Sample Answer: Factors that have influenced the development of primary activities (farming) in a continental/sub-continental region (India)
Farming is one of the main primary activity in India. Relief, soil and climate have influenced the development of agriculture. India ranks second worldwide in terms of farm output. Rice is the major crop cultivated and covers 25% of all farmland in India. It is a high-yielding crop and contains various nutritions. While rice is grown in the wet monsoon seasons, alternative crops such as wheat and millet are grown in the drier months.
The type of soil in each region influences the kind of crop grown in that region. Rice is intensively cultivated in the alluvial soils of the Ganges valley which are highly productive. The black soils on the Deccan plateau are used to grow cotton. These clay soils retain moisture which is necessary during the dry season.
The Green Revolution
India’s rapidly growing population of 1.5% each year has created the demand for higher food production. The government has responded by funding the ‘Green Revolution‘. This refers to the development and introduction of genetically modified, high-yielding crop varieties such as rice and wheat.
The Green Revolution programme aims to achieve self-sufficiency in food production through the use of genetically modified seeds to produce high yields of crops, greater use of fertilisers and pesticides, increased use if farm machinery, improved irrigation and educational programmes for farmers.
There have also been various problems and issues associated with the Green Revolution. Many poor farmers cannot afford fertilisers and seeds to compete in the marketplace. Machinery has replaced many workers, resulting in unemployment in rural areas and has caused rural-urban migration. Greater use of fertilisers and pesticides have caused environmental damage (e.g. water and ground pollution from chemicals).