Subsistence Agriculture: It can be grouped in two categories — Primitive Subsistence Agriculture and Intensive Subsistence Agriculture.

Primitive Subsistence Agriculture: Also known as shifting agriculture.

  • Widely practiced by many tribes in the tropics, especially in Africa, South America and Central America and south East Asia.
  • Vegetation is usually cleared by fire, and the ashes add to the fertility of the soil. Shifting cultivation is thus, also called slash and burn agriculture.
  • Cultivated patches are very small and cultivation is done with very primitive tools such as sticks and hoes.
  • When the soil loses its fertility and the farmer shifts to another parts and clears other patch of the forest for cultivation.
  • It is prevalent in tropical region in different names, e.g. Jhum in North eastern states of India, Milpa in Central America and Mexico and Ladang in Indonesia and Malaysia.
  • MAIN DISADVANTAGE: In shifting cultivation the cycle of jhum becomes less and less due to loss of fertility in different parcels.

Intensive Subsistence Agriculture:

There are two types of intensive subsistence agriculture –

  1. Intensive subsistence agriculture dominated by wet paddy cultivation: Mainly dominated by rice crop.
  • Mostly practiced in high density population regions.
  • Land holding is very small due to the high density of population.
  • Farmers work with the help of family labor
  • Use of machinery is limited and most of the agricultural operations are done by manual labor
  • The yield per unit area is high but per labor productivity is low.
  1. Intensive subsidence agriculture dominated by crops other than paddy:
  • In this, wheat, soybean, barley and sorghum are grown in northern China, Manchuria, North Korea and North Japan.
  • In India wheat is grown in western parts of the Indo-Gangetic plains and millets are grown in dry parts of western and southern India.
  • Most of the characteristics of this type of agriculture are similar to those dominated by wet paddy except that irrigation is often used.

Plantation Agriculture

  • It was introduced by the Europeans in colonies.
  • The French established cocoa and coffee plantations in West Africa.
  • The British set up large tea gardens in India and Sri Lanka, rubber plantations in Malaysia and sugarcane and banana plantations in West Indies.
  • Now the ownership of the majority of plantations has passed into the hands of the government or the nationals of the countries concerned.
  • Important plantation crops are tea, coffee, cocoa, rubber, cotton, oil palm, sugarcane, bananas and pineapples
  • The characteristic features of this type of farming
  • Large estates or plantations
  • Large capital investment
  • Scientific methods of cultivation
  • A good system of transportation which links the estates to the factories and markets for the export of the products

Extensive Commercial Grain Cultivation

  • Commercial grain cultivation is practiced in the interior parts of semi-arid lands of the mid latitudes.
  • The size of the farm is very large, therefore entire operations of cultivation from ploughing to harvesting are mechanized
  • There is low yield per acre but high yield per person
  • Wheat is the principal crop, though other crops like corn, barley, oats and rye are also grown.




Mixed Farming

Mostly found in the highly developed parts of the world, e.g. North-western Europe, Eastern North America, parts of Eurasia and the temperate latitudes of Southern continents.

Main characteristics:

  • Farms are moderate in size
  • Fodder crops are an important component of Mixed farming
  • Other crops: wheat, barley, oats, rye, maize, fodder and root crops
  • Crop rotation and intercropping play an important role in maintaining soil fertility
  • Characterized by high capital expenditure on farm machinery and building
  • Extensive use of chemical fertilizers and green maneuver by farm experts


Mediterranean Agriculture

  • It is practiced in the countries on either side of the Mediterranean Sea in Europe and in North Africa from Tunisia to Atlantic coast, southern California, central Chile, south western parts of South Africa and south and south western parts of Australia.
  • This type of agriculture is mainly known for citrus fruits.
  • Sea in Europe and in north Africa from Tunisia to Atlantic coast, southern California, central Chile, south western parts of South Africa and south and south western parts of Australia
  • The land use is dependent on factors such as the total annual amount of rainfall, length of summer drought, availability of melting snow, local soil conditions, and price fluctuations in local and world market.


  • Orchard farming: specialized commercial agriculture of citrus fruits, olives, figs and fruits with thick skins.
  • Viticulture: also called grape culture .Best quality wines in the world with distinctive flavors are produced from high quality. The inferior grapes are dried into raisins and currants grapes.
  • Cereal and vegetable cultivation:  The warm and sunny Mediterranean climate also allows a wide range of other food crops and green vegetables to be harvested. Wheat is the principal grain and barley is grown in poorer areas beans, onions, tomatoes, lentils and all leafy vegetables are grown.


Market Gardening and Horticulture

  • Specializes in the cultivation of high value crops such as vegetables, fruits and flowers, solely for the urban markets.
  • Farms are small and are located where there are good transportation
  • It is both labor and capital intensive and lays emphasis on the use of irrigation, HYV seeds, fertilizers, insecticides, greenhouses and artificial heating in colder regions.
  • The regions where farmers specialize in vegetables only, the farming is known as truck farming.
  • Poultry and cattle rearing is also done under this
  • Mainly practiced in densely populated industrial areas


Co-operative Farming

  • A group of farmers form a co-operative society by pooling in their resources voluntarily for more efficient and profitable farming
  • Co-operative societies help farmers, to procure all important inputs of farming, sell products at the most favorable terms and help in processing of quality products at cheaper rates

Collective Farming

Collective farming or the model of Kolkhoz was introduced in erstwhile Soviet Union to improve upon the inefficiency of the previous methods of agriculture and to boost agricultural production.

  • Based on the principle of social ownership of the means of production and collective labor.




  1. Pingback: VARIOUS CULTIVATION METHODS | rodramukhi

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