NCERT Textbook - Agriculture Class 8 Notes | EduRev

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Class 8 : NCERT Textbook - Agriculture Class 8 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


Agriculture
Gurpreet, Madho and Tina were walking through 
the village where they saw a farmer tilling land. The 
farmer told them that he was growing wheat and had 
just added manure to the soil to make it more fertile. 
He told the children that the wheat would fetch a 
good price in the mandi from where it would be taken 
to factories to make bread and biscuits from flour.
This transformation from a plant to a finished 
product involves three types of economic activities. 
These are primary, secondary and tertiary activities.
Primary activities include all those connected 
with extraction and production of natural resources. 
Agriculture, fishing and gathering are good examples. 
Secondary activities are concerned with the processing 
of these resources. Manufacturing of steel, baking of 
bread and weaving of cloth are examples of this activity. 
Tertiary activities provide support to the primary and 
secondary sectors through services. Transport, trade, 
banking, insurance and advertising are examples of 
tertiary activities.
Agriculture is a primary activity. It includes growing 
crops, fruits, vegetables, flowers and rearing of livestock. 
In the world, 50 per cent of persons are engaged in 
agricultural activity. Two-thirds of India’s population is 
still dependent on agriculture.
Favourable topography of soil and climate are vital 
for agricultural activity. The land on which the crops 
are grown is known as arable land (Fig. 4.1). In the map 
you can see that agricultural activity is concentrated in 
those regions of the world where suitable factors for the 
growing of crops exist.
Word Origin
The word 
agriculture is 
derived from Latin 
words ager or agri
meaning soil and 
culture meaning, 
cultivation or 
tilling of soil.
Page 2


Agriculture
Gurpreet, Madho and Tina were walking through 
the village where they saw a farmer tilling land. The 
farmer told them that he was growing wheat and had 
just added manure to the soil to make it more fertile. 
He told the children that the wheat would fetch a 
good price in the mandi from where it would be taken 
to factories to make bread and biscuits from flour.
This transformation from a plant to a finished 
product involves three types of economic activities. 
These are primary, secondary and tertiary activities.
Primary activities include all those connected 
with extraction and production of natural resources. 
Agriculture, fishing and gathering are good examples. 
Secondary activities are concerned with the processing 
of these resources. Manufacturing of steel, baking of 
bread and weaving of cloth are examples of this activity. 
Tertiary activities provide support to the primary and 
secondary sectors through services. Transport, trade, 
banking, insurance and advertising are examples of 
tertiary activities.
Agriculture is a primary activity. It includes growing 
crops, fruits, vegetables, flowers and rearing of livestock. 
In the world, 50 per cent of persons are engaged in 
agricultural activity. Two-thirds of India’s population is 
still dependent on agriculture.
Favourable topography of soil and climate are vital 
for agricultural activity. The land on which the crops 
are grown is known as arable land (Fig. 4.1). In the map 
you can see that agricultural activity is concentrated in 
those regions of the world where suitable factors for the 
growing of crops exist.
Word Origin
The word 
agriculture is 
derived from Latin 
words ager or agri
meaning soil and 
culture meaning, 
cultivation or 
tilling of soil.
Fig. 4.1: World Distribution of Arable Land
Do you know? 
Viticulture
Cultivation of grapes.
Horticulture
Growing vegetables, flowers and fruits for commercial use.
Sericulture
Commercial rearing of silk worms. It may supplement the 
income of the farmer.
Agriculture
The science and art of cultivation on the soil, raising 
crops and rearing livestock. It is also called farming.
FARM SYSTEM
Agriculture or farming can be looked at as a system. The 
important inputs are seeds, fertilisers, machinery and 
Pisciculture
Breeding of fish in specially constructed tanks and ponds.
41 AGRICULTURE
+ Culture
Agri
Seri
Pisci
Viti
Horti
Page 3


Agriculture
Gurpreet, Madho and Tina were walking through 
the village where they saw a farmer tilling land. The 
farmer told them that he was growing wheat and had 
just added manure to the soil to make it more fertile. 
He told the children that the wheat would fetch a 
good price in the mandi from where it would be taken 
to factories to make bread and biscuits from flour.
This transformation from a plant to a finished 
product involves three types of economic activities. 
