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Chapter 14

Agriculture — I

Class 10 - Total Geography Morning Star

Answer the following questions

Question 1(a)

What is meant by the term 'agriculture'?


Agriculture is defined as the cultivation of the soil in order to grow crops and rear livestock.

Question 1(b)

Why is agriculture said to be the backbone of the Indian economy?


Agriculture is said to be the backbone of the Indian economy as India is primarily an agricultural country as two-thirds of its population depends on agriculture. According to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, agriculture and allied sector accounts for-

  1. 16.5% of India's Gross Value Added
  2. 17.32% of its Gross Domestic Produce
  3. 13% share of total value of export
  4. Employment to 58% of labour force either directly or indirectly

Question 1(c)

Mention any three problems of agriculture in India.


Three problems of agriculture in India are-

  1. Indian agriculture is dependent to a large extent on the monsoons, which are uncertain, irregular and unequally distributed.
  2. Old and inefficient methods and techniques of farming, inadequate irrigation facilities and inability of the farmers to purchase good quality seed and modern equipment because of paucity of funds and lack of latest know-how and inputs.
  3. Soil erosion is not only a major cause for decreasing soil fertility but also results in loss of valuable crop land.

Question 1(d)

State three advantages of cooperative farming.


Three advantages of cooperative farming are-

  1. It allows small farmers to pool together their resources and buy inputs at bulk rates and increase volume of products to open new markets.
  2. It enables producers to negotiate for better prices, diffuse risks and share knowledge, skills and labour.
  3. It improves the quality of life of member-farmers. It enables them to arrange time off, take care of children and get help in the form of extra hands when needed. Shared responsibilities, whole selling, producing or maintaining shared resources, lightens the work load of the farmers.

Question 2(a)

What is meant by Green Revolution?


Green revolution is regarded as the greatest revolution in the country which helped to transform the economy from food scarcity to food self-sufficiency.

It is a term used for describing the manifold increase in India's farm production and productivity, particularly in the case of major cereal crops like wheat consequent to the adoption of the 'New Agricultural Strategy' since the late-sixties.

Question 2(b)

State any two characteristics of Green Revolution.


Two characteristics of Green Revolution are-

  1. Use of large capital and technological inputs
  2. Adoption of modern scientific methods of farming

Question 2(c)

State any three negative impact of Green Revolution in India.


Three negative impact of Green Revolution in India are-

  1. Land degradation due to overuse of fertilizers and pesticides
  2. Drying aquifers
  3. Vanishing biodiversity

Question 2(d)

What was the impact of Green Revolution on Indian agriculture?


Green Revolution had the following impact on Indian agriculture -

  1. It enabled Indian agriculture to change from subsistence to commercial and market-oriented.
  2. It led to the development of intensive agricultural production system that increased production and paved the way for self-sufficiency in respect of food grains.
  3. The adoption of new technology under Green Revolution created more employment opportunities in agriculture sector.
  4. It enabled the farmers to obtain increasing returns from agriculture by greater utilisation of agricultural inputs.
  5. It increased rural prosperity.

Question 3(a)

Give two points of difference between Extensive and Intensive farming.


Extensive farmingIntensive farming
Farms are huge in size.Farms are small in size.
It is highly capital intensive.It is labour intensive system.

Question 3(b)

State any two advantages of Commercial farming.


Two advantages of commercial farming are-

  1. It increases the yield rate of crops.
  2. By utilizing high-end machinery for cultivating the lands, it takes less time to perform the agricultural operations.

Question 3(c)

(i) What type of farming is practised in areas where population is sparse and land is in plenty?

(ii) Name two areas in India where such type of farming is practised.


(i) Extensive farming is practised in areas where population is sparse and land is in plenty.

(ii) Extensive farming is practised in Punjab and Haryana.

Question 3(d)

Give a reason for each of the following:

(i) Plantations are managed by large multinational companies.

(ii) Fields are rotated instead of crops in shifting cultivation.

(iii) In extensive agriculture, yield per hectare is low but total yield is large.


(i) Plantations are managed by large multinational companies because plantation crops are grown on large farms which are modern, scientific and self-contained units. Only one crop is grown on a large-scale. Enormous capital investment is required to set up a plantation and a large number of labourers are employed. Hence, only multinational companies can manage such large scale plantations.

(ii) Crops are not rotated in shifting agriculture because the people who practice shifting agriculture have become habitual of consuming specific crops. Hence, when the fertility of the current field is lost, they shift to another field instead of changing their crops.

(iii) In extensive agriculture, yield per hectare is low but total yield is large because it is practised in areas with large land holdings, using less labour and less chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

Question 4(a)

Give two points of difference between plantation and mixed farming.


