Class 9 Science

Food Production

  • Food Security
  • Cropping seasons in India
  • Crop variety improvement
  • Food production practices

What is the need for improvement in food production?

India is a big country with a billion plus population. The country needs more and more food to feed its ever growing population. India is already an intensively farmed country. Area of land under cultivation cannot be increased beyond certain level. Hence, there is a need for various methods to improve farm yield so that food for the huge population can be made available.

Food Security

According to the 1996 World Food Summit, food security is said to exist when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. This definition not only talks about the improved availability of food but also of access of food to the masses. Moreover, this definition also harps on the safe and nutritious food which is affordable to each member of the population.

Sources of carbohydrate: Wheat, maize, millets, sorghum, etc.
Sources of protein: pulses, meat, fish, etc.
Sources of fat: Oilseeds, milk, butter, etc.
Minerals and vitamins: Vegetables, spices and fruits.
Fodder crops: Berseem, oat, sudan grass, etc.

Cropping Seasons in India

Kharif

The kharif season is from June to October. Crops which are grown in this season are called kharif crops, e.g. paddy, soyabean, pigeon pea, maize, cotton, green gram, black gram, etc. Kharif crops require plenty of sunlight and water to grow.

Rabi

The rabi season is from November to April. Crops which are grown in this season are called rabi crops, e.g. wheat, gram, peas, mustard, linseed, etc. Rabi crops require moderate amount of sunshine and rain.

Improvement in Crop Yields

Major activities for improvement in crop production can be classified into three groups which are as follows:

  • Crop variety improvement
  • Crop production improvement
  • Crop protection management.

Crop Variety Improvement

For this purpose, a crop variety is chosen which can give good yield. The crop is selected by breeding for various useful characteristics; like disease resistance, response to fertilizers, product quality and high yields. This is generally done by hybridization.

Hybridization

The crossing between genetically dissimilar plants to produce a new variety is called hybridization. Crossing can be of following types:

  1. Intervarietal: When crossing is done between different varieties of plants, it is called intervarietal. In this case plants of the same species but from different populations are cross-bred to produce a new variety.
  2. Interspecific: When plants from two different species but from the same genus are crossed, it is called interspecific crossing.
  3. Intergeneric: When plants from different genera are crossed, it is called intergeneric.

Genetic Modification

When a gene with a desirable character is introduced into a plant or animal, it is called genetic modification. BT cotton is a good example of genetically modified crop. Here, BT stands for Bacillus thuringiensis which is a bacteria that produces various toxins against different types of pests. Introducing the gene from BT equips cotton with an ability to ward off attacks from different types of insect pests. It helps in improving the yield of cotton.

A new variety of crop should be able to give high yield under different conditions in different areas. Some places get plenty of rainfall, while some others may not get rainfall at all. Type of soil is also different in different area, and so are climatic conditions. A new variety of crop should be able to flourish under any condition in order to gain wide acceptance among farmers.

Goals of Variety Improvement

  • Higher yield: A crop variety which can produce higher yield can improve per acre productivity of farm.
  • Improved quality: Quality parameters vary from one crop to another crop. For example; baking quality is important for wheat. Protein quality and availability is important for pulses. On the other hand, fruits and vegetables should have the quality to remain fresh for a longer duration.
  • Biotic and abiotic resistance: Crop production can go down due to biotic (diseases, insects and nematodes) and abiotic (drought, salinity, water logging, heat, cold and frost) stresses under different situations. Varieties resistant to these stresses can improve crop production.
  • Change in maturity duration: If maturity duration of a crop can be reduced, it will help in saving resources and time. This will reduce the cost of production and will help in harvesting more number of crops in a given year. Moreover, the maturity period should be uniform for all the crops. It will make the harvesting process easier and will help in reducing the losses during harvesting.
  • Wider adaptability: A crop variety with wider adaptability will flourish and different conditions. Thus, a single variety can be grown in different parts of the country with equal ease.
  • Desirable agronomic characteristics: Desirable agronomic characteristics vary from one crop to another. For example; fodder crops need to be tall and should have profuse branching. Cereal crops should be dwarf so that less amount nutrients can be consumed by the plant and more nutrients can be channelized to making grains.

Production Practices

Production practices show a wide variation among farmers in India. Some farmers have large farms while some others have very small plots. Some farmers do not have capital to buy seeds or latest farm equipments. Some farmers may have enough capital to buy high yielding varieties of seeds and latest farm equipments. Due to this there is wide variation in farming practices in India. Farming practices among Indian farmers can be divided into three types, viz. ‘no cost production’, ‘low cost production’ and ‘high cost production’.

Quiz



See Answer

1: (a) June to October, 2: (b) November to April, 3: (d) Wheat, 4: (c) Soyabean, 5: (a) Insect pests, 6: (c) Drought, 7: (b) Short height, 8: (a) Thick stem, 9: (d) Cross between Alphonso and Dussehri mangoes, 10: (c) Bacillus thuringiensis


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Anything that has both mass and volume is called matter. You can also say that anything which has mass and which occupies space is called matter.

Is Matter Around Us Pure?

Elements and compounds are pure substances. All other substances are mixtures which means they are not pure substances.

Atoms and Molecules

Read about law of conservation of mass, law of constant proportions and Dalton's atomic theory.

Structure of Atoms

Atom is made of three particles; electron, proton and neutron. These particles are called fundamental particles of an atom or sub atomic particles.

Cell: The Fundamental Unit of Life

A cell is capable of independent existence and can carry out all the functions which are necessary for a living being.

Tissue

A groups of cells which is meant for a specific task is called tissue. Tissues are the first step towards division of labour in complex organisms.

Diversity in Living Organisms

Without proper classification, it would be impossible to study millions of organisms which exist on this earth.

Motion

If an object changes its position with respect to a reference point with elapse of time, the object is said to be in motion.

Force & Laws of Motion

Force has numerous effects. Force can set a stationary body in motion. Force can stop a moving body.

Gravitation

Earth attracts everything towards it by an unseen force of attraction. This force of attraction is known as gravitation or gravitation pull.

Work & Energy

When force is exerted on an object and object is displaced, work is said to be done. It means work is the product of force and displacement.

Sound

Sound is a type of energy. Sound travels in the form of wave from one place to another.

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Health is a state of physical, mental and social well being. A condition in which the affected person is unable to carry out normal activities is termed as disease.

Natural Resources

Resources which are obtained from nature are called natural resources. Examples: Air, water, soil, wood, etc.

Improvement in Food Production

Food security is said to exist when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.