Spatial Organization of Agriculture

Spatial Organization of Agriculture

1.Cropping Patterns

Spatial Organization of Agriculture – The cropping systems and patterns of cropping in India are dependent on various factors like economic, social and physical. The finest farming systems and patterns for improving agricultural production are adopted in India. Efforts are taken to retain soil fertility at all times. A combination of crops is cultivated on farmlands over a period.

Dynamic Cropping Concept

The cropping pattern concept is indeed a dynamic one as it changes over time and space. Cropping pattern is the proportion of area used for growing crops in a spatial arrangement or yearly sequence for fallow and sowing on any given area.  The type of soil, rainfall, technology, climatic conditions and temperature, determines cropping patterns in India.

Categorizing cropping patterns

The base or major crop and other alternative crops possible are taken into consideration, while presenting cropping patterns in India. Distinguishing crops and presenting the agro-climatic condition is important for categorizing cropping patterns. Oats, barley and wheat for example are generally identified in one category.

Spatial Organization of Agriculture

Agro-climatic conditions are required for food grains like wheat, rice, millets, cotton, sugar cane, grams, coffee, tea and oilseeds which requires, fertile, well drained, clayey, rich loamy, friable and well drained soil, depending upon the crop.

Different kinds of crops are grown in different states in India. Gram is grown in Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh, wheat in Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, Barley in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, rice in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh and Bajra in Rajashtan, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

Cash crops like poppy are grown in Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh and sugarcane in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.


Spatial Organization of Agriculture

Oil seeds like groundnut are grown in Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, coconut in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, mustard and rape in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, linseed in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, sunflower in Karnataka and Maharashtra, sesame in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Cotton is popularly grown in Gujarat and Maharashtra.

Fiber crops like silk are cultivated in Kerala and Karnataka, hemp in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh and jute in Bihar and West Bengal. Plantations like rubber are popular in Karnataka and Kerala, coffee in Kerala and Karnataka, pepper in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, tobacco in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat, tea in Kerala and Assam.

Spices including turmeric are grown in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, ginger in Uttar Pradesh and Kerala, cashew nuts in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala and pepper in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.

Parameters – Spatial Organization of Agriculture

The overall agro-ecological setting for determining the right crop types for cultivation is decided by climatic parameters and types of soil. In India, the 3 crop seasons include Zaid, Rabi and Kharif. Zaid is summer cropping season for a short duration, after Rabi crops are harvested. The Rabi season begins in October-November with the onset of winter and ends in March-April. The Kharif season begins with Southwest monsoons in which tur, rice, bajra, jowar and jute are the tropical crops cultivated.

The 4 cropping systems in India the winter cropping system, rainy season cropping system, mixed cropping and plantation and other commercial crops cropping system.

Cropping systems largely adopted in India are

· Multiple Cropping

Two or more crops are grown in 12 months on a farm in which the input management practices used is intensive. This includes sequence cropping, mixed- cropping and inter-cropping.

· Mono Cropping or Monoculture

Year after year, only one crop is grown on a farm land.


Two or more crops are grown by farmers, simultaneously in 12 months, on the same field.

2.Crop Concentration

Disparity in the denseness of corps in any particular region or area at a given point of time is termed as crop concentration. Crop concentration in a particular area is dependent mainly on its moisture, terrain, pedagogical conditions and temperature. Different crops have optimum, minimum and maximum temperature. Crops are largely grown in regions that have suitable agro-climatic conditions and crop concentration decreases in areas where geographical conditions are not very favorable.

Spatial Organization of Agriculture

While bajra is grown in Rajasthan, wheat is grown in Haryana and Punjab, cotton is grown in high concentration in the regions having black earth, rice is grown largely in Kerala, Assam, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, coastal Andhra Pradesh and Orissa.

Areas are ascertained for specific crops growth by representing crop concentration. Accordingly even with minimum inputs, particular crops have good growth leading to greater significance for planning and development in agriculture.

