Agriculture is the prime and traditional occupation for the people of Tamil Nadu. About 56% of the people here are farmers. Agriculture sector supplies food and fodder to the people and cattle, respectively. It is the source of raw material for many of the industries. Tamil Nadu has an area of 130.33 lakh ha.. with a gross cropped area of around 59.42 lakh ha..
It is one of the States in the country with a creditable performance in agricultural production with the farmers relatively more responsive and receptive to changing technologies and market forces. Among the food crops, paddy is the prime crop cultivated in all the districts of Tamil Nadu.
The Cauvery Delta is known as the ‘Granary of South India’. Tamil Nadu is one among the leading horticultural States in India, contributing 5.88% of national horticultural production and 5.4% in respect of total horticultural crop area at the national level. Plantation farming is yet another type of farming where crops are grown on large farms or estates. Tea, coffee, rubber and pepper are grown as plantation crops on the hill slopes of Tamil Nadu.
- Tamil Nadu is the second largest economy and the most urbanised State in the country.
- It occupies 4% of India’s total geographical area but possesses only 3% of water resources. The State has a coastal line of 1076 km.
- The climate in the State is mainly tropical and the temperature ranges between 18°C and 43°C. The State has been divided into seven agro-climatic sub-zones for planning agricultural development.
- Farmers in the State practise mixed farming in many areas. They grow two or three varieties of crops along with cattle rearing, poultry and fishing on a large land holding. This method is profitable to them as it provides regular and continuous income.
- Tamil Nadu ranks fourth in fishing among the States of India. A long coastline of 1,076 km and the broad continental shelf favour coastal fishing. Nadu. Pearl fishing is predominant in the Gulf of Mannar region. Thoothukudi is a leading port in fish export. Both marine and inland fishing are practised in the State. Oysters and prawns are cultured in organised nurseries at Ennore and Pulicat lake for export