Major crops of Tamil Nadu and its primary cultivation region

Major crops of Tamil Nadu

Agriculture is and continues to be an important sector of Tamil Nadu’s economy. Around 60% of the total population of the state is engaged directly or indirectly in agriculture and its allied sectors. Tamil Nadu has around seven agro-climatic conditions and different soil conditions. That is suitable for the growth of Food crops, Species, Horticulture, Medicinal, and Aromatic plants.

But altogether, the major crop of Tamil Nadu is Paddy, millet, a variety of Pulses, different oil seeds, and Sugarcane. Also, different cash crops and tea plantations are also there.


Rice field in Tamil Nadu By Jeevan naidu – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

It is the most important staple food crop of Tamil Nadu. The major variety of paddy grown in Tamil Nadu is Ponni and Kichadi.

Rice cultivation in the state is 3 Million Hectares. Paddy cultivation is concentrated in Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram, Villupuram, Cuddalore, and Tirunelveli districts.

Tamil Nadu Ranks is third in India. The Cauvery delta of Thanjavur district (Undivided) is the major rice production region of Tamil Nadu. As a result, the Cauvery delta is called the Granary of Tamil Nadu.


Millet Cultivation in Tamil Nadu By Thamizhpparithi Maari – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Millets are stable food for 1/3 of the population of Tamil Nadu. Major millets are Sorghum/Jowar (Cholam), Ragi (Kezhvaragu), and Bajra (Kambu).

Millets are grown in drier areas as well as coastal plains. Sorghum is cultivated in the Coimbatore plateau and Kambam Valley.

Ragi is grown in cultivated Dharmapuri, Vellore, Coimbatore, and Cuddalore districts. Bajra is grown in Ramanathapuram, Tirunelveli, Karur, Perambalur and Salem Districts.

India observed 2018 as the National Year of Millets.

FAO decided to observe 2023 as the International Year of Millets.


Pulses in Tamil Nadu By Monali.mishra – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Pulses are the main source of protein in India for the Vegetarian Population. Major pulses grown in India are Bengal Gram, Black Gram, Green Gram, Cow Pea, and Horse Gram.

Pulses are grown mostly in drier regions with or without irrigation. A mild Cool Climate and low to moderate rainfall are optimal for Pulse cultivation.

It also serves as excellent fodder for animals. Pulses are grown in almost all the districts of Chennai, Nilgiris, and Kanyakumari.

Coimbatore tops in the production of Bengal Gram. Vellore and Kanyakumari district’s products are Red Gram.

Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, and Thoothukudi districts are principal producers of green gram and black gram.

Horse gram is widely cultivated in Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts.

National Project On Organic Farming

To promote organic farming a central scheme named National Project on Organic Farming. The scheme provides financial assistance through a capital investment subsidy scheme.

Oil Seeds

Oil seed cultivation in Tamil nadu By I, Avenafatua, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Oilseeds grown in Tamil Nadu are Groundnut, gingelly, castor, coconut, sunflower, and mustard. The oil is used for cooking.

Industrial applications of oil are used for Lubrication and making Varnish, Soaps, Candle, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals,

Groundnut is a major oilseed of Tamil Nadu. Groundnut cultivation is concentrated in Vellore, Tiruvannamalai, Villupuram, Salem, and Pudukottai districts.

Groundnut is also grown in Dharmapuri, Cuddalore, Perambalur, and Madurai. Erode, Ramanathapuram, Sivagangai, and Virudhunagar districts are minor producers.

Coconut which is also used to produce Oil is grown in Coimbatore, Thanjavur, and Kanyakumari districts.


Sugarcane cultivation in Tamil Nadu By Rufino Uribe – caña de azúcar, CC BY-SA 2.0,

The major cash crop of Tamil Nadu is Sugarcane. It needs high temperatures and heavy rainfall.

Sugarcane grows well in tropical regions. Tiruvallure, Kancheepuram, Vellore, Cuddalore, Tiruchirapalli, Coimbatore, Erode, and Tirunelveli are major sugarcane-producing districts.


Cotton cultivation in Tamil nadu By Azzurro – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Cotton is a fibre crop and it is also a cash crop. It requires black soil, long frost-free conditions, and warm and humid weather. It needs Humid weather in the early stages and hot, dry weather during the harvest period.

Cotton is mostly cultivated in the Coimbatore plateau and Vaigai-Vaippar river basins. It is also cultivated in Madurai, Ramanathapuram, Virudhunagar, Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Salem, and Dharmapuri districts.

Plantation crops

Plantation crops in Tamil Nadu By © 2011 Jee & Rani Nature Photography (License: CC BY-SA 4.0), CC BY-SA 4.0,

Major plantation crops of Tamilnadu are Tea, Coffee, Cashew, rubber, and Cinchona. In Tea production, Tamilnadu ranks second in area and production. First in tea production in Assam.

Tea plantations are found in the Hills of Nilgiris and Coimbatore. The Nilgiris is an important region for tea plantations.

Coffee plants are grown in the hills of Western and Eastern Ghats. Coffee plantations are found in the hilly slopes of the Dindigul, Madurai, Theni, and Salem districts.

Coffee plantations are also found minor on the slopes of Yercaud, Kolli Hills, and Kodaikanal. Tamil Nadu is second in coffee production in India. The first is Karnataka.

Rubber plantation is an important Plantation crop, concentrated in the Kanyakumari district. Pepper is another plantation crop that needs warm and wet slopes, so it is grown in the Eastern and Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu.

Cashew is largely cultivated in the Cuddalore district. Cinchona is planted at heights varying from 1060 to 1280 metres in Anaimalai Hills.

Cardamom estates are found in the hills of Madurai Regions at an elevation of 915 to 1525 metres.

TANTEA – (Tamil Nadu Tea Plantation Corporation Limited)

It is one of the largest Black Tea Producer in India with High-quality clonal tea. With a Plantation that spread over 4500 Hec.

Tamil Nadu Dairy Development Corporation Ltd

Tamil Nadu Dairy Development Corporation Ltd was transformed into Aavin that is Tamil Nadu Co-operative Milk Producers Federation Limited.


The major crops grown in Tamilnadu are rice, ragi, maize, pulses, sugarcane, etc.

* * All the Notes in this blog, are referred from Tamil Nadu State Board Books and Samacheer Kalvi Books. Kindly check with the original Tamil Nadu state board books and Ncert Books.