There is a wide range of agricultural commodities which include major crops such as wheat , rice, sugarcane and cotton. Moreover, minor crops like gram, bajra, jawar, mauni, masoor and onion etc. are also grown in large quantity. Maize or corn is a staple food in North America, Africa, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. Similarly, wheat is the main cereal of the temperate regions whereas rice is grown extensively in the tropical and temperate areas. In 2007, the total world production of maize was 791 million metric tons followed by 659 million tons of rice, 725 million tons of wheat, 133 million tons of barely and 33 million tons of millet.
Wheat is a staple food of majority of the people in Asia, Africa and Europe. It is grown in about 125 countries of the world. The wheat-growing regions of the world include the following:
South Asia, Central Asia, South-west Asia and East Asia. Main regions include the following:
- The Indus Valley Pakistan
- The upper Ganges Valley of India
- The Yangtze Valley (China)
- The North China Plain, The Szechwan Basin
- The Zagros and Elburtz Balleys
(2). North America:
- United States of America
(3). South America:
- Wheat Crescent of Pampa (Argentina)
- Central Chile
- South Brazil
- Coastal Plain of Algeria, Tunisia, Moroco
- Upper and Middle Egypt
- Crescent shaped belt extending from New South Wales to South Australia through Murray-Darling Basin.
- Mediterranean Countries
- North-west Europe
- Russia and Ukraine
- South-east Europe
Rice is an other staple food of people of Asia, Europe and Americas. It is grown in tropical regions which have sufficient rainfall. Main rice growing areas of world include the following:
Pakistan, India, Burma, Bangladesh, South China, Vietnam, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan.
South Morocco, Region lying from Chad Lake to White Nile.
(3). Middle East:
Iraq, Palestine, Yemen, Jordan Valley.
Sugar cane is the main source of sugar in the world. Sugarcane is grown extensively in the following countries.
- In Asia it is grown in India, China, Thailand, Pakistan, Indonesia and Philippines.
- In North America rice is mainly grown in USA and Mexico.
- In Caribbean region Cuba, Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad are big producers of rice.
- In Latin America rice is grown in Brazil and Peru.
- In Africa rice is produced in South Africa, Egypt, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Sudan and Mauritius.
Cotton is an important cash crop of the world because it provides raw materials for textile industry. Thus, the production of cotton cloth, cotton yarn, bed sheets, towels, carpets etc. relies on the quantity of cotton produced in the world. Presently, more than 100 countries of the world are producing cotton out of which China is at top followed by USA, India, Pakistan and Uzbekistan. Major cotton growing regions are:
- USA: Cotton belt of Mississippi river and the areas of New Mexico, Arizona, California and Texas.
- China: Chang Valley, Hang he Valley.
- Pakistan: Indus Valley, Plains of Baluchistan.
- India: In India cotton is grown in Deccan Plateau, U.P, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu regions, Maharashtra and Gujrat.
- :Africa: Egypt is the main producer of cotton in African.
- South America: Brazil, Argentina, Columbia and Paraguay are the main producers of cotton in Africa.
Tea is one of the three major beverage crops of the world. Like coffee and cocoa, it is very popular all over the world. Tea plant grows on hill slopes and requires a temperature of more than 150 centigrade and rainfall exceeding 1500 mm. Tea leaves are picked by labourers by hand. Tea plants are grown in the following countries:
- Indonesia: Tea plantations are located in the north east Sumatra and on the slopes of volcanic mountains of Java island.
- India: Assam, Darjeeling, Western Ghats, Brahmaputra Valley (Assam).
- Bangladesh: Chittagong and Sylhet.
- Japan: Mountains of Kyushu, Skikoku and Honshu.
- China: Szechwan Basin, Chang Valley.
- Taiwan: North-western parts of Taiwan.
- Kenya: Killy parts of Kenya.
- Sri Lanka: Hilly regions of Sri Lanka.
- Tanzania: Hill slopes in Tanzania.
- Uganda: Hill slopes of Uganda.
Coffee is popular beverage in all parts of the world. It is prepared from coffee beans (seed) of coffee plants. The plantation of coffee first originated in Arabian countries. Coffee-growing regions and countries are detailed below.
- Indonesia, India, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand. (Asia).
- Ethiopia, Uganda, Madagascar (Africa).
- Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, Venezuela, El-Salvador, Cote d’ Ivoire, Nicaragua (Americas).