Revision Notes Geography Chapter 4 Agriculture Class 10

Important Terms to Remember

  • Agriculture : Agriculture is the cultivation and breeding of animals, plants and fungi for food, fiber, biofuel, medicinal plants and other products used to sustain and enhance life.
  • Primitive Subsistence Farming : Farming on small patch of land with the help of primitive tools such as hoe, dao and digging sticks and family or community labour.
  • Intensive Subsistence Farming : Increase in the agricultural production by using scientific methods and better agricultural inputs.
  • Plantation Farming : Plantation agriculture is a form of commercial farming where crops are grown for profit.
  • Commercial Farming : Farming in which the farmer grows the crops with the sole aim of selling the produce for commercial purpose.
  • Sericulture : Sericulture, or silk farming, is the rearing of silkworms for the production of raw silk.
  • Horticulture : Horticulture is the science and art of growing and caring for plants, especially flowers, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Jhumming : Jhum cultivation, also known as the slash and burn agriculture, is the process of growing crops by first clearing the land of trees and vegetation and burning them thereafter.
  • Rabi : The rabi crops are sown around mid-November, after the monsoon rains are over, and harvesting begins in April/May. The major rabi crop in India is wheat, followed by barley, mustard, sesame and peas.
  • Kharif : Crops are grown with the onset of monsoon and harvested at the beginning of winters.
  • Zaid : A short cropping season in between the Rabi and the Kharif seasons used for growing vegetables and fodder crops.
  • Millets : Millets are a group of highly variable small-seeded grasses, widely grown around the world as cereal crops or grains for fodder and human food. Jowar, bajra and ragi are called millets. These are known as coarse grains.
  • Crop Rotation : Crop rotation is the practice of growing a series of dissimilar or different types of crops in the same area in sequenced seasons.
  • Irrigation : Irrigation means the action of applying water to land to supply crops and other plants with necessary water. Irrigation in India includes a network of major and minor canals from Indian rivers, groundwater well based systems, tanks, and other rainwater harvesting projects for agricultural activities.
  • ICAR : The Indian Council of Agricultural Research is an autonomous body responsible for co-ordinating agricultural education and research in India.
  • Organic Farming : Organic farming is a production system which avoids or largely excludes the use of synthetically compounded fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators, genetically modified organisms and livestock food additives.
  • Minimum Support Price (MSP) : A minimum guaranteed price of a crop, fixed and announced by the government before the start of a cropping season.
  • Kisan Credit Card (KCC) : A Kisan Credit Card (KCC) is a credit delivery mechanism that is aimed at enabling farmers to have quick and timely access to affordable credit.



