NCERT Textbook - Land Resources and Agriculture Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

Geography Class 12

Created by: Mehtab Ahmed

Humanities/Arts : NCERT Textbook - Land Resources and Agriculture Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


Unit III Unit III Unit III Unit III Unit III
Chapter 5
LAND RESOURCES
AND AGRICULTURE
You must have observed that the land around
you is put to different uses. Some land is
occupied by rivers, some may have trees and
on some parts roads and buildings have been
built. Different types of lands are suited to
different uses. Human beings thus, use land
as a resource for production as well as residence
and recreation. Thus, the building of your
school, roads on which you travel, parks in
which you play, fields in which crops are grown
and the pastures where animals graze represent
different uses to which land is put.
Land Use Categories Land Use Categories Land Use Categories Land Use Categories Land Use Categories
Land-use records are maintained by land
revenue department. The land use categories
add up to reporting area, which is somewhat
different from the geographical area. The
Survey of India is responsible for measuring
geographical area of administrative units in
India. Have you ever used a map prepared by
Survey of India? The difference between the two
concepts are that while the former changes
somewhat depending on the estimates of the
land revenue records, the latter does not change
and stays fixed as per Survey of India
measurements. You may be familiar with land
use categories as they are also included in your
Social Science textbook of Class X.
The land-use categories as maintained in
the Land Revenue Records are as follows :
(i) Forests : It is important to note that
area under actual forest cover is
different from area classified as forest.
The latter is the area which the
Government has identified and
demarcated for forest growth. The land
revenue records are consistent with
the latter definition. Thus, there may
be an increase in this category without
any increase in the actual forest cover.
(ii) Land put to Non-agricultural Uses :
Land under settlements (rural and
urban), infrastructure (roads, canals,
etc.), industries, shops, etc. are
included in this category. An expansion
in the secondary and tertiary activities
2015-16
Page 2


Unit III Unit III Unit III Unit III Unit III
Chapter 5
LAND RESOURCES
AND AGRICULTURE
You must have observed that the land around
you is put to different uses. Some land is
occupied by rivers, some may have trees and
on some parts roads and buildings have been
built. Different types of lands are suited to
different uses. Human beings thus, use land
as a resource for production as well as residence
and recreation. Thus, the building of your
school, roads on which you travel, parks in
which you play, fields in which crops are grown
and the pastures where animals graze represent
different uses to which land is put.
Land Use Categories Land Use Categories Land Use Categories Land Use Categories Land Use Categories
Land-use records are maintained by land
revenue department. The land use categories
add up to reporting area, which is somewhat
different from the geographical area. The
Survey of India is responsible for measuring
geographical area of administrative units in
India. Have you ever used a map prepared by
Survey of India? The difference between the two
concepts are that while the former changes
somewhat depending on the estimates of the
land revenue records, the latter does not change
and stays fixed as per Survey of India
measurements. You may be familiar with land
use categories as they are also included in your
Social Science textbook of Class X.
The land-use categories as maintained in
the Land Revenue Records are as follows :
(i) Forests : It is important to note that
area under actual forest cover is
different from area classified as forest.
The latter is the area which the
Government has identified and
demarcated for forest growth. The land
revenue records are consistent with
the latter definition. Thus, there may
be an increase in this category without
any increase in the actual forest cover.
(ii) Land put to Non-agricultural Uses :
Land under settlements (rural and
urban), infrastructure (roads, canals,
etc.), industries, shops, etc. are
included in this category. An expansion
in the secondary and tertiary activities
2015-16
would lead to an increase in this
category of land-use.
(iii) Barren and Wastelands : The land
which may be classified as a
wasteland such as barren hilly
terrains, desert lands, ravines, etc.
normally cannot be brought under
cultivation with the available
technology.
(iv) Area under Permanent Pastures and
Grazing Lands : Most of this type land
is owned by the village ‘Panchayat ’ or
the Government. Only a small
proportion of this land is privately
owned. The land owned by the village
panchayat comes under ‘Common
Property Resources’.
(v) Area under Miscellaneous Tree
Crops and Groves(Not included is
Net sown Area) : The land under
orchards and fruit trees are included
in this category. Much of this land is
privately owned.
(vi) Culturable Waste-Land : Any land
which is left fallow (uncultivated) for
more than five years is included in this
category. It can be brought under
cultivation after improving it through
reclamation practices.
(vii) Current Fallow : This is the land
which is left without cultivation for one
or less than one agricultural year.
