1.      Net sown area is 141 million hectares. Per capita land holdings – 2 ha. World average – 2 ha.

2.     British era land revenue system led to fragmented holdings, Zamindari systems, domination of moneylenders, large land holdings, landless laborers were exploited.

3.   After independence land reforms focused on elimination of intermediaries, tenancy reforms, ceiling on holdings, cooperative farming, land to the tiller, prevent further fragmentation, consolidation of holdings.

4.    However only southern states and Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra have been partially successful other state still facing problems of exploitation by intermediaries.

Agro climatic planning:

Farming based on suitability of climate of the place and physio-graphical situation of the place. Agro - climatic divisions of the country are based on climate, soil, water availability and terrain.


1.Maximizing productivity

a.       Agro practices should be suitable

b.      Technology should be used

2.Conservation of resources

a.       Water use efficiency

b.      Choice of crops

3.Economic benefits to farmers.

a.       Diversification within agriculture

b.      Non crop options.

Irrigation issues:

Types of irrigation:

1.   Canal [30%] – oldest method of irrigation. But easy to construct in northern plains than peninsular plateau. But efficiency very low. Problems of canals are high seepage, evaporation losses and silting. Also not all farmers can afford field application channels from canal.

2.  Tube wells [60%] – most popular technique as it can be used in any region. No additional infrastructure or evaporation losses. But can lead to overuse and deplete ground water resources.

3.   Tank [4%] – artificial ponds of 3 - 4 ha and more are located in southern India and peninsular plateau. These too are susceptible to evaporation losses.

Command area development program: [Min of Water resources]

    1. Development of on field infrastructure

    2. Supply of improved seeds, fertilizers

    3. Development of agro - credit infrastructure and services

    4. Post harvest infrastructure development and forming Paani panchayats.

Schemes for irrigation:

1.      Neeranchal –  watershed development in the country [Min of rural development]

2.      PM Krishi sinchayi yojana -  expedite small and major irrigation projects [Min of agriculture]

Green revolution:

Launched in 1965-66 as high yielding variety program by Norman Borlaug. M. S. Swaminathan brought H.Y.V seeds to India.


    1.      Manage food crisis

    2.      Achieve self sufficiency in agriculture

    3.      Modernize agriculture

    4.      Develop Agro - industry interface

Phase 1: Modernize agriculture practices

        Use of H.Y.V seeds, chemical fertilizers, mechanization, pesticides, irrigation.

Phase 2: Crop specific and region specific

        Target wheat crop and region Punjab, Haryana and western UP.

Benefits of green revolution in India:

     1.      Not a single incidence of famine after green revolution

     2.      Productivity increased four times after 4 decades.

     3.      Tube well revolution, agro income increased.

     4.      Development of cold storage infrastructure, fertilizer industries, irrigated lands, markets.

Disadvantages of green revolution:

    1.      Crop specific and region specific. Increased disparity of non wheat crops.

    2.      Rich farmer became rich and green revolution didn’t reach small, poor farmers outside the western zone like north east, east UP, Bengal.

    3.      Extensive use of fertilizers, over irrigation led to salinity, erosion.

Green revolution needs to spread to other areas. This would need modification of technologies and selection of crop. Need for creation of infrastructure, regulations, monitoring and awareness. Also focus on all crops and non agro activities too. Avoidance of input intensive agriculture practices.

Government Programs 

National food security mission:

Ministry of agriculture is handling it. It was started under the 12th 5 year plan in 2007. It has 5 components:

    1.      Rice – 10 million tons production targeted

    2.      Wheat– 8 million tons production targeted

    3.      Pulses– 4 million tons production targeted

    4.      Millets– 3 million tons production targeted

    5.      Commercial crops

Farm field schools to be setup for:

    1.      Farm mechanization

    2.      Resource conservation technique

    3.      Efficient water application tools

    4.      Cropping system based training

Agriculture extension:

1.      Agriculture education and awareness

a.       Farmer scientist linkage

b.      Training and demonstartion

2.      Veterinary education and research

3.      Information dissemination

4.      Training and capacity building

a.       Agro education

b.      Entrepreneurhip skill development

c.       Arya – create opportunities for youth in agro.


1.      Kisan credit card scheme – gives crop loans, term loans and consumption loans. Can be used as an ATM card. Insurance against death and disability provided.

2.      National crop insurance program: Available for all farmers and against all calamities and it will cover all crops. 10% subsidy for small and medium farmers. Subsumed schemes for individual crops.

3.      NABARD’s initiative:

a.       Long term rural credit fund: refinance cooperative banks and Regional rural banks

b.      Price stabilization fund – mitigate price volatility in agriculture markets.


1.      Amend APMC act to amend direct contract farming.

2.      Kisan mandi to allow direct selling of agriculture products to consumers

3.      FPO- direct marketing of produce. Cooperative marketing

4.      Unified agriculture market – eliminate interstate barriers for selling.

5.      Storage augmentation: Private entrepreneur guarantee scheme by FCI with guaranteed full capacity storage for 10 years to a godown constructed by an individual entrepreneur.

6.      Finance: State warehouse corporation and central warehouse corporation registered warehouses can issue warehouse negotiable receipt to farmers who store produce in these godowns. These receipts can be used to obtain loans at commercial rates or to trade at commodity exchanges.

7.      Forward market commission setup AGMARKNET, an online portal to give real time prices of agriculture commodities.

Q.In a particular region in India, the local people train the roots of living tree into robust bridges across the streams. As the time passes these bridges become stronger. These unique ‘Living Root Bridges’ are found in (UPSC CSAT 2015)

  • Meghalaya

  • Himachal Pradesh

  • Jharkhand

  • Tamil Nadu

Ans . A

  1. Meghalaya’s double-decker and single-decker root bridges are unique in the world and are a sight to behold. The bridges are tangles of massive thick roots, which have been intermingled to form a bridge that can hold several people at a time. Khasi people have been trained to grow these bridges across the raised banks of streams to form a solid bridge, made from roots. The living bridges are made from the roots of the Ficus elastic tree, which produces a series of secondary roots that are perched atop huge boulders along the streams or the riverbanks to form bridges.

  2. The root bridges, some of which are over a hundred feet long, take ten to fifteen years to become fully functional, but they’re extraordinarily strong – strong enough that some of them can support the weight of fifty or more people at a time. The bridges are alive and still growing and gain strength over time.

Q.With reference to ‘Changpa’ community of India, consider the following statement:
They live mainly in the State of Uttarakhand.
They rear the Pashmina goats that yield a fine wool.
They are kept in the category of Scheduled Tribes.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (UPSC CSAT 2014)

  • 1 only

  • 2 and 3 only

  • 3 only

  • 1, 2 and 3

Ans .

  1. Changpa under ST category from Jammu Kashmir

  2. Pashmina: The Kashmir Shawl and Beyond follows the origin of the fibre right to the Changra goats, which are specially reared by the nomadic Changpa tribes of Ladakh, and then its refinement at the hands of the Kashmiri artisans and subsequent export and consumption by the rest of the world.

  3. Changpa tribe’s present population is less than 9,000, and the adverse climatic conditions which force them to keep moving 10 to 12 times a year. In Ladakh, merchants pay Rs.1,200 to 1,500 for a kilogram of raw Pashmina

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