Agriculture – Geography Notes CBSE Class 10 Social Science

CBSE Class 10 Geography Notes on the chapter agriculture provide a comprehensive understanding of the chapter ‘Agriculture’ as notes are excellent resource for students preparing for CBSE Board Exams. The notes are designed with proper relevant headings and subheadings to make the notes more organised.

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Types of Farming in India

Subsistence farming

How is primitive subsistence farming different from intensive subsistence farming?

Subsistence farming is the farming that is carried out by the farmers to fulfill the food requirements of themselves and their families. Subsistence farming is of two types –

  1. primitive subsistence farming and
  2. intensive subsistence farming

Characteristic of primitive subsistence farming

  • Primitive subsistence farming is the oldest form of farming.
  • It uses primitive farming methods and primitive tools such as digging sticks, hoe, and dao.
  • It makes use of family or community labour.
  • The agricultural productivity is low as the farmers are dependent on monsoons and the soil’s natural fertility.

Different names of primitive subsistence farming

Primitive subsistence farming is also known as shifting cultivation or ‘slash and burn’ agriculture. In different parts of India, it is known by different names such as:

  1. Jhumming in north-eastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland
  2. Pamlou in Manipur
  3. Bewar or Dahiya in Madhya Pradesh
  4. Pama Dabi or Koman or Bringa in different parts of Odisha
  5. Podu or Penda in Andhra Pradesh
  6. Valre or Waltre in south-eastern parts of Rajasthan
  7. Khil in the Himalayan belt
  8. Kumari in the Western Ghats and
  9. Kuruwa in Jharkhand
  10. In Andaman and Nicobar islands and in the Bastar district of Chhattisgarh it is known as Dipa.
  • The ‘slash and burn’ agriculture is also practised in Central and South America, Africa, and South East Asia.
  • It is known as ‘Conuco’ in Venezuela and ‘Roca’ in Brazil in South America.
  • In Central America and Mexico, it is called ‘Milpa’.
  • In southeast Asia, it is known as ‘Ladang’ in Indonesia and ‘Ray’ in Vietnam.
  • In Central Africa this type of farming is called ‘Masole’.

Characteristic of intensive subsistence farming

  • Intensive subsistence farming is a labour-intensive farming.
  • Land holdings are usually small due to the subdivision of land through the ‘right of inheritance’ amongst successive generations. Consequently, several people are dependent upon the same piece of land. This increases population pressure on agricultural land.
  • In intensive subsistence farming, farmers extract the maximum from the land by growing two or more crops on the same land through the year as there is no alternative means of livelihood for them.
  • To increase land productivity, farmers use high doses of biochemical inputs and irrigation.

Commercial farming

What are the various features of commercial farming?

  • Commercial farming is farming that is carried out on a large scale.
  • The characteristic features of this type of farming are –
  1. Higher productivity through the heavy use of modern farming methods, modern pieces of equipment like tractors, threshers and harvesters, high yielding variety(HYV) seeds, fertilisers, pesticides, and insecticides.
  2. Market-oriented production, i.e., production of crops, is primarily for sale in the domestic or international market.
  3. Profit earning is the main aim of commercial farming, and in that respect, it differs from subsistence farming.
  4. Large landholdings are required to carry out agriculture for commercial purposes.
  5. Capital requirement is high. Therefore, commercial farming is capital intensive.

Plantation farming

  • Plantation farming is a type of commercial farming. The key features of plantation farming are :
  1. Single crop such as tea, coffee or banana is grown over a large area.
  2. It is capital intensive as it requires modern inputs like fertilisers, a high yielding variety of seeds, modern equipments.
  3. It is labour intensive as it requires a large number of labourers to carry out plantation activities. It is also a big employer of migrant labourers.
  4. Plantation farming caters to industries that use their products as raw materials.
  5. Plantation production is geared towards markets. Therefore, it requires good connectivity between the markets, processing industries, and well-established transport and communication systems.

Chief Plantation crops and regions

The main plantation crops are tea, coffee, banana, bamboo, rubber, and sugarcane.

  1. Tea is grown in Assam and North Bengal.
  2. Coffee is grown in Karnataka.
  3. Banana is grown in southern states of India like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra in the west.
  4. Bamboo is grown chiefly in Mizoram, Meghalaya, Assam, and other Northeastern states.
  5. Rubber is grown mainly in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka.
  6. Sugarcane is grown in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka.

Cropping Season

What are the different cropping seasons in India?

