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Types of Farming

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Types of Farming - Lesson Summary

Shifting cultivation allows the soil to regain its fertility naturally but gives very poor yield to farmers and leads to large-scale destruction of forests. Crops like corn, rice and millets are grown in this type of farming.

Raw material from agriculture also supports a number of industries like cotton textiles, food processing and handicrafts.

Primitive subsistence farming:
  • Involves cultivating food crops in small fields essentially to sustain the farmer’s family.
  • Depends entirely on local soil and environment conditions and monsoons.
  • Involves hard manual labour.
  • Is slash-and-burn agriculture.
  • Allows the soil to regain its fertility naturally.
  • Gives very poor yield and leads to large-scale destruction of forests

Besides India, slash-and-burn or shifting cultivation is practised in many parts of the world and known by different names.

In India, the most popular name for such shifting cultivation is Jhumming, in many of our north-eastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland.

Another system of cultivation practised in India is called intensive subsistence farming. This system is practised in densely populated areas of Punjab, Haryana, Western Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and the coastal regions of Andhra Pradesh. The main purpose of intensive subsistence farming is to get maximum yield from the available land. Extensive irrigation methods and large quantities of chemical fertilisers are used in this system of farming.

Repeated division of land amongst successive generations of farmers decreases individual land holding, further encouraging farmers to use all available means to increase yield. Commercial farming is another system of cultivation.

This involves the cultivation of a crop in large quantities for the purpose of selling it in the market. This system uses high yielding seeds, chemical fertilisers and pesticides. Plantations of crops like tea in Assam and north Bengal, coffee in Karnataka, rubber in Kerala, and bamboo, sugarcane, cotton and banana, are also forms of commercial farming.

In these plantations, a single crop is cultivated over vast areas. The cultivation of a crop can be classified as commercial or subsistence farming, depending on the area where it is grown.


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