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Class 8 Notes CBSE Geography Chapter 4 Agriculture

Last updated date: 24th Feb 2024
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IVSAT 2024

Exam-Focused Revision Notes for CBSE Class 8 Geography Chapter 8 - Agriculture

Agriculture is one of the most important sectors in the country. Derived from Latin, where the words “agri” or “ager” mean soil and culture means cultivation, this sector has been responsible for feeding almost two-thirds of the Indian population. Agriculture can be called a primary activity, which includes the growing of vegetables, fruits, crops, flowers and also rearing livestock. Students can learn more about the chapter from Agriculture Class 8 Revision Notes.

It is known to us that about 50% of people worldwide have agriculture as their main activity. With the help of the summary that we have provided here, students can learn more about it easily and score good marks.

Class 8 Social Science Chapter 4 - Agriculture Important Topics

The following important topics are explained in Class 8 Social Science (Geography) Chapter 4.

  • Agriculture 

  • Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Activities

  • Farm System

  • Types of Farming

    • Subsistence farming

    • Nomadic herding

    • Shifting cultivation

    • Intensive farming

    • Commercial farming

    • Mixed farming

    • Plantations

  • Major Crops

  • Agricultural Development

  • Case Study of a Farm in India and the USA

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Access Class 8 Social Science Geography Chapter 4 - Agriculture

Agriculture is that branch of Science that deals with plants and products derived from plants. The products can be used as food as well as in other forms of valuable resources. Agriculture also has the distinction of economic activity. In fact, in the riverine nations, which also includes India, it is the primary occupation of the majority of people. Moreover, half of the world’s population's livelihood also depends on agriculture. 

CBSE Class 8 Geography Chapter 4 provides an elaborate discussion of agriculture, main crops, types of farming and the agricultural development that has occurred in the country till now.

Highlights of Agriculture

  • Despite the fact that plants grow on every type of land, agriculture is still not a feasible activity on all lands. Agricultural activity requires specific climatic and topological conditions in order to be carried out properly.

  • The land suitable for the cultivation of crops is known as arable land.

  • Farm systems are just like the other systems of production, which require some inputs to get the desired outputs.

  • The inputs needed are seeds, water, climatic conditions, land, fertilisers etc.

  • Ploughing, harvesting, sowing and irrigation etc., are some processes that ensure input produces the desired outputs.

Types of Farming

Agriculture is practised all over the world, but still, farmers do not adopt the same practices worldwide. Many factors play a significant role in this; for example, labour, geographical location, demand for production etc., are different for the different farmers. Based on these factors, there are two significant types of farming: Commercial Farming and Subsistence Farming.

1. Subsistence Farming: 

It is practised where there is limited availability of labour for the production of crops. It is not aimed to meet the high demands of production, and they also use low levels of technology.

Types of Subsistence Farming: They are further classified into intensive subsistence farming or primitive subsistence farming.

  • Intensive Subsistence Farming: In this type of farming, a small piece of land is cultivated with the help of small tools. It also requires more labour as compared to other modes of farming.

It is practised in places which have quite long summers as compared and have rich fertility of the soil.

Rice is the major crop that is grown in this type of farming. Other crops include wheat, oilseeds, maize, and pulses. This farming is mostly practised in the regions of South Asia, East Asia and South-East Asia.

  • Primitive Subsistence Farming: As the name suggests, it is an old type of farming where farmers cultivate different stretches of land at only one time. After the production of one crop, farmers then move to the next stretch of land.

Two major forms of primitive subsistence farming are shifting cultivation as well as nomadic herding.

  • Shifting Cultivation: It is practised in regions of very high rainfall and dense forestation. For example, Southeastern Asia, Northeastern India and the Amazon Basin.

In this type of cultivation, a piece of land is chosen by a farmer, who then cuts all trees on that land. The ashes of the trees are then mixed with the soil of the land, which increases its fertility. The farmer then grows crops on that cleared land until it does not lose fertility. After that, they move to the next piece of land and repeat the entire process again.

