Tamil Nadu has historically been an agricultural state and is a leading producer of agricultural products in India. In 2008, Tamil Nadu was India’s fifth biggest producer of rice. The total cultivated area in the State was 5.60 million hectares in 2009–10.The Cauvery delta region is known as the Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu.In terms of production, Tamil Nadu accounts for 10 per cent in fruits and 6 per cent in vegetables, in India.Annual food grains production in the year 2007–08 was 10035,000 mt.Mango and banana are the leading fruit crops in Tamil Nadu accounting for over 87 per cent of the total fruit production. The main vegetables grown are tapioca, tomato, onion, brinjal (eggplant), and drumstick. Tamil Nadu is also a leading state in the production of flowers with the total production of horticultural crops standing at ₹ 9947,000 during 2003–04. The main flowers grown in Tamil Nadu are jasmine, chrysanthemum, marigold and rose.

The state is the largest producer of bananas, turmeric, flowers, tapioca, the second largest producer of mango, natural rubber, coconut, groundnut and the third largest producer of coffee, sapota,Tea and Sugarcane. Tamil Nadu’s sugarcane yield per hectare is the highest in India. The state has 17,000 hectares of land under oil palm cultivation, the second highest in India.

Dr M.S. Swaminathan, known as the “father of the Indian Green Revolution” was from Tamil Nadu.Tamil Nadu Agricultural University with its seven colleges and thirty two research stations spread over the entire state contributes to evolving new crop varieties and technologies and disseminating through various extension agencies. Among states in India, Tamil Nadu is one of the leaders in livestock, poultry and fisheries production. Tamil Nadu had the second largest number of poultry amongst all the states and accounted for 17.7 per cent of the total poultry population in India.In 2003–2004, Tamil Nadu had produced 3783.6 million of eggs, which was the second highest in India representing 9.37 per cent of the total egg production in the country.With the second longest coastline in India, Tamil Nadu represented 27.54 per cent of the total value of fish and fishery products exported by India in 2006.