Agriculture and Rural Development


The Question most asked about NABARD exam is how to prepare for Agriculture and Rural Development or ARD while preparing for Grade A or Grade B officer exam.

Pattern ,weight-age ,toughness of this section in exam has varied a lot in last three recruitment .Last year this section was toughest .even specialist could not answer many  questions f Prom agriculture .

So Question arises how to prepare this section :-

First of All you need to know basics of Agriculture . For this either follow NCERTs’s Basic chapters on Agriculture or NIOS notes on Agriculture you may download these notes from here :-

This documents covers all the basics one must one know while preparing exam :-

 Agriculture  Practices and Animal Husbandry  

then comes Agriculture practice in India  read this :-

Agriculture in India 

Then there are some important Agriculture issues like GM Crops ,Marketing and others :-

Read This :-

Important Current Issues 

another document on Agriculture and Land Practices of NCERT is this :-

Land and People 

for micro and macro nutrients read this :- ( most imp at least two questions )

Soil nutrients:

  • Macro-nutrients – Phosphorous (P), potassium (K), nitrogen (N), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg) and sulfur (S). Macro-nutrients constitute the main elements that a plant requires for its basic functioning.
  • Micro-nutrients or trace elements – Iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), manganese (Mn), boron (B), molybdenum (Mo), and copper (Cu). These elements are termed ‘minor’ because plants need them in only very small amounts; however, they are essential for normal growth.

Nutrient deficiencies – symptoms and remedies:

Symptoms are first seen in older leaves for some deficiencies, and in young leaves and/or tissues for others. This depends on the mobility of the nutrient. For mobile nutrients (N, P, K and Mg) deficiencies are first seen in older leaves; for immobile nutrients (Ca, B, Cu, Zn and Fe) deficiencies are first seen in youngest leaves and/or growing tissue. Typical nutrient deficiency symptoms and general information about corrective/preventative actions are provided in the table below.

Nutrient deficiency



Phosphorous (P) – essential for cell division and plant growth; plays a key role in many physiological processes Poor germination, seedling establishment and plant growth; leaves may be dull bluish/greyish-green or have red pigment in leaf bases and dying leaves; oldest leaves may turn yellow and drop. Application of phosphorus fertilisers and manure, particularly from grain-fed animals.
Potassium (K) – vital component of plant functions such as nutrient absorption and water movement within the plant; increases vigour and disease resistance Older leaves have yellowing and scorching of edges and/or interveinal region; lettuce heads are loose; leaves may cup; fruit may be unevenly coloured or distorted. Increase K fertiliser rate; improve irrigation management.
Nitrogen (N) – needed for plant growth, fruit and seed production; a component of chlorophyll, the green pigment of plants that is responsible for photosynthesis Poor plant growth; older leaves are pale green to yellow and they eventually dry and drop; fruit and tubers are small. Add N fertiliser, for example as a side dressing before an irrigation; regular foliar sprays; improve irrigation management.
Calcium (Ca) – essential for new cell development; increases plant vigour Retarded growth; roots usually affected first, becoming brown; young leaves become yellow and distorted; blossom end rot in cucurbits and tomatoes; can be confused with the physiological disorder tipburn. Side dress with a Ca fertiliser; foliar spray susceptible crops at critical growth stages; apply lime or gypsum; existing damage is permanent.
Magnesium (Mg) – is vital for photosynthesis; regulates the uptake of other plant nutrients Growth retarded; chlorotic patches between the veins of older leaves; a triangle of green remains at base of leaf; leaf margins may burn. Application of fertiliser or weekly foliar sprays; main sources of Mg are dolomite and Epsom salts.
Sulfur (S) – required for protein formation and encourages vigorous plant growth and resistance to cold Yellowing of young leaves while older leaves remain dark green; growth stunted. Application of sulfate compounds.
 Boron (B) – essential for cell division, cell wall strength and development and transport of sugars; helps in the use of other nutrients Bushy stunted growth and dying growing tips; corky markings on plant parts; cankered patches on roots; internal brown rot; plant tissue can become brittle and split easily; hollow areas in stems. Application of boron-amended fertilisers or boron foliar fertiliser; existing damage is permanent.
 Iron (Fe) – essential for production of chlorophyll Leaves turn yellow/bleached between vein margins; stunting and abnormal growth; fruit may not mature. A weekly foliar spray of iron sulfate or chelate; reduce soil pH below 7.5.
 Manganese (Mn) – essential for the formation of chlorophyll and other plant processes Yellow patches between veins; reduced flower formation. Root drench or weekly foliar sprays with manganese sulfate; do not over-lime.
 Molybdenum (Mo) – required for chemical changes associated with nitrogen nutrition Symptoms depend on the function Mo has in N metabolism in the plant: Legumes –unable to effectively fix N, plants may be stunted, pale green or yellow, similar to plants suffering from N deficiency; nodules on roots are green or colourless.Non-legumes – stunting and pale green or yellowish green colour between the veins and along the edges of leaves; leaf tissue of margins dies; older leaves more severely affected; cauliflower very susceptible (“whiptail” – drastic thinning of leaf blade, some leaf distortion, outer leaves yellow). Lime the soil to increase soil pH (to about 6.5, measured in water); soil or foliar applications of sodium or ammonium molybdate.
Zinc (Zn) – component of several plants enzymes; role in uptake of water  Plants appear stunted and pale with creamy yellow interveinal area; death of leaf margins; distorted young leaves. Application of a basal fertiliser containing Zn at sowing; application of a Zn foliar spray.
Copper (Cu) – important in processes that provide energy for growth and chlorophyll formation Chlorosis in young leaves; tips of leaves distorted; stunted growth. Apply a copper fertiliser