Different types of statistical approaches have been introduced and applied to delineate concentration of crops in different regions. Utilizing location quotient for determining relative density and percentage share of crops in a given cropped region are some techniques used very often for demarcating regions for crop concentration.

In Indian government’s Department of Agriculture has adopted different techniques for identifying concentration of crops at national, regional and local levels.

Location Quotient Method

Geographers have applied the location quotient method for identifying regional character of various cropping patterns. Investigation and identification is first done on regional character of crop distribution by collating the sown area proportion under various crops. Accordingly they are ranked by relating density of crops in each of the component areal units of the region along with the corresponding density of the country as a whole. An objective measurement of regional crop concentration is possible with this kind of an approach. Differentiation and identification of regions have particular significance with reference to distribution of crops within a region is hence possible.

Spatial Organization of Agriculture

An objective concentration of crops in a region can be measured by this approach.  This is helpful in differentiating and identifying regions having significance regarding to distribution of crops within a specific area.

One main advantage of the location quotient technique, for planners and geographers, is that it allows better understanding of areas of specialization of various crops grown at any point of time, in a region. Yield reduces progressively in a region or unit, if cultivation is done continuously. Nutrients present in the soil get exhausted due to the crops, besides which it leads to soil depletion. Steady decline also results in the natural soil fertility.

Soil fertility can be maintained by adopting crop rotation under suitable climatic conditions. If crop rotation is adopted scientifically, then agriculture proves to be not only an occupation that provides remuneration, but it ensures that the agro-ecosystem becomes much more sustainable and resilient.


3.Agricultural Productivity

The crop amount per hectare land determines agricultural productivity. In comparison to productivity levels in other parts of the world, agriculture in India has low productivity levels. Most food grains and non food grains are produced on a large scale by India but in productivity terms, it ranks low. Not much improvement has been seen in productivity yield per hectare after the Green Revolution effect.

Productivity Depends On Various Factors Including:

Spatial Organization of Agriculture

·        Shadow Roles Played By Big Farmers

Shadow roles continue to be played by farmers in rural areas, even after abolishment of the Zamindari system. Tenancy rights, tenure systems and rent are regulated by big landowners making the situation difficult day by day. If modern technologies are applied then only increasing productivity would be possible.

·        Land degradation

Around half of the land is degraded or damaged which yields big losses. Millions of hectares of land are damaged to an extent that they cannot be used in the future.

·        Huge Population Pressure

The high land-man ratio characterizes agriculture in India. Land is uneconomically sub-divided due to rise in population. This results in low productivity.

·        No Irrigation Facilities

A large part of land does not have irrigation facilities in India. In most of the gross cropped areas, it has been seen that the ‘Package Programme’ under the Green Revolution has not been effective.

·        Unavailability Of Adequate And Regular Credit

Spatial Organization of Agriculture

Studies indicate that during peak cultivation season, farmers find difficulty in investing in land due to unavailability of adequate agricultural loans at affordable interest rates. Besides this, touts or middlemen regulate the agricultural crop marketing, resulting in poor agricultural productivity.

·        Rural Social Environment

Many Indian farmers are unresponsive, illiterate, unfit, primitive and superstitious towards modern cultivation methods. Cultivation process is family based which leads to zero marginal agricultural productivity.

Steps Towards Increasing Productivity:

From the socio-economic angle, various measures have been adopted to improve productivity in the agricultural system in India.

·        Educate Poor And Illiterate Farmers

New technical farming methods can be learnt by poor and illiterate farmers with positive efforts taken by the government. Cultivable lands can be best used by marginal tillers and farmers by considering latest science and technology.

Spatial Organization of Agriculture

·        Efficient Land And Water Management

It is important to manage land and water efficiently to avoid extensive land degradation. Many initiatives have been taken in this direction in the Tenth Five Year Plan.

·        Proper Implementation Of Package Programme

Soil productivity can be improved by implementing the ‘Package Programme’ properly all over the country. This means ensuring irrigation, chemical fertilizers, modern machinery, using high yielding seeds, research and development, adequate marketing and credit facilities etc. Land fertility and multi production of crops is possible with the effective Green Revolution. Positive initiatives taken by the government will ensure fertile lands and proper water flowing system.

