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AGRICULTURE

Agriculture

The word agriculture is derived from Latin word agricultūra, which s a combination of ager, "a field", and cultūra, "cultivation". Theerfore, agriculture means ‘cultivation of a field’. Therefore, it is a process of cultivating land or producing varieties of food. The science or art of cultivating soil, producing crops, and raising livestock is called agriculture.

Jhoom Agriculture

Jhum or Jhoom cultivation is a local name for slash and burn agriculture practiced the northeastern states of India.  This kind of agriculture is prevalent in Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland. In this kind of agriculture, a piece of land is cleared by setting fire or clear felling to use the area for growing food grains. When the land loses fertility a new area is chosen. Jhum cultivation is most practiced on the slopes of hills in thickly forested landscapes. The cultivators burn all the trees and grasses for clean and fresh soil. Mizoram has launched a policy to end Jhum cultivation in the state.

Crop Season

1. Rabi season

  1. Rabi crops are sown in winter from October to December and harvested in summer from April to June.
  2.  Wheat, barley, peas, gram and mustard are some of the important Rabi crops.
  3.   Northern and northwestern states such as Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttaranchal and Uttar Pradesh are important for the producers of Rabi crops.
  4. Success of Rabi crops depend on the availability of precipitation during winter months due to the western temperate cyclones.

2. Kharif season

  1. Kharif crops are grown in summer from June to July  and harvested in September-October.
  2.  rice (paddy), maize, jowar, bajra, tur (arhar), moong, urad, cotton, jute, groundnut and soyabean etc. are important crops grown during kharif season.
  3. Some of the most important kharif regions are Assam, West Bengal, coastal regions of Orissa, the Konkan coast, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
  4. It is sown on the onset of advancing monsoon in India. Hence,crops depend on the monsoon rainfall.

3.    Zaid season

  1. This season is in between the Rabi and the Kharif seasons.
  2. Farmers use the gap period between two main crop seasons as the third crop season.
  3.  Watermelon, muskmelon, cucumber, vegetables are some of the crops produced during zaid season.

Types of Farming

Commercial Farming

1) The production of crops for sale, crops intended for widespread distribution to wholesalers or retail outlets .Commercial agriculture does not include crops grown for household consumption.

2)  In commercial farming the farmer's intention is to produce goods for sale primarily for widespread consumption by others.

3) Farmer use of higher doses of modern inputs i.e high yielding variety (HYV) seeds, chemical fertilisers, insecticides and pesticides.

4) Farmer obtains higher productivity from land due to high doses of above inputs.

5) The degree of commercialisation of agriculture varies from one region to

another. For example, rice is a commercial crop in Haryana and Punjab, but in Orissa, it is a subsistence crop.

 

Subsistence Farming.

 Subsistence agriculture is self-sufficiency farming in which the farmers focus on growing enough food to feed their families. Following are the main features of subsitence farming:-

  1. In this type of farming farmers grow crops for self consumption. This type of farming is still practised in some parts of India.
  2. It is practised on small patches of land.
  3. Farmers use primitive tools like hoe, digging sticks, ploughs etc.
  4. Labour is required on small scale. Only family  labour is used for farming.
  5. This type of farming depends upon natural conditions such as rainfall, and suitable conditions for the crops.
  6. Generally, land productivity is low because the farmer does not use modern technique of agriculture.

Sericulture

  1. Sericulture, or silk farming, is the rearing of silkworms for the production of raw silk.
    1. There are several commercial species of silkworms, Bombyx mori is the most widely used and intensively studied.
    2. China and India are the two main producers of silk.
    3. Silk is obtained from cocoons of the silkworms fed on green leaves particularly mulberry.

Horticulture

  1. The word horticulture comes from the Latin hortus meaning garden, and cultus, meaning to cultivate.
  2.  Horticulture is the industry and science of plant cultivation. The production basically involves fruits, berries, nuts, vegetables, flowers, trees and shrubs etc.
  3.  Horticulturists work to improve crop yield, quality, nutritional value, and resistance to insects, diseases, and environmental stresses.
  4.  Horticulture usually refers to gardening on a smaller scale.
  5. India is the largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world.
  6.  India is a producer of tropical as well as temperate fruits.
  7. Mangoes of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, oranges of Nagpur and Cherrapunji (Meghalaya), bananas of Kerala, Mizoram, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, and walnuts of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh are in great demand the world over.

Green Revolution

 Indian government was interested to make India self sufficient in the production of food grains. Therefore, they adopted some measures to improve the agriculture. The introduction of HYV i.e. High Yielding Varieties of seeds in 1960s and the increased use of fertilisers and irrigation are known as the Green Revolution . Famine  has not occurred in India since the Green Revolution. This provided the increase in production needed to make India self-sufficient in food grains 

 



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