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Land is fixed

  • Farming is the main production activity in Palampur.
  • 75 percent of the people who are working are dependent on farming for their livelihood.
  • The land area under cultivation is practically fixed.
  • There exists no further scope to increase farm production by bringing new land under cultivation.


NOTE: The standard unit of measuring land is a hectare , though in villages units such as bigha, guintha, etc. are also used.

One hectare equals the area of a square with one side measuring 100 meters.


Is there a way one can grow more from the same land?

  • All land is cultivated in Palampur. No land is left idle.
  • During the rainy season (Kharif) farmers grow jowar and bajra. These plants are used as cattle feed.
  • Cultivation of potatoes is done in the month of October and December.
  • In the winter season (rabi), fields are sown with wheat.
  • A part of the land area is also devoted to Sugarcane which is harvested annually.
  • The main reason why farmers are able to grow three different crops in a year in Palampur is due to the well-developed system of irrigation.
  • By the mid-1970s the entire cultivated area of 200 hectares was irrigated.
  • To grow more than one crop on a piece of land during the year is known as multiple cropping.

Different crops - Teachoo.png

  • All farmers in Palampur grow at least two main crops ; many are growing potatoes as the third crop in the past fifteen to twenty years.

The cultivated area over the years - Teachoo.png

Cultivated area over the years - Teachoo.png

  •  One way of increasing production from the same land is by multiple cropping.
  • The other way is to use modern farming methods for higher yield.
  • Yield is measured as a crop produced on a given piece of land during a single season.
  •  Till the mid1960s, the seeds used in cultivation were traditional ones with relatively low yields.
  • Traditional seeds needed less irrigation . Farmers used cow dung and other natural manure as fertilizers.

Modern Farming Methods - Teachoo.png

  • The Green Revolution in the late 1960s introduced the Indian farmer to the cultivation of wheat and rice using high-yielding varieties (HYVs) of seeds.
  •  Compared to the traditional seeds, the HYV seeds promised to produce much greater amounts of grain on a single plant.
  • As a result, the same piece of land would now produce far larger quantities of foodgrains than was possible earlier. HYV seeds , however, needed plenty of water and also chemical fertilizers and pesticides to produce the best results.
  • Higher yields were possible only from a combination of HYV seeds, irrigation, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, etc.
  • Farmers of Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh were the first to try out the modern farming method in India.

Production of pulses and wheat in different years after green revolution - Teachoo.png

  • The farmers in these regions set up tubewells for irrigation and made use of HYV seeds, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides in farming.
  • Some of the farmers bought farm machinery, like tractors and threshers, which made ploughing and harvesting faster.


Will the land sustain?

  • Land being a natural resource , it is necessary to be careful in its use.
  •   Modern farming methods have overused the natural resource base.
  •  Green Revolution is associated with the loss of soil fertility due to the increased use of chemical fertilizers.
  •  Continuous use of groundwater for tubewell irrigation has led to the depletion of the water table.
  •   Environmental resources , like soil fertility and groundwater, are built up over years.

How is land distributed between the farmers of Palampur?

  • In Palampur, about one-third of the 450 families are landless, i.e. 150 families, most of them Dalits, have no land for cultivation.
  • 240 families cultivate small plots of land less than 2 hectares in size.
  •  In Palampur, there are 60 families of medium and large farmers who cultivate more than 2 hectares of land.

Who will provide the labour?

work on the fields - Teachoo.png

  • After land, labour is the next necessary factor for production.
  • Farming requires a great deal of hard work.
  • Small farmers along with their families cultivate their own fields.
  • Medium and large farmers hire farm laborers to work in the field.
  • Farm labourers do not have a right over the crops grown on the land.
  • Instead they are  paid wages by the farmer for whom they work.
  • Wages can be in cash or in kind e.g. crop. Sometimes laboureres get meals also.
  • Wages vary widely from region to region , from crop to crop, from one farm to another(like sowing and harvesting).
  • A farm labourer might be employed on a daly basis, or for one particular farm activity like harvesting, or for the whole year.
  • The minimum wage for a farm laborer set by the government is Rs 300 per day(March 2017).


The capital needed in farming.

  • Modern farming methods require a great deal of capital.
  • Small farmers have to borrow money to arrange for capital.
  • They borrow from large farmers or village moneylenders or traders who supply various inputs for cultivation.
  • The rate of interest on such loans is very high . They are put in great distress to repay the loan.
  • The medium and large farmers have their own savings from farming.

Sale of Surplus Farm Products

  • Farmers retain a part of the crop for the family’s consumption and sell the surplus crop.
  • The traders at the market buy the crop and sell it to shopkeepers in the towns and cities.

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Davneet Singh

Davneet Singh has done his B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He has been teaching from the past 13 years. He provides courses for Maths, Science, Social Science, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science at Teachoo.