What Are Asia's Major Crops?

Experts group major food crops in Asia into several categories, including rice, tree crops, vegetables, roots and tubers, maize, grains, legumes, sugarcane, coconuts and fruits. Asians grow many different types of foodstuffs and produce among these categories.

The United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization groups Asian and East Pacific crops into the lowland rice farming system that grows rice, maize, legumes and beans (pulses), sugarcane, oil seeds, vegetables and aquaculture crops; and tree crop farming that grows rubber, oil palm, coconuts, coffee, tea, cocoa, spices and rice.

The FAO also lists the root-tuber farming system, in which farmers grow yams, taro, sweet potatoes, vegetables and fruits; the upland intensive mixed and highland intensive mixed farming systems, in which farmers grow rice, pulses, maize, sugarcane, oil seeds, fruits and vegetables and forest products; and the pastoral system that grows irrigated feed crops for livestock.

The lowland rice and tree crop mixed farming systems are widespread in Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, South and Central East China, Philippines and Indonesia, Cambodia, North and South Korea, Laos and Malaysia and Southern China. These two systems account for 500 million farmers and 1.09 million square miles of cultivation.

Another important farming system over much of Asia is the upland intensive mixed system, farmed by an estimated 310 million people on 750,000 square miles.