Explain the various cropping patterns with reference to rice cultivation in India.

Cropping pattern

It refers to the crop sequences and spatial arrangement techniques in an area at a particular point in time. It is usually measured over a period of years. It is a dynamic concept as the pattern changes depending on the place, circumstances, and many other factors.

Types

  • The Monocropping system allows one crop on agricultural fields at a time (one year). It is responsible for soil fertility degradation.
  • In Mixed or Multiple cropping systems, multiple crops are grown in the agricultural field at a time period of one year. It is considered one of the best cropping patterns.
  • In the system of intercropping, more than one crop is grown simultaneously on the same agricultural land in one calendar year. It helps to maintain soil fertility. There are different types of intercropping arrangement.

Rice cultivation

Cultivation of rice is mainly practiced in the states of West Bengal, Chattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Assam, Odisha, and Tamil Nadu. The Ganga plain and the eastern coastal region of India have suitable land and weather condition for rice cultivation i.e. average temperature of 25 deg, an average rainfall of 200 cm and deep clayey and loamy soil.

The dominance of the Rice-Wheat pattern

The Rice-Wheat cropping system is the most widely adopted cropping system in India. It is especially dominant in the states of northern India, adjacent to Indo-Gangetic plains like Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh. Dominance is affecting the environment and the socio-economic balance of the area.

Measures

Though multiple cropping has several benefits as well as some drawbacks but a particular area should never go for any particular cropping dominance. Alternate crops like Summer Moong, Sunflower, and Maize could be cultivated as the legume crops have the capability to increase soil nutrition. Considering the impact on the food security of the country, immediate implementation of crop rotation should not be adopted. So a gradual transition is going to be the best option which will also ensure a continuous income of the farmers.

Question for UPSC Mains:
Explain the various cropping patterns with reference to rice cultivation in India.

Published: October 27, 2015 | Modified:August 29, 2020

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