|Agriculture: Agriculture is the cultivation and breeding of animals, plants and fungi for food, fibre, biofuel, medicinal plants and other products used to sustain and enhance life.
Primitive Subsistence Farming: Primitive Subsistence farming is the type of farming that is done on a small patch of land with the help of primitive tools such as hoe, digging sticks and family or community labour.
Intensive Subsistence Farming: Intensive subsistence farming is the type of farming that is done by using scientific methods and better agricultural inputs in order to increase in the agricultural production.
Commercial Farming: Commercial farming is the type of farming in which the farmer grows the crops with
Plantation Farming: Plantation farming is a form of commercial farming where a single crop is grown over a large area.
Sericulture: Sericulture, or silk farming, is the rearing of silkworms for the production of raw silk.
Horticulture: Horticulture is the science and art of growing and caring for plants, especially, flowers, fruits, and vegetables.
Jhumming: Jhumming or Jhum cultivation, also known as the “slash and burn agriculture”, is the type of farming wherein a patch of land is first prepared for cultivation by clearing the land of trees and vegetation
Millets: Millets are a group of highly variable small-seeded grasses, widely grown around the world as cereal crops or coarse grains. Jowar, bajra and ragi are called millets.
Crop Rotation: Crop rotation is the planned cultivation of different types of crops on the same piece of land in
Irrigation: Irrigation means the action of applying water to land to supply crops and other plants with necessary water. Irrigation in India includes a network of major and minor canals from Indian rivers, groundwater well-based systems, tanks and other rainwater harvesting projects for agricultural activities.
ICAR: The Indian Council of Agricultural Research is an autonomous body responsible for coordinating agricultural education and research in India.
Organic Farming: Organic farming is the type of farming which avoids or largely excludes the use of synthetically compounded fertilisers, pesticides, growth regulators, genetically modified organisms and livestock food additives.
Minimum Support Price (MSP): Minimum Support Price is the minimum guaranteed price of a crop, fixed and announced by the government before the start of a cropping season.
Kisan Credit Card (KCC): A Kisan Credit Card (KCC) is a credit delivery mechanism that is aimed at enabling farmers to have quick and timely access to affordable credit.
- 1 Types of Farming
- 2 Cropping Season In India
- 3 Food Crops other than Grains
- 4 Technological and Institutional Reforms
- 5 Impact of Globalisation on Agriculture
- 6 Difference between commercial farming and subsistence farming
- 7 Comparison between ‘Intensive Subsistence farming’ and ‘Commercial farming’
Types of Farming
Agriculture is an age-old economic activity is our country but over these year, cultivation methods have changed with the use of modern techniques.Farming varies from subsistence to commercial type. At present, in different parts of India these types of farming systems are practised.
Primitive Subsistence Farming is a ‘slash and burn’ agriculture in which farmers clear a patch of land and grow crops with the help of primitive tools to sustain their family.It depends upon monsoon, natural fertility of the soil and availability of other environmental conditions suitable to the crops grown.
‘Slash and burn’ agriculture is known as Jhumming in north-eastern states, Pamlou in Manipur, Dipa in Bastar district of Chhattisgarh, and in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Features of primitive subsistence agriculture in India are :
(i) It is practised on small patches of land.
(ii) Tools used in this kind of farming are traditional tools such as hoe, dao and digging stick.
(iii) This type of agriculture is completely dependent on monsoon.
(iv) When soil fertility decreases, the farmers shift to another plot of land.
Intensive subsistence farming is practised in areas of high population pressure on land, where high doses of biochemical inputs and irrigation are used for obtaining higher production.This type of farming is practised in areas of high population. Under this type of farming, high doses of biochemical inputs and irrigation are used for obtaining higher production.
Features of intensive farming are:
(a) High yielding variety (HYV) seeds, modern chemical inputs and irrigation methods are used to increase the production.
(b) The per hectare yield is very high.
(c) More than one crop is cultivated during a year.
Commercial Farming in which farmers grow crops with the aim of selling the products for commercial purpose.The main characteristic of this type of farming is the use of higher doses of modern inputs, e.g., high yielding variety (HYV) seeds, chemical fertilisers, insecticides and pesticides in order to obtain higher productivity.
