Agriculture in India
Characteristics of Agriculture in India
- Subsistence Agriculture
- Pressure of Population on Agriculture ● Importance of Animals
- Dependent upon Monsoon ● Variety of Crops
- Predominance of Food Crops
- Insignificant place given to fodder crops ● Seasonal pattern
- Mixed Cropping ● Labour Intensive
Subsistence farming, form of farming in which nearly all of the crops or livestock raised are used to maintain the farmer and the farmer’s family, leaving little, if any, surplus for sale or trade.
Major Crops in India
- Kharif crops, which are also known as monsoon crops, are the crops which are grown during the monsoon or rainy season (June to October).
- Their seeds are sown at the beginning of the monsoon season and the crops are harvested at the end of the monsoon season. Kharif crops depend on the rainfall patterns.
- Rice,maize,bajra, ragi, soybean, groundnut, cotton are all Kharif types crops
- The Arabic translation of the word”Rabi” is spring. These crops’ harvesting happens in the springtime hence the name.
- The Rabi season usually starts in November and lasts up to March or April. Rabi crops are mainly cultivated using irrigation since monsoons are already over by November. In fact, unseasonal showers in November or December can ruin the crops. The seeds are sown at the beginning of autumn, which results in a spring harvest.
- Wheat, barley, mustard and green peas are some of the major rabi types of crops that grow in India.
There is a short season between Kharif and Rabi season in the months of March to July. The crops that grow in this season are Zaid crops. These crops are grown on irrigated lands and do not have to wait for monsoons. Some examples of Zaid types of crops are pumpkin, cucumber, bitter gourd.
- One-fourth of total cropped areas
- It is a tropical plant and requires high heat and humidity for its successful growth with temperatures up to 24 degree C.
- Average annual rainfall is 150 cm.
- 100 cm isohyet forms the limit of rice in rainfed areas.
- Lowland or wetland rice in plain areas
- Upland or dry rice in terraced cultivation
- Suited for hoe-culture and not mechanisation
- West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, AP & Telangana, Odisha are the top producers
- Three crops grown in Eastern India – Aman, aus and boro
- Wheat is a rabi crop.
- Sowing begins in Sept-Oct in South and Eastern India and by Oct-Nov in North and North West.
- Ideal climate for growth is 10-15 degrees C and annual rainfall up to 75 cm. 100 cm isohyet upper limit.
- Light drizzle, cloudiness at time of ripening help in increasing yield but hail and frost are damaging.
- UP, Punjab, MP, Haryana and Rajasthan are the main areas.
- Used as both food and fodder
- Mainly kharif, Rabi in Tamil Nadu (winter rain) ● Requires 50-100 cm rainfall and cannot be
grown in areas of more than 100 cm rainfall.
- Cool and dry weather helps in ripening of grains.
- Grows well in temperatures of 21-27 degrees C. ● Cultivation of maize in India is characterised by
inter-culture i.e. it is grown mixed along with other crops
- Top producing states are AP & Telangana, Karnataka, Bihar, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. Also grown in the hilly regions of Himachal Pradesh.
- Short duration warm weather grasses grown in those inferior areas where main food crops like rice and wheat cannot be grown
- They provide food and fodder.
- Jowar, Bajra, Ragi, Korra, Kodon, Kutki, sanwa, haraka, varagu, bauti and rajgira are important millets grown in India.
- Jowar is grown both as a kharif and rabi crop. ● Kharif = areas with mean monthly temperatureof 26-33 degree C.
- Rabi = areas with mean monthly temperature above 16 degree C.
- It requires more than 30 cm rainfall during growing period and cannot grow if rainfall exceeds 100 cm.
- It can be grown in areas of gentle slopes up to 1200m height.
- Maharashtra, Karnataka, MP, Andhra are important jowar producing states.
- It has lost out to other food crops with the spread of irrigation.
Bajra (Bull Rush Millet)
- Crop of dry and warm climate and is grown in areas of 40-50 cm rainfall. Seldom grows in areas of rainfall >100 cm.