Fallowing is a cultural practice adopted
for giving the land rest. The land
recoups the lost fertility through natural
processes.
(viii) Fallow other than Current Fallow :
This is also a cultivable land which is
left uncultivated for more than a year
but less than five years. If the land is
left uncultivated for more than five
years, it would be categorised as
culturable wasteland.
(ix) Net Area Sown  : The physical
extent of land on which crops are
sown and harvested is known as net
sown area.
Land-use Changes in India Land-use Changes in India Land-use Changes in India Land-use Changes in India Land-use Changes in India
Land-use in a region, to a large extent, is
influenced by the nature of economic
activities carried out in that region. However,
while economic activities change over time,
land, like many other natural resources, is
fixed in terms of its area. At this stage, one
needs to appreciate three types of changes
that an economy undergoes, which affect
land-use.
(i) The size of the economy (measured
in terms of value for all the goods and
services produced in the economy)
grows over time as a result of
increasing population, change in
income levels, available technology
and associated factors. As a result, the
pressure on land will increase with
time and marginal lands would come
under use.
(ii) Secondly, the composition of the
economy would undergo a change over
time. In other words, the secondary and
the tertiary sectors usually grow much
faster than the primary sector, specifically
the agricultural sector. This type of
change is common in developing
countries like India. This process would
result in a gradual shift of land from
agricultural uses to non-agricultural
uses. You would observe that such
changes are sharp around large urban
areas. The agricultural land is being used
for building purposes.
(iii) Thirdly, though the contribution of the
agricultural activities reduces over time,
the pressure on land for agricultural
activities does not decline. The reasons
for continued pressure on agricultural
land are:
(a) In developing countries, the
share of population dependent
on agriculture usually declines
much more slowly compared to
the decline in the sector’s share
in GDP.
(b) The number of people that the
agricultural sector has to feed is
increasing day by day.
Land  Resources and  Agriculture     41
2015-16
Page 3


Unit III Unit III Unit III Unit III Unit III
Chapter 5
LAND RESOURCES
AND AGRICULTURE
You must have observed that the land around
you is put to different uses. Some land is
occupied by rivers, some may have trees and
on some parts roads and buildings have been
built. Different types of lands are suited to
different uses. Human beings thus, use land
as a resource for production as well as residence
and recreation. Thus, the building of your
school, roads on which you travel, parks in
which you play, fields in which crops are grown
and the pastures where animals graze represent
different uses to which land is put.
Land Use Categories Land Use Categories Land Use Categories Land Use Categories Land Use Categories
Land-use records are maintained by land
revenue department. The land use categories
add up to reporting area, which is somewhat
different from the geographical area. The
Survey of India is responsible for measuring
geographical area of administrative units in
India. Have you ever used a map prepared by
Survey of India? The difference between the two
concepts are that while the former changes
somewhat depending on the estimates of the
land revenue records, the latter does not change
and stays fixed as per Survey of India
measurements. You may be familiar with land
use categories as they are also included in your
Social Science textbook of Class X.
The land-use categories as maintained in
the Land Revenue Records are as follows :
(i) Forests : It is important to note that
area under actual forest cover is
different from area classified as forest.
The latter is the area which the
Government has identified and
demarcated for forest growth. The land
revenue records are consistent with
the latter definition. Thus, there may
be an increase in this category without
any increase in the actual forest cover.
(ii) Land put to Non-agricultural Uses :
Land under settlements (rural and
urban), infrastructure (roads, canals,
etc.), industries, shops, etc. are
included in this category. An expansion
in the secondary and tertiary activities
2015-16
would lead to an increase in this
category of land-use.
(iii) Barren and Wastelands : The land
which may be classified as a
wasteland such as barren hilly
terrains, desert lands, ravines, etc.
normally cannot be brought under
cultivation with the available
technology.
(iv) Area under Permanent Pastures and
Grazing Lands : Most of this type land
is owned by the village ‘Panchayat ’ or
the Government. Only a small
proportion of this land is privately
owned. The land owned by the village
panchayat comes under ‘Common
Property Resources’.
(v) Area under Miscellaneous Tree
Crops and Groves(Not included is
Net sown Area) : The land under
orchards and fruit trees are included
in this category. Much of this land is
privately owned.
(vi) Culturable Waste-Land : Any land
which is left fallow (uncultivated) for
more than five years is included in this
category. It can be brought under
cultivation after improving it through
reclamation practices.
(vii) Current Fallow : This is the land
which is left without cultivation for one
or less than one agricultural year.
