Classification Of Farming
It is found that a majority of Indians (about 70% at least) earn their living through agriculture. India is an agriculturally favourable nation and we have many types of climates and land areas across the country.
Different Ways Of Doing Farming
The terms farming and agriculture are used as synonyms here, as they are not very different.The main idea is to learn about agriculture as a broader term and understand the types of agriculture practiced in India. Agriculture is a process of cultivation of crops, animal husbandry, pisciculture, agroforestry, etc.
Type of Farming
1 Subsistence and Commercial Farming
2 Organic Farming
3 Shifting Agriculture
4 Plantation Agriculture
5 Intensive and Extensive Farming
6 Dry and Wetland Farming
7 Mixed Agriculture
8 Dairy Farming
9 Terrace Farming
Subsistence and Commercial farming-Subsistence Farming is one of the first types of farming systems ever developed where farming is done on a small-scale for direct consumption by individuals, families or small communities. This is the commonest kind of farming as farmers earn a livelihood by farming and providing for themselves and their families. There is little or none of the produce left for sales to other areas or markets, as it is all consumed by the farmers. Subsistence farming is a type of farming where land holdings are small and fragmented. Since farmers are farming on their own, the methods and tools used for farming are primitive. Subsistence Farming was practiced because land holdings are small and scattered, scarcity of resources, poverty, large families to feed, lack of knowledge and infrastructure to scale to commercial levels.
Organic farming –Organic farming is an innovative and popular sort of farming where the use of synthetic fertilizers, chemicals, additives, etc. are avoided or rarely used. Organic Farming relies on Crop Rotation, which is a method of farming where different crops are grown in the same area in sequenced seasons. This helps maintain the soil fertility as compared to one crop being grown for many years in the same place causing soil erosion over time.
Shifting Cultivation –This method of agriculture is one where a land is cultivated for a few years and after the crop production declines, the land is cleared up by slash and burn methods and the farmers move elsewhere to cultivate other lands.
Plantation agriculture –In Plantation farming, a single cash crop is grown for sale and production. Examples of Plantation agriculture are tea, coffee, rubber, cotton, coconut, cashew, fruits, hemp, sugarcane, jute, spices, etc. Huge plantations situated in tropical or subtropical regions are cultivated by farmers and are found to be one of the oldest forms of cultivation.
Intensive and Extensive agriculture-Intensive Agriculture uses large amounts of capital and labor compared to the land area being cultivated. Hence resources need to be optimally used to produce greater yields. The yield per unit area is high in Intensive farming systems. Crops grown are rice, wheat and sugarcane. Extensive farming uses small amounts of labor and capital compared to the land size.
Dry and wetland farming – Farming is done in areas where the rainfall is less than 9 inches in a year. Crops grown in this method are wheat, ragi, bajra, moong, gram, corn, beans, sunflower and watermelon. Wetland farming is done in the land that is saturated with water. They provide flood protection, enhanced water quality, food chain support and carbon sequestration.
Mixed agriculture –It is a system of raising crops and rearing animals simultaneously. Farmers engaged in mixed farming are economically better off than others. Crops such as millet and cowpea, millet and sorghum, etc. are a form of mixed farming. Mixing has both advantages and disadvantages. For example, farmers in mixed systems divide their resources leading to reduced economies of scale. Advantages include spreading labor and re-utilizing resources.
Dairy farming –Dairy farming is a relatively easier form of livestock farming used to produce milk. India produces tons of milk for sales and is a livelihood for many across India, especially Haryana. To be a successful dairy farmer, one must be aware of the scientific management of dairy animals and the dairy business. In India, although the dairy farm is still a big means of earning a livelihood, the animals as such as ill-maintained and face poor health and living conditions. Cows have to be bred, fed and have a healthy lifestyle to generate good quality milk for mass production.
Terrace agriculture –In this method of agriculture, hills or mountains are cut out like terraces along the slopes and land is cultivated. The hills look like steps and the crops grown in this method are pulses, paddy, potatoes, quinoa, oilseeds, millets, vegetables, fruits, saffron, buckwheat, black cumin, maize, wheat, etc.
This provides a diverse form of agriculture giving rise to a variety of crops for own use as well as for exporting. There is diversity in almost everything in India, even the food varies across the country.