·        Implementing Land Reforms Properly

Rate of productivity can be increased if land tenure system and land reforms are implemented properly in India. So far, after independence, land reforms have been implemented successfully only in Kerala and West Bengal. The government needs to put in more efforts to increase agricultural productivity.

Spatial Organization of Agriculture

Protecting Crops

Pesticides and insecticides must be used by farmers to destroy different pests, insects and crop diseases. Accordingly several programmes should be initiated by the government to increase productivity.


4.Agricultural Intensity

Approximately half the geographical area in India is being cultivated. Since independence an increase of 25% is seen in the agricultural intensity. Economic security of India largely depends on the agricultural sector. Not only does agriculture support this country’s population but it also supports populations across the world.

However the per capita resource availability is comparatively less to the world average. Land is being used for non-agricultural purposes and demographic pressure is increasing which affects resource availability. Degradation of groundwater resources and land has set the cropping intensity plummeting. To arrest this deceleration and doubling agricultural production, a feasible option is to consider an efficiency-mediated productivity improvement.

Spatial Organization of Agriculture

Impressive agricultural improvements have been seen in the late sixties which helped India attain food self sufficiency, overcome starvation and hunger and transform millions of rural families economically. However by the mid-nineties, India faced agrarian distress, slowing down the rate of growth output.

The ecosystem’s production capacity is being affected adversely, with degradation and shrinking of the agricultural natural resource base. With growing demand of the industrial sector, in per capita income and population, a rapid increase in demand for agriculture is being seen. Severity issues being faced by the agriculture sector are being identified, so that India is put back on a higher growth path. Tremendous opportunities offered by latest tools of science and technology, particularly are being taken into consideration.

Measures Taken For Raising Agricultural Intensity Are As Follows:


An important role is played by irrigation to increase cropping intensity especially in northern regions of the country, also during the dry season.


Fertilizers can be used to dispense lost nutrients in the soil, follow other suitable practices for cropping and thus avoid leaving the land untilled.

Expanding Cultivable Area

By increasing cultivation on an existing area or by expanding the cultivable area it is possible to meet the country’s food and other demands. Since independence an increase has been seen in the net sown area but further increase seems difficult. Hence the most viable option remaining is to increase the agricultural intensity.

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Spatial Organization of Agriculture

Relay Cropping

Different crops have varied nurturing periods. Accordingly different crops can be simultaneously sowed and harvested one after the other, in the same field.

Mixed Cropping

To ensure consumption balance between various nutrients in the soil, the mixed cropping method is best to follow.

Rotation Of Crops

Different crops use nutrients in different proportions from the soil, so successive crops can be arranged suitably.

Use Better Quality Varieties

When fast maturing varieties are used, cultivating more than one crop in one growing season becomes possible.

Spatial Organization of Agriculture

Save Critical Time

Critical time can be saved by adopting mechanized farming methods like threshers, tillers, tractors etc thus sowing more than one crop.

Appropriate Measures

Appropriate measures like using insecticides, pesticides, rodent control, weed control, seed treatment etc, if collectively taken up by farmers, can improve cropping intensity.

5. Crop Combinations

Food production increases when more land is cultivated. Huge land areas are economically cultivated in many parts of the globe. Needs in future are sure to increase, for which food production from already cultivated land, can meet the need for extra food. Each year, by using improved crop cultivars, the numbers of crop on a particular land needs to be increased. Not only does potential for multiple cropping increases but it also minimizes degradation of land.

Cropping activities in a farm system refer to a set of crop systems which contain necessary components for specific crop production and their relation with the environment.

A combination of crops, in space and time generally refers to a cropping system. When inter-planting of crops is done, it is termed as combination in space and when crops are grown in different growing periods, it is referred to as combination in time. A crop combination in a specific year is a cropping system for annual crops.