Fallowing is a cultural practice adopted
for giving the land rest. The land
recoups the lost fertility through natural
processes.
(viii) Fallow other than Current Fallow :
This is also a cultivable land which is
left uncultivated for more than a year
but less than five years. If the land is
left uncultivated for more than five
years, it would be categorised as
culturable wasteland.
(ix) Net Area Sown  : The physical
extent of land on which crops are
sown and harvested is known as net
sown area.
Land-use Changes in India Land-use Changes in India Land-use Changes in India Land-use Changes in India Land-use Changes in India
Land-use in a region, to a large extent, is
influenced by the nature of economic
activities carried out in that region. However,
while economic activities change over time,
land, like many other natural resources, is
fixed in terms of its area. At this stage, one
needs to appreciate three types of changes
that an economy undergoes, which affect
land-use.
(i) The size of the economy (measured
in terms of value for all the goods and
services produced in the economy)
grows over time as a result of
increasing population, change in
income levels, available technology
and associated factors. As a result, the
pressure on land will increase with
time and marginal lands would come
under use.
(ii) Secondly, the composition of the
economy would undergo a change over
time. In other words, the secondary and
the tertiary sectors usually grow much
faster than the primary sector, specifically
the agricultural sector. This type of
change is common in developing
countries like India. This process would
result in a gradual shift of land from
agricultural uses to non-agricultural
uses. You would observe that such
changes are sharp around large urban
areas. The agricultural land is being used
for building purposes.
(iii) Thirdly, though the contribution of the
agricultural activities reduces over time,
the pressure on land for agricultural
activities does not decline. The reasons
for continued pressure on agricultural
land are:
(a) In developing countries, the
share of population dependent
on agriculture usually declines
much more slowly compared to
the decline in the sector’s share
in GDP.
(b) The number of people that the
agricultural sector has to feed is
increasing day by day.
Land  Resources and  Agriculture     41
2015-16
42 India : People and Economy
Compare the change in shares of primary, secondary
and tertiary sectors in GDP between 1960-61 and 1999-
2000 with the changes of land-use between 1960-61
and 2008-09 using Appendix (vii) T ables 1 and 2.
India has undergone major changes within
the economy over the past four or five decades,
and this has influenced the land-use changes
in the country. These changes between 1960-
61 and 2008-09 have been shown in Fig. 5.1.
There are two points that you need to remember
before you derive some meaning from this
figure. Firstly, the percentages shown in the
figure have been derived with respect to the
reporting area. Secondly, since even the
reporting area has been relatively constant over
the years, a decline in one category usually
leads to an increase in some other category.
Four categories have undergone increases,
while four have registered declines. Share of
area under forest, area under non-agricultural
uses, current fallow lands and net area sown
have shown an increase. The following
observations can be made about these
increases:
(i) The rate of increase is the highest in case
of area under non-agricultural uses. This
is due to the changing structure of
Indian economy, which is increasingly
depending on the contribution from
industrial and services sectors and
expansion of related infrastructural
facilities. Also, an expansion of area
under both urban and rural settlements
has added to the increase. Thus, the area
under non-agricultural uses is
increasing at the expense of wastelands
and agricultural land.
(ii) The increase in the share under forest,
as explained before, can be accounted
for by increase in the demarcated area
under forest rather than an actual
increase in the forest cover in the country.
(iii) The increase in the current fallow cannot
be explained from information
pertaining to only two points. The trend
of current fallow fluctuates a great deal
over years, depending on the variability
of rainfall and cropping cycles.
(iv) The increase in net area sown is a recent
phenomenon due to use of culturable
waste land for agricultural pupose.
Before which it was registering a slow
decrease. There are indications that
most of the decline had occurred due to
the increases in area under non-
agricultural use. (Note : the expansion
of building activity on agricultural land
in your village and city).
Note : Categories (iv) and (v) of Section I have been clubbed together in the graph.
Fig. 5.1
2015-16
Page 4


Unit III Unit III Unit III Unit III Unit III
Chapter 5
LAND RESOURCES
AND AGRICULTURE
You must have observed that the land around
you is put to different uses. Some land is
occupied by rivers, some may have trees and
on some parts roads and buildings have been
built. Different types of lands are suited to
different uses. Human beings thus, use land
as a resource for production as well as residence
and recreation. Thus, the building of your
school, roads on which you travel, parks in
which you play, fields in which crops are grown
and the pastures where animals graze represent
different uses to which land is put.
