NCERT Solutions for Class 8 Geography Chapter 4
Agriculture: Question Answers
8 Geography Chapter 4 Agriculture Solutions
Important Terms on Agriculture
- Agriculture: The science and art of cultivation on the soil, raising crops and rearing livestock. It is also called farming.
- Sericulture: Commercial rearing of silk worms. It may supplement the income of the farmer.
- Viticulture: Cultivation of grapes.
- Pisciculture: Breeding of fish in specially constructed tanks and ponds.
- Horticulture: Growing vegetables, flowers and fruits for commercial use.
Types of Farming
Farming is practised in various ways across the world. Depending upon the geographical conditions, demand of produce, labour and level of technology, farming can be classified into two main types. These are subsistence farming and commercial farming.
A plot of land is cleared by felling the trees and burning them. The ashes are then 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. Shifting cultivation is practised in the thickly forested areas of Amazon basin, tropical Africa, parts of Southeast Asia and Northeast India. These are the areas of heavy rainfall and quick regeneration of vegetation.
In this type of farming, herdsmen move from place to place with their animals for fodder and water, along defined routes. This type of movement arises in response to climatic constraints and terrain. Sheep, camel, yak and goats are most commonly reared. They provide milk, meat, wool, hides and other products to the herders and their families. Nomadic herding is practised in the semi-arid and arid regions of Sahara, Central Asia and some parts of India, like Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir.
- Mixed farming: It is practised in Europe, eastern USA, Argentina, southeast Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. In mixed farming the land is used for growing food and fodder crops and rearing livestock.
- Plantations are a type of commercial farming where single crop of tea, coffee, sugarcane, cashew, rubber, banana or cotton are grown. The produce may be processed on the farm itself or in nearby factories. Major plantations are found in the tropical regions of the world. Rubber in Malaysia, coffee in Brazil, tea in India and Sri Lanka are some examples.