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NCERT Class 10 Social Science Comprehensive Guide: Unveiling the Dynamics of Agriculture in India



Agriculture is the backbone of the Indian economy and a primary source of livelihood for a significant portion of the population. This article explores various aspects of agriculture in India, including types of farming, cropping patterns, major crops, and the impact of technological and institutional reforms.

Types of Farming

Farming in India varies widely due to its diverse geography and climate. The major types include:

Subsistence Farming

  • Characteristics: Practiced primarily for the farmer’s family consumption.
  • Region: Common in rural and tribal areas.
  • Methods: Traditional tools and methods; reliance on monsoon.

Commercial Farming

  • Characteristics: Production for sale in the market.
  • Region: Areas with good irrigation facilities.
  • Methods: Use of high-yielding varieties, modern technology, and chemical fertilizers.

Intensive Farming

  • Characteristics: High labor and capital input per unit land.
  • Region: Densely populated areas like West Bengal and Kerala.
  • Methods: Multiple cropping and heavy use of inputs.

Extensive Farming

  • Characteristics: Large farms with lower labor and capital input.
  • Region: Sparsely populated areas, especially in developed countries.
  • Methods: Mechanization and modern agricultural techniques.

Organic Farming

  • Characteristics: Avoidance of synthetic inputs.
  • Region: Gaining popularity globally.
  • Methods: Use of natural fertilizers, biopesticides, and crop rotation.

Cropping Pattern

Cropping patterns in India are influenced by soil type, climate, and irrigation facilities. The major patterns include:


  • Characteristics: Growing the same crop year after year.
  • Advantages: Simplifies farming operations.
  • Disadvantages: Soil nutrient depletion; higher pest risk.

Multiple Cropping

  • Characteristics: Growing more than one crop on the same land in a year.
  • Types: Sequential (different crops in succession) and intercropping (growing two or more crops simultaneously).

Crop Rotation

  • Characteristics: Rotating different crops on the same land to maintain soil fertility.
  • Benefits: Reduces soil erosion and increases soil nutrients.

Major Crops

India’s agriculture is diverse, with several major crops dominating the landscape:

Food Grains

  • Rice: Staple food in many regions; requires abundant water.
  • Wheat: Mainly grown in the Indo-Gangetic plain.
  • Maize, Millets, and Pulses: Important in dry regions.

Cash Crops

  • Cotton: Major textile industry crop.
  • Sugarcane: Used in sugar production.
  • Tea and Coffee: Important export crops.

Horticulture Crops

  • Fruits and Vegetables: Significant contribution to the economy.

Technological and Institutional Reforms

Post-independence, India has seen significant reforms in agriculture:

Green Revolution

  • Impact: Massive increase in food grain production.
  • Technology: High-yielding varieties, chemical fertilizers, and irrigation.

White Revolution

  • Impact: Revolutionized milk production.
  • Method: Operation Flood; cooperative dairy farming.

Institutional Reforms

  • Land Reforms: Abolition of Zamindari system; land ceiling laws.
  • Credit Facilities: Establishment of banks and cooperative societies for providing agricultural loans.

Challenges and Future Directions

Despite advancements, challenges like soil degradation, water scarcity, and climate change impact persist. Future strategies include sustainable farming practices, organic farming, and use of information technology for precision agriculture.


The chapter on “Agriculture” illustrates the multifaceted nature of farming in India, encompassing various farming types, cropping patterns, and major crops. It also highlights the significant changes brought about by technological and institutional reforms, shaping the future of agriculture in India.

Here are 25 questions and answers covering the topic of “Agriculture” for Class 10 Social Science:

  1. Q: What are the different types of farming in India?
    A: Types include subsistence farming, commercial farming, intensive farming, extensive farming, and organic farming.
  2. Q: What is subsistence farming?
    A: It’s a type of farming where the crops are grown mainly for consumption by the farmer and his family.
  3. Q: How does commercial farming differ from subsistence farming?
    A: Commercial farming focuses on growing crops for sale in the market, often using modern technology and high-yielding varieties.
  4. Q: What is intensive farming?
    A: Intensive farming involves cultivating crops on a small piece of land using high labor and capital inputs.
  5. Q: What is extensive farming?
    A: Extensive farming refers to a system where large farms are used with lower labor and capital inputs.
  6. Q: What is organic farming?
    A: Organic farming uses natural methods and materials, avoiding synthetic chemicals.
  7. Q: What is monocropping?
    A: Monocropping is the agricultural practice of growing the same crop on the same land year after year.
  8. Q: What is multiple cropping?
    A: Multiple cropping involves growing more than one crop on the same land in one year.
  9. Q: What is crop rotation?
    A: Crop rotation is the practice of growing different crops in succession on the same land to maintain soil fertility.
  10. Q: What are some major food grains grown in India?
    A: Major food grains include rice, wheat, maize, millets, and pulses.
  11. Q: What are the main cash crops in India?
    A: Major cash crops include cotton, sugarcane, tea, and coffee.
  12. Q: How did the Green Revolution impact Indian agriculture?
    A: The Green Revolution led to a significant increase in agricultural production in India, primarily through the use of high-yielding varieties and improved irrigation.
  13. Q: What is the White Revolution?
    A: The White Revolution, also known as Operation Flood, was a movement that transformed India into one of the largest milk producers in the world.
  14. Q: What are the institutional reforms in Indian agriculture?
    A: Institutional reforms include land reforms, such as the abolition of the Zamindari system, and the establishment of agricultural credit facilities.
  15. Q: Why is soil conservation important in agriculture?
    A: Soil conservation is vital for maintaining soil health, fertility, and productivity.
  16. Q: How does climate change affect agriculture?
    A: Climate change affects agriculture through altered weather patterns, impacting crop yields and farming practices.
  17. Q: What is the significance of horticulture crops in India?
    A: Horticulture crops, including fruits and vegetables, contribute significantly to the agricultural economy and provide nutritional diversity.
  18. Q: What are some sustainable farming practices?
    A: Sustainable farming practices include crop rotation, organic farming, and integrated pest management.
  19. Q: How do agricultural technologies impact farming?
    A: Agricultural technologies, such as improved seeds, irrigation systems, and machinery, enhance productivity and efficiency.
  20. Q: What is precision agriculture?
    A: Precision agriculture involves using information technology to ensure efficient and optimized farming practices.
  21. Q: What is the role of agricultural cooperatives?
    A: Agricultural cooperatives play a role in providing farmers with resources, information, and markets.
  22. Q: How does urbanization affect agriculture?
    A: Urbanization can lead to the loss of agricultural land and change in food demand patterns.
  23. Q: What challenges do farmers face in India?
    A: Challenges include small landholdings, lack of access to credit, market fluctuations, and environmental factors.
  24. Q: What is the importance of water management in agriculture?
    A: Efficient water management is essential for irrigation and maintaining crop yields, especially in areas with water scarcity.
  25. Q: How can agroforestry benefit farmers?
    A: Agroforestry, which combines agriculture and forestry, can enhance land productivity, provide diversification, and improve environmental sustainability.