These are primary, secondary and tertiary activities.
Primary activities include all those connected 
with extraction and production of natural resources. 
Agriculture, fishing and gathering are good examples. 
Secondary activities are concerned with the processing 
of these resources. Manufacturing of steel, baking of 
bread and weaving of cloth are examples of this activity. 
Tertiary activities provide support to the primary and 
secondary sectors through services. Transport, trade, 
banking, insurance and advertising are examples of 
tertiary activities.
Agriculture is a primary activity. It includes growing 
crops, fruits, vegetables, flowers and rearing of livestock. 
In the world, 50 per cent of persons are engaged in 
agricultural activity. Two-thirds of India’s population is 
still dependent on agriculture.
Favourable topography of soil and climate are vital 
for agricultural activity. The land on which the crops 
are grown is known as arable land (Fig. 4.1). In the map 
you can see that agricultural activity is concentrated in 
those regions of the world where suitable factors for the 
growing of crops exist.
Word Origin
The word 
agriculture is 
derived from Latin 
words ager or agri
meaning soil and 
culture meaning, 
cultivation or 
tilling of soil.
Fig. 4.1: World Distribution of Arable Land
Do you know? 
Viticulture
Cultivation of grapes.
Horticulture
Growing vegetables, flowers and fruits for commercial use.
Sericulture
Commercial rearing of silk worms. It may supplement the 
income of the farmer.
Agriculture
The science and art of cultivation on the soil, raising 
crops and rearing livestock. It is also called farming.
FARM SYSTEM
Agriculture or farming can be looked at as a system. The 
important inputs are seeds, fertilisers, machinery and 
Pisciculture
Breeding of fish in specially constructed tanks and ponds.
41 AGRICULTURE
+ Culture
Agri
Seri
Pisci
Viti
Horti
42 RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
labour. Some of the operations involved are ploughing, 
sowing, irrigation, weeding and harvesting. The outputs 
from the system include crops, wool, dairy and poultry 
products.
TYPES OF FARMING
Farming is practised in various ways across the world. 
Depending upon the geographical conditions, demand 
of produce, labour and level of technology, farming can 
be classified into two main types. These are subsistence
farming and commercial farming.
Subsistence Farming
This type of farming is practised to meet the needs of the 
farmer’s family. Traditionally, low levels of technology 
and household labour are used to produce on small 
output. Subsistence farming can be further classified 
as intensive subsistence and primitive subsistence 
farming.
In intensive subsistence agriculture the farmer 
cultivates a small plot of land using simple tools and 
more labour. Climate with large number of days with 
sunshine and fertile soils permit growing of more than 
one crop annually on the same plot. Rice is the main 
crop. Other crops include wheat, maize, pulses and 
oilseeds. Intensive subsistence agriculture is prevalent 
in the thickly populated areas of the monsoon regions 
of south, southeast and east Asia.
Processes Outputs
Fig 4.2: The farm system of an arable farm Fig 4.3: Physical and human farm inputs
Human 
Inputs
Crops
Interesting Fact
Organic Farming
In this type of 
farming,  organic 
manure and 
natural pesticides 
are used instead 
of chemicals. 
No genetic 
modification is 
done  to increase 
the yield of the 
crop.
Ploughing
Sowing
Spraying
Chemicals
Inputs
Machinery
Seeds
Sunshine
Temperature
Soil
Slope
Physical Inputs
Rainfall
Storage
Machinery
Labour
Chemicals
Page 4


Agriculture
Gurpreet, Madho and Tina were walking through 
the village where they saw a farmer tilling land. The 
farmer told them that he was growing wheat and had 
just added manure to the soil to make it more fertile. 
He told the children that the wheat would fetch a 
good price in the mandi from where it would be taken 
to factories to make bread and biscuits from flour.
This transformation from a plant to a finished 
product involves three types of economic activities. 
These are primary, secondary and tertiary activities.
Primary activities include all those connected 
with extraction and production of natural resources. 
Agriculture, fishing and gathering are good examples. 
Secondary activities are concerned with the processing 
of these resources. Manufacturing of steel, baking of 
bread and weaving of cloth are examples of this activity. 
Tertiary activities provide support to the primary and 
secondary sectors through services. Transport, trade, 
banking, insurance and advertising are examples of 
tertiary activities.