Spatial Organization of Agriculture

Two distinct seasons are followed in the cropping pattern in India, namely the Rabi season from October to March and Kharif season from July to October. Zaid are crops grown from March to June. Crops are grown by rotational cropping, mixed cropping or solo. During one session, mono cropping or double cropping may be done in a sequence during the year.

Cropping Pattern

Cropping pattern is the spatial or yearly sequence of crop arrangement and fallow on a given area. The proportion of area under various crops at a point of time indicates the cropping pattern. In India, cropping activities take place all through the year if water is obtained for the crops.

Cropping System

Make up of a cropping system is determined by the cropping pattern practices on a farm, the interplay with farm enterprises and farm resources and technology available.

Intensive Cropping

A number of crops are grown in a given time period on the same piece of land, in intensive cropping. Land is modified and prepared to minimize the turnaround period between two crops. This cropping type is possible if plenty of resources are available. Techniques like relay cropping, ratoon cropping, intercropping, sequential cropping etc are used for cropping intensity.

Intensive cropping is needed due to population increase which puts pressure on land so that productivity is increased per unit resource, per unit time and unit area. This cropping system evolves based on availability of water, soil and right climate for effective use of natural resources available.

Cropping System Types


Year after year, only one crop is grown on a piece of land which may due to specialized of a farmer to grow a certain crop, or due to socio-economic or climatological conditions.


Two or more crops are grown in one calendar year, on the same land. Within a year, more number of crops is grown in multiple cropping which also includes mixed cropping, inter-cropping and sequence cropping. When two crops occupy one area in a sequence in a year, it is called double-cropping.


Two or more crops are grown on the same field simultaneously. Intensification of crops is in both space and time dimensions. Few requirements in inter-cropping include minimum competition of light amongst the component crops, differences in maturity of component crops should be one month at least, component crops should complement each other and there should not be any overlapping in the time of peak demand for nutrients by component crops.

 6. Land Capability 

Classification of capability of a particular piece of land for agricultural use is termed land capability. It denotes soil suitability for mainly agricultural use. Principles guiding this classification include limitations thrust on sustained use of soils by basic soil characteristics in combination with vegetation cover, climate, erodibility, topography, surface drainage and other natural hazards.

Spatial Organization of Agriculture

Land capability is divided into eight classes. It is on the basis of economic returns in terms of output from agriculture that classification of land capability is done. In India, the basic and most widespread occupation is agriculture.

Class I

In this category, soils are good, productive, are easy to work upon and have hardly any risk of damage. They are subject to variations of puddle erosion and fertility and not subject to runoff.  This class is found in the flood plain regions of India. Crop rotation, fertilizers, green manure crop and cover cropping helps in maintaining structure and fertility of the soil.

Class II

The land is very good as far as natural conditions are concerned however it is subject to moderate risk of damage. To some extent the crop choice may be restricted. With easily applied practices, cultivation can be done on this soil type. Moderate erosion is caused as these soils have moderate overflows and gentle slopes. Water control devices, crop rotation and contour tillage are special practices the soils may need.

Class III

These soils have steep slopes, are moderately good and can be used for crops regularly. Fertility of the soils is inherently low and may suffer from rainfall irregularity and ecological issues. To produce enough plant cover, cropping systems, contour tillage and proper surface drainage is required for the soils.

Class IV

Water deficiency and water logging are the permanent and severe hazards that affect soils. This low fertility soil, found mostly on steep slopes is prone to erosion. Coarse grains are cultivated once in 5/6 years, as subsistence farming practice on this soil category. Gully stabilization, contour tillage and water disposal of terraces are steps undertaken to conserve the moisture and soil.

Spatial Organization of Agriculture

Class V

This soil is best suited for shrubs, grasses, forest or pasture operations etc. It is a stony and wet soil found in mountain valleys and foothills so not feasible to cultivate. If managed properly, this soil is exposed to slight erosion by water or wind. Regulation of grazing should be done on this soil which has less permanent limitations.