Land Use Categories Land Use Categories Land Use Categories Land Use Categories Land Use Categories
Land-use records are maintained by land
revenue department. The land use categories
add up to reporting area, which is somewhat
different from the geographical area. The
Survey of India is responsible for measuring
geographical area of administrative units in
India. Have you ever used a map prepared by
Survey of India? The difference between the two
concepts are that while the former changes
somewhat depending on the estimates of the
land revenue records, the latter does not change
and stays fixed as per Survey of India
measurements. You may be familiar with land
use categories as they are also included in your
Social Science textbook of Class X.
The land-use categories as maintained in
the Land Revenue Records are as follows :
(i) Forests : It is important to note that
area under actual forest cover is
different from area classified as forest.
The latter is the area which the
Government has identified and
demarcated for forest growth. The land
revenue records are consistent with
the latter definition. Thus, there may
be an increase in this category without
any increase in the actual forest cover.
(ii) Land put to Non-agricultural Uses :
Land under settlements (rural and
urban), infrastructure (roads, canals,
etc.), industries, shops, etc. are
included in this category. An expansion
in the secondary and tertiary activities
2015-16
would lead to an increase in this
category of land-use.
(iii) Barren and Wastelands : The land
which may be classified as a
wasteland such as barren hilly
terrains, desert lands, ravines, etc.
normally cannot be brought under
cultivation with the available
technology.
(iv) Area under Permanent Pastures and
Grazing Lands : Most of this type land
is owned by the village ‘Panchayat ’ or
the Government. Only a small
proportion of this land is privately
owned. The land owned by the village
panchayat comes under ‘Common
Property Resources’.
(v) Area under Miscellaneous Tree
Crops and Groves(Not included is
Net sown Area) : The land under
orchards and fruit trees are included
in this category. Much of this land is
privately owned.
(vi) Culturable Waste-Land : Any land
which is left fallow (uncultivated) for
more than five years is included in this
category. It can be brought under
cultivation after improving it through
reclamation practices.
(vii) Current Fallow : This is the land
which is left without cultivation for one
or less than one agricultural year.
Fallowing is a cultural practice adopted
for giving the land rest. The land
recoups the lost fertility through natural
processes.
(viii) Fallow other than Current Fallow :
This is also a cultivable land which is
left uncultivated for more than a year
but less than five years. If the land is
left uncultivated for more than five
years, it would be categorised as
culturable wasteland.
(ix) Net Area Sown  : The physical
extent of land on which crops are
sown and harvested is known as net
sown area.
Land-use Changes in India Land-use Changes in India Land-use Changes in India Land-use Changes in India Land-use Changes in India
Land-use in a region, to a large extent, is
influenced by the nature of economic
activities carried out in that region. However,
while economic activities change over time,
land, like many other natural resources, is
fixed in terms of its area. At this stage, one
needs to appreciate three types of changes
that an economy undergoes, which affect
land-use.
(i) The size of the economy (measured
in terms of value for all the goods and
services produced in the economy)
grows over time as a result of
increasing population, change in
income levels, available technology
and associated factors. As a result, the
pressure on land will increase with
time and marginal lands would come
under use.
(ii) Secondly, the composition of the
economy would undergo a change over
time. In other words, the secondary and
the tertiary sectors usually grow much
faster than the primary sector, specifically
the agricultural sector. This type of
change is common in developing
countries like India. This process would
result in a gradual shift of land from
agricultural uses to non-agricultural
uses. You would observe that such
changes are sharp around large urban
areas. The agricultural land is being used
for building purposes.
(iii) Thirdly, though the contribution of the
agricultural activities reduces over time,
the pressure on land for agricultural
activities does not decline. The reasons
for continued pressure on agricultural
land are:
(a) In developing countries, the
share of population dependent
on agriculture usually declines
much more slowly compared to
the decline in the sector’s share
in GDP.
(b) The number of people that the
agricultural sector has to feed is
increasing day by day.
Land  Resources and  Agriculture     41
2015-16
42 India : People and Economy
Compare the change in shares of primary, secondary
and tertiary sectors in GDP between 1960-61 and 1999-
2000 with the changes of land-use between 1960-61
and 2008-09 using Appendix (vii) T ables 1 and 2.
India has undergone major changes within
the economy over the past four or five decades,
and this has influenced the land-use changes
in the country. These changes between 1960-
61 and 2008-09 have been shown in Fig. 5.1.