Plantation is a type of commercial farming. In this farming a single crop is grown on large area. It is practised on large tracts of land, using capital intensive inputs, with the help of migrant labourers.
Plantation Agriculture : Plantation agriculture is a form of commercial farming where crops are grown for profit. In this type of farming, a single crop is grown on a large area. Hence, large land areas are needed for this type of agriculture. This type of commercial farming is practised in tropical and sub-tropical regions. It was introduced by the British in India.
Some characteristics of plantation agriculture are:
(i)A single crop is grown over large area.
(ii)It is capital intensive and done with migrant labour.
(iii)Entire produce is used as raw material in industries such as tea, coffee, rubber, sugarcane, banana, etc.
(iv)Plantation agriculture has an interface of agriculture and industry both.
Cropping Season In India
Cropping Season: Season in which some particular crops are grown.
India has three cropping season– rabi, kharif and zaid.
Rabi crops: These crops are grown in winter between October to December and harvested in summer between April to June.The rabi crops include wheat, barley, gram and oilseeds.
Kharif crops: These crops are sown with the onset of monsoon in different parts of the country and harvested in September-October.The kharif crops include rice, maize, millet, cotton, jute, groundnut, moong, urad, etc.
Rice is a kharif crop. Conditions required for the growth of rice are as follows:
(a) High temperature (above 25°C).
(b) High humidity with annual rainfall above 100 cm.
(c) In the areas of less rainfall, it grows with the help of irrigation.
(d) It is grown in the plains of north and north-eastern India, coastal areas and deltaic regions.
(e) Development of dense network of canal irrigation and tubewells have made it possible to grow rice in areas of less rainfall such as Punjab and Haryana.
Zaid crops: In between the Rabi and the Kharif seasons, there is a short season during the summer months known as the Zaid season.Crops like watermelons, muskmelons, cucumber, some vegetables and fodder crops are the major crops of this season.
Major crops grown in India are rice, wheat, millets, pulses, tea, coffee, sugarcane, oilseeds, cotton, jute, etc.Rice is the staple food crop of the majority of people in India. India is the second largest producer of rice in the world after China.
Wheat is the second most important cereal crop. It is the main food crop in north and northwestern part of the country. Jowar, bajra and ragi are the important millets grown in India.Maize is a crop which is used both as food and fodder. It grows well in old alluvial soil.
Food Crops other than Grains
India is the second largest producer of sugarcane only after Brazil.India was the second largest producer of groundnut in the world after China.India was the third largest producer rapeseed in the world after Canada and China.
Major pulses that are grown in India are tur (arhar), urad, moong, masur, peas and gram. India is the largest producer of oilseeds in the world. Main oilseeds produced in India are groundnut, mustard, coconut, sesamum (til), soyabean, castor seeds cotton seeds, linseed and sunflower. Most of these are edible and used as cooking mediums.
Main oilseeds produced in India are groundnut, coconut, sesamum (til), soyabean, castor seeds, cotton seeds, linseed and sunflower.
Oilseeds usually have two main uses :
(i) They are used as a cooking medium as most of them are edible. For example, groundnut oil sunflower oil, coconut oil, etc.
(ii) They are used as raw material. For example, oilseeds are important raw materials for the production of soap, cosmetics, ointments, etc.
Groundnut is a kharif crop and accounts for about half of the major oilseeds produced in the country.
Importance of groundnut:
(i)Groundnut seeds are edible.
(ii)Groundnut oil is a commonly used cooking medium.
(iii)Groundnut is used as raw material in production of soap, cosmetics and ointment.
(iv)India is the largest producer of groundnut.
(v)Groundnut oil accounts for half of the total oilseed production.
Gujarat is the largest producer of groundnut in India. Other states are Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Telangana.
Tea is an beverage crop introduced in India initially by the British. It is a labour intensive industry. India was the second largest producer of tea after China and Turkey in 2014.
Tea cultivation is an example of plantation agriculture. It is also an important beverage crop introduced in India initially by the British. Today, most of the tea plantations are owned by Indians.
(a) Climatic conditions : Tea grows well in tropical and sub-tropical climates. Tea bushes require warm and moist frost-free climate all through the year.
