GS Mains Model Question & Answer : Explain the types of Cropping Systems. Comment
Q. Explain the types of Cropping Systems. Comment
Explain the types of Cropping Systems.
Ans: Cropping pattern indicates the proportion of area under different crops at
a point of time. Cropping activities go on all the year round in India provided
water is available for the crops.
In India, the cropping pattern follows two distinct seasons; Kharif season from
July to October and Rabi season from October to March. The crops grown between
March to June called zaid.
The crops are grown solo or mixed (mixed-cropping) or in a definite sequence
(rotational cropping). The land may be occupied by one crop during one session
(mono cropping) or by two crops during one season (double cropping) which may be
grown in a year in a sequence. We explain these cropping systems below.
Types of Cropping Systems
(a) Mono-cropping: Mono-cropping or monoculture refers to growing of only one
crop on a piece of land year after year. It may be due to climatological and
socioeconomic conditions or due to specialization of a farmer in growing a
particular crop, e.g., under rainfed conditions, groundnut or cotton or sorghum
are grown year after year due to limitation of rainfall. In canal irrigated
areas, under waterlogged condition, rice crop is grown as it is not possible to
grow any other crop.
(b) Multiple-cropping: Growing two or more crops on the same piece of land in
one calendar year is known as multiple-cropping. It is intensification of
cropping in time and space dimensions, i.e., more number of crops within a year
and more number of crops on the same piece of land at any given period. It
includes intercropping, mixed-cropping and sequence cropping. Double-cropping is
a case where the land is occupied by two crops, which are grown in a year in
(c) Inter-cropping: Inter-cropping is growing of two or more crops
simultaneously on the same piece of land with a definite row pattern. For
example, growing setaria and redgram in 5:1 ratio.
Thus, cropping intensity in space dimension is achieved. Inter-cropping was
originally practiced as an insurance against crop failure under rainfed
conditions. At present, the main objective of inter-cropping is higher
productivity per unit area in addition to stability in production. Intercropping
system utilizes resources efficiently and their productivity is increased.
For successful inter-cropping, there are certain important requirements:
(1) The time of peak nutrient demands of component crops should not overlap.
(2) Competition for light should be minimum among the component crops.
(3) Complementarity should exist between the component crops.
(4) The differences in maturity of component crops should be at least 30 days.
(d) Mixed-cropping: Mixed-cropping is growing of two or more crops
simultaneously intermingled without any row pattern. It is a common practice in
most of dryland tracts of India. Seeds of different crops are mixed in certain
proportion and are sown. The objective is to meet the family requirement of
cereals, pulses and vegetables.
(e) Sequence-Cropping: Sequence cropping can be defined as growing of two or
more crops in a sequence on the same piece of land in a farming year. Depending
on the number of crops grown in a year it is called double, triple or quadruple
cropping involving two, three and four crops respectively.
In addition to the above systems, relay cropping and ratoon cropping are also in
existence. Relay cropping refers to planting of the succeeding crop before
harvesting the preceding crops. Ratoon cropping or ratooning refers to raising a
crop with re-growth coming out of roots or stalks after harvest of the crop.
(f) Integrated Farming System: Integrated farming system is a holistic method of
combining several enterprises like cropping system, diarying, piggery, poultry,
fishery, bee-keeping, etc. in a harmonious way so as to complement each other.
The objective is efficient resource utilisation and maximization of profit in
such a way so as to cause least damage to soil and environment.