Agriculture (Class 10 Geography Chapter 4 Notes)

Agriculture (Class 10 Geography Chapter 4 Notes)
Agriculture (Class 10 Geography Chapter 4 Notes)/Image Source: Wikimedia
India is an agriculture dependent country. Around two-thirds of its workforce work is engaged in agriculture and allied sectors. Besides food, agriculture is responsible for producing raw material for various industries such as cotton industry, food processing industries and dairy industry.

Types of Farming
On the basis of socio-economic factors, farming in India can be divided into two categories, Subsistence Farming and Commercial Farming. Subsistence farming can be divided into Primitive and Intensive farming. Commercial farming can be divided into Plantation and Large Scale Commercial farming.

Primitive Subsistence Farming
It is practised with help of primitive tools such as hoe, dao and digging sticks. It is heavily dependent on rain, soil fertility and suitability of other climatic conditions. When soil fertility decreases, farmers clear and shift to a new piece of land. Therefore, it is also known as slash and burn agriculture; and several other names locally.

Local names of Slash and Burn Farming
Local NameRegion
MilpaMexico and Central America
MasoleCentral Africa
Bewar/DahiyaMadhya Pradesh
Podu/PendaAndhra Pradesh
Pama Dabi/Koman/BringaOdisha
KumariWestern Ghats
Valre/WaltreSouth-eastern Rajasthan
KhilHimalayan Belt
JhummingNortheast India

Intensive Subsistence Farming
It is labour intensive farming, practised in densely populated areas. The biochemical inputs and irrigation are used for better crop yields. The farmers generally have small parcels of land inherited from their previous generations.

Commercial Farming
It is known for the use of high yielding variety seeds, fertilizers and agro-chemicals to boost the crop yield. The degree of commercialization varies from one place to another place.

In this type of farming, generally, a cash crop such as cotton, banana, tea, coffee, rubber and sugarcane is cultivated on a large scale. It requires large capital investment along with labour.

Cropping Pattern
In India, crops are mainly sown on the basis of cropping seasons. There are three cropping seasons in India. These are Rabi, Kharif and Zaid.

Rabi Crops (Winter Crops)
  1. Sown: October to December
  2. Harvested: April to June
  3. Important Rabi Crops: wheat, barley, peas, gram and mustard.

Kharif Crops (Monsoon Crops)
  1. Sown: June to July
  2. Harvested: September to October
  3. Important Kharif Crops: paddy, maize, jowar, bajra, arhar, moong, urad, cotton, jute, groundnut and soybean.

Zaid Crops (Summer Crops)
  1. Grown between a small summer season
  2. Important Zaid Crops: watermelon, muskmelon, cucumber, vegetables and fodder crops.

Major Crops
Some of the major crops grown in India are rice, wheat, millet, pulses, tea, coffee, sugarcane, oil seeds, cotton and jute.

  1. It is a kharif crop which requires high temperature (25°C and above) and high humidity with annual rainfall more than 100 cm.
  2. It is mainly grown in North and Northeast India, coastal areas and deltaic regions.
  3. Thanks to irrigation and modern technology, it is also grown in regions of lower rainfall such as Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh.

  1. It is a rabi season crop which requires a cool growing season with rainfall of 50-75 cm and bright sunshine at the time of harvesting.
  2. It is mainly grown in Ganga-Satluj plains and black soil region of Deccan India.
  3. The major wheat producing states of India are Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

Ragi, jowar, bajra are important millets crops of India. These are also known as coarse grains as they can grow withstand extreme climates.

  1. It is the third most important food crop after rice and wheat.
  2. It is a rain-fed crop and hardly requires any irrigation.
  3. Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh are major jowar producing states.

  1. It grows well on sandy and shallow black soils.
  2. Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Haryana are major bajra producing states.

  1. It can grow on red, black, sandy, loamy and shallow black soils.
  2. Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Jharkhand and Arunachal Pradesh are major ragi producing states.

  1. It is a kharif crop used as both food and fodder crop.
  2. It requires a temperature between 21°C to 27°C and grows well in alluvial soil.
  3. Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh are major maize producing states.

  1. India is the largest producer as well as the single largest consumer of pulses.
  2. Tur, urad, moong, masur, peas and gram are some of the major pulse crops of India. Tur, urad, moong are kharif crops whereas masur, peas and gram are rabi crops.
  3. They need less moisture and can withstand dry conditions. Except tur, most of the pulses help in fixing the soil and mostly grown as a rotation crop.
  4. Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Karnataka are major pulse producing states of India.