(b) Soil type: It grows on deep and fertile, well-drained soil, rich in humus and organic matters.
(c) Rainfall: Frequent showers evenly distributed over the year ensure continuous growth of tender leaves.
(d) States: Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya and Tripura.
Indian coffee is known in the world for its good quality. India produced 3.5 per cent of the world coffee production in 2014. The Arabica variety which is in great demand all over the world is produced in India. Its cultivation was introduced on the Baba Budan Hills.
Horticulture refers to intensive cultivation of vegetables, fruits and flower crops for the market. India was the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world after China in 2014.
Rubber is a major industrial raw material. It is an equatorial crop, but under special condition.
Cotton, jute, hemp and natural silk are the four major fibre crops grown in India.
(i) Jute is called the ‘golden fibre’.
Geographical conditions suitable for production of jute:
(a)Grows well in the drained fertile soil of the flood plains where the soil is renewed every year.
(b)High temperature is required during the time of growth.
Uses of jute: Used to manufacture gunny bags, mats, ropes, yarn, carpets and other artefacts.
Geographical conditions required for the growth of sugarcane in India :
(i)It is a tropical as well as sub-tropical crop so it requires a hot and humid climate with a temperature of 24°C to 27°C. (ii)It requires an annual rainfall between 75 to 100 cm.
(iii)It can be grown on a variety of soils. Major sugarcane producing states of North India are: Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab and Haryana.
Geographical conditions required for the cultivation of cotton are:
(i)It grows well in drier parts of the black cotton soil of the Deccan plateau.
(ii)It requires high temperature.
(iii)It requires light rainfall or irrigation.
(iv)It requires 210 frost-free days and bright sunshine for its growth.
Sericulture is the rearing of silk worms for the production of silk fibre.
India was the second largest producer of cotton after China in 2008.
Jute is known as the golden fibre. It grows well in well-drained fertile soils in the flood plains where soils are renewed every year.
Horticulture: Horticulture is the science and art of growing plants (fruits, vegetables, flowers and any other cultivar). India is the largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world. India is a producer of tropical as well as temperate fruits.
Technological and Institutional Reforms
Agriculture, provides livelihood for more than 60% of population, needs some serious technical and institutional reforms.
Collectivisation, consolidation of holdings, cooperation and abolition of zamindari, etc. were given priority to bring about institutional reforms in the country after independence.
The Green Revolution and the White Revolution (operation flood) were some of the strategies initiated to improve the lot of Indian agriculture.
Green Revolution: Technologies that were introduced to increase the agricultural production such as use of HYV seeds, fertilizers, modern machinery and inputs.
White Revolution: Increase in milk production due to introduction of technological and institutional reforms.
Kissan Credit Cards (KCC) and Personal Accident Insurance Scheme (PAIS) are introduced by government for the benefit of the farmers.
Special weather bulletins and agricultural programmes for farmers were introduced on radio and television.
The government announces Minimum Support Price (MSP), remunerative and procurement prices for important crops.
The Bhoodan-Gramdan movement initiated by Vinoba Bhave is also known as the Bloodless Revolution.
Establishment of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), agricultural universities, veterinary services and animal breeding centers, horticulture development, research and development in the field of meteorology and weather forecast were given priority for improving Indian agriculture.
Today, Indian farmers are facing a big challenge from international competition and reduction in the public investment in agriculture sector.
The Government of India made concerted efforts to modernise agriculture by establishing the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), agricultural universities, veterinary services and animal breeding centres, horticulture development, research and development in the field of meteorology and weather forecast, etc.
Reduction in import duties on agricultural products have proved detrimental to agricultural in the country.
India’s rural population is about 83.3 crore which depends upon 25 crore (approx.) hectares of agricultural land, an average of less than half a hectare per person.
Subsidy on fertilisers is decreased leading to an increase in the cost of production.
Reduction in import duties on agricultural products has proved detrimental to agriculture in the country.
Indian farmers should diversify their cropping pattern from cereals to high-value crops.
Impact of Globalisation on Agriculture
Globalisation is not a new phenomenon. It was there at the time of colonisation when European traders came to India.
Indian spices and cotton were exported to different countries but during the British period cotton belts of India attracted the British and ultimately cotton was exported to Britain textile industries.
