Tamil Nadu, nestled in the South-East part of peninsular India is blessed with varying Agro-climatic zones from dry sub-humid to semi-arid because of the presence of 1000 K.M. long Coastal Line and ghat areas to its West and hilly areas along the North.
Agro-climatic Zones :
There are seven Agro-climatic zones in Tamil Nadu based on the climatic conditions and monsoon patterns prevailing in those areas. The zones are as follows:-
|1||Western Zone||Coimbatore, Erode, Thiruppur, Dindigul and Theni|
|2||Southern Zone||Madurai, Ramanathapuram, Thirunelveli, Sivagangai, Virudhunagar, Thuthukudi, Pudukottai and Karur|
|3||North Eastern Zone||Kancheepuram, Thiruvallur,Vellore, Thiruvannamalai , Cuddalore, and Villupuram.|
|4||North Western Zone||Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri, Salem, Namakkal, Perambalur,and Ariyalur|
|5||Delta Zone||Thanjavur, Thiruvarur, Nagapattinam and Trichirapalli|
|6||High Rainfall Zone||Kanyakumari|
|7||Hilly and Tribal Zone||The Nilgiris|
The four seasons in Tamil Nadu are not distinct and over-lap with the following season :
There are two monsoon seasons viz., South-West Monsoon and North-East Monsoon . We also get some summer showers during the month of April-May. Hence, the average annual Rainfall of Tamil Nadu is 968 m.m.
Horticulture in Tamil Nadu :
Though, Tamil Nadu is the largest contributor to India’s GDP, 70% of the people are Agrarian and Agriculture and allied activities contribute significantly to the State’s economy.
Due to the determined and persistent efforts of the State Government and continued support from the Central Government, the State has made head-way progress in Horticulture in the last five years. Traditional Horticulture Crops have been introduced in non-traditional areas and non-traditional horticultural crops have been introduced in suitable areas.
The Horticulture crops grown in Tamil Nadu have been classified into six categories viz., fruits, vegetables, spices and condiments , plantation crops, flowers and medicinal and aromatic plants.
Major fruit crops are Banana, Mango, Citrus, Grapes, Guava, Sapota, Papaya, and Pine -apple. These are grown in 2,93,146 Ha mainly in districts like Krishnagiri, Dindigul, Thirunelveli, Vellore , Theni, Erode, Trichy, Thiruvallur, Dharmapuri and Madurai.
Major Vegetable crops grown are Tapioca, Onion, Tomato, Potato, Brinjal, Bhendi, Drumstick, beans and Carrot in an area of 2,26,502 Ha mainly in districts like Namakkal, Salem, Dharmapuri ,Trichy, Thiruppur ,Dindigul, Erode , Villupuram, Krishnagiri , Perambalur , Nilgiris and Theni Districts.
Important Spices and Condiments grown are Chillies, Turmeric, Tamarind , Coriander , Pepper ,Cardamom and Cloves in an area of 1,45,559 Ha. in districts like Ramnad, Thoothukudi, Erode , Salem , Virudhunagar, Dindigul, Dharmapuri and Sivagangai Districts.
Tea, Coffee, Rubber and Cashew are the important Plantation Crops grown in an area of 2,32,988 Ha in Districts like Nilgiris , Ariyalur, Cuddalore, Kanyakumari , Dindigul , Coimbatore , Pudukottai and Salem.
In addition to the traditional flowers like Jasmine, Crossandra , Tuberose, and Chrysanthemum, cut flowers like Rose, Carnations , and Gerbera are also being produced in the State. The cut-flower industry is growing day by day due to high export prospects. Flowers are grown in an area of 25309 ha in districts like Dindigul, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri, Salem, Madurai, Tirunelveli, Thiruvallur, Vellore and Thiruvannamalai.
Medicinal and Aromatic crops like Gloriosa, Senna, Coleus, Lemon-grass and Periwinkle are grown in an area of 11,230 Ha. in districts like Virudhunagar, Dindigul, Thiruvallur , Ariyalur ,Madurai, Thiruvarur,Dharmapuri ,Salem, Nagapattinam, Trichy .
Innovative and advanced technologies are given to horticultural farmers through various schemes to improve the productivity of almost all horticultural crops.