Agriculture Industry in Rajasthan
The Economy of the state of Rajasthan mainly depends on the agricultural sector for it accounts for almost 22.5% of the state's economy. In the state of Rajasthan, the total area that has been cultivated is around 20 million hectares and 20% of the area out of this is irrigated.
Rajasthan surprises most observers with its highly diversified agricultural produce. The State is India's largest producer of oilseeds (rapeseed & mustard), seed spices (coriander, cumin and fenugreek), coarse cereals and 'bajra' in India and accounts for close to 70% of the countries production of guar. The State is major producer of soybean, food grains, gram, groundnut and pulses.
Many kinds of fruits and vegetables are grown in Rajasthan. The agricultural farms are mainly irrigated with the help of tanks and wells. This sector has given a major boost to the Economy in Rajasthan.
Though there are vast tracts of the desert in western Rajasthan, the ecological environment is semi-arid; in eastern Rajasthan, where rivers and a lush green cover are present, there is more rain, and the seasonal crops are plentiful. In these harsh climatic conditions, women tend to the cattle and their milking, while the elderly or the young take them out to pastures for grazing.
In the past, when agriculture was a risky affair, it became necessary to raise cattle for survival, a tradition that has continued to grow, turning Rajasthan into one of the states that have benefited from the 'white revolution'. It is the men who work in the fields. Since most have land holdings that are not too large, the use of mechanized farming methods is still not in prevalence, though tractors are sometimes hired at the time of sowing. For most part, the farmers use a method of ploughing that dates back thousands of years to the Indus Valley Civilization. Camels, and sometimes buffaloes, are used for pulling the plough.
Three important crops grown here are wheat, corn and millets, with the last being used for baking breads in the villages, while those in larger towns show a preference for wheat flour. Pulses are another important crop, since this forms the basis of the lentils required for cooking meals. Sesame and groundnut are grown and are important sources of cooking oil.
The land is still not used for growing vegetables other than crops of potatoes, and more recently, tomatoes. However, the water of the Indira Gandhi Canal (Rajasthan Canal) is now helping in the cultivation of a handsome crop of citrus fruits, including tangerines, oranges and lemons.
Fresh vegetables have not formed a part of the traditional cuisine of the state therefore it is still not being grown. Dehydrated vegetables - sangri and gwarphali from the bean families and kakri from the cucumber family - can be eaten when fresh, or stored for use in later months, and village diets still consume these.
However, in recent years, with transport communications between towns, the availability of fresh vegetables in towns and cities has increased. The state also has large cultivations of watermelons, which is the perfect way of quenching one's thirst.
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