Agriculture in Thanjavur is the main source of livelihood for most of its people. Agricultural Cultivation has been the major occupation of the local inhabitants of Thanjavur as the land is ideal for growing crops like Rice. The maximum portion of Thanjavur land is used up for cultivation and agriculture. The total percentage of land fit for cultivation is 58%. The city of Thanjavur consists of tertiary, alluvial and cretaceous types of soil. The major portion of Thanjavur land consists of alluvial deposits. The eastern region of Thanjavur abounds in alluvial type of soil fit for agriculture. This region thereby produces the maximum number of crops. Organic farming is gradually being known to the farmers of Thanjavur. In order to maximize agricultural produce organic farming is being implemented.
Thanjavur is known as the Rice bowl of Tamil Nadu. The Major crops other than Paddy are Blackgram, Banana, Coconut, Gingelly, Ragi,Red gram, Green gram, Sugarcane, Maize. Indian Institute of Crop Processing Technology (IICPT) is located in Thanjavur on Madurai National Highway (NH 226). The Institute tests a variety of Food Processing Technologies that suit cultivation of the crops and Consumers. The institute conducts many training programs and also delivers training to Research scholars every year. There is much scope for implementing Agro, Food Processing, Packaging based industries, distilleries, breweries in and around the City. Thanjavur is a deltaic region where rice is the major food crop that is grown in the fields. Rice production has increased in the recent years Rice is exported to neighbouring states, further boosting the economy of Thanjavur. The total rice production has been maintained at 10.615 L.M.T and 7.077 L.M.T.
In Tamil Nadu, Erode, Thanjavur, Villupuram, Karur, and Thoothukudi districts account for 60% of the total area under this crop. It is mainly cultivated in Adi and Karthigai seasons. The crop sown during June-July (Adi crop) is harvested during September-October and comes to market in October – November. Karthigai crop which comes to market during the month of March-April is sown during December- January.