8 Major Types of Farming in India
India broadly has two main agricultural seasons in a year. The Kharif season or the summer season and the Rabi season or the winter season. The Kharif season starts in June, seeds are generally sown in June and July, and crops are harvested in September and October. Crops that need large quantities of water are cultivated during the Kharif season, just for convenience.
The main Kharif crops in India are rice, sugar-cane, jute, cotton, tobacco, maize, etc. Kharif crops cover around 65% of the total cultivated area in India.
The Rabi season starts in the middle of October when the south-west monsoon retreats and the north-east Monsoon begins. In the Rabi season, seeds are sown in October, and crops are harvested in March and April.
Crops that require the least amount of water are grown during the rabi season. Wheat, barley, gram, mustard, linseed, etc are some of the main crops grown in this season. These crops need cooler conditions and less moisture. Rabi crops constitute 33% of the cropped area.
Primarily based on the nature of the land, climatic characteristics, and available irrigational facilities, the farmers in India practice different types of farming. Now let’s look at 8 types of farming that are majorly followed in India:-
Some Major Types of Farming in India:
The majority of farmers in India practice subsistence farming. The main characteristic of this type of farming is that the land is small and scattered and the farmers use primitive tools. It is followed by small and poor farmers in the country.
Most of the work is manual and is done by the entire family. They don’t use fertilizers or even electricity for that matter. The yield is very less so the harvest used within the family.
2. Plantation Agriculture
It is a single crop type of farming, which was introduced by the British in the 19th century. Rubber, tea, coffee, cocoa, spices, coconut, and fruit crops like apples, grapes, oranges are grown using this type of farming. This type of farming is capital intensive and requires good managerial ability, technical know-how, sophisticated machinery, fertilizers, irrigation, and transport facilities. It is an export-orientated form of agriculture. Most of the crops grown in plantation agriculture have a life cycle of more than two years. Plantation agriculture is confined to tropical areas and they exist on every continent possessing a tropical climate.
3. Shifting Agriculture
First of all, a piece of forest land is cleared by cutting down trees and then burning the trunks and branches in this form of farming.
Crops are cultivated for two to three years after the field is cleared, and then the land is abandoned as the soil's fertility decreases.
Then the farmers migrate to new areas and the system is repeated.
It is followed in: Jhum in Assam, Ponam in Kerala, Podu in Andhra Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh. As far as possible, governments have tried to prevent this tribal cultivation activity due to unnecessary nature, such as soil erosion caused by it, when it causes soil erosion when soils are not cultivated.
4. Intensive Farming
In areas where irrigation is possible, fertilizers and pesticides are used on a wide scale by farmers. They have also brought their soil under a high-yielding seed range. They also mechanized agriculture by integrating machines into different farming processes.
Also known as industrial agriculture, inputs such as capital and labor per unit land area are distinguished by a low fallow ratio and greater use. This is in contrast to conventional agriculture, where the inputs are lower per unit of land.
The Indian Government's first major experiment in the field of agriculture was the Intensive Agriculture Development Program (IADP) and it was also regarded as a 'box program' as it was based on the package approach.
The program was initiated in 1961 after the lack of sheen in the Community Development Program. The central concept was to provide farmers with seed and fertilizer loans. With the assistance of the Ford Foundation, the Intensive Agriculture Production program was initiated.
The IADP was extended and a new program for the Intensive Agricultural Area (IAAP) was introduced to establish special agricultural harvests.
5. Dry Agriculture
Dry farming or dry-land farming can be described as the practice of growing crops without irrigation, followed in areas that receive an annual rainfall of 750 mm-500 mm or even less.
It helps in capturing and conserving the moisture. It also helps in soil conservation. Agriculture in drylands is subject to high variability in sown areas, yields, and production. The results of aberrations in weather conditions, especially rainfall, are these variations.
6. Mixed and Multiple Agriculture
Mixed farming refers to the production of crops and the simultaneous rearing of livestock. Multiple farming is used to describe the method of joint production of two or more crops.
In this case, a variety of crops with different ripening periods are sown at the same time. This practice is practiced in areas with good precipitation or irrigation facilities.
7. Arable Farming
It is a method in which farms, i.e. food crops and cash crops, are used only for the production of crops. Arable farming is a method in which land is used not only for the production of crops but also for other purposes, such as livestock farming, poultry farming, beekeeping, etc.
8. Terrace Cultivation
Terrace Cultivation is another type of farming in India, where to form terraces, the hills and mountain slopes are cut and the land is used in the same way as in permanent agriculture.
Restricted terraces are made to provide a small patch of level land because the availability of flat land is limited. Owing to terrace formation on hill slopes, soil erosion is also taken care of.
So, these are some of the major types of farming in India, which we have covered in this article. Also there are some other tribal methods adopted to cultivate different agricultural stuff. But a very small proportion of farmers use those techniques.
With the growing impact of technology, India will soon experience some advanced agricultural methodologies to improve the cultivation efficiency.