Agriculture In Punjab

((Update 24 Sep 2017) Punjab, the Food Basket of India, is an agrarian state. Agriculture has an important role in the culture and economy of Punjab. In this article, we will present some facts and figures about agriculture in Punjab and crops grown in Punjab. The figures given on this page are according to the data published by government of Punjab.
Agriculture In Punjab
The details are divided into following sections:
  • Rural Population and Agriculture Workers
  • Role of Agriculture in Economy
  • Punjab Agricultural University
  • Area under Agriculture
  • Forest Land
  • Crops Grown In Punjab
  • Fruits Grown In Punjab
  • Area Under Vegetables
  • Irrigation - Rainfall, Canals and Tubewells
  • Agriculture Minister of Punjab
  • Agriculture based Industries

Role of Agriculture in Economy

Agriculture and allied fields like dairy, fisheries, animal husbandry are a major source of employment in Punjab. These sectors play an important role in the economy of Punjab, although the percentage contribution of agriculture in the state income is decreasing every year. According to latest figures available (2014-15), the percentage contribution of agriculture to the total state income is 16.78 (GROSS) and 17.65% (NET). The contribution of agriculture and allied industries in state gross domestic product (GDP) at current prices is 27.38%. It was 32.65% in 2004-2005 and is decreasing every year.
Contribution of Agriculture to GDP (2014-15)
Agriculture = 16.78%, Livestock = 7.78%
Forestry and Logging = 2.50%, Fisheries = 0.32%
Total = 27.38%, Total (2004-05) = 32.65%

Also check our page containing the detailed information about GDP of Punjab.

Rural Population and Agriculture Workers

In Punjab, majority of the population lives in villages where main occupation of the people is agriculture or related to agriculture like dairy or animal husbandry. According to 2011 census data, the total rural population of Punjab is 1,73,44,192 i.e. 1.73 crore, which is 62.5% of total population of the state.
Agriculture Workers - According to 2001 figures, the total workers in Punjab is 91.27 lakh and number of agriculture workers is 35.55 lakh. The percentage of agriculture workers to total workers is around 39%.

Area under Agriculture

The total area of Punjab is 5036 thousand hectare (50362 square kilometers). The net area sown in 2013-14 was 4145 thousand hectare, which you can say is the total agricultural land in Punjab. It means that almost 82% land of Punjab comes under agriculture. Most of the agriculture land in Punjab is sown more than once and area sown more than once is 3703 thousand hectare. Hence the total cropped area in 2013-14 was 7848 thousand hectare. According to this, the crop intensity in Punjab is almost 189%.

Forest Land

The forest area in Punjab is very less as compared to the national average. The forest land is almost 6% of the total area of the state. The district Hoshiarpur has the largest forest cover and has almost 38% of the total forests of the state. Timber is the main forest produce in the state. Other than this, bamboos & canes are obtained from these forests.

Crops Grown in Punjab

In Punjab, mainly the two cereal crops, wheat and rice, are grown in rotation during an year. Rice is the principal crop of Kharif season and wheat is the principal crop of Rabi season. Other than wheat and rice, some quantitiy of maize and barley is also grown. Other cereal crops like jowar, bajra etc. are either not sown or are produced in very small quantity. Crops Grown in Punjab
Punjab, having only 1.54% area of India, is the largest contributor of wheat and rice in the central pool. During 1980-81, the state's share in the central pool was - rice 45% and wheat 73%. These figures for the year 2014-15 are Rice 24.2% and Wheat 41.5%. Being the largest contributor of main cereals to the central pool, Punjab has earned the title of Granary of India or Food Basket of India. Note that these figures are contribution to the central pool, not the percentage of total cereals produced in India. If we consider the data of last few years, Punjab produces roughly 12% of the total cereals produced in India.
Other main crops of Punjab are cotton and sugarcane. Gram and some other pulses are also grown in some areas of Punjab. In the oil seeds category, rapeseed and mustard are the major contributors. Groundnut, sesamum and sunflower are also cultivated, but only in small area. The production of vegetables and fruits is discussed in the next section.
The area under the major crops and their production quantity is given below (estimated figures for year 2014-15):
Crop Area (Thousand Hectare) Production (Thousand Metric Ton)
Year 2013-14 Year 2014-15 Year 2013-14 Year 2014-15
Wheat 3510 3505 17610 15088
Rice 2849 2894 11259 11107
Maize 131 126 510 460
Barley 12 46 11 39
Pulses 19 13 17 9
Rapeseed and Mustard 30 31 39 29
Sunflower 8 9 16 15
Total Oil Seeds 47 46 60 58
Sugarcane 89 94 552 581
Cotton 445 420 1491 1342

According to 2013-14 data, the total production of rice in India was 106645 thousand metric ton and that in Punjab was 11267 units. It means Punjab produced 10.6% of the total rice produced in India. The production of wheat in India was 95849 units and the same in Punjab was 17620 units, which is 18.4% of the wheat produced in India. The total production of cereals (includes wheat, rice and other cereals like maize, jowar, bajra, barley etc.) in India was 265043 units and that in Punjab was 29480 units. According to these figures, Punjab produced almost 11.1% of the total cereals produced in the country.