  • Agriculture is a primary activity, two-thirds of India’s population is engaged in agricultural activities.
  • Since agriculture is an age-old economic activity in India, farming varies from subsistence to commercial type.
  • At present, in different parts of India, the following farming systems are practised :
    1. Primitive subsistence farming : It is practised on small patches of land with the help of primitive tools like hoe, dao and digging sticks. It depends upon monsoon, natural fertility of the soil and suitability of other environmental conditions to the crops grown.
    2. Intensive subsistence farming : This type of farming is practised in areas of high population pressure on land. It is done where high doses of biochemical inputs and irrigation are used for obtaining higher production.
    3. Commercial farming : The main characteristic of this type of farming is the use of higher doses of modern inputs e.g., high yielding variety (HYV) seeds, chemical fertilisers, insecticides and pesticides in order to obtain higher productivity.
  • India has three Cropping Seasons Rabi, Kharif and Zaid.
    1. Kharif : It starts with the onset of the monsoon and continues till the beginning of winter (June-July to September-October). The kharif crops include rice, maize, millet, cotton, jute, groundnut, moong, urad, etc.
    2. Rabi : It starts with the beginning of winter and continues till the beginning of summer (October-December to April-June). The rabi crops include wheat, barley, gram and oilseeds.
    3. Zaid : This is a short crop season in between the rabi and the kharif season. Crops like watermelons, muskmelons, cucumber, some vegetables and fodder crops are the major crops.
  • Major crops grown in India are rice, wheat, millets, pulses, tea, coffee, sugarcane, oilseeds, cotton, and jute.
  • Jowar, bajra and ragi are the important millets grown in India. Through, these are known as coarse grains, they have very high nutritional value. For example, ragi is very rich in iron, calcium, other micronutrients and roughage.
  • India is the largest producer as well as the consumer of pulses in the world. These are the major source of protein in a vegetarian diet.
  • Major pulses that are grown in India are tur (arhar), urad, moong, masur, peas and gram.
  • India is the largest producer of oilseeds in the world. Main oil-seeds produced in India are groundnut, mustard, coconut, sesamum (til), soyabean, castor seeds, cotton seeds, linseed and sunflower. Most of these are edible and used as cooking mediums.
  • Horticulture is the science and art of growing plants (fruits, vegetables, flowers, and any other cultivar). India is the largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world. India is a producer of tropical as well as temperate fruits.
  • India produces about 13 percent of the world’s vegetables. It is an important producer of pea, cauliflower, onion, cabbage, tomato, brinjal and potato.
  • The non-food crops grown in India are rubber, fibre crops, cotton, jute, etc.
  • Cotton, jute, hemp and natural silk are the four major fibre crops grown in India.
  • Jute is known as the golden fibre. Due to its high cost, it is losing market to synthetic fibres and packing materials, particularly the nylon.
  • Sericulture, or silk farming, is the cultivation of silkworms to produce silk.
  • Agriculture, which provides livelihood for more than 60 percent of its population, needs some serious technical and institutional reforms.
  • Collectivisation, consolidation of holding, cooperation and abolition of zamindari, etc, were given priority to bring about institutional reforms in the country after independence.
  • Special weather bulletin and agricultural programmes for farmers were introduced on the radio and television.
  • India’s food security policy has a primary objective to ensure availability of food grains to the common people at an affordable price. It has enabled the poor to have access to the food.
  • The Green Revolution promised improvement in the condition of marginal and small farmers.
  • In the 1980s and 1990s, a comprehensive land development programme was initiated, which included both institutional and technical reforms.
  • Provision for crop insurance against drought, flood, cyclone, fire and disease, establishment of Grameen banks, cooperative societies and banks for providing loan facilities to the farmers at lower rates of interest were some important steps in this direction.
  • Kisan Credit Card (KCC), Personal Accident Insurance Scheme (PAIS) are some other schemes introduced by the Government of India for the benefit of the farmers.
  • The Government of India made concerted efforts to modernise agriculture by establishing the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), agricultural universities, veterinary services and animal breeding centres, horticulture development, research and development in the field of meteorology and weather forecast, etc.
  • Today, Indian farmers are facing a big challenge from international competition.
  • The growth rate in agriculture is decelerating which is an alarming situation.
  • Subsidy on fertilisers is decreased leading to increase in the cost of production.
  • Reduction in import duties on agricultural products has proved detrimental to agriculture in the country.
  • Farmers are withdrawing their investment from agriculture causing a downfall in the employment in agriculture.
  • In order to ensure availability of food to all sections of society our government carefully designed a national food security system. It consists of two components—
    1. buffer stock and
    2. public distribution system (PDS).
  • The FCI procures food grains from the farmers at the government announced minimum support price (MSP).
  • The high MSP, subsidies in input and committed FCI purchases have distorted the cropping pattern. Wheat and paddy crops are being grown more for the MSP they get. Punjab and Haryana are foremost examples. This has also created a serious imbalance in inter-crop parities.
  • There has been a gradual shift from cultivation of food crops to cultivation of fruits, vegetables, oil-seeds and industrial crops.
  • Globalisation has exposed the Indian farmers to new challenges.
  • Genetic engineering is recognized as a powerful supplement in inventing new hybrid varieties of seeds.
  • Today organic farming is much in vogue because it is practiced without factory made chemicals such as fertilisers and pesticides.
  • Indian farmers should diversify their cropping pattern from cereals to high-value crops. This will increase incomes and reduce environmental degradation simultaneously.

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