Learn about India’s cultivable land and cropping seasons, such as Kharif season, rabi season, and more. Lack of rainfall can be a very bad phenomenon for crops. This article will help understand the seasonal patterns and how they can be used to improve agriculture in India. Continue reading for more details about the Geography Class 12: Agricultural Land Uses And Cropping Seasons In India.
.Agricultural Land Use in India
People who depend on agriculture are more dependent on their land resources:
Contrary to secondary and tertiary activities, agriculture is a land-based activity. Therefore, the contribution of land to agricultural output is greater than the contribution to other sectors. Thus, lack of access to land causes poverty to be a major issue in rural areas.
Agriculture productivity depends directly on land quality, which does not apply to other activities.
As well as its value as a productive factor, land ownership in rural areas has a social value since it is a form of security, antidote to natural disasters, as well as a means to build social standing.
In order to estimate the total amount of cultivable land, we add together net sown acreage, all fallow lands and culturable wasteland. A marginal decline in cultivable land availability as a percentage of the total reporting area may be observed over time. In spite of a corresponding decline in cultivable wastelands, there has been a greater decline in cultivated land.
Considering the above discussion, it is evident that India has limited capacity to bring additional land under the net sown area. For land-saving technologies to evolve and become more widely adopted, it is vital that they do. Two types of farming technologies can be differentiated – those that increase yields of particular crops per unit area of land and those that increase the overall output per unit area of land across all crops grown over an agricultural year by increasing land-use intensity. The advantage of the second type of technology is that along with raising the output from limited land, it also increases the labour demand substantially. Having a high cropping intensity in a country like India, which has limited farmland resources but abundant labour is beneficial not just for the use of land resources but also for reducing rural unemployment.
Cropping Seasons in India
There are three distinct crop seasons in the northern and interior parts of the country: Kharif, rabi, and Zaid.
Under the Southwest Monsoon, the Kharif season coincides largely with the cultivation of tropical crops such as rice, cotton, jute, jowar, bajra, and tur.
Rabi season begins when winter reaches the midwest in October-November and ends in February-March. In this season, low temperatures make it easy to grow temperate and subtropical crops such as wheat, gram, and mustard.
After the harvest of rabi crops, the summer cropping season of Zad begins. A variety of fruits, vegetables, and fodder crops are grown in irrigated fields during this season.
However, in southern regions of the country, this distinction is not made in the cropping season. Provided the soil is moist during the growing season, tropical crops can be grown here during any season of the year. Therefore, the same crops can be grown in this region three times if the soil is sufficiently moist during an agricultural year.
Types of Farming
A farming system can be classified as irrigated or rainfed (barani) based on the main source of moisture for crops.
Additionally, there are differences in irrigated farming because of their purposes, such as being protective or productive. Essentially, protective irrigation aims to protect crops from the adverse effects of soil moisture deficiency, which normally means irrigation acts as a supplementary source of water to rainfall. In this type of irrigation, soil moisture is distributed over the maximum amount of area possible. In order to achieve high crop productivity, productive irrigation needs to provide sufficient soil moisture. Such irrigation uses a greater amount of water for the same amount of land than protective irrigation.
According to the amount of soil moisture during a cropping season, rainfed farming is further divided into dryland and wetland farming.
There are relatively few dryland farms in India, mostly found in areas with less than 75 centimetres of annual rainfall. They cultivate hardy and drought-resistant vegetables such as Ragi, bajra, moong, gram and guar (fodder crops) and practice a variety of techniques for preserving soil moisture and harvesting rainwater.
The amount of rainfall during the rainy season is greater than the soil moisture requirement for plants in wetland farming. Areas in these areas are susceptible to drought and soil erosion. Rice, jute, and sugarcane are some crops grown in these areas and aquaculture in freshwater bodies.
The transition from cereals to high-value crops will mean that India will be forced to change its cropping patterns.
The country needs to import food. During the 1960s, this would have been an enormous problem. Instead, India will be following the example of successful economies if it imports cereals and exports high-value commodities. Chile, Italy, and Israel are examples. The countries export agricultural products (fruits, olives, special seeds and wine) and import cereals.
Diversifying Indian farmers’ cropping patterns away from cereals to high-value crops is important. Not only will this increase incomes, but it will significantly reduce environmental degradation as well. Fruits, medicinal herbs, flowers, vegetables, and biodiesel crops like jojoba and jatropha require substantially less water than conventional crops.
Rice and sugarcane require less irrigation. The varied climate of India makes it an ideal place to grow a wide range of high-value crops.