The state of Kerala is located on the southernmost tip of India and embraces the coast of Arabian Sea on the west and is bounded by the Western Ghat in the east. This Indian state stretches from North to South along the coast line of 580 km with an approximate breadth of 35 to 120 km lying with in East Longitudes 740 52’ and 720 22’ and North latitudes 80 18’ and 120 48’. Its area is 38, 368 km2 making for 1.18% of India’s geographical area. The population of Kerala in 2001 was 318,41,374 comprising 154,68,614 males and 163,72,760 females. It formed 3.1% of Indian’s population. Population density in the state was 819/kms2... The ultimate irrigation potential is estimated to be 3.99 lakh ha. The Kerala has a vide network of rivers, rivulets and springs spread. Over the entire cropped area, out of the net cropped area of the State only 18% is irrigated. The net area irrigated has declined from 3.99 lakh ha during 2005-06 to 3.85 lakh ha in the year 2006-07. The major source of irrigation is wells (30%), government canals (26%), tanks (11%) and private canals (1.125%). Coconut is the major irrigated crop of the State which accounts for about 36%, followed by paddy 35%, banana 8.34%, arecanut 7% and vegetables 5%.
Kerala lies in the Agro climatic Zone XII which is called as West Coast Plains and Hills Regions. Kerala is divided into four regions. 1. North Kerala 2. Central Kerala, 3. South Kerala, 4.High Altitude. The state is divided into 13 Agro Climatic Zones viz., Onaattukar, Coastal Sandy, Southern Midlands, Central Midlands, Northern Midlands, Malappuram type, Malayoram, Palakkad plains, Red loam, Chittoor black soil, Kuttanad, Riverbank alluvium, High ranges. Red loam, laterite, coastal alluvial, riverine, alluvium, onatukama atluvium, black soils and forest loam are major soil types in Kerala. It has tropical climate and the coastal state has hot and humid climate during April-May, pleasant cold climate in December-January. Summer is followed by South west monsoon that starts during the month of June. Average rainfall is 3055 mm which is received in 120 -140 days mostly for June to September.
(c )Cropping Pattern
The main crops grown in the state are paddy, ginger and banana in kharif season, paddy in rabi season, and paddy, pea, ginger and tapioca in zaid season. Agro- climatic condition in Kerala suits the cultivation of variety of important seasonal crops and perennial crops grown in the state. Kerala climate suites cultivation of various crops like paddy, coconut, pulses, rubber, tea, coffee, pepper, cardamom, arecanut, ginger, tapioca cashew etc. The state provides 70% of the total coconut produced in the country. Kerala produces 96% of national output of pepper and 91% of natural rubber. Cardamom is exported to other countries.
(d )Land holding
The net cropped area varied from 3.87-3.99 lakh ha during the year 2005-2007. Cropping intensity varies according to rainfall and it has been about 140% in the year of 2005-06. The holdings in this Zone are highly fragmented and 81.43% of numbers of land holding are found to be marginal with average marginal holding size at 0.15 and 0.35 hectare, respectively in Kerala.
As in the rest of India, there has been a steady shift from animal power to electro-mechanical sources of power in Kerala although the rate of change has been slower than that of the leading agricultural States. The availability of power is estimated at 0.69 kW/ha. Out of this about 90% comes from tractors, engines and motors. Track type combine harvesters are in use in Kerala. There is great scope for mechanisation of spices and plantation crops. There are very few agricultural implement manufacturers and so there is need to motivate few entrepreneurs to start agricultural implement manufacturing in the state.