Agriculture & types of Agriculture in India
Agriculture is the Backbone of Indian Economy. Around 70% of the population earns its livelihood from agriculture. It is an important source of raw material for many agro based industries. India’s geographical condition is unique for agriculture because it provides many favorable conditions.
We have hill ranges in the form of Eastern Ghats and Western Ghats. One of the largest plain areas of the world in the form of IndoGanga plain. Central part of India is dominated by plateau area. Apart from variation in landform, the country has varieties of climatic conditions, and soil types. These physical variations along with other factors like availability of irrigation, use of machinery, modern agricultural inputs like High Yielding Varieties (HYV) of seeds, insecticides and pesticides have played their respective roles in the evolution of different farming practices in India.
- Subsistence and commercial farming –Subsistence farming practiced by majority of farmers, is the farming for own consumption.In this type of farming, landholdings are small and fragmented. Cultivation techniques are primitive and simple. In this farming cereal along with oil seeds, pulses, vegetables and sugarcane are cultivated.
Commercial farming is just the opposite to subsistence farming i.e.most of the produce is sold in the market for earning money. In this, farmers use inputs like irrigation, chemical fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides and High Yielding Varieties of seeds etc. Some of the major commercial crops grown in different parts of India are cotton, jute, sugarcane, groundnut etc.
Rice farming in Harayana is mainly for commercial purpose as people of this area are predominantly wheat eaters. However in East and North-Eastern states of India, rice cultivation would be largely of subsistence type.
- Intensive and Extensive Farming-The amount of production per unit of land forms the basis of difference.India does not practise extensive cultivation which is mainly done in temperate regions. When we use large patch of land for cultivation then we call it extensive farming. Larger area often results in high poduction but per unit area production is low. Intensive Farming records high production per unit of land.
Intensive cultivation is used in Japan where availability of land for cultivation is very limited. Similar situation is observed in Kerela.
- Plantation Farming– In this farming a single cash crop is grown for sale. It involves growing and processing of a single cash crop purely meant for sale. Tea, coffee, rubber, banana and spices are all examples of plantation crops.
- Mixed Farming-Farming type in which both raising crops and rearing animals are carried on simultaneously.
Features of Indian Agriculture
- Subsistence Agriculture-Practiced in most parts of India.
- Pressure of population on Agriculture-70% of population depends on agriculture.
- Mechanization of farming- Our agriculture lacks in complete mechanization of Farming though some improvements were done during Green Revolution that took place between 1960-70.
- Dependence upon monsoon-Despite the large scale expansion of irrigation Infrastructure, only about one third of total cropped area is irrigated today which means two third area rely on the uncertain & unreliable monsoon of India.
- Variety of crops-Since India has both tropical and temperate climate, crops of both the climate are found in India.
- Seasonal patterns- We have 3 seasonal patterns namely Kharif, Rabi and Zaid. Each season has its specific crops.
Challenges faced by Indian Agriculture–
- Stagnation in Production of Major Crops-Production of major staple food crops such as rice & wheat has been stagnating.This may lead to a huge gap between the demand of ever growing population and the production.
- High cost of Farm Inputs-Farm inputs include fertilizer, insecticide, pesticides, HYV seeds, farm labour cost etc. Increase in cost results in disadvantage of low & medium land holders.
- Soil Exhaustion-Soil exhaustion means loss of nutrients in the soil from farming the same crop over and over again. It is one of the negative consequences of green revolution.
- Depletion of Fresh Ground Water-Another negative consequence of green revolution.
- Adverse impact of Global Climatic Change-It is predicted that due to climate change, temperature would increase from 2°C to 3°C, there would be increase in sea level, more intense cyclones, unpredictable rainfall etc. These changes would adversely affect the production of rice and wheat.