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Types of Farming in India

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Farming is considered an integral part of the economy and employs nearly 60-65% of the total population. Farming activities along with new and various types of innovation and use of technology along with tasked labor force have helped in expanding farming.

Farming includes crops, fruits, vegetables, etc depending on various factors like seasonal, geographical, soil type, and demand same in the economy.

Factors Affecting Farming

Farming activities in India depend on the following factors:

  • Climatic conditions
  • Nature and texture of the soil
  • Condition of soil
  • Irrigational facilities 

Characteristics of Indian Agriculture

Agriculture is very important in India. Some of its important characteristics are:

  1. Subsistent in character mostly
  2. Pressure from heavy population
  3. Predominantly grows food grains
  4. Crops are of many kinds
  5. The small size of the holdings 
  6. Rainfed or irrigation-fed agricultural field

Different types of Farming in India

India at present is 2nd highest crop output in the world and different types of farming systems are followed in India. Due to different climates, and geographical locations, certain parts experience different climates and thus affect each region’s agricultural productivity. Let’s discuss each type in brief:

Shifting Cultivation

In shifting cultivation, a piece of land is cleared by cutting trees and burning the trunks and branches. After clearance of the land, crops are grown for two or three years and the land is abandoned when there is a loss of fertility. Then the farmers move to new areas and the process keeps repeating. This type of farming is mostly practiced in North East Region.

Subsistence Agriculture

In subsistence farming, the farmer and his family produce crops for themselves only or for the local market. This type of farming is mostly characterized by small lands, which are scattered and primitive tools are used for the same. Farmers are mostly small-scale farmers and so are not able to afford fertilizers and high yielding variety of seeds in their own fields, which could increase their productivity. Different names for this farming method are

  • Jhumming in Northeastern states
  • Bewar or Dahiya in Madhya Pradesh
  • Podu or penda in Andhra Pradesh
  • Pama Dabi or Koman in Orissa
  • Kumari in Western Ghats
  • Intensive Farming

This type of farming aims at the maximum possible production in limited farms with as much effort which is possible farmers are capable of raising more than one crop a year and huge capital and human labor can be used on every hectare of land. It is practiced on those areas which are densely populated.

Primitive subsistence farming


Extensive Farming

Extensive farming is done on large farms, which is also known as mechanical farming due to the extensive use of machines. These farms raise one crop a year and employ labor and capital per hectare of land is comparatively lesser than intensive farming.

Plantation Agriculture

In the case of plantation agriculture, tree farming is done tree or bush farming is done in huge numbers, and in this type of farming, capital is centered and needed for good management, technical knowledge, fertilizers, machinery, transport facilities, and so on.

It is mostly distinguished from other farming as a particular crop like rubber, tea, coconut, coffee, etc is sownn and the yield which is generated is obtained continuously over the years. The marketing ability of the crop is important to focus on plantation agriculture. The crops grown have a life cycle of more than two years. Important states which grow plantation crops are Assam, Kerala, Karnataka, and Maharashtra.

Plantation farming


Commercial Agriculture

Commercial agriculture is practiced to raise crops on a large scale with a view to exportation to other countries and to increase the foreign reserve of the country. Commerical farming is done in areas where the population is sparsely populated. It is mainly practiced in the states of Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, and Maharashtra. Some examples of crops are wheat, cotton, sugarcane, etc.

Commericial farming


Dry Land Farming

Dry-land farming refers to farming where crops are grown without irrigation in areas that receive rainfall annually of 750 mm-500mm or less. In low rainfall areas, it is practiced. The moisture in the soil is maintained by raising the special type of crops like gram,jowar, and bajra, which require less rainfall. It is practiced mostly in western, northwestern, and central India.

Wet Land Farming

It depends mainly upon rainfall and it is practiced in areas of high rainfall or with well irrigation facilities. The crops grown mostly are rice, jute, and sugarcane. It is prevalent in slopes of western ghats and also north and northeast.

Wetland farming


Terrace Agriculture

It is practiced on hill and mountain slopes, which are cut to form terraces and the land is used in the same way as in the case of permanent agriculture. Due to the unavailability of flat land, terraces are made to provide a small patches of level land. Soil erosion can be checked effectively due to terrace formation on hill slopes.

Terrace farming


Mixed Farming

Multiple crops are raised on a single plot of land and are popular in India it is found to be advantageous by farmers because it enables them to plant multiple crops, which is important for a populated country like India.

Types of Farmers in India

Types of Farmers Uses
Marginal Farmers Farmers who have less than 1 hectare of land are called marginal farmers.
Small Farmers Farmers who have 1 or 2 hectares of land are called small farmers.
Semi-Medium Farmers Farmers who have 2 to 4 hectares of land are known as medium farmers.
Medium Farmers Farmers who have 4 to 10 hectares of land are called Medium Farmers
Large Farmers Farmers who have 10 hectares of land or above are known as large farmers.
Farmers in India


Importance of Farming in Modern Society

  1. Source of Income in Rural Areas
  2. Farming provides a source of employment or contributes to revenue in society by generating employment.
  3. Farming improves Environmental condition
  4. It provides environmental advantages like creating a balance of life which is needed for the environment to recognize and maintain the vital balance of life. Healthy biodiversity is important for the survival of specie. It additionally improves soil health, lower erosuib, healthier pollinators, and efficient water conservation.

Organic farming

It provides a way for reliable food sources. Through the processes of crop rotation, and soil filling, organic farmers try to maintain the fertility of the soil. They enable groundwater to preserve greater purity and cleanliness by preventing of use of pesticides. Crop biodiversity preserves more natural areas around farms and develops floral wildlife habitats.

Challenges to Indian Agriculture

Stagnation in Production of Major Crops: Staple food crops like rice and wheat have been stagnating for some time and its a worry for agricultural scientists. planners and policymakers.

High cost of Farming Inputs

Fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides, HYV seeds, etc are expensive and for small and medium-holding farmers it’s a disadvantage.

Soil Exhaustion

The green revolution has certain negative consequences also like the exhaustion of soil fertility and loss of nutrients.

Ground Water Depletion

Most of the irrigation in the dry areas of Haryana, Punjab, and western Uttar Pradesh was carried out with excessive use of groundwater.

Global Climatic change

Due to climate change, the temperature is increasing, leading to an increase in sea level, more intense cyclones, etc. which would adversely affect the production of crops.

Impact of Globalization

The reduction of farmers’ income and the threat to the viability of cultivation in India have led to a rise in input costs and falling output prices.

FAQs on Types of Farming in India

Question 1: Which are the states in India famous for commercial farming?


  • West Bengal
  • Uttar Pradesh
  • Punjab
  • Gujarat
  • Haryana
  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Assam 
  • Andhra Pradesh
  • Karnataka
  • Chhattisgarh

Question 2: What is organic farming in India?


This is a system of management and agricuture that combine biodiversity and environmental practices that preserve natural resources and has good standard of animal welfare.

Question 3: Which farming is most profitable in India?


Agricultural farm business is most profitable in India.

Question 4: How many types of farming in India?


There are 9 different types of farming in India.

Question 5: Where is terrace farming practiced in India?


It is practicedin Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Meghalaya and plains of Uttar Pradesh.

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Last Updated : 24 Feb, 2023
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