In India, agriculture is practiced in a variety of ways based on the source of moisture available to the crops. Here are the main types of farming practiced in India based on the source of moisture:
- Rain-fed farming: Rain-fed farming is the most common type of farming in India, with over 60% of the country’s net sown area depending on rainfall for irrigation. This type of farming is practiced in areas where rainfall is abundant, such as the eastern and northeastern regions of the country, and is characterized by a single crop per year. Rain-fed farming is often associated with low yields, low productivity, and vulnerability to drought and climate variability.
- Irrigated farming: Irrigated farming is practiced in areas where water is available through artificial means, such as canals, wells, and tube wells. Irrigation can significantly increase yields and productivity, enabling farmers to grow multiple crops per year. However, irrigation also requires significant investments in infrastructure, such as canals, pumps, and reservoirs, and can lead to issues such as groundwater depletion, salinization, and waterlogging.
- Dryland farming: Dryland farming is practiced in areas where rainfall is low and unreliable, such as in the arid and semi-arid regions of western and central India. Dryland farming relies on crop varieties that are adapted to low moisture conditions, such as millets and pulses, and on conservation practices such as soil and water conservation to enhance productivity.
- Mixed farming: Mixed farming involves the cultivation of crops and rearing of livestock in a mutually beneficial manner. Livestock provide manure for crops, while crop residues provide feed for livestock. Mixed farming is often practiced in areas with a high population density, where there is a demand for both food and fodder.
In conclusion, the type of farming practiced in India depends on the source of moisture available to crops. Rain-fed farming is the most common type of farming, but it is often associated with low productivity and vulnerability to climate variability. Irrigated farming can significantly increase yields and productivity, but it requires significant investments in infrastructure and can lead to issues such as groundwater depletion. Dryland farming and mixed farming are other types of farming practices that are suited to areas with low rainfall and high population density, respectively.