Agriculture in India Notes for Government Exams

Indian Agriculture is a vital sector of the national economy with the bulk of the population engaged in crop agriculture and allied fields. India has 1.3 billion people or approximately 17.9% of the global population which lives on 2.4% of land and 5% of water resources of the world.
Contrary to popular perception, India’s agriculture is a grand success story. With 11% of total global agriculture, India ranks second in the world in agriculture production as the leading producer of several commodities including food grains, cotton, cane, horticultural crops, dairy, poultry, aquaculture and spices.

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Important Points to remember

  • According to census 2011 nearly 55% of the total population of the country is engaged in agriculture and allied activities.
  • It provides food to the second biggest population of cattle in the world.
  • Our agro-based industries are fully dependent on raw material provided by agriculture.
  • Agriculture with its allied activities contributes 17.4% to the country’s GVA (Gross Value Added).

The First Organic State of India – Sikkim

Types of Agriculture in India:

Subsistence Farming

  • In this type of agriculture, farmers work hard to grow enough food to survive only.
  • Farmers and their family mainly consumed such farming products.
  • There remains no surplus to sell in the market.
Soilless Agriculture (Hydroponics)
Soilless agriculture refers to Hydroponics, which is a subset of hydroculture and is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. Terrestrial plants may be grown with their roots in the mineral solution only

Mixed Farming

  • Mixed Farming is a combination of Agricultre and Pastoral farming.
  • In this type of farming, cultivation of crops and rearing of animals are done together on the same farm.

Jhum/Shifting Cultivation

  • This is a primitive form of agriculture, in which a plot of land is cultivated for a few years and then is deserted.
  • This slash and burn method of farming is carried on in jungles of north-eastern part of India e.g. in Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram etc.
  • A plot of land is cleared for cultivation. As the yield decreases after two or three years, the plot is abandoned and a fresh clearing is made.

Extensive Farming

  • This is a system of farming in which the cultivator uses a limited amount of labour and capital on relatively large area.
  • This type of agriculture is practised in countries where population size is small and land is enough.
  • Here, per acre yield is low but overall production is in surplus due to less population.
  • Agriculture is done with the help of machines.

Intensive Farming

  • This is a system of farming in which the cultivator uses large amount of labour and capital on a relatively small area.
  • In countries where the size of population is big but land is less, this type of farming is done.
  • Annually two or three crops are grown due to the demand of food for the large size of population.
  • Agriculture is done with the help of manual labour.

Plantation Agriculture

  • In this type of agriculture, trees or bushes are planted on huge estates. A single crop like rubber, sugarcane, coffee, tea or banana is grown. These crops are major items of export.
Only approved GM Crop in India
The only approved Genetically Modified (GM) crop for commercial cultivation in India is ‘Cotton’ Soyabean
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Crop Seasons in India:

1. Rabi

  • This season starts after the rainy season. Sowing begins in September-October and harvesting takes place in February-March.
  • Wheat, barley, pulses and some oil seeds are grown in the Rabi season.

2. Kharif

  • The Kharif season begins with the onset of the monsoons in June-July.
  • The crop grows in the rainy season and harvesting takes place after the retreat of monsoon in September-October.
  • Rice, maize, millets, groundnuts, cotton and jute are grown in the Kharif season.

3. Zayad

  • This is the summer season for growing crops which remain till April, May and June.
  • Products are mainly vegetables and fruits.

Green Revolution

  • The increase in agriculture productivity of cereals that has taken place since the 1960s mainly as a result of introduction of high yielding varieties of wheat and rice and use of fertilizers, machines and irrigation etc., is known as green revolution.
  • Green revolution has made us self-sufficient in food production. This has not only saved our much precious foreign exchange but has also made us self-reliant.
  • But green revolution has proved more beneficial to rich farmers only, because it involves a lot of investment.

FAQ

When Green Revolution started in India?

Green Revolution started in India in 1964.

What is Mixed Farming?

  • Mixed Farming is a combination of Agriculture and Pastoral farming.
  • What is Subsistence Farming?

    It is a type of farming that is mainly done by farmers to support their families and own consumption. In this farming, the production is not in surplus to sell to the market.

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