After 1990, the farmers in India have been exposed to new challenges that they are not able to compete with developed countries because of the highly subsidised agriculture in those countries.
The Green Revolution and Gene Revolution make agriculture successful and profitable but somehow it leads to land degradation.
Organic farming which does not affect environment in a negative manner, is more in practice.
Indian farmers’ future will change when they shifted their traditional patterns to high-value crops. This will increase incomes and reduce environmental degradation simultaneously.
Farmers are withdrawing their investment from agriculture causing a downfall in the employment in agriculture.
In order to ensure the availability of food to all sections of society, our government carefully designed a national food security system. It consists of two components—(a) buffer stock and (b) public distribution system (PDS).
The FCI procures food grains from the farmers at the government announced minimum support price (MSP).
India’s food security policy has a primary objective to ensure availability of food grains to the common people at an affordable price. It has enabled the poor to have access to the food.
The high MSP, subsidies in input and committed FCI purchases have distorted the cropping pattern. Wheat and paddy crops are being grown more for the MSP they get. Punjab and Haryana are the foremost examples. This has also created a serious imbalance in inter-crop parities.
There has been a gradual shift from cultivation of food crops to cultivation of fruits, vegetables, oilseeds and industrial crops.Genetic engineering is recognized as a powerful supplement in inventing new hybrid varieties of seeds.
Today organic farming is much in vogue because it is practiced without factory made chemicals such as fertilisers and pesticides.
Indian farmers should diversify their cropping pattern from cereals to high-value crops. This will increase incomes and reduce environmental degradation simultaneously.
Institutional and technological reforms undertaken by the Government of India to improve agriculture in the 1980s and 1990s were:
(a) Institutional Reforms :
(i)A Comprehensive Land Development Programme was initiated.
(ii)Provision of crop insurance against drought, floods, cyclone, fire and disease was introduced.
(iii)Gramin Banks, Cooperative Societies and Banks were established for providing loan facilities to the farmers at lower rates of interest.
(iv)Kisan Credit Card (KCC) was introduced.
(v)Accident Insurance Scheme (PAIS) was introduced.
(vi)The government announced Minimum Support Price, remunerative and procurement prices to reduce exploitation.
b) Technological Reforms :
(i)HYV seeds, chemical fertilizer and pesticides were provided.
(ii)Methods of irrigation were modernized.
(iii)Latest agricultural equipments were introduced.
(iv)Special weather bulletins and agricultural programmes for farmers were introduced on radio and television.
Difference between commercial farming and subsistence farming
(i)It is distinguished by use of higher doses of modern inputs like High Yielding Variety (HYV) seeds, fertilisers, farming tools etc.
(ii)Commercialisation of agriculture varies from region to region.
(iii)It is characterized by a use of well-developed network of transport and communication.
(iv)Plantation is a type of commercial farming.
(v) High productivity is the first and the foremost aim of commercial farming.
(vi) For example, Rice is a commercial crop in Haryana and Punjab.
(i)This type of farming is practiced on small patches of land.
(ii)Labour- intensive farming.
(iii)It is characterized by use of primitive tools.
(iv)This type of farming is entirely dependent on monsoons.
(v)‘Slash and burn’ agriculture is a type of primitive farming.
(vi)Productivity in this type of farming is very low. (vii)For example, rice is a subsistence crop in Odisha.
Comparison between ‘Intensive Subsistence farming’ and ‘Commercial farming’
(i) In intensive subsistence farming, pressure of population on land is high whereas in commercial farming population pressure is low.
(ii) In intensive subsistence farming, labour intensive farming is used whereas in commercial farming mechanized form of farming is used.
(iii) In intensive subsistence farming, there is low capital investment whereas in commercial farming high capital investment is required.
(iv) In intensive subsistence farming, farmers produce for their own consumption whereas in commercial farming production is solely for the commercial purpose.
(v) In intensive subsistence farming, processing industries are not associated with farms whereas in commercial farming processing industries are associated with plantations.
(vi) In intensive subsistence farming, multiple crops are grown whereas in commercial farming a single crop is grown.
(vii) In intensive subsistence farming, land holdings are small whereas in commercial farming land holdings are large.