Agriculture is a primary activity. It includes growing 
crops, fruits, vegetables, flowers and rearing of livestock. 
In the world, 50 per cent of persons are engaged in 
agricultural activity. Two-thirds of India’s population is 
still dependent on agriculture.
Favourable topography of soil and climate are vital 
for agricultural activity. The land on which the crops 
are grown is known as arable land (Fig. 4.1). In the map 
you can see that agricultural activity is concentrated in 
those regions of the world where suitable factors for the 
growing of crops exist.
Word Origin
The word 
agriculture is 
derived from Latin 
words ager or agri
meaning soil and 
culture meaning, 
cultivation or 
tilling of soil.
Fig. 4.1: World Distribution of Arable Land
Do you know? 
Viticulture
Cultivation of grapes.
Horticulture
Growing vegetables, flowers and fruits for commercial use.
Sericulture
Commercial rearing of silk worms. It may supplement the 
income of the farmer.
Agriculture
The science and art of cultivation on the soil, raising 
crops and rearing livestock. It is also called farming.
FARM SYSTEM
Agriculture or farming can be looked at as a system. The 
important inputs are seeds, fertilisers, machinery and 
Pisciculture
Breeding of fish in specially constructed tanks and ponds.
41 AGRICULTURE
+ Culture
Agri
Seri
Pisci
Viti
Horti
42 RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
labour. Some of the operations involved are ploughing, 
sowing, irrigation, weeding and harvesting. The outputs 
from the system include crops, wool, dairy and poultry 
products.
TYPES OF FARMING
Farming is practised in various ways across the world. 
Depending upon the geographical conditions, demand 
of produce, labour and level of technology, farming can 
be classified into two main types. These are subsistence
farming and commercial farming.
Subsistence Farming
This type of farming is practised to meet the needs of the 
farmer’s family. Traditionally, low levels of technology 
and household labour are used to produce on small 
output. Subsistence farming can be further classified 
as intensive subsistence and primitive subsistence 
farming.
In intensive subsistence agriculture the farmer 
cultivates a small plot of land using simple tools and 
more labour. Climate with large number of days with 
sunshine and fertile soils permit growing of more than 
one crop annually on the same plot. Rice is the main 
crop. Other crops include wheat, maize, pulses and 
oilseeds. Intensive subsistence agriculture is prevalent 
in the thickly populated areas of the monsoon regions 
of south, southeast and east Asia.
Processes Outputs
Fig 4.2: The farm system of an arable farm Fig 4.3: Physical and human farm inputs
Human 
Inputs
Crops
Interesting Fact
Organic Farming
In this type of 
farming,  organic 
manure and 
natural pesticides 
are used instead 
of chemicals. 
No genetic 
modification is 
done  to increase 
the yield of the 
crop.
Ploughing
Sowing
Spraying
Chemicals
Inputs
Machinery
Seeds
Sunshine
Temperature
Soil
Slope
Physical Inputs
Rainfall
Storage
Machinery
Labour
Chemicals
43 AGRICULTURE
Primitive subsistence agriculture includes shifting 
cultivation and nomadic herding.
Shifting cultivation is practised in the thickly 
forested areas of Amazon basin, tropical Africa, parts of 
southeast Asia and Northeast India. These are the areas 
of heavy rainfall and quick regeneration of vegetation.
A plot of land is cleared by felling the trees and burning 
them. The ashes are then mixed with the soil and crops 
like maize, yam, potatoes and cassava are grown. After 
the soil loses its fertility, the land is abandoned and the 
cultivator moves to a new plot. Shifting cultivation is 
also known as ‘slash and burn’ agriculture.
Nomadic herding is practised in the semi-arid and 
arid regions of Sahara, Central Asia and some parts of 
India, like Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir. 
In this type of farming, herdsmen move from place 
to place with their animals for fodder and water, 
along defined routes. This type of movement 
arises in response to climatic constraints and 
terrain. Sheep, camel, yak and goats are most 
commonly reared. They provide milk, meat, 
wool, hides and other products to the herders 
and their families.
Commercial Farming
In commercial farming  crops are grown and animals 
are reared for sale in market. The area cultivated and 
the amount of capital used is large. Most of the 
work is done by machines. Commercial farming 
includes commercial grain farming, mixed 
farming and plantation agriculture (Fig 4.5).