- Ideal temperature = 25-30 degree C
- Kharif Crop sown between May-Sept and harvested between Oct- Mar
- Sown either as a pure or mixed crop with cotton, jowar and ragi
- Top producers are Rajasthan, UP, Gujarat and Haryana (total 80%)
Ragi (Finger Millet)
- Mainly grown in drier parts of South India with some areas in North India as well
- 20-30 degree C, 50-100 cm rainfall ● Raised on red, light black and
sandy loams as well as alluvial soils.
- Rainfed kharif crop.
- Top producers – Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu
Why growing millets is beneficial?
- Millets are less expensive and nutritionallysuperior to wheat & rice owing to their high protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals like iron content and are also rich in calcium and magnesium. For example, Ragi is known to have the highest calcium content among all the food grains.
- Millets can provide nutritionalsecurity and act as a shield against nutritionaldeficiency,especially among children and women. Its high iron content can fight high prevalence of anaemia in India women of reproductive age and infants.
- Millets are rich in antioxidants.
- Millets can help tackle lifestyle problems and health challengessuch as obesity and diabetes as they are gluten-free and have a low glycemic index (a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels).
- Millets are Photo-insensitive(do not require a specific photoperiod for flowering) & resilient to climate change.
- Millets can grow on poor soils with little or no external inputs. They are less water consuming and are capable of growing under drought conditions, under non-irrigated conditions even in very low rainfall regimes
- Millets have low carbon and water footprint (rice plant needs at least 3 times more water to grow in comparison to millets).
- Millets can withstandhigh temperature. In times of climate change Millets are often the last crop standing and, thus, are a good risk management strategy for resource-poor marginal farmers.
- 2023 – INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF MILLETS BY FAO
- Inferior grain like millets ● Used for making beer and
- Does not tolerate high heat and humidity.
- 10-15 degrees C and 75-100 cm rainfall.
- Rabi crop in the Great Plains and valleys of Himalayas.
- Top producer is Rajasthan.
- Leguminous plants that serve as a source of protein for the vegetarian population of India and as excellent forage and grain concentrates in the feed of cattle.
- Pulses have the capacity to fix atmospheric nitrogen in the soil and are normally rotated with other crops to maintain or restore soil fertility.
- Important pulses are gram, tur, urad, mung, masur, kulthi, khesri etc.
- Most important Fibre crop in the world
- It is a crop of the tropical and sub-tropical regions and requires uniformly high temperatures varying between 21 and 30 degrees C.
- It requires 210 frost free days in a year and a modest requirement of water so it can grow in areas of 50-100 cm of rainfall. In areas of poorer rainfall it can be grown with the help of irrigation.
- It is a kharif crop and requires 6-8 months to mature. It is grown as a kharif and rabi crop in Tamil Nadu
- It grows well on deep black soils of the Deccan as well as on the alluvial soils of the Satluj- Ganga plains.
- It quickly exhausts the fertility of the soil so application of manures and fertilizers is necessary.
Three types of Cotton:
- Long staple cotton (24-27mm) – Punjab, Haryana, MH, TN, MP, Gujarat and AP
- Medium Staple Cotton (20-24mm) – Rajasthan, Punjab, TN, MP, UP, Karnataka, Maharashtra
- Short Staple Cotton (<20 mm) – UP, AP, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab.
India is the third largest producer of cotton but has the largest area under cotton cultivation. In India, Gujarat, MH and AP are the top producers followed by Haryana, MP and Punjab.
- Bt stands for Bacillus thuringiensis , the bacterium whose toxin is produced by Bt Cotton after genetic alteration.
- In India it was released in 2002.
- Bt toxin is a narrow spectrum bio-insecticide as it controls only bollworm ● Biggest concern is the development of resistance by Pink bollworm to the
- Bt toxin.
- Crop of hot and humid climate
- Requires high temperature varying from 24-35 degrees C
- Heavy rainfall of 120-150 cm with 80-90% relative humidity during the period of its growth.
- Small amount of pre-monsoonal rainfall varying between 25 cm – 55 cm is very useful.
- Light sandy and clayey soils loams are considered to be best suited soils for jute.
- Jute is generally sown in February in the lowlands and in March-May in uplands. It takes 8-10 months to mature. Harvesting generally start in July and goes on till October
Jute – Harvest
- The plants are cut to the ground and tied in bundles
- Sheafs of jute stocks are then immersed in flood water or ponds or stagnant water for 2-3 weeks for retting.
