Characteristics and features of Indian Agriculture

  • Source of livelihood: Agriculture is the main occupation. It provides employment to nearly 61% persons of total population. It contributes 25% to national income.
  • Dependence on monsoon: Agriculture in India mainly depends on monsoon. If monsoon is good, the production will be more and if monsoon is less than average then the crops fail. Sometimes floods play havoc with our crops. As irrigation facilities are quite inadequate, the agriculture depends on monsoon.
  • Labour intensive cultivation: Due is increase in population the pressure on land holding increased. Land holdings get fragmentated and subdivided and become uneconomical. Machinery and equipment can not be used on such farms.
  • Under employment: Due to inadequate irrigation facilities and uncertain rainfall, the production of agriculture is less, farmers find work a few months in the year. Their capacity of work cannot be properly utilised. In agriculture there is under employment as well as disguised unemployment.
  • Small size of holdings: Due to large scale sub-division and fragmentation of holdings, land holding size is quite small. Average size of land holding was 2.3 hectares in India while in Australia it was 1993 hectares and in USA it was 158 hectares.
  • Traditional methods of production: In India methods of production of agriculture along with equipment are traditional. It is due is poverty and illiteracy of people. Traditional technology is the main cause of low production.
  • Low Agricultural production: Agricultural production is low in India. India produces 27 Qtls. wheat per hectare. France produces 71.2 Qtls per hectare and Britain 80 Qtls per hectare. Average annual productivity of an agricultural labourer is 162 dollars in India, 973 dollars in Norway and 2408 dollars in USA.
  • Dominance of food crops: 75% of the cultivated area is under food crops like Wheat, Rice and Bajra, while 25% of cultivated area is under commercial crops. This pattern is cause of backward agriculture.