There are three main cropping seasons in India:

  1. Rabi
  2. Kharif
  3. Zaid

Rabi cropping season

  • Rabi crops are sown in the winter from October to December.
  • Harvesting season of rabi crops is April to June.
  • Chief rabi crops are wheat, peas, gram, mustard and barley.
  • Though produced throughout India, major producer states are concentrated in the north and north-western parts of India due to cool climatic conditions and winter rainfall needed for the growth of rabi crops.
  • Major producer regions are Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.

Kharif cropping season

  • Kharif crops are sown, across India, with the onset of monsoon from June to July.
  • Harvesting season of kharif crops is September and October.
  • Chief kharif crops are paddy, maize, cotton, jute, jowar, bajra, tur, moong, urad, groundnut and soyabean.
  • Important rice growing states are Assam, West Bengal, and coastal regions of Kerala, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Paddy is also grown in Punjab and Haryana in recent time.
  • States of Assam, West Bengal and Odisha produce three crops of paddy each year- Aus, Aman and Boro.

Zaid cropping season

  • Zaid is a short cropping season between rabi and kharif cropping seasons, extending from April until June.
  • Chief Zaid crops include watermelon, muskmelon, cucumber, vegetables and fodder crops.

Major Crops of India

What conditions are required to grow a variety of food crops in India?

A variety of food crops are grown in India. The major foodgrains grown in the country are:

  1. Cereals, which are further classified as
    • fine grains – rice and wheat
    • coarse grains (millets) – jowar, bajra, ragi and maize

2. Pulses which include tur (arhar), urad, moong, masur, peas and gram



  • Grown as a kharif crop, it is the staple food crop of a majority of Indians.
  • The climatic conditions required for its growth are:
  1. Temperature above 25oC
  2. High humidity and annual rainfall above 100 cm
  • Major producer states are West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh.
  • Minor producer states are Punjab, Haryana, western Uttar Pradesh and parts of Rajasthan where irrigation has made it possible to cultivate rice.


  • A rabi crop, it is the second most important crop of India.
  • It is grown in the northern and northwestern regions of India.
  • The climatic conditions required for growing wheat are:
  1. Cool climate and bright sunshine are required for growth.
  2. Annual rainfall of 50–75 cm, which is evenly distributed over the growing season
  • Wheat is grown in two important zones, namely, the Ganga-Satluj plains in the north-west and the black soil region of the Deccan.
  • Major producer states are Punjab, Bihar, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.


  • It is a millet with high nutritional value. It contains iron, calcium, other micronutrients and roughage.
  • It grows well in dry regions and in red, black, sandy, loamy and shallow black soils.
  • Major producer states are Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Jharkhand and Arunachal Pradesh.


  • In terms of production and area, jowar is the third most important food crop.
  • Grows mostly in the rainy season. It requires little irrigation that is well suited for its cultivation.
  • Major producer states are Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.


  • It has high nutritional value.
  • Sandy soil and black soil are best for the cultivation of bajra.
  • Major producer states are Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Haryana.


  • Maize is widely used as food as well as fodder.
  • Old alluvial soil and temperature between 21o C to 27o C are needed for its growth.
  • Major producer states are Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.


  • India is the biggest producer and consumer of pulses.
  • It is consumed in the daily diet and is a rich source of protein.
  • Pulses widely grown in India include tur (arhar), urad, moong, masur, peas and gram.
  • They can easily be grown in dry conditions and with less moisture.
  • Farmers grow pulses in rotation with other crops to regain soil fertility through nitrogen fixation.
  • Major producer states are Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Cash crops in India

India grows a variety of cash crops besides food grains.

  • Sugarcane
  • Oilseeds
  • Beverage crops
  • Horticulture crops

Sugarcane – Climatic conditions and chief producing areas-

  • India was the second leading producer of sugarcane in the world after Brazil until 2019.
  • It grows well in rain-fed tropical and subtropical areas, but it can also be grown in areas of low rainfall through irrigation.
  • It requires a hot and humid climate with temperatures ranging between 21o C and 27o C and annual rainfall between 75 cm and 100cm. It can be grown in a variety of soils.
  • It is a labour-intensive crop from sowing to harvesting.
  • Products obtained from sugarcane include sugar, jaggery (gur), molasses and khandsari.
  • Major producer regions are Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka.
  • Before 2019, India was the second largest producer of sugarcane in the world.