Class VI

This soil with moderate permanent environmental constraints is not cultivatable and is best used for forestry. As compared to Class V soils, this is shallow and steep soil is more prone to erosion.

Class VII

In comparison to Class VI soils, this soil has greater severity of environmental limitations. The soils are swampy, shallow, eroded, steep, is poor for forestry and grazing and subject to hazards permanently. It is not cultivation worthy and has to be managed strictly.

Class VIII

These soils are extremely swampy, arid, rough, and helps in preserving exotic species and acts as a zone for water catchment. It can be used for watershed, recreation, wildlife sanctuaries but not suited for grazing or forestry.


7.Contract Farming

Agriculture in India can be best revived by indulging in Contract Farming. An arrangement in contract farming involves important conditions like mutual confidence and trust in farm-firm relationships. However it has been seen that nor the firm or farm wants enforced laws to intervene. Most affected by this are marginal farmers. A fairer settlement is ensured with minimum prices, providing subsidized legal support and courts at village level.

Main Aim Of The Contract Farming Model Act

Main aim of the latest Contract Farming Model Act in the year 2018 is implementing contracts by creating a regulatory body.  As per the present system, only after harvesting crops, the farmed is paid. Due to this he is left at the mercy of discretion of the company. Farmers should be provided with a readily available database of companies to avail background checks and information of companies they are involved with.

Issues Related To Contract Farming

Contract farming has been tagged with opportunistic behavior, market power imbalance and various unjust practices. Better coordination is possible with enforcement of transparent contract terms and clauses for sharing risks.

In the economy of India, contract farming works in an informal way. Assurance of market transactions is provided to the farmers benefit for an admissible produce quality however the farmers’ interest is adversely affected by lack of a written contract. Those possessing capital keep exploiting the vulnerable farmers.

A comprehensive policy for contract farming in India did not exist for regulating clauses and actions of agreements. Development of farmers and contractors, creating market related incentives and improving competition is necessary. Right information and inputs at the correct time, can be availed by farmers only if they and markets are connected well.

National Agriculture Market

In India, around 585 mandis or markets have been enrolled by the e-NAM – National Agriculture Market, indicating that a significant proportion of farmers are left out. Commission agents continue to conduct e-auctions besides this. Farmers need appropriate training so that they themselves can auction their produce due to which participation of more states in e-NAM becomes a possibility.

Outcome from many of the contract farming models indicates that contract farmers got more than double net profits as compared to non-contract farmers. Contract farmers had lesser share of transactional and marketing costs of the total cost.

Effective Implementation

Implementation of contract farming in the right way has enough potential to strengthen agriculture. A number of issues have been addressed in the draft Model Contract Farming Act 2018, however in many states it has not made compulsory to follow it as agriculture is in the existing list. For implementation, it is desirable to make some constitutional amendments that in turn would enable changes on the ground so that distress of farmers is addressed.

8. Agricultural Regionalization

India is a huge nation. It is blessed with varied geographical conditions and has different types of agricultural regions. Definition of an agricultural region is land that is homogenous in terms of farming practices, relief, climatic conditions, type of soil, crops grown and crop association. Attempts have been made by a number of scholars to represent India’s agricultural regions.

Suggestions of a comprehensive and simple scheme have been made by the ICAR – Indian Council for Agricultural Research on basis of crop associations and predominance of crops. Different agricultural regions are accordingly divided.

Sugarcane And Wheat Region

This region has fertile and rich alluvial soils besides red and black soils in some parts. The sugarcane and wheat regions include north eastern Rajasthan, Bihar, Western Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab. In summer the south-west monsoons, bring in moderate rainfall. In winter, at times, western disturbances cause rainfall.

In drier regions, an important input is irrigation. Sugarcane and wheat cultivation dominate this region. India’s major wheat belt spreads over north-eastern Rajasthan, Punjab, Ganga-Yamuna (alluvial land between 2 converging rivers) of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. The main crop grown in neighboring parts of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh is sugarcane. The other major crops grown are maize, pulses and rice.