- High temperature of water quickens the process of retting.
- After retting is complete, the bark is peeled from the plant and fibre is removed.
- After this, stripping, rinsing, washing and cleaning is done and the fibre is dried in the sun and pressed into bales.
- Cheap labour is required.
Jute – Production
- West Bengal , Bihar, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, UP etc are important producers of Jute.
- Belongs to the bamboo family and is indigenous to India.
- It is the main source of sugar, gur and khandsari. Only one thirds is used to make sugar and 2/3rd the other two.
- It also provides raw material for manufacturing alcohol.
- Bagasse, the crushed cane residue, can be more beneficially used for manufacturing paper instead of being used as fuel.
Sugarcane – Conditions for Growth
- Long duration crop requiring 10-15 months to mature depending upon the geographical conditions.
- It requires hot and humid climate with average temperature of 21-27 degrees C and 75-150 cm of rainfall.
- In latter half, temperature above 20 degrees C combined with open sky helps in acquiring juice and thickening.
- Too heavy rainfall results in low sugar content and deficiency of rainfall produces fibrous crop.
- Frost is detrimental for sugarcane.
- It can grow on a variety of soils including loams, clayey loams, black cotton soils, brown and reddish loams and even laterite. It exhausts the fertility of soil quickly and requires heavy dose of manures and fertilizers.
- It is labour intensive crop.
Sugarcane – Production
- India has the largest area under sugarcane cultivation in the world and is the second largest producer of sugarcane next only to Brazil.
In India, there are three distinct belts of sugarcane cultivation:
- 1. Satluj-Ganga plain from Punjab to Bihar containing 51% of total area and 60% of the country’s total production
- 2. Black soil belt from Maharashtra to Tamil Nadu along the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats
- 3. Coastal Andhra and the Krishna valley
Difference in sugarcane industry in N&S India
- Peninsular India has tropical climate which gives higher yield per unit area ● Sucrose content is also higher in tropical variety of sugarcane in the south ● Crushing season is much longer in the south. In North it is of nearly 4
months from Nov-Feb. In south it starts in October and continues up to May-June
- Cooperative sugar mills are better managed in the south than in the north ● Most mills in the south are new which are equipped with modern
- India has the largest area and production of oil seeds in the world
- Nine major oil seeds – groundnut, sesamum, rapeseed and mustard, linseed, safflower, castor seed, sunflower and soybean account for nearly 18% of the net sown area.
- It is used as an important item in our diet and as a raw material in the manufacturing industry.
- Oil cake which is the residue after the oil is extracted from the oilseeds forms an important cattle feed an manure.
- India is the largest importer of edible oil in the world . Share of palm oil is 60% in import.
- It is indigenous to China.
- It is a tropical and sub-tropical plant and thrives well in hot and humid climate ● There is a very close relation between climate, the yield and the quality of tea.
- Ideal temperature for its growth is 20-30 degrees Celsius and temperatures above 35 degrees Celsius and below 10 degrees Celsius are harmful to the bush.
- It requires 150-300 cm annual rainfall which should be well distributed throughout the year.
- Tea is a shade loving plant and develops more vigorously when planted along with shady trees
- Tea bush grows well in well drained, deep, friable loams. However, virgin forest soils rich in humus and iron content are considered to be the best soils for tea plantations.
- Relatively large proportion of phosphorus and potash in soil give special flavour to tea as in the case of Darjeeling.
- Stagnant water is injurious to its roots and thus it grows well on hill slopes.
- Most of the tea plantations in India are found at elevations ranging from 600-1800 m above msl.
Tea Producing areas
- North-Eastern India – Assam (Brahmaputra valley, Surma valley), West Bengal (Duars, Darjeeling)
- South India – Nilgiri, Cardamom, Palani and Anaimalai Hills of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka
- North West India – Almora, Dehradun, Nainital Districts (Uttarakhand), Kangra Valley and Mandi District (Himachal Pradesh)
- Isolated areas – Ranchi and Hazaribagh districts of Chotanagpur Plateau
- It is indigenous to Abyssinia Plateau (Ethiopia) from where it was taken to Arabia in the 11th century.
- It was brought to the Baba Budan Hills of Karnataka in 17th Century.
