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Briefly discuss the methods of cultivation practised in India with at least two examples on each method.
India is predominantly an agricultural country. Different forms of agriculture are practiced in the country which depends upon a variety of physical, environmental and socio-economic conditions. The following systems are practiced at present in different parts of India –
a) Primitive subsistence farming - One type of agriculture that is practiced in the country is primitive subsistence farming and is one of the oldest methods used for growing and harvesting crops. The tools like a hoe, do and digging sticks that are used are also primitive in nature. It is mostly observed in less economically developed areas where population density is high.
b) Intensive subsistence farming - Intensive subsistence farming produces only food crop for sustaining the high population and domestic animals. It is characterized by small land holdings which are cultivated by the farmer and his family using simple tools and more labour. Often farming is further intensified by the use of fertilizers and artificial irrigation. This has led to regions where the yield per unit area is high. Rice cultivation in the eastern regions of India is a type of intensive subsistence farming as they are cultivated on small plots of land, with high manual labour. Graduated terrace steps in the hilly regions of India used for agriculture is another example of this type of farming.
c) Commercial farming – This is a form of market-oriented and profit motivated farming. In this farming, consumption of the cultivated products by the farmers, if at all done, is an insignificant proportion of the total production. Demand patterns and price structure are the major determinants of production pattern. Rice cultivation in Punjab and Haryana where wheat forms the staple diet is an example of commercial farming. Cultivation of a single crop on a large scale with an organization similar to industrial production is called plantation agriculture which is a type of commercial farming. In India, tea, coffee, rubber, sugarcane, banana, etc., are important plantation crops.