There are two points that you need to remember
before you derive some meaning from this
figure. Firstly, the percentages shown in the
figure have been derived with respect to the
reporting area. Secondly, since even the
reporting area has been relatively constant over
the years, a decline in one category usually
leads to an increase in some other category.
Four categories have undergone increases,
while four have registered declines. Share of
area under forest, area under non-agricultural
uses, current fallow lands and net area sown
have shown an increase. The following
observations can be made about these
increases:
(i) The rate of increase is the highest in case
of area under non-agricultural uses. This
is due to the changing structure of
Indian economy, which is increasingly
depending on the contribution from
industrial and services sectors and
expansion of related infrastructural
facilities. Also, an expansion of area
under both urban and rural settlements
has added to the increase. Thus, the area
under non-agricultural uses is
increasing at the expense of wastelands
and agricultural land.
(ii) The increase in the share under forest,
as explained before, can be accounted
for by increase in the demarcated area
under forest rather than an actual
increase in the forest cover in the country.
(iii) The increase in the current fallow cannot
be explained from information
pertaining to only two points. The trend
of current fallow fluctuates a great deal
over years, depending on the variability
of rainfall and cropping cycles.
(iv) The increase in net area sown is a recent
phenomenon due to use of culturable
waste land for agricultural pupose.
Before which it was registering a slow
decrease. There are indications that
most of the decline had occurred due to
the increases in area under non-
agricultural use. (Note : the expansion
of building activity on agricultural land
in your village and city).
Note : Categories (iv) and (v) of Section I have been clubbed together in the graph.
Fig. 5.1
2015-16
Land  Resources and  Agriculture     43
The four categories that have registered a
decline are barren and wasteland, culturable
wasteland, area under pastures and tree crops
and fallow lands.
The following explanations can be given
for the declining trends:
(i) As the pressure on land increased, both
from the agricultural and non-
agricultural sectors, the wastelands and
culturable wastelands have witnessed
decline over time.
(ii) The decline in land under pastures and
grazing lands can be explained by
pressure from agricultural land. Illegal
encroachment due to expansion of
cultivation on common pasture lands is
largely responsible for this decline.
What is the difference between actual increase and
rate of increase? Work out the actual increase and
rate of increases for all the land use categories between
1960-61 and 2008-09 from the data given in the Appendix
(vii) (Table 1). Explain the results.
Note for Teacher
For calculating actual increase, the difference of the
land-use categories should be worked out over the two
periods.
For deriving the rate of increase, simple growth rate i.e.
(difference of values between the two time points i.e.
value of terminal year minus base year / base year or
1960-61 value) should be used, e.g.
100
Net sown Area in 2008-09  Net sown Area in 1960-61
Net sown Area in 1960-61
-
´
Common Pr Common Pr Common Pr Common Pr Common Proper oper oper oper operty R ty R ty R ty R ty Resour esour esour esour esources ces ces ces ces
Land, according to its ownership can broadly
be classified under two broad heads – private
land and common property resources (CPRs).
While the former is owned by an individual or a
group of individuals, the latter is owned by the
state meant for the use of the community. CPRs
provide fodder for the livestock and fuel for the
households along with other minor forest
products like fruits, nuts, fibre, medicinal
plants, etc. In rural areas, such land is of
particular relevance for the livelihood of the
landless and marginal farmers and other
weaker sections since many of them depend on
income from their livestock due to the fact that
they have limited access to land. CPRs also are
important for women as most of the fodder and
fuel collection is done by them in rural areas.
They have to devote long hours in collecting fuel
and fodder from a degraded area of CPR.
CPRs can be defined as community’s natural
resource, where every member has the right of
access and usage with specified obligations,
without anybody having property rights over
them. Community forests, pasture lands, village
water bodies and other public spaces where a
group larger than a household or family unit
exercises rights of use and carries responsibility
of management are examples of CPRs.
Agricultural Land Use in India Agricultural Land Use in India Agricultural Land Use in India Agricultural Land Use in India Agricultural Land Use in India
Land resource is more crucial to the livelihood
of the people depending on agriculture:
(i) Agriculture is a purely land based
activity unlike secondary and tertiary
activities. In other words, contribution
of land in agricultural output is more
compared to its contribution in the
outputs in the other sectors. Thus, lack
of access to land is directly correlated
with incidence of poverty in rural areas.
(ii) Quality of land has a direct bearing on
the productivity of agriculture, which is
not true for other activities.
(iii) In rural areas, aside from its value as a
productive factor, land ownership has
a social value and serves as a security
for credit, natural hazards or life
contingencies, and also adds to the social
status.
