Agriculture is the process of producing food, feed, fiber and other products by the cultivation of certain plants and the raising of domestic animals. The practice of agriculture is also known as "farming".
There are many types of farming. They can be classified into many groups. The groups are Economic status, Specialization, Intensity of land use and land tenure. Economic Status includes subsistence farming and commercial farming. Subsistence is when the food produced is just enough to meet the farmers needs i.e. enough to feed his whole family. Commercial Farming, or factory farming, is the growing of crops or rearing of animals for sale. It is very common in MEDCs and is rapidly increasing every where else.
The specialization criteria includes Arable, pastoral and mixed (arable and pastoral) farming. Extensive and intensive farming fall under the intensity of land use. Shifting and nomadic cultivation and sedentary farming fall under land tenure.
Farming produces goods such as cut flowers, decorative and nursery plants, timber, fertilizers, leather, industrial chemicals (starch, sugar, ethanol, alcohols and plastics), fibers, fuels and both legal and illegal drugs. Genetically engineered plants and animals produce specialty drugs.
Commercial Farming is farming for a profit, where food is produced by advanced technological means for sale in the market. In other words Commercial farmers sell their crops and animals in order to make a profit. It often employs very few workers. There are many types of commercial farming. For E.g. Ranching, Plantation, Fish farming, flower growing etc.
It uses large amounts of capital for equipment and fertilizer, pesticides, improved varieties and other advance technology
It includes tropical & sub-tropical plantations, mid-latitude grain farming, vegetable & fruit cultivation, mixed crop & livestock farming, and livestock ranching
A Plantation is a large farm in the tropics where one main cash crop is grown. It is often run by a transnational corporation.
A crop sold in the market for cash is a cash crop. The term cash crop is often applied to crops grown in LEDCs which are exported to the MEDCs.
Cash crops like rice, citrus fruits, palms, coffee, coca, opium, tea, soybeans, cacao, rubber, and bananas are cultivated on large areas of land. Some of these crops are better adapted to such conditions and last longer on cleared forest lands. However there are several problems with plantations in the tropics, besides the loss of forest.
• First, such planting of a single crop makes the crop highly open to disease and pests.
• Second, the planting of monocultures can be economically risky with the instability in price being so common in international merchandise markets.
• Additionally, a single cold spell or drought can devastate the tremendous part of the agricultural economy.
Extensive commercial farming
The main farming activities here are monocultures of cereal cash crops in very large open fields (plantations). And very high reliance on machinery and technology.
Physical factors leading to these farming activities are huge areas of land being available. And the climate is insignificant and not suited to more intensive types of farming.
Human factors leading to those farming activities include:
• The land is fairly cheap, so large areas can be purchased.
• Population density is low so there is little pressure on the land to be used for other purposes.
• Large farms generating large profits require large subsidies by large corporations for expensive machinery and technology.
• An increase in the use of contract labour, especially at harvest times, reflects the small labour force employed full-time on farms.
Plantation Crops in Cambodia
Cambodia has been promoting the therapy of rubber plantations as well as the development of new ones. As long as rubber plantations involve using large areas of land, many people have been expelled from their traditional lands and many more have lost their livelihoods, to make way for the plantations. The only plantation crop of importance to the Cambodian economy has until recently been rubber. However, they believed that oil palm is likely to develop into a major export commodity in the