Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow. 4

Today, Indian agriculture finds itself at a crossroads. To make agriculture successful and profitable, proper thrust should be given to the improvement of the condition of marginal and small farmers. The green revolution promised much. But today it’s under controversy. The keyword today is “gene revolution”, which includes genetic engineering. Organic farming is [also] much in vogue today because it is practised without factory-made chemicals such as fertilisers and pesticides. A few economists think that Indian farmers have a bleak future if they continue growing food grains on the holdings that grow smaller and smaller as the population rises. India’s rural population is about 600 million which depends upon 250 million (approximate) hectares of agricultural land, an average of less than half a hectare per person. Indian farmers should diversify their cropping pattern from cereals to high-value crops. This will increase incomes and reduce environmental degradation simultaneously. Because fruits, medicinal herbs, flowers, vegetables, and bio-diesel crops like jatropha and jojoba need much less irrigation than rice or sugarcane. India’s diverse climate can be harnessed to grow a wide range of high-value crops.

Source: NCERT Contemporary India, Chapter-4, Agriculture


‘. . ... holdings that grow smaller and smaller as the population rises.' Evaluate why this is a concern.



The sentence means that the yield per landholding will not be enough to feed the rising population hence a shift in agricultural practices is required.

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Davneet Singh has done his B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He has been teaching from the past 14 years. He provides courses for Maths, Science, Social Science, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science at Teachoo.