Cash Crops (Food Crops other than Grains)
  1. It requires a humid climate with a temperature between 21°C-27°C and annual rainfall between 75-100 cm.
  2. Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar, Punjab and Haryana are major sugarcane producers of India.

Oil Seeds
  1. India is one of the leading oil seed producers. The oil seed fields make up 12% of overall cropped area.
  2. Groundnut makes up half of the oil seed production. Other major oil seeds in India are mustard, coconut, sesamum (til), soybean, castor seeds,  cotton seeds, linseed and sunflower.

  1. It is one of most important cash crops and introduced by British in India.
  2. It grows well in deep and fertile well-drained soil with high organic matter.
  3. It requires warm and moist frost free climate throughout year.
  4. It is labour intensive crop and requires large capital investment.
  5. Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala are the major tea producing states of India. Other minor tea producing states are Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Meghalaya, Andhra Pradesh and Tripura.

  1. India is one of the leading coffee producers in the world and accounts for 4.5% of world production.
  2. It was introduced by a Muslim saint in India.
  3. Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu are three major coffee producing states of India.

Horticulture Crops
  1. India is the second largest fresh fruit and vegetable producing country in the world after China.
  2. Among fruits, India is known for mangoes, oranges, bananas, litchi, guava, grapes, apples, pears, apricots and walnuts.
  3. Among vegetables, India is known for pea, cauliflower, onion, cabbage, tomato, brinjal and potato.

Non-food crops
  1. It is an equatorial crop, but under certain conditions, it can grow in tropical and subtropical climate.
  2. It requires moist and humid climate with heavy rainfall and temperature above 25°C.
  3. India is fourth largest rubber producer in the world and the major rubber producing states of India are Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Meghalaya.

Fibre Crops
  1. Cotton, jute, hemp and silk are main fibre crops of India.
  2. Cotton, jute and hemp are obtained from crops and silk is obtained from worms fed on plants such as mulberry.
  3. The rearing of silkworms for silk is known as sericulture.

  1. India is believed to be the home of cotton and it is the second largest cotton producer after China.
  2. It requires high temperature, low rainfall and 210 frost free days with bright sunshine and grows well on black soils.
  3. It takes 6 to 8 months to mature.
  4. Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh are the major cotton producing states of India.

  1. It grows well on well-drained fertile soil in flood plains and requires high temperature during growth.
  2. The major jute producers of India are West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Odisha and Meghalaya.

Technological and Institutional Reforms
  1. Around 60% of Indian workforce is engaged in agriculture and allied sectors.
  2. Collectivisation, consolidation of holdings, cooperation and abolition of zamindari are some of the major institutional refoms post-independence.
  3. During 1960s and 1970s, Green Revolution and White Revolution (Operation Flood) provided much needed self dependency in terms of agriculture production and growth to farmers.
  4. During 1980s and 1990s, facilities for crop insurance and agriculture loans were made. Kisan Credit Card (KCC) and Personal Accident Insurance (PAIS) are some of the schemes introduced by the Government.
  5. Awareness pro grammes and special TV news pro grammes were also initiated to provide better knowledge of agriculture practices.
  6. Government also announced minimum support price (msp), remunerative and procurement prices for important crops to save them from the exploitation of middlemen.

Contribution of Agriculture to the Indian Economy
  1. Agriculture accounts for 18% of total GDP (Gross Domestic Production) of India and directly employs around 52% of Indian workforce.
  2. However, the agriculture growth is declining over the years. It registered mere 1.1% growth in 2015-16. This decline is also hampering the growth of other sectors as well.
  3. To thrust the growth of agriculture sector, Government of India has come up with various research institutes, agriculture universities and development boards.

Food Security
  1. Food security can be defined as state of having access to sufficient and nutritious food. In order to ensure this, Government has designed food security programme consists of two components. These are 1. buffer stock and 2. public distribution system (PDS).
  2. Food Corporation of India (FCI) manages procurement and stocking foodgrains whereas distribution is controlled by PDS.

Objectives of National Food Security Program
1. Ensure availability of food grain to each and every citizen
2. Growth in agriculture production
3. Fixing minimum support price for procurement of major crops and maintain their stocks

Agriculture and Globalisation
  1. Globalisation is not a new term, it exists since the time of colonization.
  2. During the British Raj, cotton, tea and spices are the major exports. Farmers were forced to grow cotton, indigo and other cash crops.
  3. However modern wave of globalization has made severe impact on agriculture sector in India. Since 1990, Indian agriculture product failed to register any mark against onslaught of cheaper and finer foregin material.
  4. Indian agriculture is at crossroad today. Indian farmers need to diversify their to survive in present scenario.
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