Statistics on land use are collected at present, in the form of a nine-fold classification on a yearly basis. Out of a geographical area of 329 million hectares (reporting area) statistics are available only from 305 million hectares (non-reporting area), which makes some areas to the extent of 7% still not covered or classifiable under the nine-fold classification. The reporting area is classified into the following nine categories:
Forests: This includes all lands classed as forest under any legal enactment dealing with forests or administered as forests, whether state-owned or private, and whether wooded or maintained as potential forest land. The area of crops raised in the forest and grazing lands or areas open for grazing within the forests should remain included under the forest area.
Area under Non-agricultural Uses: This includes all lands occupied by buildings, roads and railways or under water, e.g. rivers and canals and other lands put to uses other than agriculture.
Barren and Un-culturable Land: includes all barren and unculturable land like mountains, deserts, etc. Land which cannot be brought under cultivation except at an exorbitant cost, should be classed as unculturable whether such land is in isolated blocks or within cultivated holdings.
Permanent Pastures and other Grazing Lands: includes all grazing lands whether they are permanent pastures and meadows or not. Village common grazing land is included under this head.
Land under Miscellaneous Tree Crops, etc. : This includes all cultivable land which is not included in ‘Net area sown’ but is put to some agricultural uses. Lands under Casurina trees, thatching grasses, bamboo bushes and other groves for fuel, etc. which are not included under ‘Orchards’ should be classed under this category.
Culturable Waste Land: This includes lands available for cultivation, whether not taken up for cultivation or taken up for cultivation once but not cultivated during the current year and the last five years or more in succession for one reason or other. Such lands may be either fallow or covered with shrubs and jungles, which are not put to any use. They may be assessed or unassessed and may lie in isolated blocks or within cultivated holdings. Land once cultivated but not cultivated for five years in succession should also be included in this category at the end of the five years.
Fallow Lands other than Current Fallows: This includes all lands, which were taken up for cultivation but are temporarily out of cultivation for a period of not less than one year and not more than five years.
Current Fallows: This represents cropped area, which are kept fallow during the current year. For example, if any seeding area is not cropped against the same year it may be treated as current fallow.
Net area Sown: This represents the total area sown with crops and orchards. Area sown more than once in the same year is counted only once.