First let us know about what is cultivation. Cultivation is the planting and growing of food crops and cash crops for the people. It is to meet the requirement of food. The growth in population has increased the demand of food in the world. Food is the most essential part of human life and human existence.
No human being can survive without food. There are various kinds of cultivation. Each crop requires different kind of cultivation process and care. At first let us differentiate between the cash crop and food crop.
Food crop includes crops like wheat, rice and all the crops that will be consumed by the human beings. These are the pulses and cereals that are required on daily basis. The cash crops are those crops which include the cultivation of crops which would be use in commercial purposes. It includes crops such as cotton, jute etc. these are not consumed by the human beings. They are of economic importance.
There are various farming practices in India. Subsistence farming is the most common method of farming done by the farmers. This type of farming is done on small and scattered land holdings. There is no use of extensive machinery. The farmers use primitive tools for the process of cultivation. This kind of cultivation is good for the soil also.
Since the farmers are poor so they are not able to use extensive amount of fertilizers and high yielding seeds for the cultivation. They don’t have the access to irrigation and electricity. In this type of farming the entire family of the farer works on the farm.
They do the work of the farm manually. The farms are small as mentioned earlier and they use traditional way of farming. Since the size of the farm is small so the yield is also small. The yield is only to suffice the family members of the farmers and not surplus for them.
There comes another technique of farming. The name of the method is shifting agriculture. In this the farming is done on the forest land. The area or the piece of the land which is to be used for cultivation is cleared. It is cleared by cutting down of trees and burning the trunks and branches.
Once the clearing of land is done the farming process starts. The growing of crops takes place for two to three years. After that the plantation is shifted from there. It is done because the land becomes infertile after the cultivation. This is the reason it is named as shifting cultivation.
The farmers then move onto the other land to repeat the same process there and they keep on shifting it. The major crops grown on this land are dry paddy, maize etc. shifting cultivation is known by different names in different states. It is known as Jhum in Assam.
It is known as Ponam in Kerala. It is known as Podu in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. Since this process causes a lot of harm to the environment government discourages this practice. It causes soil erosion and leaves the land infertile.
Another method is plantation farming. This was the farming technique introduced by the British. It came in 19th century. It is basically bush or tree farming. It is also known as single crop farming. It is mainly used for the cultivation of crops like rubber, apple, grapes and lot more. It is very different from normal farming. In this it requires the need of heavy machinery.
It requires proper irrigation facilities and fertilizers. It is capital intensive. It requires proper management. It is also known as export oriented cultivation. The life span of this type of cultivation is two years. This type of cultivation takes place in the tropical areas. It requires a tropical climate and can grow on any land having tropical climate. In India, it takes place in hilly areas.
It has occupied the peninsular India and west Bengal. There is the practice of intensive farming. This is also known as industrial farming. It is totally different from the traditional farming. It requires large farming and extensive machinery.
It requires large labor inputs. Another farming technique is dry farming. In this kind of cultivation, the farming takes place on land which receives annual rain fall. There is no irrigation facility here. This type of cultivation does not bring any harm to the environment. It conserves the soil. It is very natural in its approach. It makes the use of moisture present in the atmosphere.
Then there is mixed and multiple agriculture. The name justifies since here the simultaneous farming of crops and animals takes place. There are crops which have different maturing periods. Here all the crops having different maturing periods are grown together. It is practiced in areas with good irrigation facilities and good rain fall. There is another method of cultivation which takes place.
The name of the method is crop rotation method. This is done to maintain the fertility of the soil. It is a process in which the crops are grown in rotation one after the other to maintain the fertility of the soil. The time taken in the rotation of crops is a year or so. At first there is cultivation of the cereal crops. After the cereal crops the leguminous crops are grown.
Legumes helps in the fixation of nitrogen into the soil. Crops like sugarcane require heavy use of fertilizers for its cultivation. So, the sugarcane is rotated after the cereal crops. The crops to be rotated depends upon the farmers. Their understanding of farming and crops and their experience helps them to choose the crops for crop rotation.
There is one more method of farming which are done on hilly and mountain areas. The farming is known as terrace farming. It is done on the slopes so that the surface water run offs. In hilly areas, the availability of plane and flat lands is hard to find hence they use the terrace to perform their farming.
So, these were the farming techniques prevalent in India