Oilseeds Climatic conditions and chief producing areas

  • In 2015, India was the second largest producer of groundnut after China and the third largest producer of rapeseed after Canada and China in the world.
  • Oilseed production accounts for 12 per cent of the total cropped area of the country.
  • Major oilseeds produced in India are groundnut, mustard, coconut, sesamum (til), soyabean, castor seeds, cotton seeds, linseed and sunflower.
  • While groundnut, soyabean are kharif crops, linseed and mustard are rabi crops. Castor seeds are grown both as rabi and kharif crop. Sesamum is grown as a kharif crop in north India and as a rabi crop in south India.
  • Oilseeds are mostly edible and used for making cooking oil and in the manufacture of soaps, cosmetics, lubricants and ointments.
  • Important groundnut producing states are Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan.

Tea – Climatic conditions and chief producing areas-

  • Tea is a beverage crop introduced in the country by the British.
  • In 2015, India was the world’s second largest producer of tea.
  • Tropical and sub-tropical climates are best suited for its growth.
  • It requires deep, fertile and well-drained soils for its growth.
  • Tea plants thrive best in a warm, moist, frost-free climate throughout the year.
  • The chief tea producing areas are Assam, hills of Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
  • Other producers of tea in India are Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Tripura, Andhra Pradesh and Meghalaya.

Coffee – Climatic conditions and chief producing areas-

  • Coffee is the second most important beverage crop grown in India.
  • The Arabica variety, originally brought from Yemen, is widely grown in India to cater to its demand in the international market.
  • Its cultivation started in Baba Budan Hills in Karnataka.
  • It is cultivated in the Nilgiri Hill areas of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Horticulture crops – Climatic conditions and chief producing areas-

India is one of the largest producers of tropical and temperate fruits and vegetables in the world. Some important horticulture crops and their chief producer states are:

  1. Mangoes – Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana and West Bengal
  2. Oranges – Nagpur, Cherrapunjee (Meghalaya)
  3. Bananas – Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Mizoram
  4. Litchi and guava – Bihar and Uttar Pradesh
  5. Grapes – Maharashtra, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh
  6. Pineapples – Meghalaya
  7. Apples, apricots, pears and walnuts – Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh
  8. Vegetables like brinjal, cabbage, onion, cauliflower, pea, potato and tomato – throughout the country

Non- food crops in India

  • The Indian climate is suitable for the growth of several non-food crops. The chief non-food crops grown in India are:
  1. Rubber
  2. Fibre crops


  • Though an equatorial crop, it is also grown in tropical and subtropical regions.
  • For growth, it requires moist and humid climate, annual rainfall of more than 200 cm and temperature above 25o C.
  • Major producer areas are Kerala, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Garo Hills in Meghalaya.

Fibre crops

  • There are four major fibre crops, namely, silk, hemp, cotton and jute.
  • While cotton, jute and hemp are obtained from plants, silk is obtained from silkworms reared through the process called sericulture.


  • It is the oldest known fibre crop cultivated in India. India is considered to be the place where cotton originated.
  • Cotton grows well in the black soil of the Deccan plateau.
  • The climatic conditions required for its growth are high temperature, 210 frost-free days, bright sunshine and light rainfall or irrigation.
  • Major producer states are Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.


  • Jute is known as golden fibre due to its colour and shine.
  • It requires high temperature for growth and the well-drained fertile soils of the flood Plains.
  • Chief jute producing regions are West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar, Assam and Meghalaya.
  • It is widely used for making mats, carpets, ropes, gunny bags and yarn.

Agricultural Reforms

What were the technological and institutional reforms introduced by the government to improve agriculture?

First Five-Year Plan

–      To boost the agriculture in the country, the government of India had introduced several technical and institutional reforms.

–      The First Five-year Plan was introduced in 1950s.

–      It focused on land reforms and encouraged the following:

  • Collectivisation to enhance small farmer’s competitiveness and to increase worth of agricultural output in the market.
  • Consolidation of landholdings that were fragmented and scattered due to the right of inheritance
  • bolition of zamindari to remove intermediaries between the cultivators and the state

Technical reforms

–      The technical reforms of the 1960s and 1970s in agriculture included:

  • White revolution, also known as Operation Flood was launched in 1970s. It led to an increase in milk production in the country by linking the milk producers directly to the consumers across the country. It reduced regional price variations by eliminating the middlemen. It also ensured that the maximum profit is gained by the producer.
  • Green revolution increased crop production in the country through the use of package technology of high yielding variety of seeds, chemical fertilisers, insecticides and pesticides, irrigation and farm mechanisation.

