Various Types Crops and Farming Systems in India

Farming system represents the crops, cropping systems as well as other agriculture related enterprises such as animal husbandry, fisheries etc. for optimally utilization of the available resources and maximising the remuneration. It also takes into consideration the crop residues recycling in the farm.

Nature and Purpose of Farming

On the basis of nature and purpose of farming; there are several types of farming systems in India such as subsistence farming, commercial farming, intensive farming, extensive farming, plantation farming, mixed farming and so on.

Subsistence Farming

In subsistence farming, entire production is for only consumption. There is not surplus to sell in markets. Such type of farming is adopted by small and marginal farmers on fragmented land holdings. The cultivated crops and generally food crops; and the methods of farming are generally archaic.

Commercial farming

Commercial farming is opposite to subsistence farming. Its objective is to sell the produce in the market. It is done with modern tools and techniques, irrigation, chemical fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides and High Yielding Varieties of seeds. Cultivated crops include food crops such as food grains, oil seeds etc. as well as non-food crops such as Cotton, Jute etc.

Extensive farming

Extensive farming is done on large patches of land. The large swathes are able to output huge amount of produce but production per unit of land may be low. Such farming is done in those countries where large size of landholding is available e.g. United States, Canada etc. Extensive farming is almost absent in India except in some states such as Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

Intensive Farming

The focus of intensive farming is to produce maximum output per unit of land. It is common in India as well as South East Asian countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia etc.

Plantation Farming

Plantation Farming is the farming in an estate where single cash crop is grown for sale. Examples are Tea, Coffee, Rubber, Banana, Spices.

Mixed Farming

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

Types of Plants Grown

We can also divide the crops of India in four segments on the basis of crops as follows:

Food Grains

This includes Rice, Wheat, Maize, Coarse Cereals and Pulses

Cash Crops

This includes Cotton, Jute, Sugarcane, Tobacco and Oilseeds. Oil seeds include ground nut, Rapeseed & Mustard, Sun-flower, Soyabean etc.

Plantation Crops

This includes Tea, Coffee, Coconut, Rubber etc.


This includes Fruits and Vegetables.

Types of Seasons

Further, the crops of India can also be divided in three types on the basis of their seasons viz. Rabi, Kharif and Zaid.

Kharif Crops

The Kharif crop is the summer crop or monsoon crop; usually sown with the beginning of the first rains in July, during the south-west monsoon season. Major Kharif crops of India include Millets (Bajra and Jowar), Paddy (Rice), Maize, Groundnut, Red Chillies, Cotton, Soyabean, Sugarcane, Turmeric etc.

Rabi Crop

Rabi crop is the spring harvest or winter; sown in October last and harvested in March April every year. Major Rabi crops in India include Wheat, Barley, Mustard, Sesame, Peas etc.

Zaid Crops

Zaid is grown in some parts of country during March to June. Prominent examples are Muskmelon, Watermelon, Vegetables of cucurbitacae family such as bitter gourd, pumpkin, ridged gourd etc.

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