Think Learn & Perform (TLP)

The Only Dedicated Platform for UPSC Mains Answer Writing

Day 15 – Q 2.What do you understand by the ‘intensity’ and ‘productivity’ of agriculture? In the Indian context, explain the significance of intensive cultivation and suggest measures to improve the productivity of cultivation.

2. What do you understand by the ‘intensity’ and ‘productivity’ of agriculture? In the Indian context, explain the significance of intensive cultivation and suggest measures to improve the productivity of cultivation.  

कृषि कीगहनताऔर उत्पादकतासे आप क्या समझते हैं? भारतीय संदर्भ में, गहन खेती के महत्व को समझाएं और खेती की उत्पादकता में सुधार के उपाय सुझाएं।


India’s economic security continues to be predicated upon the agriculture sector where agriculture supports 50% of the population, as against about 75% at the time of independence. In the same period, the contribution of agriculture and allied sector to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has fallen from 61 to 17%. Such a scenario has been due to the condition of ‘intensity’ and ‘productivity’ of agriculture in India


  • Cropping intensity refers to raising of a number of crops from the same field during one agricultural year; it can be expressed through a formula-
  • Cropping Intensity = Gross Cropped Area / Net Sown Area x 100
  • Thus, higher cropping intensity means that a higher proportion of the net sown area is being cropped more than once during one agricultural year. This also implies higher productivity per unit of arable land during one agricultural year.
  • Productivity of Agriculture is defined as the amount of crops production in per unit  land. It can be expressed in formulaic form as-
  • Agriculture productivity = Total agriculture crop production/Total land area 
  • Productivity levels in Indian agriculture in very low as compared to the productivity levels of other countries. In terms of global rank, the productivity levels of India in major agricultural crops is very disappointing. 
TLP SYNOPSIS [Day 15 - 25th Oct, 2019]: UPSC Mains General Studies Questions

TLP SYNOPSIS [Day 15 – 25th Oct, 2019]: UPSC Mains General Studies Questions

At the same time, Intensive farming is associated with the increasing use of labour, high yielding varieties of crops, chemical and natural fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides and irrigation. The significance of intensive cultivation in India can be seen from the following points: 

  • Population of India- The extreme population pressure necessitates employing intensive cultivation on a large scale. (2011 census – 1.21 billion population of India)
  • Land Fragmentation- Average land holding size has been constantly on decline in India since independence with 1.1 hectare being the present average land holding size.
  • Crop rotation and mixed cropping- Intensive cultivation helps in the suitable arrangement of successive crops in such a way that the different crops draw nutrients in different proportions or from different strata. Mixed cropping helps in similar manner.
  • Use of Fast Maturing Varieties- These varieties can enable growing of more than one -crop within one growing season.
  • Appropriate Plant Protection- Intensive cultivation helps in measures to use of pesticides and insecticides, seed treatment, weed control, rodent control measures, etc. These measures are effective when all the farmers in an area take these up collectively.
  • Substantial Improvement in Yield- can be attained through soil improvement measures, such as land leveling, sloping, contour bunding, terracing, removal of salinity and alkalinity, etc.
  • Others- Agricultural intensity could also important with regards to animal husbandry and fishery supplementing or complementing the crops grown.

Present scenario of Indian agriculture makes intensive agriculture an important part of agriculture growth story but it would be incomplete without commensurate improvements in the productivity of cultivation. Consequently, following measures can be considered to improve the productivity of cultivation in India: 

  • Proper Implementation of Land Reforms- Proper implementation of land reforms and land tenure system can bring up the productivity rate of Indian agriculture.  
  • Proper Education- Positive efforts have been taken by the government to educate the illiterate poor farmers about the new methods of technical farming. 
  • Adequate Land Water Resources- 329 million hectares of land is degraded in India. Hence an integrated and efficient management of our land is very necessary.
  • Package Programme- Proper implementation of ‘Package Programme (i.e. irrigation, high yielding variety seeds chemical fertilizers, modern machineries etc. is necessary to increase the productivity of the soil.
  • Crop Protection- According to agricultural scientists in India nearly 5% of the total crop production are destroyed by different insects, pests and diseases. Maximum farmers are ignorant about the use of insecticides and pesticides. 
  • Research and Development- Government of India made Indian Council of Agricultural Research and several Agricultural Unversities to organize several research and development programme for the improvement of cultivation.
  • Focus on Information and Communication Technology (ICT)- enabled extension services, which play a crucial role in supporting agricultural activities by taking research, technology and know-how to farmers to improve adoption.
  • Soil and Seeds- Improving soil health and considering improving the availability of certified seeds can help productivity improvement measures.


Improving agricultural productivity is important in order to improve farmer incomes. Also the phenomenal benefits of focusing on improving intensity of agriculture highlight the need to prioritize policies that will achieve the most for farmers. Such a multi-pronged effort can help in achieving the goal of doubling farmers income by 2022. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email