Plantation farmingMixed farming
Only one crop is cultivated using modern scientific methods.Two or more crops are grown together.
Only crops are cultivated.Crops and animals are raised simultaneously.

Question 4(b)

Give any two effects of globalisation on Indian agriculture.


Two effects of globalisation on Indian agriculture are-

  1. Farmers have started adopting modern techniques of farming.
  2. Establishment of food processing industries has increased employment.

Question 4(c)

Mention any three measures taken by the government to boost agricultural production.


Three measures taken by the government to boost agricultural production are-

  1. Various land reforms have been introduced. Zamindari and all intermediaries have been completely abolished.
  2. Creation of irrigation infrastructure and its optimum utilisation has been given greater importance.
  3. The Government of India provides subsidy on fertilizers to ensure adequate availability of fertilizers to farmers at reasonable rates.

Question 4(d)

Agriculture in India is a gamble on the monsoon. Explain.


Indian agriculture is dependent to a large extent on the monsoons, which are uncertain, irregular and unequally distributed. Nearly 55% of the net sown area continues to depend on rainfall rather than irrigation. Hence, agriculture in India is a gamble on the monsoon.

Question 5(a)

How is shifting cultivation carried out?


In shifting cultivation, a patch of land is cleared by cutting and burning of the stumps. The ash is spread on the field as manure. After the land is cleared of trees, seed are sown in the ground and the land is cultivated. Neither ploughing of the soil nor any other agricultural practices are followed in this type of agriculture.

After 2-3 years, when the fertility of the soil is lost, the fields are abandoned and allowed to regain its fertility. The farmers move to a fresh piece of land and the same process is repeated.

Question 5(b)

Where is shifting cultivation practised in India? State any one disadvantage of shifting cultivation.


Shifting cultivation is practised in Assam, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Himalayan region, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh.

The disadvantage of shifting cultivation is that it accelerates soil erosion and causes floods and silting in the lower reaches of the riverine flood plains.

Question 5(c)

State any two steps being taken by the government to discourage shifting cultivation.


Two steps being taken by the government to discourage shifting cultivation are-

  1. The Government is promoting Intercropping as an alternative to shifting cultivation.
  2. The Government is promoting large scale plantations of fast growing timber varieties to help in restoration of land and creation of wealth for the land owners.

Question 5(d)

What is subsistence farming? Mention two features of subsistence farming.


Subsistence farming is characterised by small and scattered land holdings and use of primitive tools, like hoe and digging sticks by family members. As the farmers are poor, they do not use fertilizers and high yielding variety of seeds in their fields.

Facilities like irrigation and electricity are generally not available to them. These factors result in low productivity. Most of the food production is consumed by the farmers and their families.

Two features of subsistence farming are-

  1. Land holdings are small and scattered.
  2. The farmers use traditional methods of agriculture.

Question 6(a)

What is Organic farming?


Organic farming is a unique production management system which promotes and enhances agro-ecosystem health, including biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity, and this is accomplished by using on-farm agronomic, biological and mechanical methods in exclusion of all synthetic off-farm inputs.

Question 6(b)

What is Cooperative farming?


Cooperative farming refers to an organisation of farmers where farmers pool their resources in certain areas of activity. Each member farmer owns his land individually but carries out all the farming activities jointly with other farmer members. But profit is distributed in the ration of land owned by each member farmer.

Question 6(c)

What are the main characteristics of organic farming?


The main characteristics of organic farming are-

  1. It protects the long term fertility of the soil by maintaining organic matter levels, and creating optimised conditions for biological activity within the soil.
  2. It provides crop nutrients indirectly using relatively insoluble nutrient sources which are made available to the plant by the action of soil micro-organisms.
  3. It maintains nitrogen self sufficiency through the use of legumes and biological nitrogen fixation as well as effective recycling of organic materials including crop residues and livestock manures.
  4. It prevents weeds, diseases and pests by relying primarily on crop rotations, natural predators diversity, organic manuring, resistant varieties and limited thermal, biological and chemical intervention.
  5. It provides attentive care and management of livestock, paying full regard to their evolutionary adaptations, behavioral needs and animal welfare issues with respect to nutrition, housing, health, breeding and rearing.

Question 6(d)

State why is organic farming gaining popularity in recent times.


Organic farming is gaining popularity in recent times because people have become aware of their benefits. They contain no chemical pesticides and fertilizers and are grown naturally with manure or compost and only natural pesticides and insecticides are used.

Children are more susceptible than adults to diseases caused by chemical pesticide residues in food and so parents prefer to give them organic foods. Another advantage is that organic foods do not contain growth hormones or antibiotic residues. Animals are often given growth hormones and antibiotics in animal feeds which are directly passed into animal foods like meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products and from foods to the consumers. In organic farming these practices are banned and animals feed outside in natural surroundings.