Net Sown Area and Gross Cropped Area are two concepts which are used repeatedly to indicate the intensity of land use in agricultural sector.
What is Net Sown Area?
- It is total area which is cultivated in an agricultural year.
- For instance, assume that the total land in a country is 100²Kms and 45²Kms. out of total area is cultivated in an agricultural year.
- In this case, the net sown area is 45²Kms.
- This area excludes the fallow and uncultivated area.
- It is always equal or lower than the gross cropped area.
- It does not take into consideration the area which has been cultivated more than one in a year.
What is Gross Cropped Area?
- Gross cropped area is total area under various crops in an agricultural year.
- For example, if the total land in a country is 100²Kms and 45²Kms. out of total is cultivated in an agricultural year.
- However, farmers has grown 2 crops on the 20²Kms. and 3 crops on rest of 25²Kms.
- In this case, the 20²Kms. will be counted twice i.e. 20*2= 40²Kms. and 25²Kms. will be counted thrice i.e. 25*3 = 75²Kms. Therefore, gross cropped area will be 40+75 = 110²Kms.
- It may be calculated in percentage also.
- Gross cropped area may be higher than the total area of the country.
- It is never lower than the net sown area. It may be equal or higher.
Use of Net Sown Area and Gross Cropped Area
- Both these indicators represent the agricultural development in a region. If these indicators for a region are relatively higher than other regions, this indicates that a region is agriculturally more advance.
- Net sown area shows the expanse of agriculturally fertile land in a region.
- The trends in net sown area points towards direction of economy i.e. from agricultural to industrial economy.
- High gross cropped area means that a regions grows multiple crops in a region. For instance, the regions of Specialized Horticulture have high gross cropped area.
- Cropping intensity refers to the number of crops a farmer grows on the same piece of land. It is expressed in percentage terms.
- Use of percentage values of NSA and GCA instead of absolute values does not affect the result of Equation 3.
- It may be higher or lower than 100 percent. Higher values point towards the high intensity of land use and multiple cropping. Lower values point towards the low intensity of land use and lesser crops.
- It is the key indicator of agricultural development of a region because cropping intensity is strongly related to agricultural inputs, irrigation, yield and total output.
To conclude, it can be said that the understanding of the above concepts are crucial in agricultural research. Hence, a student of geography must know the method to calculate these indicators.
Kulwinder Singh is an alumni of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and working as Assistant Professor of Geography at Pt. C.L.S. Government College, Kurukshetra University. He is a passionate teacher and avid learner.