Cropping intensity is defined as a ratio be­tween net sown area (NSA) and gross cropped area (GCA). It thus indicates the additional percentage share of the area sown more than once to NSA. It may be measured by the formula-gross cropped area/net sown area x 100. The intensity of cropping, therefore, refers to raising a number of crops from the same field during one agricultural year. The index of cropping intensity is 100 if one crop has been grown in a year and it is 200 if two crops are raised. Higher the index, greater is the efficiency of land use.

The cropping intensity has direct correla­tion with assured irrigation which enables farmers to go for multiple cropping and use higher dose of fertilizers and HYV seeds. Hence, besides irrigation fertilisers, early maturing high yielding variety of seeds, selective mechanization such as the use of tractors, pumping sets and seed drills, etc., plant, protection measures through the use of insecticides, pesticides etc. do have role in affecting the intensity of cropping.

The index of cropping for the country as a whole was 126% (1982-83). The highest cropping intensity was recorded in Punjab (160%) followed by Haryana (158%) and Uttar Pradesh (145%). Because of fertile soils, irrigation and famous able agro-climatic conditions the great plains India (from Punjab to west Bihar), Mahanadi and Godavari delta, Chhattisgarh and Malabar coil (Kerala) are the areas of extremely high (above 135%) cropping intensity.

These areas have corded more than 1 per cent increase in croppies intensity per annum during the 1970s and 1980s West Bengal, lower Assam, northern Rajasthan coastal parts of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Natural under the area of high cropping intensity (12)1 135%). Here paddy is grown thrice in a year which raises the level of intensity. More than half of 111 country’s area occupying Peninsular India duel lack of assured irrigation, fertile soils and flat tool reply come under medium cropping intensity category (105-120 %). Similarly drier parts of Rajasthan semi arid and drought prone areas of the Peninsula and low temperature areas of Jammu and Kashmir and jumping lands of north-east belong to the category of low cropping intensity (below 105%) (Fig 8.8).


Dayal (1978, pp. 289-295) has suggested the duration of crops in the field as a measure to deter-l mine cropping intensity. His index gives crop months per hectare of net area sown. The map so drawings almost similar to the earlier map based on percent age of GCA to NSA. Here again high scrapping area (more than 9 months/ha) includes the north Indian plains, the Brahmaputra valley, Kerala and the scattered delta and coastal plains of the eastern coast. Here soils are fertile, irrigation well developed and rainfall adequate. Medium intensity areas cover two-thirds of the country in the Peninsu­lar India (5-9 months/ha) stretching from Gujarat to Tamil Nadu, while low intensity areas occupy west­ern parts of Rajasthan, and Gujarat, coastal Maharashtra and scattered patches in the central India.