Agriculture In India is composed of different crops, with the foremost food staples being rice and wheat. Indian farmers also cultivate pulses, potatoes, sugarcane, oil seeds, and such non-food items as cotton, tea, coffee, rubber, and jute
About 65-70% of the total population of the country is dependent on agriculture.
Role of agriculture is paramount in the economy of India.
About two-third of our population derives its livelihood from agriculture.
It provides food to the second biggest population and the 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 accounts for 45% of our national income. Types of Agriculture in India
Subsistence Farming, farmers work hard to grow enough food to survive only.
In this type of farming the produce is consumed mainly by farmer and his family.
There remains no surplus to sell in the market.
The combination of agriculture and pastoral farming is called mixed farming.
In this type of farming, cultivation of crops and rearing of animals are done together on the same farm.
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 northeastern part of India.
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.
This is a system of farming 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.
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 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.
Problems of Indian Agriculture
The main reason of low productivity of our agriculture is mainly due to the difficulties faced by our peasants.
Indian agriculture is chiefly of subsistence type where a large manual labour is employed to work on farms to grow just enough food for the needs of the family and very little is left for marketing.
A major part of the Indian soil has been impoverished because it has been under plough for the last 4000 or 5000 years.
Deforestation, overgrazing and heavy rainfall have led to soil erosion.
Divisions of land have led to fragmentation.
The size of land holding is very small and uneconomic.
The farmers are poor, illiterate and ignorant.
They use primitive tools and out-dated method.
They lack financial credit and investment.
Good seeds, fertilizers and improved technology are not available to them.
They lack irrigation facilities and are still on the mercy of nature.
Most of the farmers have no security against crop failure or loss caused by nature.
Generally farmers are uneducated and have no scientific approaches.
Different Crop Seasons in India
There are three crop seasons in India : (i) Rabi (ii) Kharif and (iii) Zayad.
This season starts after the rainy season.
Sowing begins in September-October and harvesting takes place in February-March.
Rabi season is cooler and drier than the Kharif season.
Wheat, barley, pulses and some oil seeds are grown in the Rabi season.
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.
This is type of agriculture is growing crops which remain till April, May and June.
Products are mainly vegetables and fruits.
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.