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Crops

Earlier, man was basically a hunter collecting food from forest. In those days, human beings consumed plant parts and animals without cooking. When these early humans settled at different places, they started growing plants for food. Slowly, this activity became systematic and began to take place on a large-scale.

The practice of growing plants at a place is known as?agriculture.

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Plants grown for food on a large-scale are known as?crops.

Crops are of the following types:

??Cereals?? Wheat, paddy, maize etc.

??Vegetables?? Potato, brinjal, mustard etc.

??Fruits?? Mango, orange, apple etc.

??Fibres?? Jute, cotton, hemp etc.

??Beverages?? Tea, coffee etc.

On the basis of the purpose of their production, crops can be of two types:

Food crops: Crops cultivated for the production of food. Examples include cereals, vegetables, oil-seeds, etc.Cash crops: Crops cultivated for commercial purposes. Examples include tea, coffee, rubber, etc.

Crops are categorized on the basis of the growing season as follows:

??Kharif?crops?? They include crops like rice, maize, soyabean, groundnut etc, which are grown in the rainy season (during June-September.) They are dependent on South-Western monsoons.

Soil requirement:?Alluvial loam with a subsoil of clayCultivation methods:?Seeds for?Kharif?crops can be sown through broadcasting (throwing seeds over the soil), dibbling (dropping seeds at regular intervals in the furrows made by ploughing), ?drilling (sowing seeds inside a hole made in soil), or transplantation (seeds are first sown in nurseries; the seedlings formed are then transferred to a seed bed, and only the healthy and well-developed seedling are then transplanted to the regular field).

??Rabi?crops?? They include crops like wheat, gram, pea, mustard etc., which are grown in the winter season (during October-March.) They are not dependent on monsoons.

Soil requirement:?Clay loamy soil or black soilCultivation methods:?Seeds for?Rabi?crops can be sown through broadcasting, dibbling, or drilling. The seeds are generally sown soon after the rainy season.

Curiosity Corner:

Have you heard about hybrid seeds? Do you know what they are?

Hybrid seeds are the type of seeds which have the characters of two different plants. Hybrid seeds are obtained by the process of hybridization. Hybridisation is the process by which two dissimilar plants with desired characteristics are mated or crossed. The resultant plant will have the characteristics of both the parent plants.

This is very easy to understand through the given pictorial representation.

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Green Revolution:?It is a programme started in the 1960s to increase the agricultural productivity by the use of improved seeds and advanced agricultural technologies.

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Know your scientist:

Dr. Norman Borlaug:?An American scientist was instrumental in promoting green revolution in India, Mexico and Pakistan.

Dr. M.S.Swaminathan:?He is considered to be the pioneer of green revolution in India. He brought different varieties of seeds developed in Mexico and cross-bred them with the local varieties to obtain hybrid variety. This helped transform India from a famine-prone country to an agriculturally self-sufficient country.



Organic Farming
Organic farming is the practice of cultivating crops without the use chemical fertilisers, weedicides or pesticides. As awareness regarding harmful effects of using chemical fertilisers or pesticides is increasing, the organic farming is slowly gaining popularity among the cultivators. Farmers?are now using organic manure, made from animal and plant wastes, to provide supplements to the soil. Practices like crop rotation, mixed cropping, inter cropping, hand weeding, etc are also used.

Roof Top Gardening
Roof top gardening has emerged as a new trend for urban households who do not have much space for outdoor gardening. Roof tops can be used for growing plants of various types such as, ornamental plants, vegetables, fruits, etc. but certain precautionary measures are required.

Some benefits of roof top gardening are as follows:It leads to improvement in?air quality.It?can be used as a source of recreation.It provides habitats to butterflies and birds.

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