Types Of Agriculture In India And Their Importance

Types Of Agriculture In India

An easy to understand guide on the various types of agriculture in India and importance. India is an ancient civilization, which a history dated by some historians to cover a distance of more than 10 thousand years. Of course for any civilization to thrive there has to be food in quantities that will adequately support the population, and guarantee sustenance for any expansion that may be in their plans. Food security does not come by accident however; it is as a result of years of deliberate effort, as well as development of new ways of practicing agriculture.

That raises the question ‘what are the types of agriculture that are practiced in India?’ that is what we look at in this post. But we do not stop at mentioning the types of agriculture practiced in India; we do some highlighting, as well as explaining the benefits of each type of agriculture; what they add to the country by way of guaranteeing food security.

Without any further ado, let us get down to business. Below we mention the types of agriculture in India, and their benefits. 

Types Of Agriculture In India

  • Subsistence Farming
  • Shifting Agriculture
  • Intensive Agriculture
  • Extensive Agriculture
  • Commercial Agriculture
  • Dry Land Farming
  • Plantation Agriculture
  • Wet Land Farming

Importance Of Agriculture In India (Based On The Types)

  • Subsistence farming:

This is form of agriculture which is still widely-practiced in India, and can be seen all over India, especially in the rural areas. In this kind of agriculture the farmer and/or his family grow crops for their own consumption. The scale is usually small because the farmer is particularly interested in fulfilling his own needs, and only the excess production is taken to the local markets.

Importance Subsistence Farming:

This is important because it ensures that food is available on the tables of a large number of families. It is also important because it reduces the spending on food by many families because they tend to grow all that they need including fruits and vegetables.

  • Shifting Agriculture: 

This is one of the ancient methods of farming that has survived until even tomorrow. This kind of farming is mainly used by tribal groups to grow tuber and root crops. In this method of farming land is obtained by clearing a forested area. Tribal land is not a scare commodity, and the indigenous people can always move to a new area whenever they feel like. However, they commonly plant crops in an area for about 3 years, and then when the land is no longer fertile, another area of land is cleared and the crops are shifted there. Roots and tubers require especially fertile land, and it is not often feasible to use fertilizers to improve soil fertility.

Importance of Shifting Agriculture:

Without shifting agriculture the availability of root crops would be affected. Secondly, shifting cultivation brings unity within farming communities. As the farmers are likely to move to a new area together, they need assistance from one another.  

Types Of Agriculture In India
Types Of Agriculture In India
  • Intensive Agriculture:

This is a type of farming that you can see in densely populated areas in India. This is a kind of farming for commerce, as a business. It is an attempt to maximize the output of the land, through the use of every possible effort. As stated above, this kind of agriculture is a business venture, and so it requires a huge amount of capital. Furthermore, there is a great deal of human labor involved. You often find that more than one crop is raised per year on the same area of land, as they are trying to maximize the output.

Importance Of Intensive Agriculture:

Intensive agriculture means that more food is produced on the land. With a population in excess of 1 billion people, many of whom live in urban areas and big cities, it is absolutely important that large quantities of food be produced to meet this demand.

  • Extensive Agriculture:

Extensive agriculture is a modern type of farming that you can also call industrial farming. It has been adopted from the western world, and can be seen thriving in some parts of India. It relies largely on machinery instead of human labor, and generally raises one crop per year. Apart from raising one crop per year, this type of agriculture generally raises one type of crop year in, year out, for many, many years. This is usually because a lot of money has been invested in machinery, and some machines are unsuitable for cultivating other types of crop.

Importance Of Extensive Agriculture:

This is an economically important kind of agriculture. It produces crops that can be exported, thus earning foreign exchange. This kind of agriculture provides jobs, as many hands are needed to work on the farms.

  •  Commercial Agriculture:

Commercial agriculture is intended to be a high yield kind of agriculture very similar to extensive agriculture. The cash crops produced in this type of agriculture usually require processing, and are usually exported to other countries. Wheat, cotton, sugarcane, and corn are some commercial crops that are grown in this manner, and they are grown on large farms.

  • Dry Land Farming:

Dry land farming, in the context of India, is practiced in the more arid and desert-like areas of the country, which include places like northwest and central India. Of course many crops cannot survive such harsh conditions, but certain crops such as gramjowar, bajra, and peas have lower water requirements and can therefore be successfully cultivated in these conditions.

Importance Of Dry Land Farming: 

Without dry land farming the more arid parts of the country would go to waste. Dry land farm makes use of lands that would otherwise be left to no use, and at the same time producing a steady supply of fresh food items in those areas.

  •  Plantation Agriculture:

Plantation agriculture is an old system of agriculture. It is often used for perennial crops which require a lot of space. We are talking about such crops as rubber, tea, coconut, coffee, cocoa, spices, and fruits. Plantations specialize on producing a single crop. There are many plantations in Kerala, Assam, Karnataka, and also Maharashtra.

Importance Of Plantation Agriculture:

Plantations provide jobs. In many cultures, in the past, labor on plantations was provided by slaves, but now people work steady jobs in plantations and get paid for their effort. Plantations also add to the buoyancy of the economy because they produce crops that are exported to other countries and bring in foreign exchange. 

  • Wet Land Farming:

As the name implies, this is the kind of agriculture that is suited for water logged, or swampy area. As you probably already know, many areas of India are affected by heavy monsoon rains and subsequent flooding. This makes the land water logged for many months at a stretch. Some such areas are the northeast India and the Western Ghats. These areas are suitable for farming such water intensive crops as rice, jute, and sugarcane. Wetland farming can sometimes resemble extensive farming because sometimes it can be done on a comparable scale, and can require a similar number of workers and equipment to practice. The only major difference is that the ground is wet, and sometimes a person cannot walk around on the farm without wearing specialized footwear. 

Importance Of Wet Land Farming:

This is also a commercially or economically important type of agriculture because with this type of agriculture, crops that are produced are of economic value. They are mainly exported to other countries and bring in foreign exchange. They require a lot of labor, and so they provide jobs to a lot of people. 

Conclusion On The Types Of Agriculture In India And Importance

Food security is potentially assured in India, this is because the country is rich in land resources of every type; ranging from wet lands, to dry lands, and even to lands good for raising different types of plantations. With very little more by way of investment, India can be a major exporter of various agricultural products, from rice to sugarcane. With the recent strides in mechanical engineering that country has made, it is very possible to develop new advanced mechanical farm implements that can go a long way to boost crop production, thereby guaranteeing food security for the country’s population of over 1 billion, and also guaranteeing a spot on the most important agricultural economies list.

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