Institutional and technical reforms

–      The institutional and technical reforms in the 1980s and 1990s included

  • Crop insurance against crop diseases and natural calamities like drought, floods, cyclones and fire.
  • Loan facilities at lower interest rates through the establishment of grameen and cooperative banks.
  • Kisan credit card (KCC) and personal accident insurance scheme (PAIS) helps the farmers in procuring credit and insurance cover from financial institutions
  • Broadcast of weather bulletins and agricultural programmes through radio and television that helped farmers to plan and schedule farming activities. Such programmes also educated farmers on soil sustainability, use of less pesticides and other chemicals, etc.
  • Minimum support price and remunerative and procurement prices for important crops to avoid any sudden fall in agricultural prices.

Bhoodan and Gramdan

  • The bhoodan and gramdan was initiated by Vinoba Bhave.
  • It included voluntary donation of land by zamindars or large landowners to landless peasants.
  • This movement was also called the blood-less revolution as land was distributed amongst the poor willingly by the land owners.

Importance of Agriculture

Why is agriculture termed as the backbone of Indian economy?

Agriculture the backbone of the economy

  • Agriculture is the most important sector of the Indian economy.
  • It provides employment to nearly half of the Indian population.
  • In 2010–11, 52% of the workforce was dependent on agriculture.
  • It supports the secondary and tertiary sectors of the economy by supplying raw materials and buying equipment and services.
  • It has a substantial share in the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country.
  • It has helped the country become self-reliant in foodgrain production.

Efforts to modernise agriculture

  • The government of India has made significant efforts to modernise agriculture.
  • Establishment of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) to conduct research and development in the field of agriculture.
  • Setting up of agricultural universities to provide technical education in agriculture.
  • Development of veterinary services and animal breeding centres for improving the health of field animals.
  • Horticulture development to boost the production of fruits and vegetables.
  • Research and development in meteorology and weather forecast to enable farmers to take important farming decisions.

Recent trends in agriculture

  • Despite being the biggest employer, employment opportunities in agriculture are decreasing steadily.
  • The share of agriculture in GDP has been declining 1951 onwards though the GDP growth rate has been increasing.

Factors responsible for decline in agricultural growth

  • The decelerating growth in agriculture is the outcome of challenges faced by farmers, who have started withdrawing investment from agriculture. Some of the problems faced by them are:
  • International competition, which has decreased their profits.
  • Reduced public investment in farming sector especially with respect to irrigation, electricity, rural roads, accessibility to markets and mechanisation.
  • Increase in cost of production due to reduced subsidies on fertilisers.
  • Lower import duties on agricultural products has flooded the markets with cheaper alternatives for the buyers.

Impact of Globalisation


How has globalisation affected Indian agriculture?

  • Globalisation refers to shift in agriculture from traditional varieties of crops to high value crops.
  • It refers to the interconnectedness of the economies of the world.
  • Globalisation and its effects on agriculture can broadly be classified into two periods.
  • Pre-independence India
  • Post-1990 India

Globalisation during Pre-independence India

Spice trade

  • The spice trade is being carried out from the colonial period.
  • Trading of spices was a lucrative trade in south India. Farmers were encouraged to grow these crops.
  • Indian spices were in great demand in Europe and the rest of the world for centuries.
  • Even today spices are an important item of export.

Cultivation of cotton and indigo

  • Cotton was cultivated during the colonial period to meet the needs of British textile industries.
  • Good quality cotton was exported to industries in Manchester and Liverpool as raw material.
  • During colonial rule farmers in Bihar were forced to grow indigo to be used as dyes for cotton industries in Britain.
  • This restricted farmers to grow food grains on their land for survival.
  • The most profound negative impact was that India lost self-sufficiency in grain production.

Globalisation Post-1990 India

  • Globalisation helped in the introduction of modern technologies in Indian agriculture.
  • Indian farmers have faced new challenge in the form of increased competition from developed countries.
  • The green revolution that had increased crop production in the 1970s and 1980s became controversial because of its adverse impact on land and the natural environment.
  • The concept of sustainable organic farming and gene revolution is being promoted in India.
  • Land holding is getting smaller and smaller with each passing year thus it is necessary for Indian famers to diversify cropping pattern and get maximum yield from small lands.
  • Cropping pattern has changed from food crops to commercial and high value crops that are in demand in national and international markets.
  • Growth of high value crops will force India to import cereals from other countries.

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  1. Nitin Roy

    Hii sir

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