Below are given classification of crops for which area and production statistics are published:
1. Food Crops:
All crops providing food to man are called food crops. Grams, pulses, vegetables and fruits all are called food crops.
(a) Cereals: Rice autumn, winter, summer and total jowar kharif, rabi and total, bajra, maize, ragi, wheat, barley, other cereals and small millets Kharif and rabi and total, total cereals and millets.
(b) Pulses: Gram, tur or arhar (pegion pea), other pulses kharif, Rabi and total, total pulses: total food grains
(c) Sugar, sugarcane, other total
(d) Condiments and Pepper (black.), Chillies, ginger, turmeric, cardamons, betel nuts, others, total spices.
(e) Fruits and Vegetables Including Root Crops: Fruits cashew-nuts, other fresh mangoes, citrus fruits, bananas, grapes, other.
(f) Root Crops: Vegetables, potatoes, tapioca, sweet potatoes, onion, other kharif and Rabi vegetables.
(g) Other food crops.
2. Non Food Crops:
(a) Oilseeds: Groundnuts, castor, sesamum (Til) rape and mustard, linseed, coconut, others.
(b) Fibres, Cotton, Jute, Mesta, Sunhemp, others
(c) Dyes and Tanning Materials—Indigo
(d) Drugs and Narcotics: Opium, Coffee, Tea, Tobacco, Cinchona, Indian hemp.
(e) Green manuring crops
(f) Other non-food crops
3. Commercial Crops:
Crops grown with the motive for selling in market and earning profit are called commercial crops. They are called cash crops also. Sugarcane and cotton are important cash crops grown in India.
4. Plantation Crops:
The plantation agriculture is practised mainly in the tropical areas to grow cash crops. It is a specialised commercial cultivation of cash crops on estates or plantations. Some of the agricultural products are obtained from trees.
These trees are planted once and they continue providing fruit etc. for many years to come. Such crops are called plantation or tree crops. Tea, coffee, rubber, and almost all fruits are included in this category of crops.
5. Fibre Crops:
These are the plants or crops which yield fibers and they are grown mostly in hot wet tropical region of our country. The most important fibre crops are cotton and jute.
6. Fodder Crops:
These are the crops grown exclusively for feeding the animals (cattle). They are generally harvested when green. Barseen is an example of fodder crops. Some of the fodder like jowar and bajra are not harvested green and they are allowed to mature.
Such crops provide grains also besides dry fodder for cattle. The above mentioned categories of crops are not based on scientific criteria but it is based on our general convenience. These categories are not mutually exclusive and a number of crops can be included in more than one category.
The classification based on the season during which different crops are grown are more acceptable to readers, because there is uniformity in between them. On this basis crops are categorised into Kharif, Rabi, Zaid Kharif and Zaid Rabi.