Irrigation - Rainfall, Canals and Tubewells

Punjab receives good rainfall during the monsoon season from July to September which is very good for the Paddy (Rice) crop grown in that season. The state also has a good infrastructure for irrigation. Out of the total agriculture land of Punjab, almost 99% is irrigated through canals or tubewells. It is often said that Punjab has a extensive network of canals for irrigation, but the fact is that only about 27% of the total cultivated area is irrigated through canals and rest 73% is irrigated through tubewells. The state has surplus electricity production so power supply to the tubewells is not a problem. There are total 14.05 lakh tubewells, out of which 12.26 lakh are operated by electricity and 1.79 are diesel operated.
Annual Rainfall - The average rainfall in Punjab was 619.7 mm in 2013 and it was 384.9 mm in 2014. The five year average for the period from 2010 to 2014 was 501.4 mm. The rainy season in Punjab is from July to September and 60-70 percent of annual rainfall occurs during these three months. Gurdaspur district receives the maximum rainfall, followed by Rupnagar (Ropar). The district with least rainfall is Mansa, followed by Firozpur district.

Fruits Grown In Punjab

The state mainly produces the food grain crops and most of the fruits are imported from the other states of the country. The main fruit grown in Punjab is Kinnow. There are vast areas covered with Kinnow orchards, mostly in the Fazilka, Muktsar and Firozpur districts. The production is more than enough for consumption within the state and it is also sent to other states in large quantities. Other than Kinnow, Guava and Mango are the other main fruits of Punjab. Guava is mainly grown in Firozpur district and the production is enough for consumption within the state. Mango orchards are mainly located in the Gurdaspur and Hoshiarpur districts of Punjab, but the production is small as compared to the total consumption of the state. Pear, Peach, Lemon and Ber are also produced in good quantity and it is enough for the state's own consumption. For the commonly consumed fruits like apple, mango, banana, grapes, papaya and waterlemon, the state depends mostly on other parts of the country. The area and production of different fruits is given below:
Crop Area (Hectare) Production (Metric Ton)
Kinnow 47101 1017725
Guava 8205 180775
Mangoes 6743 107572
Pear 2889 65438
Peach 1716 30340
Orange and Malta 2671 21457
Ber 1802 29967
Total Fruits 76592 1541243


Area Under Vegetables

The only major vegetable produce of the state is Potato. The other main vegetables produced in the state are cauliflower, lady finger, tomatoes, carrot and raddish. The total production of vegetables is small as compared to the overall consumption within the state. The area under vegetables is given below:
Crop Area (Hectare)
Potato 79647
Onion 2202
Other Vegetables (Winter) 21792
Other Vegetables (Summer) 17452
Total Vegetables 122181

Punjab Agricultural University

Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) is one of the renowned agriculture universities in India, which has made a significant contribution to the development of agriculture in Punjab. It palyed an important role in bringing the green revolution in the country and to make the country self sufficient in the production of food grains. According to National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) rankings for 2017, the PAU was ranked at 24th position in India amongst all universities in India and it was ranked 40th in the Overall category. Kissan Mela: PAU organizers Kisan Mela at the main campus of university at Ludhiana and some other cities of the state. Hign quality seeds produced at the university farms are distributed/sold during these melas. The Kisan Mela is held twice an year, once in March before the start of sowing for Kharif crops and then in September when the Rabi season is about to start.

Agriculture Based Industries

Agriculture plays a major role in the economy of Punjab and there are a number of industries which are directly related to or dependent upon agriculture. These industries range from an ironsmith making small agricultural implements to the farm machinery like tractor and combine manufacturing, making pickles at a shop to the large scale food processing units. There are hundreds of companies that manufacture farm equipments and machinery. Here we will give a list of large scale industrial units in Punjab that are directly related to agriculture.
  • Sonalika Tractors - Sonalika Group, based in Hoshiarpur, is amongst the top tractor manufactures of India.
  • National Fertilizers Limited - This public sector company has two urea plants in the state. One unit is located in Nangal and another is located in Bathinda.
  • Swaraj Tractors - This company is owned by Mahindra Group and one of the largest tractor manufactures of the country. The compnay was established by the government of Punjab and later acquired by Mahindra & Mahindra. The company has main manufacturing unit in Mohali city under the name of Punjab Tractors Limited.
  • Standard Corporation - Standard Corporation is a leading Harvester Combine and Tractor manufacturing company, based in Barnala.
  • Nestle - Nestle has a factory in Moga where a huge quantity of milk is collected from surrounding areas and processed to form desi ghee, skimmed milk, butter and other products. Some of the household names like Maggi, Cerelac and EveryDay are manufactures in this factory.
  • Preet Tractors - Preet tractors is another leading manufacturers of tractors, self propelled combine harvester and other such machinery and company has its manufacturing facility in Nabha, near Patiala.
  • ITC: ITC, which manufacture the various food products under the brand names Sunfeast, Bingo, Aashirvad etc. has a large food processing unit in Kapurthala.
  • Markfed: Markfed is a co-operative company of Punjab government and is one of country's largest agricultural products marketing company. The products are marketed under the brand name of Sohna and the portfolio includes various edible oils, basmati rice, jams and pickles, desi ghee and ready to serve food items.


Agriculture Minister of Punjab

Capt. Amrinder Singh, the current Chief Minister of Punjab, also heads the agriculture department. So if you are asked that who is the agriculture minister of Punjab, then you can say that Capt Amrinder Singh is the agriculture minister of Punjab. He is a senior leader of Congress party and is MLA from Patiala Urban assembly constituency. In the previous tenure of SAD government from March 2012 to March 2017, Tota Singh of Akali Dal was the head of this department.
To more details about the agriculture department and list of ministers of related departments, check our page related to Agriculture Minister of Punjab.