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How Much Farming Land is There in India? Discover the Facts!

how much farming land is there in india

India is known as the land of agriculture, with farming being one of the country’s primary industries. But have you ever wondered how much land is actually used for farming in India? In this section, we will explore the extent of farming land in the country, providing important facts and figures related to agricultural land in India.

According to the Indian Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, the total geographical area of India is 328.7 million hectares. Out of this, the net area sown is 140.1 million hectares, which amounts to around 43% of the total geographical area of the country. This includes both irrigated and non-irrigated land, with the former accounting for 55% of the sown area.

Key Takeaways:

  • India has a total geographical area of 328.7 million hectares.
  • The net area sown in India is 140.1 million hectares.
  • Irrigated land accounts for 55% of India’s sown land.

Land for Agriculture in India

India is primarily an agrarian society, with a majority of the population relying on farming for their livelihood. Agriculture contributes around 16% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employs nearly half of the total workforce.

The total land area of India is approximately 328 million hectares, out of which around 159 million hectares are available for cultivation. The land for agriculture in India is broadly classified into three categories – net sown area, gross cropped area, and cultivable wasteland.

Type of Farmland Area (in million hectares)
Net Sown Area 140.1
Gross Cropped Area 198.4
Cultivable Wasteland 23.8

The net sown area refers to the land that is currently under cultivation or can be cultivated during the current agricultural season. The gross cropped area, on the other hand, includes both the area under cultivation and that under fallow land.

The cultivable wasteland pertains to the barren and uncultivated land that has the potential for cultivation, provided adequate measures are taken to improve the fertility of the soil and the availability of water.

The land for agriculture in India can be further categorized based on factors such as soil type, topography, and climate. The major types of farmland in the country include dryland, irrigated land, and forestland.

Dryland agriculture involves cultivating crops using natural precipitation and moisture in the soil. This type of agriculture accounts for around 60% of the total crop area in India and is prevalent in regions with low to moderate rainfall.

Irrigated agriculture, on the other hand, involves the controlled supply of water to crops through various methods such as canals, tanks, and tube wells. This type of agriculture is predominant in regions with high rainfall and where irrigation facilities are available.

Forestland is another type of farmland that is primarily used for timber production and other non-agricultural purposes. The total forest area in India is around 70 million hectares, out of which around 35 million hectares are designated as protected forests.

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Farming Land Statistics in India

India’s agricultural sector is the largest employer in the country, with over 50% of the workforce engaged in farming. The total agricultural land area in India is estimated to be around 157.35 million hectares.

Region Total Agricultural Land Area (million hectares)
North 63.54
South 36.54
East 41.08
West 16.19

The north region has the highest agricultural land area, followed by the east region. The western region has the smallest agricultural land area in India.

There have been significant changes in land use for farming in recent years. As per the latest available statistics, there has been a gradual shift from food crops to high-value cash crops, such as tea, coffee, sugarcane, and rubber.

  • The total land area used for food crops has decreased from 131 million hectares in 2001-02 to 125 million hectares in 2010-11.
  • The land area used for non-food crops has increased from 32 million hectares in 2001-02 to 37 million hectares in 2010-11.

The growth of the agricultural sector is closely linked to the optimum utilization of land resources for agriculture. Efforts are being made to promote sustainable farming practices and encourage crop diversification to ensure the long-term viability of the Indian agricultural sector.

Land Use for Farming in India

Agriculture is a significant contributor to India’s economy, and land is the most crucial resource supporting it. Various types of land are used for farming in India, such as drylands, irrigated land, and forests. Additionally, the different kinds of crops grown in India can be categorized into food crops, cash crops, plantation crops, and horticulture crops. Understanding land use patterns for farming is crucial for ensuring the sustainability of agricultural activities.

Food crops, including wheat, rice, and pulses, are the most extensively cultivated crops in India. Wheat and rice alone constitute around 70% of the total food grain production in the country. On the other hand, cash crops such as cotton, sugarcane, tea, and coffee contribute significantly to India’s exports. Plantation crops like rubber, coconut, and cashew, and horticulture crops such as fruits, vegetables, and flowers also play an essential role in the agricultural sector in India.

Agricultural practices in India vary depending on the type of crop grown, climatic conditions, and soil types. For instance, various types of irrigation techniques are used, such as flood irrigation, drip irrigation, and sprinkler irrigation. Organic farming practices are becoming increasingly popular in recent years, emphasizing sustainable and eco-friendly methods. The use of fertilizers and pesticides is also common in India, but the government has implemented regulations to reduce their harmful effects on the environment.

The availability of land resources is crucial for sustaining agriculture in India. However, overuse and mismanagement of land have led to land degradation and soil erosion. The government has taken steps to promote sustainable land use practices to address these issues. These include implementing soil conservation measures, promoting afforestation, and encouraging the use of renewable energy sources in agriculture.

