

 

Dates

Pomegranate

 

Moth bean

 
   

Red gram (Pigeon pea)

 

What is Rabi Crop?

The second type of crop is the Rabi crop. This is known as the winter crop because it is sown this season. Rabi crop is harvested in the spring season. The Rabi name is also driven from the Arabic language; Rabi means spring. The significance of this is that it is harvested in that season.

About Rabi Crops

Rabi crops are planted after the monsoon season, generally in November. The water requirements for these crops are less than for the Kharif crops. These crops are less affected by rain precipitation.

Rabi Crop Season

Rabi crop grows in cold weather with adequate water. The soil moisture during the Rabi crop sowing is good since it is done just after the monsoon season. The crop is harvested during the month of April.

  • These crops require warm weather to grow, which is why they are fully grown and harvested in April.
  • Rabi crop season is known for the crops such as wheat, barley, peas, etc.
  • Mustard is another Rabi crop. This crop is widely used in Indian households for cooking purposes. Mustard requires a dry and cool climate to grow.

Rabi Crops Examples

India is known for its variety of Rabi crops. As in India, varieties of Kharif crops are seen similarly. Various Rabi crops exist in India. 

Cereals

Legumes / lentils (dal)

Fruits

Seed plants

Vegetables

barley

chickpea

guava

grape fruit

alfalfa

bean

garlic (lehsun)

Wheat

pigeon pea

date

mandarin orange

mustard

capsicum[6]

potato

mustard

masoor

banana

kinnow

fenugreek 

broccoli

pea

gram

kulthi

orange

lemon

coriander 

beetroot 

lady finger

oat 

mung bean

ber

lime

linseed

cabbage

onion

rapeseed

lobias

grape

mulberries

cumin

brinjal (baingan)

lettuce

Linseed

toria

 

mangoes

isabgol 

carrot (gajar)

radish (mooli)

 

Urad bean



  

Bengal gram

chickpea

sweet potato

    

sunflower

cauliflowers (gobhi)

spinach (palak)

    

red gram

fenugreek (methi)

tomato 

    

black pepper

 

turnip (shalgum)

Rabi and Kharif Difference

Aspirants can expect a few questions based on the Rabi and Kharif crop in the upcoming exams. Here is the Rabi and Kharif crops UPSC chart focusing differences prepared to help candidates quickly review the concepts for the exam.

Particulars

Kharif Crops

Rabi Crops

Weather Conditions

Moist conditions

Dry conditions

Season

May - November

October - April

Sowing Time

Seeds sown at the beginning of the monsoon season.

Seeds are sown at the beginning of the winter

Major Producing States

Kerala, Punjab, Haryana, and Tamil Nadu

Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, MP, Punjab, Odisha, and Rajasthan.

Harvesting Time

End of the monsoon.

End of the winter around April.

Examples

are Jowar, Maize, Cotton, Bajra, Sugarcane, and Groundnut.

Linseed, Barley, Wheat, Cereals, and Mustard

Rabi And Kharif Crops For UPSC Exam

The aspirants must have an in-depth knowledge of Rabi crops and Kharif crops to perform exceptionally well in the exam. The aspirants can download the UPSC PDF for the exam and move ahead on the path of comprehensive preparation.

Candidates must be well versed in the difference between rabi and Kharif crops. This topic frames out to be an essential segment of the syllabus. It is highly recommended to the candidates practice the previous year's papers to get ahead on the path of preparation.

Important Notes for UPSC
Swaraj PartyAssent to Bills
Drainage System of IndiaChief Ministers of India
Tropical Deciduous ForestNational Commission for Scheduled Caste
Maharatna Companies in IndiaHome Rule Movement
Thermal Power Plant in IndiaSangam Literature

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FAQs on Rabi Crops and Kharif Crops

  • Kharif crops are the crops produced in May - November. These crops are known as monsoon crops. A few examples of the Kharif crops are 

    • Jaman
    • Phalsa
    • Turmeric
    • Bananas
    • Papaya
    • Chili
    • Apricots
    • Peaches
    • Brinjal.
  • The names Kharif and Rabi are taken from the Arabic language. The word Kharif means Autumn, and Rabi means winter. Both are chosen as per the season in which these crops are cultivated. Kharif crops are cultivated in autumn, whereas Rabi crops are at the end of winter.

  • Castor seed is known to be the crop which is both Kharif and Rabi crops. As Castor seed is grown in both seasons. The castor seeds are used to produce the castor oil. The castor seed is grown in arid and semi-arid regions.

  • Rabi crops are a type of crop which is produced in the month of October - April. These are known as winter crops. A few examples of the Rabi crops are:

    • barley
    • chickpea
    • guava
    • grape fruit
    • Wheat
    • pigeon pea
    • date
    • mandarin orange
  • The answer to the question “is sugarcane a Kharif or Rabi crop” is that Sugarcane is a Kharif crop. They can take almost a complete year to grow. It is one of the important crops in India, supporting it to a huge extent in the agricultural sector. Sugarcane is a subtropical as well as a tropical crop.

  • A list of Kharif crops is provided below consisting of 10 important Kharif crops:

    1. Almonds
    2. Plums
    3. Bitter gourd (karela)
    4. Arhar (tur)
    5. Jowar
    6. Apples
    7. Pears
    8. Bottle gourd
    9. Black gram (urad)
    10. Maize (corn)
  • The Orange is a Kharif crop. It is cultivated with temperatures between 15.5 °C and 29 °C. They need sunshine and water to a good extent. Oranges are harvested from the trees by hand picking when their colour becomes pale orange.

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