Nutrient toxicities: 

  • Chloride toxicity – Caused by saline water and soil conditions; plants wilt when soil moisture seems adequate; test and monitor irrigation water quality; plants vary in their tolerance to salinity.
  • Manganese toxicity – Yellowing of margins of older leaves; poor root development; favoured by acidic, waterlogged soil; lime soil to correct pH.
  • Ammonium toxicity “jelly butt” – Poor emergence followed by wilting and death of seedlings; browning of the central root tissue; favoured by excess ammonium from fertiliser or poultry manure in cold wet soil.

Physiological disorders of vegetable crops include:

  • Tipburn (physiological/nutritional) – a result of a calcium transport problem within the plant. 
  • Blossom end rot (physiological/nutritional) – caused by a deficiency of calcium or insufficient calcium uptake and translocation to growing points. 
  • Riciness of cauliflower.
  • Gomasho (grey speck) of cabbage and Chinese cabbage.
  • Measles on smooth skinned melons and cucumbers.


you may also prepare this Chart

Chart for Micro and Macro Nutrient Deficiencies in Plants 

then there are important links from GK Today :-

GK Today Indian Agriculture 

GK Today Agriculture 

MCQs and other one line info from leadthecompitition 

and finally

One document that contains lots of Factual info

note down factual info I have marked some type of info you need :-

Indian Agriculture Document  

Last Document you may rot MCQs from here

Questions on Agriculture Jagtar Malwa’s Collection 

Finally if You own book of Environment by Shankar IAS its one chapter on Agriculture is also useful

Shankar IAS Environment Book 

For other topics search Google For Agriculture but this sufficient covers more then 80%  🙂

For Current Affairs of Agriculture and Rural Development


Year End Review of Govt Ministries 

Mrunal’s Topics discussion on All this from His Video Lectures

Mrunal ‘s Video Lecture 

Collection of Govt Schemes by GK Today

GK Today Govt Schemes 


Environment Current Affairs  



5 thoughts on “Agriculture and Rural Development

  1. Sir, I am an engineer preparing for SSC. I did prepare for UPSC last year. Back then i covered some portion of Economic & social issues & tiny part of Agricultural concepts. But this syllabus is really vast. I have doubt whether i can cover this within 2 months considering lack of agricultural background. Please suggest


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