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 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:
Large scale production
It is capital intensive
It uses high yielding varieties
It is produced mainly for sale purpose
Heavy machinery and human labour is used
Traditionally practised all year round.
Types of Commercial Farming include the Following:
Mixed crop and livestock 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:
Sites of farming are selected by experienced elders.
Hill slopes are preferred because of proper drainage
Forests are cleared by fire, as ashes add to the fertility of the soil
This is also called slash and burn agriculture.
The cultivated patches are usually very small
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:
Farming is very intensive
It requires much hand labour
It uses animal and plant manures
The dominance of padi and other food crops
Following are the Types of Subsistence Farming:
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.
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.