An estimation of the total stock of
agricultural land resources (i.e. total cultivable
land) can be arrived at by adding up net sown
area, all fallow lands and culturable wasteland.
It may be observed from Table 5.1 that over the
years, there has been a marginal decline in the
available total stock of cultivable land as a
percentage to total reporting area. There has been
a greater decline of cultivated land, in spite of a
corresponding decline of cultivable wasteland.
2015-16
Page 5


Unit III Unit III Unit III Unit III Unit III
Chapter 5
LAND RESOURCES
AND AGRICULTURE
You must have observed that the land around
you is put to different uses. Some land is
occupied by rivers, some may have trees and
on some parts roads and buildings have been
built. Different types of lands are suited to
different uses. Human beings thus, use land
as a resource for production as well as residence
and recreation. Thus, the building of your
school, roads on which you travel, parks in
which you play, fields in which crops are grown
and the pastures where animals graze represent
different uses to which land is put.
Land Use Categories Land Use Categories Land Use Categories Land Use Categories Land Use Categories
Land-use records are maintained by land
revenue department. The land use categories
add up to reporting area, which is somewhat
different from the geographical area. The
Survey of India is responsible for measuring
geographical area of administrative units in
India. Have you ever used a map prepared by
Survey of India? The difference between the two
concepts are that while the former changes
somewhat depending on the estimates of the
land revenue records, the latter does not change
and stays fixed as per Survey of India
measurements. You may be familiar with land
use categories as they are also included in your
Social Science textbook of Class X.
The land-use categories as maintained in
the Land Revenue Records are as follows :
(i) Forests : It is important to note that
area under actual forest cover is
different from area classified as forest.
The latter is the area which the
Government has identified and
demarcated for forest growth. The land
revenue records are consistent with
the latter definition. Thus, there may
be an increase in this category without
any increase in the actual forest cover.
(ii) Land put to Non-agricultural Uses :
Land under settlements (rural and
urban), infrastructure (roads, canals,
etc.), industries, shops, etc. are
included in this category. An expansion
in the secondary and tertiary activities
2015-16
would lead to an increase in this
category of land-use.
(iii) Barren and Wastelands : The land
which may be classified as a
wasteland such as barren hilly
terrains, desert lands, ravines, etc.
normally cannot be brought under
cultivation with the available
technology.
(iv) Area under Permanent Pastures and
Grazing Lands : Most of this type land
is owned by the village ‘Panchayat ’ or
the Government. Only a small
proportion of this land is privately
owned. The land owned by the village
panchayat comes under ‘Common
Property Resources’.
(v) Area under Miscellaneous Tree
Crops and Groves(Not included is
Net sown Area) : The land under
orchards and fruit trees are included
in this category. Much of this land is
privately owned.
(vi) Culturable Waste-Land : Any land
which is left fallow (uncultivated) for
more than five years is included in this
category. It can be brought under
cultivation after improving it through
reclamation practices.
(vii) Current Fallow : This is the land
which is left without cultivation for one
or less than one agricultural year.
Fallowing is a cultural practice adopted
for giving the land rest. The land
recoups the lost fertility through natural
processes.
(viii) Fallow other than Current Fallow :
This is also a cultivable land which is
left uncultivated for more than a year
but less than five years. If the land is
left uncultivated for more than five
years, it would be categorised as
culturable wasteland.
(ix) Net Area Sown  : The physical
extent of land on which crops are
sown and harvested is known as net
sown area.
Land-use Changes in India Land-use Changes in India Land-use Changes in India Land-use Changes in India Land-use Changes in India
Land-use in a region, to a large extent, is
influenced by the nature of economic
activities carried out in that region. However,
while economic activities change over time,
land, like many other natural resources, is
fixed in terms of its area. At this stage, one
needs to appreciate three types of changes
that an economy undergoes, which affect
land-use.
(i) The size of the economy (measured
in terms of value for all the goods and
services produced in the economy)
grows over time as a result of
increasing population, change in
income levels, available technology
and associated factors. As a result, the
pressure on land will increase with
time and marginal lands would come
under use.
(ii) Secondly, the composition of the
economy would undergo a change over
time. In other words, the secondary and
the tertiary sectors usually grow much
faster than the primary sector, specifically
the agricultural sector. This type of
change is common in developing
countries like India. This process would
result in a gradual shift of land from
agricultural uses to non-agricultural
uses. You would observe that such
changes are sharp around large urban
areas. The agricultural land is being used
for building purposes.