Rice-Jute-Tea Region

The huge rice-jute-tea regions include the river deltas, valleys and lowlands in states like Orissa, Assam, eastern and northern parts of Bihar, Tarai region of Uttar Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, parts of Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Chhattisgarh and Tripura. Summer temperature is high, soil is fertile and there is abundant rain for growing the predominant crop, rice.

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Jute is grown mainly in West Bengal’s Hoogly basin. However it is cultivated also in Orissa, Assam, Tarai region of Uttar Pradesh, Meghalaya, Tripura and Meghalaya.

Tea is grown in Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri areas of West Bengal and Tripura and Assam. Coconut is grown in coastal regions, tobacco and sugarcane in Bihar. The main fruit crops include mango, oranges, pineapple, jack fruits, pineapple, bananas and betel leaves.

Oilseeds And Millets Region

Broken topography, poor soils and rainfall between 75 to 125 cm is seen in this region including parts of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka plateau and southern Andhra Pradesh. Jowar, ragi and bajara are the millets grown while castor and groundnut are the oilseeds grown in this region. Important fruit crops like bananas and mangoes besides pulses are also grown.

Cotton Region

The cotton region spreads in the Deccan Plateau, on the black cotton or regur soil area where variations in rainfall from 75 cm to 100 cm is seen. Though the main crop is cotton, other crops like wheat, jowar, sugarcane, gram, bajra etc are also grown.

Coarse Crops And Maize Region

These are Northern Gujarat and Western Rajasthan regions having scanty rains and without irrigation, agriculture is not possible. Main crops like maize, ragi and wheat are grown in this region besides pulses and bajra.

Vegetable And Fruits Region

The region spreads from Assam in the east to the Kashmir Valley in the West. Rainfall is 200 cm in the East where oranges are largely grown. Rainfall is 60 cm in the West where fruits like apricot, apple, cherries, plum and peach are grown. Besides this, vegetables, potatoes, rice, chilies, ragi and maize is also grown.

 9. Agro-Climatic Regions of India

If production has to be maximized from the existing climatic conditions and available resources, then it is important to generate a location specific technology that is need-bases. Sustainable production is possible by portraying agro-climatic zones on the basis of temperature, soil, rainfall, water, etc.

Agro-Climate Zone

It is a unit of land in terms of prime climate best suited for cultivars and crops of a particular range. Managing resources of the region to meet needs related to fuel wood, food, fodder and fiber without affecting the environment and natural resources is the aim of managing the agro-climatic zone, scientifically.  Vegetation of different types is influenced by different climatic conditions including availability of water, soils, temperature and rainfall.  A land unit created out of an agro-climatic zone is termed as an agro-ecological zone which serves as a modifier to length and climate of growing period.

Organization Of The Agro Climatic Zones Of India

India has complex agro-climatic situations in large numbers with around 329 million hectares of geographical area. Delineation of major agro-ecological regions has been attempted many times with respect to natural and physiographic vegetation, soils, climate and soils so that planning can be done at macro level and scientific basis.

Various agro-ecological regions in India are as follows:

· Agro-Climatic Zones Under The NARP – National Agricultural Research Project

The ICAR – Indian Council of Agricultural Research launched the NARP to start with agricultural research in country’s agro-climatic zones. India was divided into 127 agro-climatic zones as per the NARP. Main aim was catering to specific agro-ecological situations by upgrading and setting up a zonal research station in every agro-climatic zone. Accordingly major focus was laid on cropping patterns and agro-ecological conditions to arrive at a programme that aimed directly at resolving major hold-ups in agricultural growth in regions based on farming systems, socio-economic conditions, natural resources, production constraints and major crops, existing in that particular zone. Major emphasis was laid on generating technology.

· Agro-Climatic Regions By The Planning Commission

India was divided into 15 broad agro-climatic zones by the Planning Commission on the basis of climate, geological formation, physiography, cropping patterns, soils and development of mineral resources and irrigation for developing strategies in future and broad agricultural planning. This division was done by the Planning Commission during the mid-term appraisal of the planning targets of the Seventh Plan. While one region was the islands of the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal, rest of the 14 regions were in the main land.

