Agriculture farming in India is a century-old activity, and is currently the highest contributor to the GDP of India. The Government of India has set a target under its Agriculture Export Policy to increase the agricultural export to over $60 billion by 2022. This means, the agricultural activity in India will be doubling. If we describe the farmers of India, they constitute 58% of the country's population. Agriculture is the primary source of income for the mentioned percentage of the population.
The Indian food industry is set to grow in the near future by contributing towards the world food trade every year. Moreover, the Indian food and grocery market are the sixth-largest in the world. Additionally, Indian Food Processing covers 32% of the total food market of the country. This overall shows that both traditional and commercial agriculture in India is the major contributor towards the GDP and livelihood of farmers.
Agricultural Methods of the Indian Farmer
Agriculture farming in India is the oldest activity and has been the major livelihood for farmers. Over the years, farming methods in India have changed, thanks to the technology invention making the lives of farmers easy. Socio-cultural practices, climatic conditions, and other aspects have also contributed to the innovation in Indian farming. Currently, both traditional farming methods in India and modern farming is practiced.
Let us check some of the old and modern farming techniques in India
1. Primitive Farming:
The oldest farming technique followed in India, primitive farming is still followed in many parts of the country. However, it is majorly practiced in small farming lands by using a hoe, digging sticks, etc. Moreover, it is practiced by those farmers, who use the output for their own consumption. However, farmers still have to depend on the heat, soil fertility, and environmental condition. This method is also called the 'Slash and Burn' method where once crops are grown, farmers burn the land. After burning, they move the clear patch and cultivation.
2. Subsistence Farming:
In this subsistence farming in India method, the cultivation takes place across larger land areas, and it is labor-intensive. Moreover, for the high-quantity of chemical fertilizer production, different irrigation methods are used to help to yield crops.
Under subsistence farming, there are two types of crops grown- wet and dry. Paddy falls under the wet crop and dry crops include- wheat, pulses, and maize.
3. Commercial Farming:
Commercial farming in India involves new techniques and tools, contributing huge to the Indian economy. Crops grown under this farming are also exported to other countries. Under commercial farming, farmers use a good amount of fertilizers, insecticides, and pesticides that would enhance the growth of crops. However, commercial farming in India is quite different in different regions. For instance, Haryana, Punjab, and West Bengal grow rice using commercial methods, but in Orissa, farmers use subsistence methods.
Under commercial farming, the plantation is also practiced. Plantation farming involves the mixture of agriculture and industry, and is widely practiced in vast farming land. Farmers use both labor and modern farming technology for the sustainable process. The produce yielded using plantations is further treated under raw materials.
Modern Farming Methods in India
Besides the above-mentioned farming techniques in India, there are other methods followed in different regions of the country. Much of these don’t fall under traditional farming methods in India. This includes:
1. Aeroponics System
Aeroponics is the process where plants are grown in the air or mist environment without the use of soil. It is the subset of hydroponics, and suspends the plant root in the air to work. Farmers, by using this method will have better control over the amount of water to use.
Aquaponics is a closed-loop system that relies majorly on the symbiotic relationship between aquaculture and agriculture for fertilization. This farming method combines conventional aquaculture with hydroponics.
The hydroponics method is a less-soil type of farming, and it doesn't require any type of soil. The process involves growing healthy plants without the inclusion of solid medium using nutrients including water solution which is mineral-rich. Hydroponic farming is the subset of hydroculture, and the nutrients used in hydroponic farming systems have different sources.
This method is the raising of a single crop in a specific area of farming. However, in a country like India, the Monoculture technique of farming isn't widely followed. Indoor farming like growing medicinal plants falls under the monoculture. In plain words, monoculture is a modern agriculture practice where a single crop or plant is grown.