- It is a hot and humid climate with temperature varying between 15 – 28 degrees Celsius.
- Rainfall from 150 – 250 cm
- It does not tolerate frost, snowfall or high temperature above 30 degrees C.
- Stagnant water is harmful and this crop is grown on hillslopes at elevations from 600-1600 metres above sea level.
- Northern and Eastern slopes are preferred – less exposed to Sun and SW monsoons.
Coffee – Production
- Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, NE India and A&N Islands
Green Revolution – Components
- High Yielding Varieties of Seeds ● Irrigation
- Use of Fertilizers
- Use of Insecticides and Pesticides ● Command Area Development
- Consolidation of Holdings ● Land Reforms
- Supply of Agricultural Credit ● Rural Electrification
- Rural Roads and Marketing ● Farm Mechanisation
- Agricultural Universities
Impact of Green Revolution
- Increase in Agricultural Production
- Diffusion of Rice and Wheat Cultivation to non-traditional areas ● Capitalistic Farming
- Ploughing back of profit ● Industrial Growth
- Rural Employment
- Change in attitude of farmers
Problems of the Green Revolution
- Inter-crop imbalance ● Regional disparities
- Increase in inter-personal inequalities ● Unemployment
- Depletion of Underground Water ● Environmental Pollution
- Health Hazards
Second Green Revolution – Krishonnati Yojana
- The government of India introduced the Green revolution Krishonnati Yojana in 2005 to boost the agriculture sector.
- Government through the scheme plans to develop the agriculture and allied sector in a holistic & scientific manner to increase the income of farmer.
- The scheme looks to enhance agricultural production, productivity and better returns on produce.
Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India
- Green Revolution that turned India from ‘begging bowl’ to leading producer of food-grains.
- BGREI is about binging similar benefits to eastern India that largely remained untouched of the wonder that converted the north-west into a ‘grain bowl’.
- BGREI is flagship programme under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY).
- It is intended to address the constraints limiting the productivity of “rice based cropping systems”.
- The BGREI program was announced in the Union Budget, 2010-11.
- BGREI focuses on bringing the second Green Revolution in eastern region, which has rich water resources.
- Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal and eastern Uttar Pradesh (Purvanchal) are the seven states.
Mineral Resources of India
Mineral Belts of India
- North Eastern Peninsular Belt ● Central belt
- Southern Belt
- South Western Belt ● North Western Belt
Types of Minerals
○ Ferrous – Iron ore, Manganese, Chromite, Pyrites, Tungsten, Nickel, Cobalt etc. ○ Non-Ferrous – Gold, silver, copper, lead, bauxite, tin, magnesium etc.
- Non- Metallic Minerals
○ Limestone, Nitrate, Potash, Dolomite, Mica, Gypsum, Coal and Petroleum
Four types of Iron Ore
- Haematite (70% metallic content) – It is found in major iron ore producing states Odisha, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa
- Magnetite (60-70% metallic content) – black ore . It is found in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Kerala
- Limonite (40-60%) – Raniganj coal field, Garhwal region, Mirzapur (UP), Kangra (HP)
- Siderite ( < 40%) – iron carbonate.
Iron Ore – Production
- Odisha is the largest producer (40%) followed by Goa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Karnataka
- It is an oxide of aluminium.
- It is mainly found in Odisha, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh.
- In India, Atomic Mineral Directorate set up under DAE is responsible for geological exploration to discover mineral deposits like Uranium, Thorium and other like Zirconium, Beryllium, Lithium etc.
- Important Mines
- Jharkhand Jaduguda, Narwapahar, Turamdih, Bagjata
- Chhattisgarh – Bodal, Bastar* MP – Jajawal
- Meghalaya – Domiasiat, Wahkyn, Tyrani
- AP – Lambapur- Peddagattu, Tummalapalle, Kuppam*, Gandi*
- Karnataka – Gogi* Rajasthan – Rohil*
- India has a total Uranium oxide reserve of 11,17,800 metric tonnes in six states.
- Monazite sands
- India has the largest reserves of Thorium in the World.
Questions for the Day
- What are the different cropping seasons experienced in India? (150 words) ● Account for the need for a Second Green Revolution in India. (250 words)