Types of Agriculture in India

By Naveen Singh|Updated : August 9th, 2022

Agriculture is an important topic asked in Geography. It is asked in various Defence Exams such as CDS, AFCAT, CAPF etc. Here we will enlighten you about various soils in India, there formation and further give you a quiz to boost your exam preparation.

Types of Agriculture in India

There are different types of farming activities performed in India which are as follows:

Subsistence Farming

  • Subsistence farming is a type of farming in which nearly all the crops or livestock raised are used to maintain the farmer and farmer’s family leaving little.
  • Subsistence farms usually consist of no more than a few acres, and farm technology tends to be primitive and of low yield.

Mixed farming

  • Mixed farming is an agricultural system in which a farmer conducts different agricultural practice together, such as cash crops and livestock
  • The aim is to increase income through different sources and to complement land and labour demands across the year.

Shifting cultivation

  • Shifting cultivation means migratory shifting agriculture.
  •  Under this system, a plot of land is cultivated for a few years and then, when the crop yield declines because of soil exhaustion and the effects of pests and weeds, is deserted for another area.
  • Here the ground is again cleared by slash-and-burn methods, and the procedure is repeated.

Other Names of Shifting Cultivation

Shifting Cultivation Name


ChenaSri Lanka
LadangJava and Indonesia
JhumNorth-eastern India
PoduAndhra Pradesh
MilyaMexico and Central America
MilpaYucatan and Guatemala

Extensive Farming

  • This is a system of farming in which the farmer uses the limited amount of labour and capital on a relatively large area.
  • This type of agriculture is practised in countries where population size is small and land is enough.
  • Per acre yield is low but the overall production is in surplus due to less population.
  • Here machines and technology are used in farming.

Intensive Farming

  • This is a system of farming in which the cultivator uses a larger amount of labour and capital on a relatively small area.
  • This type of farming is performed in countries where the population to land ratio is high i.e. the population is big and the land is small.
  • Annually two or three types of crops are grown over the land.
  • Manual labour is used.

Plantation Agriculture

  • In this type of agriculture, cash crops are mainly cultivated.
  • A single crop like rubber, sugarcane, coffee, tea is grown.
  • These crops are major items of export.

Types of crops in India

The crops grown in India can be classified into 4 categories:

  1. Food grains (Wheat, Rice, Maize, Millets and Pulses)
  2. Cash Crops (Cotton, Jute, Sugarcane, Tobacco and Oilseeds)
  3. Plantation Crops (Tea, Coffee, Coconut and Rubber)
  4. Horticulture crops such as Fruits and Vegetables

On the Basis of seasons, crops in India has been classified into :

1. Rabi Crops:

The Rabi crops in the spring harvest or winter crop in India. It is sown every year in October and harvested every year in March. Wheat, Barley, Mustard, Sesame, Peas etc. are the major rabi crops in India.

2. Kharif Crops:

The crop from Kharif is India's summer crop or monsoon crop. Kharif crops are usually seeded at the beginning of July's first rain. India's major Kharif crops include Millets (Bajra & Jowar), Cotton, Soja, Sugarcane, Turmeric, Paddy (Rice), Maize, Moong (Pulses), Groundnut, Red Chillies, etc.

3. Zaid Crops:

This crop is grown from March to June in some parts of the country. Prominent examples are Muskmelon, Watermelon, Cucurbitaceae family vegetables such as bitter gourd, pumpkin, ridged gourd and so on.

Major Food Grains:

1. Rice: 

A major Kharif crop that covers nearly 1/3rd of the total cultivable land in India. Top producer states are West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. Here is a map to give you an idea about the Cultivation of Rice across India:


2. Wheat:

It is the second most important crop in India and is grown in fertile and loamy soil. In less than 100 cm and more than 75 cm of rain, wheat thrives well. Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana are the top three wheat-producing states. Here is a map to give you an idea about the Cultivation of Wheat across India:


Cash Crops:

1. Cotton:

It is a Kharif Crop that grows in tropical and subtropical regions. It grows in areas with a minimum of 210 free days of frost in a year. It grows well in Black soils of Deccan and Malwa plateau and also in  Satluj-Ganga plain having red and laterite soils of the peninsular region.


2. Groundnut:

Grown as both Kharif and Rabi crops but 90-95% of the total area is devoted to Kharif crops. Groundnut thrives best in a tropical climate, requiring a temperature of 20°C to 30°C. India is the second largest groundnut producer after China. Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are the top three states that produce groundnut.

Plantation Crops:

1. Tea:

India is the world's largest black tea producer and consumer. Tea is grown in India in 16 states. Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala make up around 95% of total tea production.


2. Coffee:

Coffee needs a hot and humid climate ranging from 15°C to 28°C. Well-drained, rich loamy soil with humus and minerals is ideal for growing coffee. Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu are the major coffee producing states in India.

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