8 Types of Agriculture in India

Agriculture provides food for the ever-increasing population of the country. Some types of agricultural farming in India are shifting agriculture, subsistence agriculture, intensive agriculture, extensive farming, plantation farming, and mixed farming.

Importance of Agriculture in Indian Economy

  • It provides food for the ever-increasing population of the country.
  • It supplies raw materials for agro-based industries such as textiles and food processing industries.
  • It provides a market for industrial goods such as machinery and agricultural implements.
  • It provides employment to millions of people.
  • It accounts for a large portion of India’s exports.
  • Some types of agricultural farming in India are shifting agriculture, subsistence agriculture, intensive agriculture, extensive farming, plantation farming, and mixed farming.

Types of agriculture in India #1

Shifting Agriculture

  • It is also known as ‘Slash and Burn Agriculture’ and ‘jhum’, ‘ponam’ or ‘podu’. It is a primitive method of cultivation. In this type of cultivation, a patch of forested land is cleared by felling and burning trees. The ashes of trees are mixed in the soil.
  • After two to three years, when the soil loses its fertility, the land is left fallow, and a new patch of land is cleared for cultivation.
  • Maize, potato, yam, and cassava are grown in shifting cultivation. It is mainly practiced in northeast India.
  • Dry paddy, maize, millets, and vegetables are commonly grown in this type of farming. This method of cultivation has some disadvantages. It results in deforestation, accelerates soil erosion, and causes floods and silting.

Types of agriculture in India #2

Subsistence Farming

  • A majority of farmers in India practice subsistence farming. Landholdings in this type of farming are small, and farmers use traditional methods of agriculture.
  • As farmers are poor, they do not use fertilizers and high-yielding seed varieties in their fields.
  • The production is not very high. Food crops are mainly produced for consumption by the family.

Types of agriculture in India #3

Intensive Farming

  • This kind of cultivation is practiced in areas with a high density of population.
  • It is a labor-intensive system whereby fertilizers, high-yielding seed varieties, and irrigation methods are used for increasing production.
  • More than one crop is cultivated on the same field.

Types of agriculture in India #4

Extensive Farming

  • This kind of cultivation is practiced where the size of the agricultural field is large and productivity is high.
  • Machines are extensively used, and hence, the labour employed per unit area is low.
  • Farmers specialize in the production of one or two major commercial crops.
  • Rice, wheat, maize, and sugarcane are the main crops that are grown in extensive farming. Because the productivity is high, there is a large surplus for sale.

Types of agriculture in India #5

Plantation Farming

  • In plantation farming, single crops of tea, sugarcane, coffee, rubber, cotton, and banana are grown on large fields.
  • A large labour force and capital are required in plantations.
  • Developed transport is required to transport these crops to factories for processing.
  • The latest technology and modern methods of agriculture are used. In this kind of cultivation, crops are mainly exported to earn foreign exchange.

Types of agriculture in India #6

Mixed Farming

  • In mixed farming, two or more crops are grown together on a rotational basis.
  • Apart from growing crops and fodder crops, animals are also reared.
  • This type of cultivation ensures farmers with a steady income.

Types of agriculture in India #7

Commercial Farming

  • In this type of farming, crops are grown for commercial purposes, i.e. for selling in local and international markets.
  • Wheat and maize are the main crops that are grown in commercial grain farming.
  • Farming is mechanized and is prevalent in areas where farms are large and the market is strong.
  • In India, this kind of farming is practiced in Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, Western Uttar Pradesh, and Andhra Pradesh.

Types of agriculture in India #8

Dry Farming

  • It is practiced in areas where irrigation facilities are not readily available. Crops that can stand dry weather such as jowar, bajra, and ragi are mainly grown.
  • The fields are repeatedly ploughed before and during rains to preserve soil moisture.
  • This type of cultivation is practiced in Western Rajasthan and in some parts of Deccan.

Also, Read Problems Faced by Indian Farmers