NCERT Class 8 Geography Chapter 4: Agriculture Complete Notes Part 2

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Agriculture

Now what is the arable land? Arable land is the land on which a crop can grow or the land is fertile.

Inputs in Agriculture

Inputs in Agriculture

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Now what are pre-requisite condition required for processing the agriculture crop? The inputs and the final output. We classify simply the agriculture into the various processes. We can say you have the input and output. That are important, so output would be ultimately the crop, the kind of crop, the yield of crop, the per cubic density and I could say how much cropping has occurred during the time. The cropping intensity and the agricultural productivity however, when it comes to input it is mainly the machinery, the technology, the seeds, the various chemical and the methodology that is employed that is ploughing, sowing and so on. These are the major inputs.

Now again these inputs can be categorized into further subsections. You have the physical inputs as well as the human inputs. Again the important categorization for the input says either physical input or human input. A physical input it would be the rainfall condition, the temperature, the soil, the nature of slope or the land pattern and finally the amount of sunshine. Under the human inputs you have the labour, machinery and chemicals and storage which are the four basic primary inputs which are required for agriculture crop.

Types of Farming

  • Subsistence Farming – Low technology & household labor

    • Intensive – Small plot, simple technique, more labor – Rice, Maize, Wheat – Thick Populated Areas of SE Asia

    • Primitive – Shifting Cultivation & Nomadic Herding

      • Shifting Cultivation: Amazon basin, tropical Africa, parts of SE Asia and NE India – Slash & burn

      • Nomadic Herding: Sahara, Central Asia, Rajasthan, J & K – Sheep, Camel, Yak & Goat

Classify the types of farming primarily under categories. First is the subsistence farming and commercial farming. Now as the main farming implies commercial farming is implied for commercial use so that means we are not producing for ourselves or for our family but it is for commercial use, it is meant for say the nation or the export purpose. Even however subsistence as the name denotes is mainly for the household purpose, so that the recent family, closeby family, if you could consider that would be a subsistence farming. Again subsistence farming requires less technology and huge amount of household labor. This subsistence farming can further be classified into primitive or intensive farming. Intensive farming means plot size is very small and there are huge number of labor that are employed on that small plot size. It uses very primitive and simple technologies and it is highly labor intensive. Common example would be rice, wheat cultivation and maize cultivation, specifically in the highly populated area of say Ganga, Bramhaputra region in India and SE Asia. So this is region where you have intensive subsistence farming.

The next is primitive subsistence farming which is further classified as either shifting cultivation or nomadic herding. Now nomadic Harding is common in the desert areas. So what happens is the types nomads that means they do not a fixed house or permanent house and the move from one place to another. They usually keep animals like sheep, camel, Yak and goat. They have the products from these animals like milk, you have the hide which is used as leather, so you have the product from these animals which is mainly used and it is primarily found in the desert areas or very hilly terrain. So you have example of Sahara Central Asia, Rajasthan regions, Jammu Kashmir specifically the Ladakh valley in with Yak.

What is sifting cultivation? Shifting cultivation is cultivation on more than one plot of land. Let’s say this is a village and you have six small plots of land? You grow crop A in season January to February in this plot and then you move to another region in next month June to December and you grow crop B here what would happened. After you have grown this crop this region, the soil fertility would decline so the next season you have to shift to another land to grow the crop and then so on and so forth. So you will shift to 4, 5, 6 and then after that it would be a period of year or more and you would shift back to the first patch of land, where you have started. So this is what is shifting cultivation and this is what is known as slash and burn cultivation because of removing everything from the first region you are burning that and you move to the next land patch. Now the next is commercial farming.

  • Commercial Farming – For sale in Market – Machines

    • Commercial Grain Farming – Wheat, Maize – USA & Europe

    • Mixed farming – Food, Fodder & Livestock - Europe, eastern USA, Argentina, SE Australia, New Zealand and South Africa

    • Plantation Agriculture - tea, coffee, sugarcane, cashew, rubber, banana or cotton – Large labor & capital - Rubber in Malaysia, coffee in Brazil, tea in India and Sri Lanka

We said it’s made for commercial use so it aims to sell out the produce into the market. It employs huge amount of machinery and large machinery is for cultivation. There are three basic types of commercial farming that are involved. The first is the commercial grain farming, the mixed farming and finally the plantation agriculture. Commercial grain farming talks about the cultivation of wheat, maize at large scale in huge farms with hectares and hectares of land with well-defined machineries and equipment which are kind semi-autonomic and autonomic when you have countries like USA and Europe which commonly focus on a commercial grain farming method with huge availability of land, large availability of land with less density of population.

The next is mixed farming, mixed farming is meant for farming for food, for fodder for animals and along with that your growing life style, you are rearing livestock’s there. For example like Europe, eastern USA, Argentina, SE Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, where you have mixed farming that is common. So you have all the three goals that are made in the same region. You are preparing food for the common people, you are providing fodder for animals and finally you are rearing the stock.

The next is plantation cultivation, the plantation is cultivation specific crops which requires large amount of capital and labor. Now this plantation cultivation was introduced by the Britishers. In India they introduced rubber plantation in Kerala and tea plantation in North East. So the idea was the large availability of labor that is present and the capital that they can invest in the country and then they would establish huge plantation farms and those would be exported to other country. Common crops which are used for plantation is tea, coffee, sugarcane, cashew, rubber, banana or cotton. Now what are the major crops?