The main aim was enabling developing of policies on the basis of techno-agro-climatic considerations for integrating plans of the agro-climatic regions. Depending upon agro-ecological parameters, it was possible for further sub-regionalization.

· Agro-Ecological Regions By The BNSS & LUP – National Bureau Of Soil Survey & Land Use Planning

The NBSS & LUP arrived at a solution of having 20 agro-ecological zones on the basis of growing period, as integrated criteria of dileneated boundaries fine tuned to boundaries of distrcts with minimal regions, soil groups and effective rainfall. Eventually, sub-division of the 20 agro-ecologicla zones was done into 60 sub-zones.

10.Agro-Ecological Regions of India

AER – Geographical areas which exhibit similar climatic conditions are called Agro-Ecological Region (AER). A range of climatic conditions and landscapes exhibited by India are observed in the evolution of various vegetation and soils. A significant relationship prevails between the vegetation, soils and climate on various land forms. Delineation of regions is done in way that each region is as invariable as possible in terms of LPG – length of growing period, climate, physiographic and soils for efficacious transfer of agro-technology, soils for macro level and planning land use.

As per classifications made by the ICAR – Indian Council of Agricultural Research, the Planning Commission of India has elaborated about a number of climatic zones of India. The planning commission has included a section on the Agro-ecological zones of India. The Micro Agro-Climatic zones and Agro-Climatic zones of Jammu and Kashmir have also been included in the chapter.  Location of Jammu and Kashmir State is in the centre of Asia’s 3 climatic regions. Agro-Climatic zones of Jammu and Kashmir are introduced in the chapter on the basis of physiography. Delineation of every province of the state has been done further into micro agro-climatic zones.

In India there are 20 Agro-ecological regions having different potentials and constraints.

1.The Cold Arid Eco-Region With Shallow Skeletal Soils:

This eco-region in the north-western Himalayas pertaining to Gilgit and Ladakh districts has harsh winters, mild summers, low soil moisture and cryic soil temperature regime with a LGP – Length of Growing Period of not more than 3 months yearly.

2. Hot Arid Eco-Region With Saline And Desert Soils

This eco-region includes northern parts of Kathiawar peninsula (Gujarat), south-western parts of Punjab and Haryana, Kachchh peninsula and western parts of Rajasthan. The region has arid winters, hot summers, hyperthermic soil temperatures regimes and low soil moisture.

3. Hot Arid Eco-Region With Black And Red Soils

This region includes south-western parts of Raichur district and Bijapur district of Karnataka and Anantpur district of Andhra Pradesh, a part of the Deccan Plateau including Bellary district. Rains are erratic, winters are mild, summers are dry and hot, isohyperthermic soil temperature regimes and aridicustic soil moisture. The region has tropical rain forests.

4. Hot Semi-Arid Eco-Region With Alluvium Derived Soils

Areas in this region include the central highlands and northern plains and parts of Gujarat. The region has cool winters, dry summers, deep loamy alluvium-derived soils or deep loamy and clayey mixed black and red soils.

5. Hot Semi-Arid Eco-Region With Medium And Deep Black Soils

This region includes the Gujarat plains, south eastern parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat, central highlands of Malwa, western areas of Madhya Pradesh and Kathiawar Peninsula. The region is drought prone, experiences dry winters, and wet and hot summers and gently sloping loamy to clayey soils.

6. Hot Semi-Arid Eco-Region With Medium And Shallow Black Soils.

The region comprises western parts of Andhra Pradesh, western and central parts of Maharashtra and northern parts of Karnataka. The region experiences dry and mild winter, hot and humid summer and has loamy, shallow skeletal and highly calcareous and clayey soils.

7. Hot Semi-Arid Eco-Region With Black And Red Soils

The region spreads over parts of Eastern Ghats in Andhra Pradesh and Deccan Plateau. The region experiences semi-arid and hot climate, gently sloping red soils which are neutral in reaction and non-calcareous.