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Agricultural Land Distribution in India

India’s agricultural sector is diverse, with a wide range of crops grown across the country. The distribution of agricultural land, however, is not equal, and varies significantly by region.

Region Agricultural Land Area Agricultural Land % of Total Area
North India 149.5 million hectares 42%
South India 99.2 million hectares 28%
East India 70.9 million hectares 20%
West India 31.4 million hectares 9%

The majority of India’s agricultural land is utilized for food crop production, with rice, wheat, and millet being the most widely grown crops. In addition to food crops, a significant portion of agricultural land is also used for cash crops such as cotton, sugarcane, and tobacco.

Factors such as climate, soil quality, and government policies influence the distribution of agricultural land in India. The availability of irrigation infrastructure and access to credit and technology also play a significant role in land distribution.

Despite the challenges faced by the agricultural sector, India remains a significant producer of crops and has the potential to increase its agricultural output through sustainable land management practices and government support.

Challenges and Opportunities for Farming Land in India

Despite being one of the largest agricultural producers in the world, India faces numerous challenges when it comes to farming land. In recent years, the degradation of land due to intensive farming practices and climate change has become a major concern. In addition, urbanization and industrialization are leading to the loss of farmland.

One of the biggest challenges is soil degradation, which occurs due to excessive use of fertilizers, pesticides, and irrigation. This results in the depletion of organic matter, essential nutrients, and beneficial microorganisms in the soil. As a result, the land becomes less productive and more vulnerable to erosion and flooding.

Another major challenge is the loss of farmland to urbanization and development. According to the World Bank, India’s urban population is projected to reach 600 million by 2031, leading to the conversion of agricultural land into residential and commercial areas.

Furthermore, climate change is affecting the agricultural sector in India, with rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns leading to crop failures and reduced yields. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that many farmers lack access to information and resources to adapt to the changing climate.

Despite these challenges, there are opportunities to improve the situation. For instance, sustainable agricultural practices such as conservation agriculture, agroforestry, and integrated crop management can help to restore soil health, enhance biodiversity, and promote resilience to climate change.

Additionally, there is a need to focus on preserving and managing land resources for farming. This can be achieved through measures such as land zoning, land consolidation, and promotion of land rights for small farmers.

In conclusion, while there are many challenges facing farming land in India, there are also opportunities for sustainable land management and agricultural growth. It is essential for policymakers, farmers, and other stakeholders to work together to overcome these challenges and ensure the long-term sustainability of India’s agricultural sector.


In conclusion, India has a vast amount of farming land that contributes significantly to the country’s agricultural sector. The total agricultural land in India is around 157.35 million hectares, with different types of farmland found in various regions.

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The Importance of Sustainable Land Management Practices

As we have seen, farming land in India faces various challenges, such as land degradation, urbanization, and climate change. To ensure the continued growth and sustainability of the country’s agricultural sector, it is essential to adopt more sustainable land management practices. This includes promoting the use of organic farming methods, conserving water resources, and using technology to reduce waste and improve efficiency.

Continued Support for India’s Agricultural Sector

It is crucial to continue supporting India’s agricultural sector to ensure that it remains a significant contributor to the country’s economy. The government and other stakeholders must work together to address the challenges faced by farming land in India, such as fragmentation and inadequate infrastructure. By providing necessary resources and support, we can create more opportunities for sustainable land use and agricultural growth.


Q: How much farming land is there in India?

A: India has a total agricultural land area of approximately 159.7 million hectares, which accounts for about 60% of the country’s total land area.

Q: What are the different types of farmland in India?

A: In India, there are various types of farmland, including arable land, permanent crops, and pastures. Arable land is used for the cultivation of crops, while permanent crops refer to land dedicated to the cultivation of orchards and vineyards. Pastures are used for grazing livestock.

Q: What are some farming land statistics in India?

A: Some key farming land statistics in India include the fact that the country has around 141.4 million hectares of arable land, 11.3 million hectares of permanent crops, and 7 million hectares of pastures. Regional variations exist in terms of land use for farming, with states like Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra having significant agricultural land areas.

Q: How is land used for farming in India?

A: Land in India is primarily used for the cultivation of crops such as rice, wheat, sugarcane, and cotton. Farming practices vary across regions, with some areas adopting traditional methods while others have embraced modern techniques like precision farming. Land resources play a crucial role in supporting agricultural activities and ensuring food security in the country.

Q: How is agricultural land distributed in India?

A: The distribution of agricultural land in India is influenced by factors such as climate, geography, and government policies. Certain regions, such as Punjab and Haryana, have a higher concentration of agricultural land due to favorable conditions for crop cultivation. However, efforts are being made to promote balanced land distribution and sustainable land management practices.

Q: What are the challenges and opportunities for farming land in India?

A: Farming land in India faces challenges such as land degradation, urbanization, and climate change. These factors impact agricultural productivity and sustainability. However, there are opportunities for sustainable land use and agricultural growth through the adoption of innovative farming techniques, land conservation measures, and supportive government policies.

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