Q.1. Define agriculture. Why have cultivation methods changed significantly over years?
- Agriculture is the art and science of cultivating the soil and raising crops and animal stock.
- It fulfils man’s primary needs of food and clothing.
- It is the oldest, settled primary activity of man. It also produces raw materials for industries and products for export.
- Over the years, cultivation methods have changed significantly depending upon the characteristics of the physical environment, technological know-how and socio-cultural practices.
- With the progress of time, man has improved and modernised the methods of cultivation.
- Depending upon the climate, environment, needs of the people and the agricultural tools and equipments they possess, different cultivation methods prevail in different parts of India and the world.
- They range from subsistence to commercial types.
- They are as rudimentary as shifting cultivation to as sophisticated as plantations and horticulture.
Q.2. What is plantation farming? What are its main characteristics? Name some plantation crops.
- Plantation farming is a type of commercial agriculture in which a single crop is grown on a large scale and processed for the purpose of sale.
- This type of farming is mainly prevalent in the tropical and sub-tropical areas. In India, plantation farming was introduced by the British.
- The main characteristics of Plantation farming are as follows:
(i) A single crop is grown on a large area covering large tracts of land.
(ii) Capital intensive inputs are used.
(iii) Use of managerial staff and technical knowledge.
(iv) Cheap, local and migrant labourers are employed.
(v) Require a well-developed transport network.
(vi) Produces special market-oriented products.
In India, tea, coffee, rubber, sugarcane, banana, etc., are the main plantation crops.
Q.3. What are millets? Why are millets very important food crops in India?
Write a short note on the important millets grown in India.
- Jowar, bajra and ragi are the important millets grown in India.
- They can grow in harsh climatic conditions with low rainfall and poor soils.
- Due to greater roughage content among the nutrients present, they are called coarse grains.
- They are important food crops after rice and wheat.
- Despite being coarse grains, they have very high nutritional value and are known as the poor man’s cereal.
- Jowar is the third most important food crop of India with respect to area and production.
- It is a rain-fed Kharif crop, mostly grown in the moist areas which hardly need irrigation.
- Maharashtra is the largest producer of jowar, followed by Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
- Bajra grows well on sandy soils and shallow black soil. Rajasthan is the largest producer, followed by Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Haryana.
- Ragi is very rich in iron, calcium and other micro-nutrients and roughage. It grows in dry regions in areas of red, black, sandy, loamy and shallow black soil. Karnataka is the largest producer, followed by Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Jharkhand.
Q.4. Why are some pulses known as leguminous crops? Why are they grown in rotation with other crops? Name the major pulses grown in India and the states leading in their production.
- Pulses are leguminous crops. In these plants, the seeds are found inside pods, and the root nodules have the capacity of nitrogen fixation in the soil.
- As pulses are leguminous crops, and all of these except tur or arhar help in restoring soil fertility by fixing and using nitrogen from the air in the soil.
- Therefore, pulses are grown in rotation with other crops. Urad, moong, masur, peas, gram, and tur (arhar) are the major pulses grown in India. Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Karnataka are the major pulse-producing states of India.
Q.5. Define sericulture and horticulture. What is India’s position in production of horticulture crops?
- Silk farming, i.e. rearing of silkworms for the production of silk fibre, is known as sericulture.Sericulture
- Mulberry trees are planted and silkworms are fed on their green leaves. Silk fibre is obtained from the cocoons of the silkworms.
- Horticulture is a branch of agriculture concerned with the cultivation of garden plants – generally fruits, vegetables, flowers and ornamental plants which are used for landscaping.Commercial Horticulture
- India is the largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world. India is a producer of tropical as well as temperate fruits.
- Tropical fruits like mangoes, oranges, bananas, litchi, guava, pineapples, grapes and temperate fruits like apples, pears, apricots, grow in various parts of the country and are in great demand all over the world.
- About 13 percent of the world’s vegetables are produced by India. India is an important producer of pea, cauliflower, onion, cabbage, tomato, brinjal and potato.