It is a slash and burn agriculture. Farmers clear a patch of land and produce cereals and other food crops to sustain their family. When the soil fertility decreases, the farmers shift and clear a fresh patch of land for cultivation.
Majority of farmers in India practice subsistence farming. It is characterised by small and scattered land holdings and use of primitive tools, like hoe and digging sticks by family members. As the farmers are poor, they do not use fertilisers and high yielding variety of seeds in their fields.
Intensive and extensive farming
Intensive farming: This is a system of farming under which small farms are cultivated intensively using large inputs of manual labour, manures and fertilisers. Usually, more than one crop is cultivated on the same field. The main crops grown are rice and wheat. Extensive farming: This type of farming is practised on farms of large size with the help of machines and the input of labour per unit area is low. The emphasis is laid on increased production. The main crops grown are rice, wheat, sugarcane, etc.
Plantation and mixed farming
Plantations are large tracts of land or estates used for cultivation of a single agricultural crop like tea, coffee, rubber or spices. The plantation crops usually cater to the export market and earn foreign exchange. Mixed farming: Cultivation of crops and raising of animals together is called mixed farming. Two or more crops are grown together. It ensures steady income to the farmers.
Commercial and dry farming
Commercial farming: This system of agriculture involves cultivation of crops for sale in the market. These crops are called cash crops. They include sugarcane, tobacco, oilseeds. It is usually practised in areas where plenty of land is available and market economy is well developed.
A type of farming practised in arid areas without irrigation by planting drought-resistant crops or by employing moisture-enhancing techniques such as planting seeds deep in the ground or using and maintaining a fine surface tilth or mulch that delays evaporation. Also called dryland farming.
As per agriculture scientists, 'organic farming' is a system which largely excludes the use of synthetic inputs such as fertilisers, pesticides etc in farming activities. They follow crop rotations, crop residues, manures, non-farm organic waste and biological system of nutrient mobilization and plant protection for better yield of crops.