Introduction to Agriculture

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In the rise of sedentary human civilization agriculture is the key development. Farming of domestic species provided food surpluses that prompted people to live in cities. The history began some thousands of years ago. Pigs, sheep, and cattle were domesticated over 10000 years ago. Plants were cultivated independently in 11 regions of the world. Industrial agriculture based on a large scale in the 20th century came and dominated agriculture output. An estimated number of around 2 billion people still depend on subsistence agriculture.

The major agricultural products are broadly grouped into foods, fibres, fuels, and raw materials. Over one-third of the world’s workers are employed in agriculture and after that to the service sector. 

Commercial Farming

Commercial farming is when farmers grow crops or rear animals for economic activity. Commercial farming needs to be practised on a large scale with more efficiency. The goal of the farmer is to earn profits from farming, hence the production and area of production need to be on a larger scale. This practice is also known as agribusiness and is intensively taken up and practised. It has also opened its doors for a lucrative business venture.

Due to the large production in commercial farming and despite its major benefits, it is a bit worrisome as it includes lots of fertilizers, pesticides, weed killers, and other sorts of chemicals.

Here are Some of the Characteristics of Commercial Agriculture:

  1. Large scale production

  2. It is capital intensive

  3. It uses high yielding varieties

  4. It is produced mainly for sale purpose

  5. Heavy machinery and human labour is used

  6. Traditionally practised all year round.

Types of Commercial Farming include the Following:

  1. Dairy farming

  2. Grain farming

  3. Plantation farming

  4. Livestock ranching

  5. Mixed crop and livestock farming

  6. Fruit farming

Primitive Farming

Primitive farming or also known as simple subsistence farming (farming for the farm-family only) is the oldest form of agriculture and is still prevalent in some areas of the world. Primitive farming enabled people to take a step further on the economic ladder by learning the art of domesticating plants. In this type of farming, farmers grow crops for themselves and their families. The growing of crops is only limited. Its characteristics include the following:

  1. Sites of farming are selected by experienced elders.

  2. Hill slopes are preferred because of proper drainage

  3. Forests are cleared by fire, as ashes add to the fertility of the soil

  4. This is also called slash and burn agriculture.

  5. The cultivated patches are usually very small

  6. Primitive tools are used in cultivation such as stick and hoes

Intensive Subsistence Agriculture

Intensive subsistence agriculture term is used to describe the type of agriculture which is characterized by high output per unit of land and low output per worker. 

Although its nature has changed and is no more subsistence. These are more sophisticated than primitive agriculture and are also known as monsoon type of agriculture. 

Its Characteristics include the following:

  1. Very smallholdings

  2. Farming is very intensive

  3. It requires much hand labour

  4. It uses animal and plant manures

  5. The dominance of padi and other food crops

Following are the Types of Subsistence Farming:

  1. Shifting Cultivation: In this method, farmers clear the cultivated land and burn it afterwards. The ashes produced thereafter increase soil fertility. This method is known by different names in different regions. It is further practised in South America and Southeast Asia.

  2. Nomadic Herding: It involves herders and farmers travelling from place to place with their group of animals. The herders also provide wool, meat, hide, and dairy products from the livestock. This type of farming is very common in places like Rajasthan, Jammu, and Kashmir. Animals herd here are sheep, goats, camel, and yak

It is quite opposite of primitive farming. Farmers practice this on wider areas of land, they use modern machinery and add chemical fertilizers for the betterment of crop production.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. What is Primitive Subsistence Farming Class 10?

Ans1. This farming is practised on small patches of land with primitive tools. Most often family or community labour is used in this type of farming. It mainly depends on the monsoon and the natural fertility of the soil. Crops are further grown as per climatic and environmental conditions. 

This is further called slash and burn agriculture. The ash obtained is useful for crops as it yields better crops. After repetitions of crops grown, the patch extensively used is left shallow and in turn, a new patch is searched for farming. The patch earlier left fallow and unused again replenishes its fertility by the time new crops are grown in the new patch.

Q2. What is Commercial Grain Farming Practised in India?

Ans2. It is a major type of agricultural practice in the area of low rainfall and low density of population where extensive farming is practised. Commercial grain farming is in response to farm mechanization. Crops are yielded according to climatic conditions like floods and drought. Monoculture of wheat is the general practice here. 

Its characteristic includes the following:

  1. Specialization in a single crop

  2. Farms are very large

  3. Highly mechanized

  4. Lack of irrigation

  5. Dependant on Climatic hazards

  6. Depending on market fluctuations

  7. Farm ownership

  8. Low yield per acre

  9. High yield per man

Q3. What is Commercial Farming?

Ans 3. Commercial farming is a type of farming where the agricultural crop is grown for sale in exchange for some profit. Its example includes tobacco. India is the second-largest producer of tobacco. It is grown largely in semi-arid and rain-fed areas. 

Commercial farming crops are intended for large-scale distribution to wholesalers or retail outlets. Some of the common examples of commercial farming crops include wheat, maize, tea, coffee, sugarcane, cashews, rubber, banana, cotton. These are harvested and sold into world markets. Commercial agriculture also includes livestock production and livestock grazing. Some of the advantages of commercial farming are listed below:

  1. Encourages improvement in local infrastructure

  2. It promotes job creation

  3. Enables lowering of prices of the product

  4. It has provision for raw materials for agribusiness manufacturing companies.

  5. It enables increased productivity and also enhances food security.

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