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  • Agriculture forms almost one-third of Madhya Pradesh’s Gross State Domestic Product, and is the veritable backbone of the economy. As the second largest state with an estimated population of over 60 million, it is the predominant sector. About 75 per cent of the rural population depends on it. This results in wide availability of manpower at a reasonable cost. Farmland in Narsinghpur is considered to be the most fertile in Asia. The district is famous for its rich agricultural output.
  • The state has five crop zones, 11 agro climatic regions and four soil types. Together they add to the state’s biodiversity which favours the harvesting of assorted crops.
  • MP is the largest producer of pulses and oilseeds, and has a largish share of the national agriculture produce. About 25 per cent  of pulses and 40 per cent of grams are grown in the state. It is also the largest producer of soyabean and gram and the second largest in jowar and masoor.
  • Out of the total gross cropped area, 59 per cent is sown during the kharif season and 41 per cent in the rabi season. The state leads in the production of soyabean and gram; runs second in the output of jowar and masoor; and third in arhar and masoor.
  • The Malwa potato grown has a quality that has proved useful for potato chips processing.
  • The state is the second largest producer of coriander.
  • MP’s share in the total national production of pea is 15 per cent, and also leads in spices output with the production of garlic accounting for 37 per cent of the total national output.

Soil types

  • The state has four different soil types spread over four distinct regions. The western and central regions are covered by medium and deep soils constituting 53 per cent of the soil area. The eastern part of the state is primarily covered by black soil which comprises 25-26 per cent of the total geographical area.
  • Most of MP’s potential in agriculture lies in the central and western zones. These zones are rich in medium and deep soils consisting of several agri-export zones, ideal for setting up industrial ventures.
  • Different crops can be grown in different parts of the state during different seasons. This helps in uninterrupted agricultural activity throughout the year.
Crop zones

  • The distribution of different crop zones across MP is reflective of the state’s biodiversity. Cotton/jowar crops can be grown in the western, north-western and south-western part of MP. Such crops are grown in the regions having medium and deep soils.
  • Wheat/jowar crop zones are predominant in the state’s northern parts though some southern areas can also be tapped. It is evident that these crops have the potential of growing in all soil types prevalent in the state.
  • The rice zone is confined to the eastern part of the state where black soil is common. Only five districts/centres produce this crop. Wheat/rice crop zones are present in the eastern part of MP where the soil type is black soil.
Agri-export zones

  • Crops with potential include potato, spices (in the western part), pulses (in the central part), wheat (in the western and central regions) and oranges (south districts).
  • To facilitate promotion and development of specific products, several agri-export zones (AEZs) have been identified. These have been set up to facilitate export of specific products from a geographically contiguous area.
  • The AEZs are present at a location which makes it is easy to source the raw material, and hence developing the final product.
  • The concentration of AEZs is more towards the eastern and north-eastern parts of the state. Investors, especially MNCs looking for growth, can look forward to tapping these regions.


  • MP is the most bio-diverse state in the country with 11 agro climatic zones, five crop zones and four zones varying in soil types.
  • The soil and agro climatic conditions are suitable for rapid agricultural development.
  • The state has a strong base in horticulture. Set bang in the middle of the nation’s commercial activities, it is located at an easy distance from all the major agricultural markets in India. This ensures easy availability of manpower at a relatively lower retention cost.
  • MP has a large network of primary agricultural co-operative societies playing a crucial role in supplying agricultural inputs including seed, fertiliser and pesticides in the far flung areas.
  • The state has sufficient notified agricultural market yards and sub-market yards which provide facilities for sale of agricultural produce.
  • Farm mechanization is being promoted in the state by the Directorate of Agricultural Engineering.
  • Despite the potential the state has, the rate of prime land in the state is among the lowest in the country. This reduces the capital investment cost of investors..
  • Presence of AEZs provide helps investors tap opportunities.

Contract farming

  • Contract farming, still an emerging concept in MP, provides vast opportunities to potential investors in which production and supply of agricultural/horticultural produce is agreed in advance under forward contracts between producers, suppliers and buyers. The contract details the type of agro-commodity required at a time and a price, and in the required quantity. About 100 agricultural farms with an area of over 20,000 acres is available on lease to investors.
  • Many opportunities are also available at each part of the value chain in agro-processing industries.
  • MP has the potential to develop and increase the production of horticulture crops for each of the 11 agro-climatic sub-zones.


  • Given the diversity in the state’s agro climatic zones, soil composition, and climatic conditions, nearly 3.5 per cent of the total cultivated land has been set aside for horticulture. All major fruits vegetables, spices, flowers and medicine and aromatic crops have an equally fertile land and climate. Fruits cover 63,235 hectares (ha), vegetables 2,46,219 ha, spices 3,09,810 ha, flowers 3,800 ha and medicinal flora 22,900 ha. Fruits include mango, banana, orange, and vegetables potatoes, onion, tomato. High yielding spices cover coriander, chillies, and garlic.

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20 Feb 2019
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