Paddy is basically a tropical crop. India is one of the major producers of rice in the world, accounting for one-fifth of the world production, ranking next only to China.
About 23 per cent of the total cropped area in the country is under this crop. Paddy is grown in Kharif season. Paddy is ideally grown in rainfed areas where annual rainfall is more than 125 cm. It requires high temperature (20° -25° C). However, it is also grown in areas of less than 125 cm rainfall with the help of irrigation. At present, 51 per cent of rice producing area is under irrigation.
Deep fertile loamy or clayey soils are considered ideal for this crop. It requires considerable be manual labour for sowing and transplantation. Although paddy crop is grown in almost all states of India, the leading producing states are West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Orissa and Assam.
Andhra Pradesh is the largest producer of rice in India but consumption of rice being large, it has to import from other states. Against this, Punjab is the biggest contributor of rice to control public distribution system. In some states, three crops of paddy in a year are grown. For example, in West Bengal three crops are known as Aman, Boro and Aos.