Cropping Pattern

With examples discuss the factors that determine cropping pattern in India. (200 Words)

Crop pattern refers to the proportion of area under different crops at a particular period of time. Factors affecting cropping pattern
Geographical Factors:
  1. Type of soil e.g. black soil in Deccan plateau is good for cotton
  2. Type of climate – In the summers where temperature is high tropical crops like- Gaur, Bajara while in winter temperate crops like mustard, wheat is grown.
  3. Type of rainfall e.g. In the dry regions where the rainfall is scanty and/uncertain, more dependence on rain fed crops like coarse cereals. Water logging areas cultivate rice.
  4. Type of topography e.g. tea is grown on gentle slopes
Economic Factors:
  1. Most important in determining the cropping pattern of the country
  2. Price and Income Maximization: Price variations exert an important influence on acreage shifts. The variation in the inter-crop prices led to shifts in acreage as between the crops. The maintenance of a stable level of prices for a crop provides a better incentive to the producer to increase the output than what a very high level of price does, if there is no uncertainty of this level being maintained over a number of years.
  3. Farm Size: There is a relationship between the farm size and the cropping pattern. The small farmers are first interested in producing food grain for their requirements. Small holder therefore devotes relatively small acreage to cash crops than large holders.
  4. Insurance against Risk: The need to minimize the risk of crop failures explains diversification in a farm
  5. Availability of irrigation: Irrigation: irrigation availability led to cultivation of rice in arid areas of Punjab and Haryana. Lack of irrigation in Bundelkhand region led to cultivation of coarse cereals more.
  6. labour availability: major reason of tea plantations succeeding in Darjeeling and not in Himachal Pradesh was availability of labour from Up and Bihar and not in HP
  7. Subsistence farming
Historical factors
  1. Plantations introduced by British
  2. Tenure – Under the crop sharing system, the landlord has a dominant voice in the choice of the cropping pattern and this helps in the adoption of income maximising crop adjustments.
Government Policies:
  1. The legislative and administrative policies of the government may also affect the cropping pattern. Food Crops Acts, Land Use Acts, intensive schemes for paddy, for cotton and oilseeds, subsidies affect the cropping pattern.
  2. MSP – farmers shifting to wheat, rice
  3. Green Revolution – skewed cropping pattern in Northern India towards wheat and rice from coarse cereals and pulses
Social factors
  1. Food habits also play a role – East and South India prefers rice as staple food while it is wheat in North India.



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