  • Nomadic Herding: This type of herding is mostly practised in the semi-arid regions of the Sahara, parts of Asia and the dry regions of Jammu and Kashmir and Rajasthan.

Due to adverse climatic conditions of the region, the farmers select a certain route for themselves so that they can sustain themselves. In this way, they practice herding in the different areas of the same route.

2. Commercial Farming

  • It helps in the cultivation of large amounts of crops, along with animals, with the purpose of selling in the market.

  • A large area of land is used for the cultivation of large amounts of production with the help of advanced machinery.

  • It requires a high amount of capital as compared to subsistence farming.

  • There are varieties of commercial farming also, which are:

  • Commercial Grain Farming

  • Mixed Farming

  • Plantation

  • Commercial Grain Farming: Crops are produced on large patches of land for commercial purposes.

  • Wheat and Maize are grown through this farming.

  • Mostly practised in the temperate grassland regions of Europe, Asia and Northern America.

  • The area selected for this is usually a field, and that too is in a sparsely populated area.

  • Due to the harsh conditions in the winter season, there can be only successful cultivation of only one crop.

  • Mixed Farming: This method is used for the growing of crops alongside the rearing of animals for the purpose of sale in the markets. Argentina, South Africa, New Zealand, Eastern USA, Southeastern Australia etc., are the regions where this farming is practised.

  • Plantation: Only one crop is used to grow throughout the year over the large areas.

  • Major Plantation crops are coffee, tea, rubber and cashew nuts.

  • The product can be easily processed on the farms or the nearby factories.

  • The regions where plantation farming is practised are Sri Lanka, India, Brazil, Malaysia etc.

Major Crops

A large variety of crops are grown in different regions of the world to meet the requirements of a growing population. Some of the important crops are:

  • Rice: 

  • It is a staple food in tropical and subtropical climatic conditions.

  • Climatic Requirements: It requires high rainfall, high humidity and high temperature.

  • For the cultivation of rice, alluvial soils are the best as they can easily retain water.

  • The major rice-growing regions are China (The largest producer), India (Second Largest Producer), Bangladesh, Japan and Egypt.

  • Wheat:

  • It is consumed throughout the world to meet the growing demands of the population.

  • Climatic Requirements: It requires bright sunlight during harvesting, moderate temperature, as well as rainfall during the growing season.

  • The best soil for the cultivation of wheat is loamy soil, as it is well-drained.

  • Major wheat-growing areas are Russia, Canada, Australia, India, Argentina, Ukraine, USA.

  • Maize:

  • Maize is also known by the name corn.

  • Climatic Requirements:  It requires moderate rainfall and temperature with a lot of sunshine.

  • Well-drained fertile soil is needed for the cultivation of maize.

  • Major maize growing regions are China, North America, Russia, Canada, Brazil, Mexico and India.

  • Millets:

  • It also includes a number of different crops like Jowar, Bajra and Ragi.

  • They can be very easily grown on sandy soils or less fertile soil. They are hard in structure.

  • Climatic Requirements: High to moderate temperature as well as low rainfall.

  • Millets are grown in China, India and Nigeria.

  • Cotton:

  • Climatic Requirements: It requires bright sunshine and 210 frost-free days with light rainfall and high temperature. Black and alluvial soils are best for the cultivation of cotton.

  • It is mainly grown in the regions of India, Pakistan, Brazil, the USA and China.

  • Jute: 

  • It is also known as golden fibre.

  • Climatic Requirements: It requires very high rainfall, humidity as well as temperature.

  • Alluvial soil is the best soil for the production of jute.

  • India and Bangladesh are the largest producers of jute.

  • Coffee: 

  • It’s a beverage which is most common and consumed worldwide.

  • Climatic Requirements: It requires adequate rainfall with high temperatures.

  • It requires hill slopes along with well-drained loamy soil.

  • The leading producers of coffee are India, Columbia and Brazil.

