Agriculture Class 8 Notes NCERT and MCQs

23-03-2024 17:11 PM IST Priyanka Chaudhary

This chapter discusses the types of agriculture, major crops grown and different agricultural practices in different areas of the world.

Types of economic activities

  • Primary activities: Primary activities include all those connected with the extraction and production of natural resources. Agriculture, fishing and gathering are examples.
  • Secondary activities: Secondary activities are concerned with the processing of these resources. Manufacturing of steel, baking of bread and weaving of cloth are examples of this activity.
  • Tertiary activities: Tertiary activities provide support to the primary and secondary sectors through services. Transport, trade, banking, insurance and advertising are examples of tertiary activities.

Agriculture

  • Agriculture is the science and art of cultivation on the soil, raising crops and rearing livestock. It is also called farming.
  • Agriculture is a primary activity. It includes growing crops, fruits, vegetables, flowers and rearing of livestock.
  • In the world, 50% of persons are engaged in agricultural activity. Two-thirds of India’s population is still dependent on agriculture.
  • Favourable topography of soil and climate is vital for agricultural activity.
  • The land on which the crops are grown is known as arable land.
  • Farm systems need important inputs like seeds, fertilisers, machinery and labour.
  • Some of the operations involved are ploughing, sowing, irrigation, weeding and harvesting.
  • The outputs from the system include crops, wool, dairy and poultry products.

Sericulture: Commercial rearing of silk worms. It may supplement the income of the farmer.

Pisciculture: Breeding of fish in specially constructed tanks and ponds.

Viticulture: Cultivation of grapes.

Horticulture: Growing vegetables, flowers and fruits for commercial use.

Types of Farming

Subsistence Farming

This type of farming is practised to meet the needs of the farmer’s family. Low levels of technology and household labour are used to produce on small output. It can further be classified as:

Intensive subsistence agriculture

  • In this, the farmer cultivates a small plot of land using simple tools and more labour.
  • More than one crop annually is grown on the same plot. Rice is the main crop. Other crops include wheat, maize, pulses and oilseeds.
  • Intensive subsistence agriculture is prevalent in the thickly populated areas of the monsoon regions of south, southeast and east Asia.
  • Primitive subsistence agriculture includes
    • Shifting cultivation – It is practised in the thickly forested areas of Amazon basin, tropical Africa, parts of southeast Asia and Northeast India.
    • A plot of land is cleared by felling the trees and burning them and the ashes are mixed with the soil and crops like maize, yam, potatoes and cassava are grown.
    • After the soil loses its fertility, the land is abandoned and the cultivator moves to a new plot.
    • Shifting cultivation is also known as ‘slash and burn’ agriculture. It is known as Jhumming in North-East India, Milpa in Mexico, Roca in Brazil and Ladang in Malaysia.
    • Nomadic herding – It is practised in the semi-arid and arid regions of Sahara, Central Asia and some parts of India, like Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir.
    • In this type of farming, herdsmen move from place to place with their animals for fodder and water, along defined routes.
    • Sheep, camel, yak and goats are most commonly reared.
    • They provide milk, meat, wool, hides and other products to the herders and their families.

Commercial Farming

  • In this, crops are grown and animals are reared for sale in the market. The area cultivated and the amount of capital used is large and most of the work is done by machines. It includes:
  • Commercial grain farming
    •  In commercial grain farming crops are grown for commercial purposes. Wheat and maize are common commercially grown grains.
    • Major areas where commercial grain farming is practiced are temperate grasslands of North America, Europe and Asia.
    • These areas are sparsely populated with large farms spreading over hundreds of hectares.
  • Mixed farming: In this, the land is used for growing food and fodder crops and rearing livestock. It is practised in Europe, eastern USA, Argentina, southeast Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
  • Plantations:
    • They are a type of commercial farming where single crop of tea, coffee, sugarcane, cashew, rubber, banana or cotton are grown.  
    • Large amount of labour and capital are required.
    • Major plantations are found in the tropical regions of the world like rubber in Malaysia, coffee in Brazil, tea in India and Sri Lanka.

Organic Farming: In this type of farming, organic manure and natural pesticides are used instead of chemicals. No genetic modification is done to increase the yield of the crop.

Major Crops grown in world

Rice

  • Rice is the major food crop of the world. It is the staple diet of the tropical and sub-tropical regions.
  • Rice needs high temperature, high humidity and rainfall and grows best in alluvial clayey soil, which can retain water.
  • China leads in the production of rice followed by India, Japan, Sri Lanka and Egypt.
  • In favourable climatic conditions as in West Bengal and Bangladesh two to three crops are grown in a year.

