Total geographical area of the state is about 161.98 lakhs hectares. It is noteworthy to find that 61% of the geographical area is under cultivation in the state. Kheda, Mehsana, Amreli, Surat, Gandhinagar, Anand, Patan, Bhavnagar and Banaskantha districts have more than 70% of their area under cultivation. The state has 9.00% of their land as waste land and the same may be effectively used under various watershed projects. 5.00% of area are under pasture land and land under non-agriculture use or cultivable unutilized categories are covered about 15.00% of the geographical area.
The soils of Gujarat can be broadly classified into nine groups: black soil, mixed red and black soils, residual sandy soils, alluvial soils, saline/alkali soils, lateritic soils, hilly soils, desert soils and forest soils.
In terms of the standard climatic types, tropical climates viz., sub-humid, arid and semi-arid are spread over different regions of the state. Out of total area of the state 58. 60 per cent fall under arid and semi-arid climatic zone. The arid zone contributes 24.94 per cent, while the semi-arid zone forms 33.66 per cent of the total area of the state. The regions in the extreme north comprising the district of Kutchh and the western parts of Banaskantha and Mehsana, the northern fringe of Saurashtra (Jamnagar) and its western part have arid climate the rest of the State has semi-arid climate. The district of Valsad, Dangs, Surat, Vadodara and Kheda in the extreme south of the State have sub-humid climate.
The average annual rainfall over different parts of the State varies widely from 300 mm in the Western half of Kutch to 2100 mm in the Southern part of Valsad district and the Dangs. The monsoon usually commences by the middle of June and withdraws by the end of September, about 95% of the total annual rainfall being received during these months rainfall is received in June, nearly 40% in the July, 25% in August and 15% to 25% in July, August and September. The maximum number of rainy days is in July and August.
There is considerable variation State-wise average temperature during the course of the year. The average weekly minimum temperature is about 12.5 C. experienced generally in the month of January. Some parts of the State occasionally experience frost during this period.
The average weekly maximum temperature is 39.9 C, generally reached by about the second week of May. Thus, January is the coldest month, while May is the hottest month for Gujarat. October is another month of higher temperature.
Agriculture Trade and Economy:
Agriculture in Gujarat forms a vital sector of the state’s economy. It provides the required food grains for the state’s population and raw materials for most of the agro-based industries. Unsuitable climatic conditions in some parts and rocky terrain with thin or no soils in others, have limited the area suitable for cultivation. The difficulties of drainage in coastal areas and in the two Ranns have made a large part of the state agriculturally unproductive.. The main feature of the state’s agriculture is its cropping pattern reflected by the variations in climate and topography. The high yield of cotton is the highest in the country, and reflects the overall emphasis on cash crops, which has claimed the best agricultural land.
A higher percentage of the land is used for cultivation in central Gujarat. Kheda, Baroda, Bharuch and Surat districts are the main contributors to the agricultural production of the state. Valsad has become India’s first integrated horticulture district. Groundnut (highest production in the country), Cotton, Tobacco (second highest production in the country), Isabgul, Cumin, Sugarcane , Jawar, Bajra, Rice, Wheat, Pulses, Tur and Gram are the important crops of Gujarat. Another cash crop which has recently entered the field in a few selected localities is banana. Plenty of mangoes for export as well as home consumption are part of cash crops. Honey, wax and bamboo are produced in fair quantities in different forests and medicinal herbs and fruits like Jamun and guava are produced in plenty. Forests also yield considerable quantities of teak, Khair, Sadad, Hadariyo, manual bamboos and good quality of wood.
District Wise- Scale of Finance
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