Sample Material of Our IAS Mains GS Online Coaching Programme
Subject: General Studies (Paper 3 - Technology, Economic
Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)
Topic: Major Crops Cropping Patterns In Various Parts Of The Country
MAJOR CROPS CROPPING PATTERNS IN VARIOUS PARTS OF THE
CROPPING PATTERN IN INDIA
Crop pattern refers to the proportion of area under different crops at a
particular period of time. A change in cropping pattern means a change in the
proportion of area under different crops. It can be described in a number of
ways but the most convenient method is to classify the agricultural production
into two groups i.e. food grains and non-food grains. They have been discussed
Cropping Pattern of Food-grain crops in India
Summary of the key points in Cropping Pattern in India
Among food crops, increased area under cereals and decreased area under
Among Food grains to non-food grains area, there is a gradual shift from Non-
food grains to food-grains.
High MSP of wheat and rice has kept the farmers encouraged to grow them in
more and more Strategic objectives of India’s agriculture policy have been
focussing on the increased food grain production.
CONSUMPTION PATTERN -MILLETS ARE INFERIOR GOODS
India ranks second in world rice and wheat production, contributing to more
than 21 percent and 11 percent of world rice and wheat output. Food grain
constitutes 64 percent of the gross cropped area (GCA), although it accounts for
less than 25 percent of the total value of output of agriculture and allied
In India, there is an existing imbalance in the cropping pattern of the food
grains because alarge proportion of the area under food grains is occupied by
cereals. The food grains occupied an area of 97.32 million hectare (mha) in
1950-51 has increased to 126.74 mha in 2011-12.
REASONS OF IMBALANCE IN CROPPING PATTERN
Prices of food grains have been rising quite fast and the farmers have
started growing food crops in the similar way they grow commercial crops like
cotton, oil seed crops sugarcane etc.
Cultivation of food grains has become highly remunerative and productive
under the influence of new technology.
Traditionally, the Minimum Support Prices for wheat and rice have been maintained reasonably
high (in comparison to millets such as Jowar and
Bajra’). This has helped the farmers to increase their production
The re has been a change in the consumption pattern and people have moved
from coarse cereals to wheat and rice for their main dietary grant. This is
became of the increase in the income of the people and coarse cereals being the
The strategic objectives of agricultural development in India have been
changing over time.
In 1960s, it was to maintain the prices of food grains at low level. The
government significantly supported the growth of wheat and rice cultivation via
its policy intervention, procurement and technology.
• In 1960s to 1980s, it was to maximize food production.
• In 1980s to 1990s, it was to go for a demand driven production pattern.
• Since 1990s, it was to reduce inputs of agricultural commodities.
CROPPING PATTERN OF NON-FOOD GRAINS
Among non-food grain crops, oil seed form an important group which, also
include other crops like cotton, jute, sugarcane, tobacco tea, coffee, etc The
area has shown increasing and decreasing trends.
Sometimes there is an increase in the area and sometimes there is a decrease
in the area but overall there was not much change in the area of cultivation.
FACTORS AFFECTING CROPPING PATTERN IN INDIA GEOGRAPHICAL FEATURES
Cropping pattern of any region depends upon geographical features as soil,
climate, rainfall, etc. Apart from this, it depends on the nature and
availability of irrigation facilities.
Economic motivations are also important in determining the cropping
pattern. The prices influence the acreage under the crops in two ways.
One is that the variations in the intercrop price disparities led to shifts in
acreage between the crops.
Another is that the maintenance of a stable level of prices for a crop
provides a better incentive to the pro duce r to increase the opt put than
what a very high level of price does, if there is no uncertainty of this level
being maintained over a number of years.
Fixed procurement price of wheat and rice and other Government controls
have induced farmers to shift the cultivation to cash crops like sugarcane.
Farmers also would choose the combination of crops which would give the m maximum income . Relative profitability peracreis the main consideration
which influences the crop pattern.
Small farmers are first interested in producing food “grains for the
requirements and devote only a small relative acreage to cash crops than large
Food Crop Acts, Land use Acts, intensive schemes for paddy, cotton, oil seed
etc. all the sebring sharply into focus the possibility that while each
individual measure may push the crop pattern in the direction intended to, but
if the overall effect of all measures taken together on the entire crop pattern
is taken, it may not be in accordance with national requirements.