Types of Farming System in India - UPSC

Farming is the cultivation of plants, animals, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, biofuel, medicinals, and other product used to sustain and enhance human life. Farming is an age-old economic activity in our country. Farming varies from subsistence to commercial type. Methods of farming based on the nature of land, soil, agro-climate, water availability or irrigation facilities, technological know-how and socio-cultural practices.

 At present, in different parts of India, the following farming systems are practiced.

1. Primitive Subsistence Farming : 

It is mostly perform at equator by tribal people. This type of farming is still practised in small patches of Indian land with the help of primitive tools like hoe, dao, and digging sticks and family / community labour. The entire crop is kept for their family consumption. Farmers can avail either dryland farming or wetland farming depending on monsoon, natural fertility of the soil and suitability of other environmental conditions to the crops grown. 

Features of Primitive Subsistence Farming :

* It is a 'slash and burn' agriculture.
* The whole family depend on the farm.
* They used mostly old technological tools.
* The farms are small patches of land.
* Crop yield is low.
* No commercialisation of the crops.

2. Shifting Agriculture :

In this farming system, farmers cleared a small forest land for growing crops. These are mostly practice by tribal farmers. After the land is cleared, Crops are grown for 2 to 3 years as the soil fertility decreases. Then, the farmers migrate to new land and the process is repeated. Generally, the crops grown in this type of farming is dry paddy, maize, millets and vegetables.

Shifting Cultivation known a different regional names -
Jhum in Northeastern
Podu in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha
Ponam in Kerala
Beware Masha penda and Bera in different parts of Madhya Pradesh.
Dahiya in Chhattisgarh
Walra in Rajasthan
Murli in Maharashtra

Features of Shifting Agriculture :

* They selected slope for cultivation (no water logging problem)
* Farmers selected mostly tuber crops.
* The farmers does not use fertilizers and other modern inputs.
* This type of farming is less protective.
* Shifting of farm land after use of 2 to 3 years due to decrease soil fertility.

3. Plantation Farming :

This type of farming cultivate closer the equator / tropical region. It require high temperature and high rainfall. Plantation farming is a tree or bush farming which has been introduced in the colonial time in the 19th century. The selected crops are tea, rubber, spice crops, coconut, tobacco, cocoa, coffee, lime, oranges, apples etc. Plantation farming is very useful for commercial purposes. These crops are more profitable.

Features of Plantation Crops :

* It's grow in remotest part of the world but connected with international market. the
* Cheaper labour availability.
* Value addition product.
* Scientifically manage.
* It use - specialized machine, pesticides, insecticides.
* Supply of these product depends on the demand of the global market.
* Restocking and Replanting at the end of productive life of the plant.
* Plantation crops - price control by international market.
* Product of colonization, introduction of exotic species which deteriorate the soil and ecology very fast.
* Most of the plantation crop grown in laterite soil.

4. Intensive Farming :

It is a cultivation practice where intensive use of land to obtain high yield per unit area. Here, farmers applied more fertilizers, pest controls and availability of irrigation facilities. They also use modern technology for increasing crop yield. These factors led intensive farming.  

Features of Intensive Farming :

* Intensive use of land.
* Use of high yield variety (HYV) seeds.
* Use of high fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides.
* Availability of better irrigation facilities.
* Change in agricultural farm from subsistence farming to commercial farming.
* India become exporter of surplus.
* PDS to all poor people (reduce the impact of poverty) food security. This would be satisfied Article-47 to raise the level of nutrients.

5. Dry-land Farming :

Majority of cultivation area in India is dry-land. This type of farming is cultivated where is lack of water. Farmers mostly selected water extensive crops. Annual rainfall is low and partial irrigation available in dry-land farming. 

Features of Dry-land Farming :

* 2/3 rd of India's cultivable area is dry-land.
* 60% of Indian population live in dry-land region.
* This region of Important crops like oilseeds, pulses, cotton, groundnut, cereals.
* To reduce the regional disparity in the country.
* To reduce migration and the pressure on cities are becoming lesser.
* To feed the ever-growing population of the country, its necessary to bring more land into cultivation. Dry-lands are the only partial areas to be topped.

6. Mixed Farming :

Mixed Farming is growing crops along with livestock. They can be benefiting to each-others. This can be done at the region of high rainfall and good irrigation facilities.

Features of Mixed Farming :

* It can empower farmers.
* It may increase productivity of the agriculture.
* Mixed Farming improve soil fertility.
* Symbiotic to eachother.
* It's labour intensive farming.
* This practice is followed in areas having high rainfall and good irrigation facilities.

7. Crop Rotation : 

To systematic growing  number of crops in rotating manner to boost fertility of the soil.
The rotation of crops take one year or more than one year.

Features of Crop Rotation :

* Leguminous crop is grown after the other crops.
* Legumes crops for nitrogen fixation of the soil.
* Highly fertilizers intensive crops sugarcane or pulses are rotated with cereal crops.
* Selection of crops depending on the soil conditions and water availability.
* It will increase productivity of crops.

8. Terrace Farming :

This cultivation done at the hill and mountain are cut to form terraces. The flat land availability is limited on terraces are made small patch of level land. Soil is eroding due to physical features of the land (slopes) but terrace Farming reduce soil erosion.

Features of Terrace Farming :

* Made terraces on hill slopes.
* Mostly grown plantation crops.
* Terrace Farming locating at Northeastern regions.
* Terrace Farming can prevent soil erosion.

9. Nomadic Herding :

People dependency on livestock and livestock dependency on on natural pasture. It is most primitive form practice by tribals living in extreme climatic regions. 

Features of Nomadic Herding :

* Mostly depending on animals rather than plants.
* Mostly perform by tribal people.
* This is done in extreme climatic regions.

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