In commercial grain farming crops are grown 
for commercial purpose. Wheat and maize are 
common commercially grown grains. Major areas 
where commercial grain farming is pracised are 
temperate grasslands of North America, Europe 
and Asia. These areas are sparsely populated 
with large farms spreading over hundreds of 
hectares. Severe winters restrict the growing season 
and only a single crop can be grown.
In mixed farming the land is used for growing 
food and fodder crops and rearing livestock.
Fig 4.4: Nomadic Herders with
their camels
Do you know? 
Shifting cultivation 
is known by 
different names in 
different parts of 
the world
Jhumming -
North-East India
Milpa -Mexico 
Roca - Brazil.
Ladang - Malaysia
Fig 4.5: Sugarcane plantation
Page 5


Agriculture
Gurpreet, Madho and Tina were walking through 
the village where they saw a farmer tilling land. The 
farmer told them that he was growing wheat and had 
just added manure to the soil to make it more fertile. 
He told the children that the wheat would fetch a 
good price in the mandi from where it would be taken 
to factories to make bread and biscuits from flour.
This transformation from a plant to a finished 
product involves three types of economic activities. 
These are primary, secondary and tertiary activities.
Primary activities include all those connected 
with extraction and production of natural resources. 
Agriculture, fishing and gathering are good examples. 
Secondary activities are concerned with the processing 
of these resources. Manufacturing of steel, baking of 
bread and weaving of cloth are examples of this activity. 
Tertiary activities provide support to the primary and 
secondary sectors through services. Transport, trade, 
banking, insurance and advertising are examples of 
tertiary activities.
Agriculture is a primary activity. It includes growing 
crops, fruits, vegetables, flowers and rearing of livestock. 
In the world, 50 per cent of persons are engaged in 
agricultural activity. Two-thirds of India’s population is 
still dependent on agriculture.
Favourable topography of soil and climate are vital 
for agricultural activity. The land on which the crops 
are grown is known as arable land (Fig. 4.1). In the map 
you can see that agricultural activity is concentrated in 
those regions of the world where suitable factors for the 
growing of crops exist.
Word Origin
The word 
agriculture is 
derived from Latin 
words ager or agri
meaning soil and 
culture meaning, 
cultivation or 
tilling of soil.
Fig. 4.1: World Distribution of Arable Land
Do you know? 
Viticulture
Cultivation of grapes.
Horticulture
Growing vegetables, flowers and fruits for commercial use.
Sericulture
Commercial rearing of silk worms. It may supplement the 
income of the farmer.
Agriculture
The science and art of cultivation on the soil, raising 
crops and rearing livestock. It is also called farming.
FARM SYSTEM
Agriculture or farming can be looked at as a system. The 
important inputs are seeds, fertilisers, machinery and 
Pisciculture
Breeding of fish in specially constructed tanks and ponds.
41 AGRICULTURE
+ Culture
Agri
Seri
Pisci
Viti
Horti
42 RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
labour. Some of the operations involved are ploughing, 
sowing, irrigation, weeding and harvesting. The outputs 
from the system include crops, wool, dairy and poultry 
products.
TYPES OF FARMING
Farming is practised in various ways across the world. 
Depending upon the geographical conditions, demand 
of produce, labour and level of technology, farming can 
be classified into two main types. These are subsistence
farming and commercial farming.
Subsistence Farming
This type of farming is practised to meet the needs of the 
farmer’s family. Traditionally, low levels of technology 
and household labour are used to produce on small 
output. Subsistence farming can be further classified 
as intensive subsistence and primitive subsistence 
farming.
In intensive subsistence agriculture the farmer 
cultivates a small plot of land using simple tools and 
more labour. Climate with large number of days with 
sunshine and fertile soils permit growing of more than 
one crop annually on the same plot. Rice is the main 
crop. Other crops include wheat, maize, pulses and 
oilseeds. Intensive subsistence agriculture is prevalent 
in the thickly populated areas of the monsoon regions 
of south, southeast and east Asia.
Processes Outputs
Fig 4.2: The farm system of an arable farm Fig 4.3: Physical and human farm inputs
Human 
Inputs
Crops
Interesting Fact
Organic Farming
In this type of 
farming,  organic 
manure and 
natural pesticides 
are used instead 
of chemicals. 
