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" Factors behind the varying cropping intensity in India are inherited in
the infrastructure and institutional factors". Discuss
Agriculture plays a vital role in Indias economy. 54.6% of the population is engaged in
agriculture and allied activities (census 2011) and it contributes 17.4% to the countrys
Gross Value Added. Besides, agriculture is an important source of raw material for
industrial production and serves as a huge market for industrial products.

There are only two ways to satisfy the increasing food and other demands of the
countrys rising populationeither expanding the net area under cultivation or
intensifying cropping over the existing area. The net sown area of the country has
risen by about 20 per cent since independence and has reached a point where it is
not possible to make any appreciable increase. Thus, raising the cropping intensity is
the only viable option left.
Cropping intensity refers to raising of a number
of crops from the same field during one
agricultural year; it can be expressed through a

Cropping Intensity = Gross Cropped Area /

Net Sown Area x 100
Thus, higher cropping intensity
means that a higher portion of the
net area is being cropped more than
once during one agricultural year.
This also implies higher productivity
per unit of arable land during one
agricultural year. The cropping
intensity shows great spatial
variation in India, with higher levels
in northern plains. Lower levels are
found in dry, rain-fed regions of
Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra
and Karnataka.
Cropping intensity varies from 100
per cent in Mizoram to 194.43 per
cent in Punjab (1999-2000). Next to Punjab is West Bengal (174%), Himachal Pradesh
(173%), followed by Haryana (169%), and Uttar Pradesh (151%). It is higher than the
national average in Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Manipur, Sikkim, Bihar and Orissa
(Fig. 23.1). It is low and very low in the states of peninsular plateau.
The densely populated northern plains, coastal plains and deltas, which are
irrigated or are favoured by sufficient rainfall, are marked with high intensity of
cropping. Very low and low intensities predominate in the hilly, arid, semi-arid and
semi-humid lands of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka,
and north eastern hilly states where soils are light or heavy and irrigation facilities
are absent or negligible.
The index of the intensity of cropping depends upon the extent of area sown more
than once. Higher the extent of area sown more than once higher will be the
intensity of cropping. In other words, intensity of cropping is the indicator of the
efficiency of land use. Higher the index of intensity of cropping higher is the
efficiency of land use.
The main factors influencing intensity of cropping are irrigation, fertilizer, early-
maturing high-yielding varieties of seeds, mechanisation of agriculture and plant
protection measures through the use of insecticides, pesticides and weedicides.
The availability of water for irrigation ensures the use of higher doses of fertilizers
which, in turn, reduces the extent of fallow land. The quick-ripening varieties of
seeds help in taking more than one crop from the same field in one agricultural year.
Intensity of cropping increased from 110 per cent in 1950-51 to 134.3 per cent in
1999-2000. This means that even now only 34.3 per cent of the net sown area is
used for raising more than one crop in a year. This is too small compared to 90 per
cent in China and 40 per cent in Bangladesh. Therefore, there is much scope for
increasing the intensity of cropping.

Infrastructure factors
Irrigation-Irrigation has played an important role in raising the cropping
intensity in northern states where
it has risen considerably. Irrigation
helps raise the cropping intensity
by enabling raising of crops during
the dry season. Only a few
farmers avail the facilities of
irrigation from various sources
such as canals, tube wells, etc.
Moreover, these facilities are
found in some areas and where
these are available, they are not
fully utilized. The result is that
cropping intensity is badly
Natural calamities- Indian
agriculture is vulnerable to floods and other natural calamities.
However, its infrastructure and agricultural set up are backward and not
properly equipped with facilities to overcome such unforeseen disasters.
The soil erosion has been regarded as creeping death of the farm and
main factor low cropping intensity in the country.
Lack of scientific innovation- The ignorance and conservation of Indian
farmer also results in the poor performance of agriculture. Farmers still
rely on seeds sown by wooden ploughs. Poor quality of seeds
discourages high cropping intensity.
Institutional factors
Lack of public investment- due to lack of institutional channeling
agriculture seems less attractive in the eyes of investors. In the absence
of productive investment in agriculture, there is little scope for expanding
production and therefore cropping intensity.
Land Policy and Legislation- The piece-meal character of land reform
policy and its legislation is greatly, responsible for the backwardness of
agriculture. Excessive reliance on the administrative machinery have
adversely affected agricultural development, unnecessary delay in
implementation and uncertainty about the rights on land has tended to
diminish land productivity.
Lack of Marketing Facilities- The defective marketing system also poses
difficulties to the farmers. The farmers do not get a due reward from the
sale of his produce. The middleman takes away portion of their profits.
Unless farmers are guaranteed fair and remunerative prices there is little
inducement for agricultural output to increase. Indian marketing has no
facilities of god-owns and warehousing where the cultivators may keep
their produce for a better price. Moreover, they lack transportation
facilities. This results in low price of the produce.
Agricultural Research- A large quantity of amount of money is spent on
agricultural research, still the fruits do not reach to the poor cultivators.
There is a lack of co-ordination between laboratory and farm.
Social Factors-poor performance of agriculture is also found due to the
operation of various socio-economic factors. Illiteracy, ignorance,
superstition and conservative outlook stands in the way of the adoption
of modern technology. As such, farmers are against the use of bone
manure and chemical fertilizer.