Land Use Pattern

  • Land is a finite resource. It consists of 29% of the earth’s surface. About 90% human beings inhabit 5% of the world’s land. Land is put to various uses, like agriculture, industries, settlements, recreational uses, etc.
  • Various natural and human factors affect the pattern of land use in the world. Natural factors that affect land use are:
    1. Climate
    2. Relief, and
    3. Soil
  • The human factors that affect land use are:
    1. Density of population
    2. Duration of occupation of the area
    3. Land tenure system, and
    4. Technical levels of the people
  • Land use pattern depends upon various factors, like:
    1. Quality of land available
    2. Needs of population
    3. Technological level of society
  • The total geographical area of the country is 3.28 million sq km. The data about the land use is however available only for 93% of the total area.
  • Land use in India is categorised under:
    1. Net sown area
    2. Area sown more than once
    3. Forests
    4. Land not available for cultivation
    5. Permanent pasture and other grazing land
    6. Land under miscellaneous tree crops and groves
    7. Culturable waste land, and
    8. Fallow land
  • India has some of the most fertile lands in the world lying in its plains and coastal plains. Northern Plains, which are the most fertile tracts of the country, are the result of three major river systems. These are:
    1. The Indus
    2. The Ganga, and
    3. The Brahmaputra
  • Land degradation is the deterioration in the quality of land due to natural or human factors or the interaction of both, which ultimately brings about changes in the land-use pattern. About 130 million hectares of land has been degraded in the country.
  • The land conservation measures include:
    1. Afforestation
    2. Planting of shelter belts
    3. Stabilisation of sand dunes
    4. Construction of check dams
    5. Control on overgrazing
    6. Control on mining activities
    7. Management of wastelands, and
    8. Proper disposal of industrial wastes
  • Agricultural land in India is divided into small fragmented holdings due to the law of inheritance. The size of land holding is less than one hectare, and in some parts it is less than 0.5 hectares.

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  • Q1

    What should be the percentage of area under forests, as per the total reporting area of India?


    According to the reporting area of India, 33 percent of area should be under forests.

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  • Q2

    Define arable land.


    Arable land in agricultural terms is the land, which is suitable for cultivation.

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  • Q3

    What is the percentage of area under pastures and grazing land in India?


    In India 4% of land area is covered by pastures and grazing land.

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  • Q4

    Define culturable waste.


    Culturable waste is the land available for agriculture, however not used for it due to some natural and human factors.

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  • Q5

    What is the net sown area of India?


    India has 1,32,798 thousand hectares of net sown area.

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