Geography Optional: Land Usage Pattern In India

The Land Usage Pattern in India is summarized below. Land use means the different ways in which the human beings utilize the land the dwell upon. This could include leaving the land as it is, forestry, agriculture, construction, grazing pastures etc.

Land Usage pattern in India
Image Courtesy: Global Economic Symposium
  1. Net Sown Area 
    • It is the total absolute value of the area cropped. This means that even if the same land is cropped multiple times each year, it will be counted only once.
    • 46.05% is the Net Sown Area in India
    • It is about 142 million hectares (Total land area of India is ~328 million hectares)
  2. Cropped More Than Once
    • About 40% of Net Sown Area
    • ~57 million hectare
    • Rapid increase in last decade
    • This is the only course left to drastically increase production
    • Indo-Ganga plains is the leader in this regard
  3. Forest Area
    • 23% of reported area notified as forest area
    • For tropical country, 33% is ideal coverage
    • Madhya Pradesh has largest forest area
    • Mizoram has highest percentage of area under forest
    • Punjab, Delhi, UP and Bihar lag behind
    • Forest Area was 14% in 1950-51
  4. Not Available for Cultivation
    • a) Land put to non-agricultural use
      • Housing, industry, roads, lakes etc.
    • b)Barren Unculturable Wasteand
      • Mountains, hill slopes etc.
    • About 14% land falls under this category
    • Mostly due to prohibitive input cost
    • Largest area in Andhra Pradesh>Rajasthan>Himachal Pradesh
  5. Permanent Pastures
    • About 3.5% of reported area
    • Continually decreasing
    • 1/3 of all pastures in Himachal Pradesh alone
  6. Fallow Land
    • a) Current Fallow (upto 1 year)
    • b) Fallow other than Current Fallow (1-5 years)
    • About 8% area under fallow. This is done to recoup the fertility levels of land
  7. Tree crops and Groves
    • This is continually decreasing
    • Only ~1% land
  8. Culturable Wasteland
    • Land available for agriculture but not utilized for various reasons
    • Saline soil, e.g. Reh/Bhur/Usar in UP/Haryana/Punjab
    • Faulty agricultural practices
    • 5% of total area
    • Rajasthan alone has 36% of such wasteland

It is important to memorize the above basic data and information about Land Usage Pattern in India. There can be direct question asking you to list out the land usage pattern in India. Sometimes they may ask related question where you can use this information to add value to your answers.

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