(iii) Thirdly, though the contribution of the
agricultural activities reduces over time,
the pressure on land for agricultural
activities does not decline. The reasons
for continued pressure on agricultural
land are:
(a) In developing countries, the
share of population dependent
on agriculture usually declines
much more slowly compared to
the decline in the sector’s share
in GDP.
(b) The number of people that the
agricultural sector has to feed is
increasing day by day.
Land  Resources and  Agriculture     41
2015-16
42 India : People and Economy
Compare the change in shares of primary, secondary
and tertiary sectors in GDP between 1960-61 and 1999-
2000 with the changes of land-use between 1960-61
and 2008-09 using Appendix (vii) T ables 1 and 2.
India has undergone major changes within
the economy over the past four or five decades,
and this has influenced the land-use changes
in the country. These changes between 1960-
61 and 2008-09 have been shown in Fig. 5.1.
There are two points that you need to remember
before you derive some meaning from this
figure. Firstly, the percentages shown in the
figure have been derived with respect to the
reporting area. Secondly, since even the
reporting area has been relatively constant over
the years, a decline in one category usually
leads to an increase in some other category.
Four categories have undergone increases,
while four have registered declines. Share of
area under forest, area under non-agricultural
uses, current fallow lands and net area sown
have shown an increase. The following
observations can be made about these
increases:
(i) The rate of increase is the highest in case
of area under non-agricultural uses. This
is due to the changing structure of
Indian economy, which is increasingly
depending on the contribution from
industrial and services sectors and
expansion of related infrastructural
facilities. Also, an expansion of area
under both urban and rural settlements
has added to the increase. Thus, the area
under non-agricultural uses is
increasing at the expense of wastelands
and agricultural land.
(ii) The increase in the share under forest,
as explained before, can be accounted
for by increase in the demarcated area
under forest rather than an actual
increase in the forest cover in the country.
(iii) The increase in the current fallow cannot
be explained from information
pertaining to only two points. The trend
of current fallow fluctuates a great deal
over years, depending on the variability
of rainfall and cropping cycles.
(iv) The increase in net area sown is a recent
phenomenon due to use of culturable
waste land for agricultural pupose.
Before which it was registering a slow
decrease. There are indications that
most of the decline had occurred due to
the increases in area under non-
agricultural use. (Note : the expansion
of building activity on agricultural land
in your village and city).
Note : Categories (iv) and (v) of Section I have been clubbed together in the graph.
Fig. 5.1
2015-16
Land  Resources and  Agriculture     43
The four categories that have registered a
decline are barren and wasteland, culturable
wasteland, area under pastures and tree crops
and fallow lands.
The following explanations can be given
for the declining trends:
(i) As the pressure on land increased, both
from the agricultural and non-
agricultural sectors, the wastelands and
culturable wastelands have witnessed
decline over time.
(ii) The decline in land under pastures and
grazing lands can be explained by
pressure from agricultural land. Illegal
encroachment due to expansion of
cultivation on common pasture lands is
largely responsible for this decline.
What is the difference between actual increase and
rate of increase? Work out the actual increase and
rate of increases for all the land use categories between
1960-61 and 2008-09 from the data given in the Appendix
(vii) (Table 1). Explain the results.
Note for Teacher
For calculating actual increase, the difference of the
land-use categories should be worked out over the two
periods.
For deriving the rate of increase, simple growth rate i.e.
(difference of values between the two time points i.e.
value of terminal year minus base year / base year or
1960-61 value) should be used, e.g.
100
Net sown Area in 2008-09  Net sown Area in 1960-61
Net sown Area in 1960-61
-
´
Common Pr Common Pr Common Pr Common Pr Common Proper oper oper oper operty R ty R ty R ty R ty Resour esour esour esour esources ces ces ces ces
Land, according to its ownership can broadly
be classified under two broad heads – private
land and common property resources (CPRs).
While the former is owned by an individual or a
group of individuals, the latter is owned by the
state meant for the use of the community. CPRs
provide fodder for the livestock and fuel for the
households along with other minor forest
products like fruits, nuts, fibre, medicinal
plants, etc. In rural areas, such land is of
particular relevance for the livelihood of the
landless and marginal farmers and other
weaker sections since many of them depend on
income from their livestock due to the fact that
they have limited access to land. CPRs also are
important for women as most of the fodder and
fuel collection is done by them in rural areas.
They have to devote long hours in collecting fuel
and fodder from a degraded area of CPR.