No genetic 
modification is 
done  to increase 
the yield of the 
crop.
Ploughing
Sowing
Spraying
Chemicals
Inputs
Machinery
Seeds
Sunshine
Temperature
Soil
Slope
Physical Inputs
Rainfall
Storage
Machinery
Labour
Chemicals
43 AGRICULTURE
Primitive subsistence agriculture includes shifting 
cultivation and nomadic herding.
Shifting cultivation is practised in the thickly 
forested areas of Amazon basin, tropical Africa, parts of 
southeast Asia and Northeast India. These are the areas 
of heavy rainfall and quick regeneration of vegetation.
A plot of land is cleared by felling the trees and burning 
them. The ashes are then mixed with the soil and crops 
like maize, yam, potatoes and cassava are grown. After 
the soil loses its fertility, the land is abandoned and the 
cultivator moves to a new plot. Shifting cultivation is 
also known as ‘slash and burn’ agriculture.
Nomadic herding is practised in the semi-arid and 
arid regions of Sahara, Central Asia and some parts of 
India, like Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir. 
In this type of farming, herdsmen move from place 
to place with their animals for fodder and water, 
along defined routes. This type of movement 
arises in response to climatic constraints and 
terrain. Sheep, camel, yak and goats are most 
commonly reared. They provide milk, meat, 
wool, hides and other products to the herders 
and their families.
Commercial Farming
In commercial farming  crops are grown and animals 
are reared for sale in market. The area cultivated and 
the amount of capital used is large. Most of the 
work is done by machines. Commercial farming 
includes commercial grain farming, mixed 
farming and plantation agriculture (Fig 4.5).
In commercial grain farming crops are grown 
for commercial purpose. Wheat and maize are 
common commercially grown grains. Major areas 
where commercial grain farming is pracised are 
temperate grasslands of North America, Europe 
and Asia. These areas are sparsely populated 
with large farms spreading over hundreds of 
hectares. Severe winters restrict the growing season 
and only a single crop can be grown.
In mixed farming the land is used for growing 
food and fodder crops and rearing livestock.
Fig 4.4: Nomadic Herders with
their camels
Do you know? 
Shifting cultivation 
is known by 
different names in 
different parts of 
the world
Jhumming -
North-East India
Milpa -Mexico 
Roca - Brazil.
Ladang - Malaysia
Fig 4.5: Sugarcane plantation
44 RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
It is practised in Europe, eastern USA, Argentina, 
southeast Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
Plantations are a type of commercial farming 
where single crop of tea, coffee, sugarcane, cashew,
rubber, banana or cotton are grown. Large amount 
of labour and capital are required. The produce may 
be processed on the farm itself or in nearby factories.
The development of a transport network is thus 
essential for such farming.
Major plantations are found in the tropical 
regions of the world. Rubber in Malaysia, coffee 
in Brazil, tea in India and Sri Lanka are some 
examples.
Major Crops
A large variety of crops are grown to meet the 
requirement of the growing population. Crops also 
supply raw materials for agro based industries. 
Major food crops are wheat, rice, maize and 
millets. Jute and cotton are fibre crops. Important 
beverage crops are tea and coffee.
Rice: Rice is the major food crop of the world. It 
is the staple diet of the tropical and sub-tropical 
regions. Rice needs high temperature, high 
humidity and rainfall. It grows best in alluvial 
clayey soil, which can retain water. China leads in 
the production of rice followed by India, Japan, Sri 
Lanka and Egypt. In favourable climatic conditions 
as in West Bengal and Bangladesh two to three 
crops a year are grown.
Wheat: Wheat requires moderate temperature and 
rainfall during growing season and bright sunshine 
at the time of harvest. It thrives best in well drained 
loamy soil. Wheat is grown extensively in USA, 
Canada, Argentina, Russia, Ukraine, Australia 
and India. In India it is grown in winter.
Millets: They are also known as coarse grains and 
can be grown on less fertile and sandy soils. It is 
a hardy crop that needs low rainfall and high to 
Fig 4.7: Rice Cultivation
Fig 4.8: Wheat Harvesting
Fig 4.6 : Banana Plantation
Fig 4.9: Bajra Cultivation
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