Wheat

  • Wheat requires moderate temperature and rainfall during growing season and bright sunshine at the time of harvest.
  • It thrives best in well drained loamy soil.
  • Wheat is grown extensively in USA, Canada, Argentina, Russia, Ukraine, Australia and India.
  • In India, it is grown in winter.

Millets

  • They are also known as coarse grains and can be grown on less fertile and sandy soils.
  • It is a hardy crop that needs low rainfall and high to moderate temperature and adequate rainfall.
  • Jowar, bajra and ragi are grown in India. Other countries where millets are grown are Nigeria, China and Niger.

Maize

  • Maize requires moderate temperature, rainfall and lots of sunshine.
  • It needs well-drained fertile soils.
  • Maize is grown in North America, Brazil, China, Russia, Canada, India, and Mexico.

Cotton

  • Cotton requires high temperature, light rainfall, two hundred and ten frost-free days and bright sunshine for its growth.
  • It grows best on black and alluvial soils.
  • China, USA, India, Pakistan, Brazil and Egypt are the leading producers of cotton.

Jute

  • Jute was also known as the ‘Golden Fibre’.
  • It grows well on alluvial soil and requires high temperature, heavy rainfall and humid climate.
  • This crop is grown in the tropical areas. India and Bangladesh are the leading producers of jute.

Coffee

  • Coffee requires warm and wet climate and well drained loamy soil.
  • Hill slopes are more suitable for growth of this crop.
  • Brazil is the leading producer followed by Columbia and India.

Tea

  • Tea is a beverage crop grown on plantations.
  • This requires cool climate and well distributed high rainfall throughout the year for the growth of its tender leaves.
  • It needs well-drained loamy soils and gentle slopes.
  • Labour in large number is required to pick the leaves.
  • Kenya, India, China, Sri Lanka produce the best quality tea in the world.

Agricultural Development

It refers to efforts made to increase farm production in order to meet the growing demand of the increasing population. This can be done through increasing the cropped area, the number of crops grown, improving irrigation facilities, use of fertilisers and high yielding variety of seeds and mechanisation of agriculture.

Agriculture has developed in different ways in different parts of the world:

Agriculture in India

  • Small farmland, usually less than 2 hectares.
  • High yielding variety seeds used.
  • Land is fertile and atleast two crops in a year are grown, which are normally wheat or rice and pulses.
  • Farming practices are based on advice from elders, friends and government agricultural officers.
  • Field is ploughed either through a tractor or at some places even bullocks are used.
  • Tubewell is the major source of irrigation.
  • Farmers practice mixed agriculture where cattle milk is sold to cooperatives to get additional income.
  • The co-operative society advises the farmer over type of fodder, health of cattle and artificial insemination.
  • All members of the family participate in farm activities.
  • Farmers take credit from bank or moneylenders to buy inputs.
  • The produce is sold in local mandis and due lo lack of proper storage facilities, it is usually sold at unfavourable prices.

Agriculture in USA

  • Average size of farm is around 250 hectares.
  • Major crops grown are corn, soyabean, wheat, cotton and sugarbeet.
  • Scientific methods of farming are used. Soil samples are regularly sent to a soil testing laboratory to check whether the nutrients are sufficient or not
  • Farmers have computer which is linked to the satellite which gives them a precise picture of their field and helps them to spray of Pesticides use chemical fertilisers accordingly.
  • Tractors, seed drills, leveller, combined harvester and thresher are used to perform various agricultural operations.
  • Grains are stored in automated grain storage or despatched to market agencies.

Food security – Food security exists when all people, at all times, have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.

MCQs based on NCERT Class 8 Geography Chapter 4: Agriculture

1. Horticulture means

(a) growing of fruits and vegetables

(b) primitive farming

(c) growing of wheat

(d) growing of cotton

Ans. a

2. Golden fibre refers to

(a) tea

(b) cotton

(c) jute

(d) coffee

Ans. c

3. Leading producers of coffee

(a) Brazil

(b) India

(c) Russia

(d) USA

Ans. a

4. Which of the following is not a plantation crop?

(a) Wheat

(b) Tea

(c) Coffee

(d) Sugarcane

Ans. a

5. Which of the following is the leading producer of Jute in the world?

(a) Bangladesh

(b) India

(c) Both a and b

(d) Malaysia

Ans. c

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Agriculture

What is Agriculture?

Agriculture is the science and art of cultivation on the soil, raising crops and rearing livestock.

Name the factors influencing agriculture?

Favourable topography of soil and climate are vital for agricultural activity.

What is plantation agriculture?

Plantations are a type of commercial farming where single crop of tea, coffee, sugarcane, cashew, rubber, banana or cotton are grown.

Which is the major food crop of the world?

Rice is the major food crop of the world.

Who discovered the Coffee Plant?

Kaldi, an Arab goat herder, discovered coffee plant in about 850AD.
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