Question: Explain shifting cultivation.
Answer: Shifting cultivation is a class of primitive subsistence agriculture. In this, a plot of land is cleared by the farmer. This is done by felling the trees and burning them. The ashes are then mixed with soil and crops are grown. After some time, the land is abandoned and the farmer moves to a different place. This type of farming is common in the thickly forested areas of the Amazon basin, tropical Africa, parts of south-east Asia and north-east India. It is also called “slash and burn” agriculture, because of the process of felling and burning the trees is involved.
Question: Enlist the climate conditions required for the proper cultivation of rice. Mention the main regions of its production.
Answer: Rice is a major food crop‘in tropical and sub-tropical parts of the world. Its cultivation needs high temperature, high humidity and rainfall. Its growth is best in alluvial clayey soils, since they have water retention capacity. China and India are the leading producers in the world. In favourable climatic conditions, even two to three crops are grown in a year.
Question: What do you understand by agricultural development?
Answer: Agricultural development refers to efforts made to increase production in farms so as to meet the ever¬growing demand of the population. The activities that come under this development are increasing the cropped area, growing more crops, improving irrigation, using fertilizers, sowing HYV (high-yielding variety) of seeds and by promoting mechanisation. Mechanisation ensures that little labour is done by the farmers; instead machines are used to provide efficiency.
Question: Why are low lands more suitable for farming than the highlands?
Answer: The low lands such as river basins, flood plains and deltas are more suitable for the growth and development of agriculture than the highlands. In the low lands, dense population not only provides adequate and cheap tabour, but also a ready market for form products. In the hilly areas, soil erosion is rapid. Moreover form machinery cannot be used and the means of transport is limited.