Agriculture plays a dominant role in the Indian economy. Nearly 70% of the population lives off it. It is the main source of food for the Indian people. Much of the raw material is provided for the industries by the agriculturists. Agriculture also fetches a lot of foreign exchange. The farmers follow different types of farming in order to get the best results.
Different Types of Agriculture
- Shifting Agriculture – Here, the farmer clears a single piece of land by felling trees or adopting slash and burn approach. Then, the seeds are directly planted without any ploughing. Root crops such as tapioca and yam, which can be preserved for a longer period of time are grown. The nomadic and tribal people belonging to the north-eastern states of India practice this form of agriculture. After about 2 to 3 years, the soil loses its fertility and is then abandoned. This forces the farmers to move on elsewhere.
- Subsistence Agriculture – The primary objective is that the produce is consumed by the farmer. The family members of the farmer manage the farm. Most of the work is done manually and farmers follow traditional methods of farming. The size of the farms is small.
- Plantation Agriculture – This is done in huge estates. A single crop is grown. It requires plenty of investment as well as labor. It takes some years for the crop to yield. The farmers use scientific methods of farming. The yield is sold in the market and some of it is also exported.
- Mixed Farming – Here the farmer uses some part of his land for other activities such as poultry, rearing cattle, dairy farming, fishing etc. the farmer gets additional income from these activities. The farmers face fewer risks with this kind of farming.
Agriculture is an integral part of our economy. It has to be nurtured well. Of course, it still depends upon seasonal rains and as result crops often fail to yield. Efforts are on to streamline agricultural practices for better yield.