For agriculture, land is a very important resource. India has different types of land uses because its large area size, and physical and sociocultural diversities. Agriculture is predominant economic activity in India, engaging nearly three-fifths of its working population. Though the share of agricultural sector in gross domestic product has considerably declined to about one-fourth yet the importance of agriculture as employment provider to workforce especially in the countryside is very high. Obviously, agriculture forms the hub of Indian economy as a large number of industries are also heavily dependent on agriculture for supply of raw materials. Agriculture involves not only crops raising but also animal ranching and fishing.
The net sown area, current fallows and land under tree crops and groves are included in agricultural land use.
- The agricultural land in India is little more than 50 per cent of the total geographical area in the country. This is the highest share of land in any country in the world.
- But due to large size of population in India, per capita arable land is available only 0.17 hectares, which is lower than the world average (0.24 hec). The per capita agricultural land in some select countries is much higher than India. In Australia it is 2.8 hec., in Canada 1.35 and in Brazil 0.33 hec. The lower per capita availability of land is an indicator of high pressure of population on land resources.
- Since there is little scope for increasing land under the plough, the way out to feed the growing population can be found in increasing land productivity. Over the period, area sown more than once has been increasing which is about 15 per cent.
- If the same piece of land is sown more than once in a year, it is called cropping intensity. Which stands for the ratio between gross cropped area and net sown area.
- The use of new technology, fertilizers, good quality of seeds and irrigation facilities are necessary for increasing intensity of cropping.
- The so-called Green Revolution is also nothing but technological package, which include HYV seeds, chemical fertilizers and artificial irrigation. After the adoption of Green Resolution by India in 1966 onwards agricultural, land use has undergone a significant change.
Bibliography : NIOS Geography Book