Rabi ( Also called Rabbi ) and Kharif are the two agricultural crops related words that have come with the Mughals in the Indian subcontinent and are widely used ever-since.
1 ) The Kharif crops (Hindi: ख़रीफ़, Urdu: خريف) is the autumn harvest ; but better know as the monsoon crops in Indian sub continent(India, Pakistan Srilanka, Nepal).
Kharif crops are usually sown with the beginning of the first rains towards the end of May in the state of Kerala during the advent of south-west monsoon season.
As the Monsoon rains advance towards the north India the sowing dates are accordingly vary and and it is done in July in North Indian states .
These crops are totally dependent on the quantity rain water as well its timing .
Too much , too less or at wrong time may lay waste the whole year 's efforts .
The harvesting begins with Diwali days or slightly earlier during Vijayadashmi days.
Since this period coincides with the beginning of Autumn / winter in the Indian sub-continent It is called " Kharif period " and the crops are "Kharif crops "
The term Kharif means "autumn " in Arabic.
The list of some Kharif crops ===
Bajra and Jowar,Paddy or Rice,Maize ,Moong and other pulses ,Groundnut , Chillies ( they are now round the year )
Cotton,Soyabean , Sugarcane and Turmeric .
2) The Rabi crop (Hindi: रबी, Urdu: ربي) is the spring harvest (also known as the "winter crop ") in Indian subcontinent.
The term Rabi means "spring " in Arabic, and it coincides with mid April to Mid June .
To avoid any confusion == let us remember that these crops are taken AFTER THE DEPARTURE OF MONSOON RAINS FRON THE INDIAN SUBCONNENT .
The main source of water for these crops is the the water that has percolated in the ground during the rains .
So a good or bountiful rain MAY spoil Kharif crops BUT it is always good or a BOON to Rabi crops.
The seeds are sown after the rains have gone and harvesting begins in April / May i.e. totally dry season in India .
Rabi crops require water from other sources as wells,lakes and rivers .
Major Rabi crop is Wheat in India followed by
Barley ,Mustard ,Sesame and Peas ( They are harvested early as they are ready early ). SO Indian Markets are flooded with Green Peas from January to March ( Peak is Feb.)