Ch – 4 Agriculture

  • The economic activities are of three types: primary, secondary and tertiary.
  • Primary activities include all those connected with extraction and production of natural resources. Eg: Agriculture, Mining.
  • Secondary activities are concerned with the processing of natural resources. Eg: Weaving, Steel manufacturing.
  • Tertiary activities provide support to the primary and secondary sectors through services. Eg: Banking, Trade.
  • The word agriculture is derived from Latin words ager or agri meaning soil and culture meaning, cultivation or tilling of soil.
  • Agriculture is the science and art of cultivation on the soil, raising crops and rearing livestock and it is also called Farming.
  • Agriculture includes growing crops, fruits, vegetables, flowers and rearing of livestock.
  • Favourable topography of soil and climate are vital for agricultural activity.
  • The land on which the crops are grown is known as Arable land.
  • Commercial rearing of silkworms is known as Sericulture.
  • Breeding of fishes in tanks or ponds is known as Pisciculture.
  • Cultivation of grapes is known as Viticulture.
  • Growing of fruits, vegetables and flowers for commercial use is known as Horticulture.
  • The physical inputs in the farm system include sunshine, temperature, soil, rainfall and slope.
  • The human inputs in the farm system include storage, labour, machinery and chemicals.
  • The type of farming which is done using organic manure and natural pesticides is known as Organic Farming.
  • Types of Farming
  • Type of farming depends on the geographical conditions, demand of produce, labour and level of technology.
  • Mainly two types of farming are there: subsistence and commercial farming.
    • Subsistence Farming
    • Practised to meet the needs of the farmer’s family.
    • Low levels of technology is used
    • Household labour is used
    • Small output
    • Subsistence farming is of two types: Intensive Subsistence farming and Primitive Subsistence farming.
      • Intensive Subsistence Farming
      • Farmer grows a crop over a small plot of land using simple agricultural tools and more labour.
      • If the weather conditions and soil fertility remains good throughout the year, more than one crop can be grown in the same plot.
      • Crops grown – rice, wheat, maize, pulses and oilseeds.
      • Prevalent in – areas with thick population and monsoon regions like south, south east and east Asia.
      • Primitive Subsistence Farming
      • It includes two types: Shifting Cultivation and Nomadic Herding
        • Shifting Cultivation
        • In this type of farming, a plot of land is cleared by felling the trees and burning them.
        • The ashes are then mixed with the soil.
        • After the soil loses its fertility, the land is abandoned and the cultivator moves to a new plot.
        • Prevalent in – Amazon basin, Tropical Africa, parts of southeast Asia and Northeast India.
        • Crops grown – Maize, Corn, Potatoes, Cassava.
        • It is also known as ‘slash and burn’ agriculture.
        • The other names of shifting cultivation in different lands are :
        • Jhumming – Northeast India
        • Milpa – Mexico
        • Roca – Brazil
        • Landang – Malaysia
        • Nomadic Herding
        • In this type of farming, herdsmen move from place to place with their animals for fodder and water, along defined routes.
        • This type of movement arises in response to climatic constraints and terrain.
        • Animals reared – sheep, camel, yak, goats.
        • Prevalent in – Semi-arid and arid regions of Sahara desert, parts of Rajasthan, and Jammu-Kashmir.
    • Commercial Farming
    • In this type, crops are grown and animals are reared for commercial purposes.
    • Huge amount of capital is involved.
    • Machines are used to do most of the work.
    • Cultivated area is large.
    • Prevalent in – Areas with sparse population and large farms like temperate grasslands of North America, Europe and Asia.
    • The two types of commercial farming are Mixed Farming and Plantation.
      • Mixed Farming
      • In this, land is used for growing food and fodder and rearing livestock.
      • Prevalent in – Europe, eastern USA, Argentina, southeast Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
      • Plantations
      • In this, single type of crop is grown using large amount of labour and capital.
      • Output is processes in farm itself or nearby factories.
      • A good network of transportation is required.
      • Crops grown – Tea, Coffee, Sugarcane, Cashew, Banana, Cotton.
      • Prevalent in – Malaysia, Brazil, India, Sri Lanka.
  • Major Crops:
  • Rice:
  • Major food crop of the world.
  • Staple diet of tropical and sub-tropical regions.
  • Requires high temperature, high humidity and rainfall.
  • Grows best in alluvial and clayey soil.
  • Most produced by China, followed by India, Japan, Sri Lanka and Egypt.
  • Wheat:
  • Requires moderate temperature and rainfall during growing season and bright sunshine at the time of harvest.
  • Grows best in loamy soil.
  • Produced in USA, Canada, Argentina, Russia, Ukraine, Australia and India.
  • Millets:
  • Also known as ‘coarse grains’.
  • Requires low rainfall and high to moderate temperature and adequate rainfall.
  • Grows best in less fertile and sandy soil.
  • Produced by India, Niger, China and Nigeria.
  • In India jowar, bajra and ragi are grown.
  • Maize:
  • Requires moderate temperature, rainfall and lots of sunshine.
  • Grows best in well drained fertile soils.
  • Produced by North America, Brazil, China, Russia, Canada, India and Mexico.
  • Cotton:
  • Requires high temperature, light rainfall, two hundred and ten frost free days and bright sunshine.
  • Grows best in black and alluvial soils.
  • Produced by China, USA, India, Pakistan, Brazil and Egypt.
  • Jute:
  • Also known as ‘Golden Fibre’.
  • Requires high temperature, heavy rainfall and humid climate.
  • Grows best in alluvial soil.
  • Produced mostly by India and Bangladesh.
  • Coffee:
  • Requires warm and wet climate.
  • Grows best in well drained loamy soil,
  • Produced by Brazil, Columbia and India.
  • Tea:
  • Requires cool climate and well distribute rainfall throughout the year.
  • Grows best in well-drained loamy soil and gentle slopes.
  • Produced by Kenya, India, China, Sri Lanka.
  • Indian Farmer:
  • Mostly uses traditional equipment.
  • Irrigation is done through tube wells or nearby water sources.
  • All members of the family work together in the farm.
  • Takes credit from banks or local moneylenders to buy seeds and other equipment.
  • Uses organic manure and pesticides.
  • Sells produce in local market.
  • Lack of proper storage facility; force them to sell their produce at lower price.
  • USA Farmer:
  • Their farm size is much larger than ours.
  • Some of the major crops grown are corn, wheat, soya bean, etc.
  • Uses high-level technology in fields.
  • Uses chemical fertilisers and pesticides.
  • Uses machines instead of manual labourers.
  • Grains are stored in automated grain storage or despatched to market agencies.

Published by Priya Prakash

In the midst of winter, i found there was within me an invincible summer ~ Albert Camus

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