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Different Types of Farming in India

Different Types of Farming in India

Today, India has the 2nd highest crop output in the world. Different types of farming systems are followed in India, according to the locations where they are most suitable. The farming systems that majorly contribute to the agriculture sector in India are subsistence farming, organic farming and commercial farming. Due to India’s geographical location, certain parts experience different climates, thus affecting each region’s agricultural productivity differently.


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Factors influencing farming practices in India

  • Nature of land,
  • Climatic characteristics, and
  • Available irrigational facilities.


Different types of farming in India

Shifting Agriculture

  • In this type of agriculture, a piece of forest land is cleared by cutting trees and burning of trunks and branches.
  • After the land is cleared, crops are grown for two to three years and then the land is abandoned as the fertility of the soil decreases.
  • The farmers then move to new areas and the process is repeated.
  • This is practiced in most parts of India especially North East Region.


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Subsistence Agriculture

  • In subsistence agriculture, farmer and his family produce crops for themselves only or for local market.
  • This type of farming is characterised by small and scattered land holdings, and use of primitive tools.
  • As the farmers are poor, they could not use fertilisers and high yielding variety of seeds in their fields that could increase their productivity.


Intensive Farming

  • Intensive farming aims at maximum possible production on the limited farms with all efforts possible under the given circumstances.
  • In this type of farming, farmers are capable of raising more than one crop a year and huge capital and human labour is employed on every hectare of land.
  • It is practiced in most parts of densely populated areas of our country.


Extensive Farming

  • Extensive farming is the modern system of farming done on large farms also known as mechanical farming due to extensive use of machines.
  • Extensive farm raises only one crop a year and employment of labour and capital per hectare of land is comparatively less than the intensive farming.


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Plantation Agriculture

  • In plantation agriculture, bush or tree farming is done in huge areas.
  • This type of farming is capital centered and needs good managerial ability, technical knowledge, improved machineries, fertilizers, and irrigation and transport facilities, among others.
  • It can be distinguished from other farming as a particular or single sown crop like rubber, tea, coconut, coffee, cocoa, spices and fruit crops etc. is sown and the yield is generally obtained continuously for a number of years.
  • Plantation agriculture is an export oriented agriculture where the focus is more on the marketing ability of the crop.
  • Most of the crops grown in plantation agriculture have a life cycle of more than two years.
  • It is practiced in Kerala, Karnataka, Assam and Maharashtra.


Commercial Agriculture

  • Commercial Agriculture is practiced to raise crops on a large scale with a view to export them to other countries and increase the foreign reserve of the country.
  • This type of farming is done mostly in sparsely populated areas.
  • It is mainly practiced in Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana and Maharashtra.
  • Examples: Wheat, cotton, sugarcane, corn etc.


Dry Land Farming

  • Dry farming or dry-land farming may be defined as a practice of growing crops without irrigation in areas which receive an annual rainfall of 750 mm – 500 mm or even less.
  • It is practiced in low rainfall areas or where there is inadequate irrigation facility.
  • In this type of farming, moisture is maintained by raising special type of crops.
  • Gram, jowar, bajra and peas are such crops which need less water.
  • Dryland farming is practiced in dry areas of the country such as western, north-western India and central India.


Wet Land Farming

  • Wet land farming depends mainly upon rains, so it is practiced in high rainfall or well irrigated areas.
  • In this type of farming, the major crops are rice, jute and sugarcane.
  • This type of farming is prevalent in the north, north-eastern India and on the slopes of the Western Ghats.


Terrace Agriculture

  • In terrace agriculture, hill and mountain slopes are cut to form terraces and the land is used in the same way as in permanent agriculture.
  • Due to scarcity of the availability of flat land, terraces are made to provide small patch of level land.
  • It is also an effective way to check soil erosion due to terrace formation on hill slopes.


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