Types Of Farming:
The following information is all about Types of Farming or Agriculture.
Introduction To Farming
Farming is a process of growing crops and raising livestock animals for the purpose of food and other material. Farming has been the oldest tradition followed for centuries throughout the world for human survival. However, the methods followed in farming/agriculture are different for each country. The farmers of India follow different farming systems based on the nature of land/soil, agro-climate and water availability or irrigation facilities. Let us discuss more types of farming usually followed in India.
Basically, there are 9 major types of farming systems are followed.
- Subsistence Farming / Agriculture.
- Shifting Agriculture.
- Plantation Agriculture.
- Intensive Farming / Agriculture.
- Dry Farming / Agriculture.
- Mixed and Multiple Farming / Agriculture.
- Crop Rotation.
- Permanent Agriculture Or Sedentary Cultivation.
- Terrace Cultivation / Farming.
Types Of Farming – Subsistence Farming / Agriculture
This farming system is being used by many farmers in India as most of them are small scale farmers who cannot able to afford high yielding seeds and required crop fertilizers. These farmers also hold a small chunk of lands and will not have any irrigation and electricity facilities. The whole family works in the field for the production of food. The entire crop is kept for their family consumption. In case, if they can able to afford for irrigation and electricity, cash crops like cotton, sugarcane, and oilseeds are cultivated by these farmers.
In this farming system, farmers can avail either dryland farming or wetland farming depending on rainfall or irrigation facilities. In areas where low annual rainfall is recorded, the crops like Maize, Bajra, Jowar, and any pulse/gram crops are grown. These crops are grown once a year. In the case of wetland farming where sufficient irrigation facilities are available, farmers usually grow crops twice a year. These seasons are termed as Kharif (from July to October) and Rabi (from October to March). In wetland farming, farmers mostly cultivate rice, vegetables and sugarcane crops etc.,
Main features of Subsistence farming include:
- The entire family depends on the cultivation of land.
- Most of the farming is done manually without any help of tools.
- Traditional farming methods are followed in growing crops.
- Expect small extent lands.
- The crop yield expected is low.
- The entire crop is consumed by farmer family and commercial crop selling is not possible.
Types Of Farming- Shifting Agriculture
In this type of farming system, usually a small extent of forest land is cleared for growing crops. Mostly tribal farmers used to practice this. This is done by removing dried up trees, burning tree trunks, tree branches, and other weeds. Generally, farmers cultivate this kind of lands for 2 to 3 years as soil fertility goes down. After this, farmers move on to other forest areas and repeat a similar kind of process. Millets, vegetables and corn/maize crops are grown in this type of system.
In this farming system, you can expect a very low yield per acre. This kind of practice is called by different names in different states in India. This is called Podu in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, Ponam in Kerala and Bera in Madhya Pradesh, and Jhum in Assam. However, the government discouraged this farming system due to issues with soil erosion in forest areas.
Main features of Shifting Agriculture include:
- The cultivation is practiced by destroying forests plants.
- Usually, the land does not involve any kind of cultural practices including ploughing.
- Just plant seeds are sown in the soil.
- This farming system is good only for 2 to 3 years as the yield of the crop decreases due to leaching out the nutrients from the ground (decreased soil fertility due to soil erosion).
- This is considered as one of the bad farming systems.
Types Of Farming- Plantation Agriculture / Farming
Plantation farming is nothing but a tree or bush farming which had been introduced by the British around the 19th century. It mostly refers to single crop orchards or crops such as tea, rubber, spice crops, coconut, coffee, lime, oranges, apples etc..
Plantation agriculture requires investment and cultivation facilities like good irrigation, modern farming methods, irrigation facilities, technical farming skills, required machinery, fertilizers, and quality high yielding seeds.
Plantation farming is very useful for export business. Most of the orchards produce crops for many years. Some crops take many years to get into the harvesting stage, but these crops are worth growing, as there are huge profits afterward. Plantation agriculture is mostly confined to the tropical climate.
Main features of Plantation Agriculture include:
- The crops are grown on huge estates.
- One crop farming.
- Crops require heavy labor.
- The investment required is high.
- The modern farming method used.
- These crops, mainly grown for commercial export purpose.
Types Of Farming – Intensive Farming / Agriculture
What is intensive farming? Well, it is a cultivation practice where one can obtain a high yield per unit area. As farmers use fertilizers and pest controls on a great extent, especially where irrigation facilities are available. They also try to sow the seeds of high yielding with modern farming methods by using machinery. These factors led to intensive farming/agriculture. In some areas, this is also known as industrial agriculture.
Types Of Farming – Dry Farming / Agriculture
Dry agriculture is growing crops in drought areas where fewer irrigation facilities are available. Farmers grow drought-resistant crop varieties. This is being mostly practiced in areas where average annual rainfall is low. Sometimes, there may be partial irrigation in dry agriculture. You can expect lower yields in dry agriculture.
Types Of Farming – Mixed and Multiple Farming / Agriculture
What is mixed farming? Well, it is nothing but growing agricultural crops along with livestock simultaneously (raising animals). Whereas multiple farming refers to growing more than one crop in the same field. Usually, two different crops with varying periods of maturity are shown so that they won’t compete with growth period and nutrients. This type of farming system is followed in regions where abundant rainfall is expected and good irrigation facilities are available.
Types Of Farming – Crop Rotation
In order to increase soil fertility or fix the nitrogen in the soil, multiple crops are grown one after another in the same field instead of growing the same crop for more than a year. This will be practiced in a fixed rotation. The completion of rotation crops depends on the type. Some may complete within the year whereas some may complete in the following year. Gram crops (leguminous) or Pulses are grown after the cereal crops as a leguminous crop can fix the nitrogen in the soil thus increasing the soil fertility. The selected crop for rotation depends on the soil type. Sugarcane or tobacco crops are rotated with cereal crops.
Types Of Farming – Permanent Agriculture Or Settled Cultivation
In this type of farming system, farmers get settled in one place start growing crops. This is mostly practiced everywhere.
Types Of Farming – Terrace Cultivation / Farming
What is terrace cultivation? Well, it is nothing but growing crops in lands with sloppy nature. Hilly areas are a perfect example of this system.
Usually, hills and mountain slopes are cut to form a terrace. The land is being used in the same way as in permanent agriculture. With this farming system, one can prevent soil erosion.