A natural resource is anything that people can use which comes from nature. Examples of natural resources are air, water, wood, soil, minerals, etc.
Soil is an important natural resource. Our food and most of our clothing are derived directly or indirectly from soil. Cereals, pulses, fruits, vegetables, etc., are derived directly from the soil. Foods like milk, meat and eggs are derived indirectly from the soil. Animals from which we get these foods feed on grass and plants that grow in soil.
Agriculture is of great importance in India. Three-fourths of our population is engaged in agriculture. Apart from providing food, it is also a source of raw materials for industries. There are mainly two agricultural seasons in India. They are:
Kharif crops are summer crops while rabi crops are winter crops. For growing kharif crops, seeds are sown in June while for rabi crops, seeds are sown in November.
Kharif crops are harvested at the end of monsoons in November and rabi crops are harvested in the month of March. Rice, maize, millets, cotton, jute, etc., are the major kharif crops, while wheat, tobacco, linseed, mustard, etc., are the major rabi crops.
Important food crops of India are rice, wheat, millets, maize, and pulses. Important cash crops of India are cotton, jute, sugarcane, tea, coffee, and spices.
There are mainly three methods of irrigation that are practiced in India. These are:
Well irrigation, which include common well and tube wells.
Tank or pond irrigation, and
Canal irrigation, which can be done with the help of inundation canals and perennial canals.
Animal rearing is a common feature in agricultural India. Horned cattle are particularly reared for agricultural reasons. These are used by farmers to cultivate the land.
Growth and development of industries depend on the availability of minerals. Minerals are distributed unevenly in India. Most of the minerals are found in peninsular India. Important minerals found here are iron, manganese, mica, coal, and petroleum.
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