Class 8 Geography


50% of the world's population is engaged in agricultural activity. In India, two-thirds of the population is dependent on agriculture.

Types of Economic Activities

Primary Activities

The economic activities which involve extraction and production of natural resources are called primary activities, e.g. agriculture, fishing, gathering, etc.

Secondary Activities

The economic activities which involve the processing of natural resources are called secondary activities, e.g. manufacturing steel, baking of bread, weaving of cloth, etc.

Tertiary Activities

The economic activities which support the primary and secondary activities are called tertiary activities, e.g. banking, transport, finance, etc.

Key Terms of Farming

Aerable Land: The land on which crops are grown in called arable land. Favourable topography and climate are important for agriculture.

Viticulture: Cultivation of grapes is called viticulture.

Horticulture: Growing vegetables, flowers and fruits for commercial use is called horticulture.

Sericulture: Commercial rearing of silk worms for silk production is called sericulture.

Farm System: Farming is a kind of system in which various inputs and processes are involved to obtain production. Machineries, seeds and fertilisers are the physical inputs for agriculture. Labour is the human input. Crops are the outputs of agriculture.

Types of Farming

There are two main types of farming, viz. subsistence farming and commercial farming.

Subsistence Farming

When farming is done to meet the needs of the farmer's family, it is called subsistence farming. In subsistence farming, low levels of technology and household labour are generally utilised. Farming is done on smaller plots and output is also small. Subsistence farming can be further categorized as intensive subsistence and primitive subsistence farming.

Intensive Subsistence Farming

In this type of farming, the farmer cultivates on a small plot of land. He uses simple tools and more labour. Places which have fertile soils and where the climate allows a large number of days with sunshine are suitable for this type of farming. In favourable climates, farmers are able to grow more than one crop in a year. Rice is the main crop in this type of farming. However, wheat, maize, pulses and oilseeds are also grown. This type of farming is prevalent in densely populated areas of the monsoon regions of south, southeast and east Asia.

Primitive Subsistence Farming

Shifting cultivation and nomadic herding come under this type of farming.

Shifting Cultivation
Jhum CultivationMeghalaya and Chhattisgarh

Commercial Farming

This type of farming is done with sale as the main purpose. In this case, a very large area is cultivated and large amount of capital is utilised. Heavy machineries are used with less emphasis on manual labour. Commercial farming includes commercial grain farming, mixed farming and plantation.

The temperate grasslands of North America, Europe and Asia are the major areas where commercial grain farming is done. Severe winters in these areas restrict the growing season and only a single crop can be grown in a year. Tea, coffee, sugarcane, cashew, rubber, banana and cotton are grown in plantations. The produce of plantation may be processed on the farm itself or in nearby factories. A good transport network is essential for commercial plantation. Rubber is mainly grown in Malaysia, coffee in Brazil and tea is grown in India and Sri Lanka.