NIOS Class 10 Social Studies Chapter 18 Agriculture in India, Introduction Part 1 (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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Title: Agriculture in India


  • Agriculture is the backbone of the Indian Economy and about 70 % of the total population in India makes their livelihood through Agriculture.
  • As India՚s geographic conditions suits Agriculture, it serves as an important source for many Agro based industries.
  • In this chapter, we will learn more about farming techniques, cropping and also the challenges faced in Agriculture.

Types of Farming

Our country has diversified topography and mountain ranges in the form of Eastern Ghats and Western Ghats. Farming is done based on the climatic conditions and the soil types. Let us see some of the farming types in detail.

Subsistence and Commercial Farming

  • Subsistence farming is a type of farming where farmers practice farming for their own livelihood, in which the farmer and his family can survive.
  • In this type of farming, the production is less and the cost to do agriculture is very cheap.
  • Modern equipments and techniques like tractors, fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides are rarely used.
  • In Subsistence farming, surplus production doesn՚t take part.
  • In the other hand, commercial farming is done for market sale.
  • In this farming, farmers use irrigation, pesticides, insecticides, chemical fertilizers and variety of seeds.
  • Cotton, Jute, Sugarcane and Groundnuts are some of the commercial crops grown in India.

Intensive and Extensive Farming

  • The amount of production for a unit of land is the main difference of Intensive and Extensive farming.
  • Intensive Farming makes high production in one unit of Land.
  • In other words, it is farming done for a surplus production within one single Land.
  • In India, Intensive Farming is mostly done in the state of Kerala, where land that is available for cultivation is very limited.
  • Extensive Farming is making cultivation for a larger piece of Land.
  • Hence Cumulative production is more because of the larger area.

Plantation Farming

  • In this farming, crops which are got for money are grown for sale in an Estate.
  • Some of the examples of Plantation Farming crops are Tea, Coffee, Rubber, Banana and other Spices.
  • These crops were introduced by the Britishers in the 19th Century.

Mixed Farming

  • Here both raising crops and rearing animals are involved in farming.
  • Farmers who practice Mixed Farming are economically good than other types of farming techniques.
  • Mixed Farming is based on nature and farming purposes, and it may also overlap.
  • For an example, Banana comes under Plantation Farming, but can also be Commercial Farming.

Salient Features of Agriculture in India

  • Subsistence Agriculture: Subsistence Agriculture is widely practiced for many years in several parts of India. After Indian Independence, and in spite of large scale of changes in Agricultural changes, subsistence agriculture still exists.
  • Pressure of Population on Agriculture: Although the population in India increases, and urbanization and industrialization go on high, 70 % of the Indian Population totally depends on Agriculture, either directly or in an indirect way.
  • Mechanization of Farming: In the late sixties and early seventies Green Revolution took place in India. Even after forty years of Green Revolution, and when the agricultural machinery and equipment took revolutionary changes, whole mechanization is still a dream.
  • Dependence upon Monsoon: Monsoon in India isn՚t consistent and is unreliable. In the midst of large-scale expansion, one third of crops are being irrigated. This is mainly because of the climatic change that occurs in our Country.
  • Variety of Crops: In India there are a variety of Crops because of the Tropical and Temperate climate. Only few countries in the world have variety of crops as in India. The below Table No. 12.1 will give you a clear idea.
  • Predominance of food crops: Since India is a highly populated country, farmers are making sure that every people in India get proper food every day, and they are making it as their most prioritized work. But, the land for food crops is getting declined for commercial purposes.
  • Seasonal Patterns: India has three distinct agricultural/cropping seasons namely kharif, rabi and Zaid. Few crops grow in all the three seasons. For example, Rice which is a kharif crop and Wheat, a rabi crop, grows in every season.

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