8. Hot Semi-Arid Eco-Region With Red Loamy Soils

The region covers western portions of Karnataka, Eastern Ghats, Tamil Nadu uplands and southern parts of the Deccan Plateau. The region experiences mild winters, dry and hot summers and has slightly acidic and non-calcareous soils.

9. Hot Sub-Humid (Dry) Eco-Region With Alluvium-Derived Soils

The region spreads of Piedmont Plain of the Western Himalayas including the northern Indo-Gangetic Plain. The region experiences cool winters, hot summers and has loamy deep soils that have developed on alluvium.

10. Hot Sub-Humid Eco-Region With Red And Black Soils

This region covers parts of Narmada valley, Malwa Plateau, Vindhyan scarp lands, Bundelkhand uplands, few districts of Madhya Pradesh and northern portios of Maharashtra Plateau. The region has sub-humid, hot climate, mild winters and deep black soils interspersed with patches of red soils.

11. Hot Sub-Humid Eco-Region With Yellow And Red Soils

The region spreads across the southwest highlands of Bihar and Chhattisgarh region. The region experiences cool winters, hot summers and has yellow and red, non-calcaereous, deep loamy soils.

12. Hot Sub-Humid Eco-Region With Lateritic And Red Soils

The region covers Garhjat and Dandakaranya hills of the Eastern Ghats of Orissa and Bastar region of Chhattisgarh, western parts of West Bengal and Chhotanagpur Plateau of Bihar. The region experiences cool winters, hot summers and has red fine loamy to clayey, slightly acidic and non calcareous soils.

13. Hot Sub-Humid Eco-Region With Alluvium-Derived Soils

The region covers northern Bihar including Central Himalayan foothills, and north-eastern Uttar Pradesh. The region experiences dry and cool winters, and wet and hot summers. Soils are moderaterly alkaline in reaction and calcareous.

14. Warm Sub-Humid To Humid With Inclusion Of Perhumid Eco-Region With Brown Forest And Podzolic Soils

This region includes north-western areas of Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. The region is characerised by cold winters, mild summers and brown forest and podzolic soils that are medium, deep and contain high organic matter content.

15. Hot Sub-Humid (Moist) To Humid (Inclusion Of Perhumid) Eco-Region With Alluvium-Derived Soils

This region covers parts of West Bengal and Assam states and plains of the Ganga and the Brahmaputra River. The climate is mild to moderately cool in winters, hot in summers and the soils are slightly strong and acidic.

16. Warm Sub-Humid Eco-Region With Brown And Red Hill Soils

17. This region covers Sikkim, northern hilly parts of West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh and northern parts of Assam. Cool winters, warm winters besides, loamy, shallow and moderately shallow soils comprise this region.

17. Warm Perhumid Eco-Region With Lateritic And Red Soils

The region covers southern parts of Tripura, northeaster hills (Purvachal), Mizoram, states of Nagaland, Manipur and Meghalaya. Cool winters, warm summers and shallow to very deep, red, lateritic, yellow and loamy soils are characteristics of this region.

18. Hot Sub-Humid To Semi-Arid Eco-Region With Coastal Alluvium-Derived Soils

The region covers the south-eastern coastal plains from Kanyakumari to the Gangetic Delta. The region experiences sub-humid to semi-arid climatic conditions. Kalathur and Motto series of soils that are slight to moderately clayey and sodic are found in this region.

19. Hot Humid Perhumid Eco-Region With Red, Lateritic And Alluvium-Derived Soils

The region comprises of Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu, Sahyadris, Kerala, Karnataka and western coastal plains of Maharashtra. Warm winters, humid and hot summers and laterite and red soils characterise this region.

20. Hot Humid Per-Humid Island Eco-Region With Red Loamy And Sandy Soils

The region comprises Lakshwadeep in the west and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the east. Mean winter and mean summer differing temperatures and red, deep loamy soils including marine alluvium-derived soils dominate this region.

Spatial Organization of Agriculture