  • Tea:

  • Climatic Requirements: it needs a cool climate with a proportionate distribution of rainfall all throughout the year.

  • Like coffee, it also needs hill slopes and well-drained loamy soils.

  • There are a lot of labour requirements in the harvesting of tea.

  • The largest producers of tea are India, China and Kenya.

Agricultural Development

  • It is the development in the field of agricultural production in order to meet the current increasing demand. The logic is to increase food security. For the development, it includes HYV seeds, fertilisers as well as improvement in the irrigation facilities.

  • In developing nations like India, the farmers still use primitive methods like tube wells, tractors, bullock ploughing etc.

  • Whereas on the other hand, developed countries like the USA differ a lot from developing nations. For example, they conduct soil testing and then send samples to the laboratory. The use of chemical fertilisers is based on the Scientific Fertiliser Programs that were undertaken.

Important Questions and Answers

1.  Discuss the disadvantages of shifting cultivation.


  • It leads to deforestation as once the fertility of land drops, farmers shift to the other patch of land which has high fertility.

  • Due to this, soil erosion takes place and the chances of desertification increase. It leads to damage to the natural environment as well as biodiversity.

  • It destroys watersheds which are very uneconomical in nature.

  • It restricts the intensity of land use and leads to water pollution.

2. Discuss the importance of agriculture.

Ans: Agriculture contributes to the national income of a developing country however, for developed nations, it contributes very less. It is important for the food and fodder demand of the population as well as animals. Agriculture contributes to the marketable surplus. With the development of a country, more people get engaged in the non-agricultural sectors like mining, manufacturing etc. As agriculture expands, it leads to the expansion of a marketable surplus which the nation can also export to different countries.

Benefits of CBSE Class 8 Revision Notes Geography Chapter 4

The following are some of the important benefits of Class 8 Revision Notes Geography Chapter 4 - Agriculture. 

  • Students can read detailed explanations of all the concepts of Chapter 4 Agriculture of CBSE Class 8 Geography in these revision notes.

  • Referring to the CBSE Class 8 Revision Notes Geography Chapter 4 will help students improve their understanding of the topics every concept is presented in a step-by-step manner.

  • They can do a quick revision of the important topics of CBSE Class 8 Geography Chapter 4 in the critical hours before their exams.

  • Students can rely on these revision notes to brush up on their concepts as these are prepared by subject experts at Vedantu.


Thus, refer to the expert-curated Revision Notes for CBSE Class 8 Social Science Geography Chapter 4 - Agriculture if you are preparing for the topic and feeling stuck. It is the best study material for the students in the market. Therefore, by going through the concepts presented in Vedantu’s revisions notes of Chapter 4 - Agriculture of Class 8 Geography, students can ensure their overall preparation for the exam and can ace their examinations with remarkable marks. You can also find the other study materials like Class 8 NCERT solutions, important questions, syllabus, and previous years’ question papers on our website. 

FAQs on Class 8 Notes CBSE Geography Chapter 4 Agriculture

1. Who is the father of agriculture class 8 chapter 4 Agriculture?

In class 8 chapter 4 Agriculture - M.S. Swaminathan (1925-2023) is known as the Father of Agriculture. He was an Indian agricultural scientist who revolutionized global farming practices, helping to feed millions.

2. Who first started agriculture class 8 chapter 4 Agriculture?

Ancient Egyptians were among the first people to farm on a large scale, starting in the pre-dynastic period around 10,000-4000 BC. - class 8 chapter 4 Agriculture

3. What is agriculture season class 8 chapter 4 Agriculture?

Class 8 chapter 4 Agriculture - The agricultural season is the time of year when crops are grown. It varies depending on the climate and the type of crop.

4. What are 4 types of agriculture class 8 chapter 4 Agriculture?

The four main types of agriculture in class 8 chapter 4 Agriculture are:

  • Pastoralism: raising animals

  • Shifting cultivation: moving farms to new land

  • Subsistence farming: growing food for the family

  • Intensive farming: using a lot of resources to produce a lot of food