Farming systems in India

The major farming systems in India include Subsistence and commercial farming, Intensive and Extensive Farming, Plantation Farming and Mixed Farming.

Subsistence Farming

  • This refers to farming for own consumption. The entire production is for consumption and so there is not surplus to reach markets.
  • Practiced by majority of farming population in India.
  • This is a feature of small, marginal and fragmented land holdings.
  • The techniques of cultivation are primitive and simple. Almost no use of modern tools and techniques, chemical fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides.
  • Mostly cultivated crops are cereals, oil seeds, pulses, vegetables and sugarcane.

Commercial farming

  • Just the opposite to subsistence farming. Farming is done to sell in the market.
  • Involves use of modern tools and techniques of farming, irrigation, chemical fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides and High Yielding Varieties of seeds.
  • The major crops grown in India under commercial farming are Cotton, Jute, Sugarcane, and Groundnut.

Intensive and Extensive Farming

  • Extensive farming is done on large patches of land. The production is high due to large area but production per unit of land is low. This kind of farming is predominantly done in the temperate areas such as US and Canada. In India, it is almost absent except in some states such as Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.
  • Intensive Farming is known for high production per unit of land. Intensive farming is common in Thailand, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Indonesia as well as India.

Plantation Farming

  • Plantation farming refers to the farming in an estate where single cash crop is grown for sale. Examples are Tea, Coffee, Rubber, Banana, Spices.
  • Many of the plantation cros were introduced in India by British.

Mixed Farming

  • Refers to the raising of animals along with the crops. The farmers engaged in mixed farming are economically better.

The classification of various farming systems in India is based on nature and purpose of farming. It may overlap. For example. A farmer who grows wheat may keep some part of it for his own consumption (subsistence farming) and surplus part as selling to market (commercial farming). Similarly, Banana is a plantation as well as cash crop.

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