CPRs can be defined as community’s natural
resource, where every member has the right of
access and usage with specified obligations,
without anybody having property rights over
them. Community forests, pasture lands, village
water bodies and other public spaces where a
group larger than a household or family unit
exercises rights of use and carries responsibility
of management are examples of CPRs.
Agricultural Land Use in India Agricultural Land Use in India Agricultural Land Use in India Agricultural Land Use in India Agricultural Land Use in India
Land resource is more crucial to the livelihood
of the people depending on agriculture:
(i) Agriculture is a purely land based
activity unlike secondary and tertiary
activities. In other words, contribution
of land in agricultural output is more
compared to its contribution in the
outputs in the other sectors. Thus, lack
of access to land is directly correlated
with incidence of poverty in rural areas.
(ii) Quality of land has a direct bearing on
the productivity of agriculture, which is
not true for other activities.
(iii) In rural areas, aside from its value as a
productive factor, land ownership has
a social value and serves as a security
for credit, natural hazards or life
contingencies, and also adds to the social
status.
An estimation of the total stock of
agricultural land resources (i.e. total cultivable
land) can be arrived at by adding up net sown
area, all fallow lands and culturable wasteland.
It may be observed from Table 5.1 that over the
years, there has been a marginal decline in the
available total stock of cultivable land as a
percentage to total reporting area. There has been
a greater decline of cultivated land, in spite of a
corresponding decline of cultivable wasteland.
2015-16
44 India : People and Economy
It is clear from the above discussion that
the scope for bringing in additional land under
net sown area in India is limited. There is, thus,
an urgent need to evolve and adopt land-saving
technologies. Such technologies can be classified
under two heads – those which raise the yield
of any particular crop per unit area of land and
those which increase the total output per unit
area of land from all crops grown over one
agricultural year by increasing land-use
intensity. The advantage of the latter kind of
technology is that along with increasing output
from limited land, it also increases the demand
for labour significantly. For a land scarce but
labour abundant country like India, a high
cropping intensity is desirable not only for fuller
utilisation of land resource, but also for
reducing unemployment in the rural economy.
The cropping intensity (CI) is calculated as
follows :
100
GCA
Cropping Intensity in percentage
NSA
= ´
Cropping Seasons in India
There are three distinct crop
seasons in the northern and
interior parts of country, namely
kharif, rabi and zaid.  The kharif
season largely coincides with
Southwest Monsoon under which
the cultivation of tropical crops
such as rice, cotton, jute, jowar,
bajra and tur is possible. The rabi
season begins with the onset of
winter in October-November and
ends in March-April.  The low
temperature conditions during
this season facilitate the cultivation of temperate
and subtropical crops such as wheat, gram and
mustard. Zaid is a short duration summer
cropping season beginning after harvesting of
rabi crops. The cultivation of watermelons,
cucumbers, vegetables and fodder crops during
this season is done on irrigated lands. However,
this type of distinction in the cropping season
does not exist in southern parts of the country.
Here, the temperature is high enough to grow
tropical crops during any period in the year
provided the soil moisture is available.
Therefore, in this region same crops can be
grown thrice in an agricultural year provided
there is sufficient soil moisture.
Types of Farming
On the basis of main source of moisture for
crops, the farming can be classified as irrigated
and rainfed (barani).  There is difference in the
nature of irrigated farming as well based on
objective of irrigation, i.e. protective or
productive. The objective of protective irrigation
Agricultural Land-use As a percentage of  As percentage of
Categories   Reporting Area total cultivated land
1960-61 2008-09 1960-61 2008-09
Culturable Waste Land 6.23 4.17 10.61 7.14
Fallow other than Current Fallow 3.5 3.37 5.96 5.75
Current Fallow 3.73 4.76 6.35 8.13
Net Area Sown 45.26 46.24 77.08 78.98
Total Cultivable Land 58.72 58.54 100.00 100.00
Table 5.1 : Composition of Total Cultivable Land
Cropping Season Major Crops Cultivated
Northern States Southern States
Kharif Rice, Cotton, Bajra, Rice, Maize, Ragi,
June-September Maize, Jowar, Tur Jowar, Groundnut
Rabi Wheat, Gram, Rapeseeds Rice, Maize, Ragi,
October – March and Mustard, Barley Groundnut, Jowar
Zaid Vegetables, Fruits, Rice, Vegetables,
    April–June Fodder Fodder
Table 5.2 : Cropping Seasons in India
2015-16
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