few Types of Agriculture: Industrialized and Subsistence Agriculture

Types of Agriculture: Industrialized and Subsistence Agriculture

Imagine a family farm on a small plot of land and a huge commercial farm that spans acres and acres of land. What do you think makes these two types of farms different? Although both of these farms are designed to produce food, they vary in the methods of production, the amount of food they produce and who consumes the food produced.Although for most of human history our species has survived by hunting and gathering food, around 10,000 years ago, our ancestors started producing their own food. Agriculture is the term used to describe the act of growing crops and raising livestock for human consumption and use.Since the development of agriculture, many different types of production have been implemented. Currently, agriculture is divided into two different types, including industrialized agriculture and subsistence agriculture. Let’s explore and learn more about these two types of agriculture.

Types of Agriculture

Agriculture is one of the most widespread activities in the world, but it is not uniform throughout. There are a number of ways to classify agriculture, and some of the major criteria which can be adopted include:

  • Scale
  • Type of crop
  • Livestock combinations
  • Intensity
  • Means of distribution of farm produce
  • Level of mechanization

The following are the major types of agriculture around the world.

Nomadic Herding

Nomadic herding is based upon the rearing of animals on natural pastures. This practice is performed by the people of semi-arid and arid regions. These people stay on the move with their animals in search of natural pastures for their livestock to graze. The type of animals reared differ from one region to the other. Northern Africa, parts of Arabia and parts of northern Eurasia are the typical regions of this type of farming. This is a subsistence type of activity.

Livestock Ranching

Under this system of farming, the major emphasis is laid on rearing animals. Unlike nomadic herding, the farmers live a settled life. This type of farming has developed on a commercial basis in areas of the world where large plots of land are available for animal grazing, such as the low rainfall areas of North America, South America and Australia. Animals are reared mainly for meat and wool, and they are kept on large-scale farms called ranches.

Rudimentary Sedentary Tillage

This is a subsistence type of agriculture and it differs from the aforementioned types because the same plot of land is cultivated continuously year after year. Fallowing of land is commonly adopted to maintain soil fertility, and is a technique often adopted in tropical regions. Besides grain crops, some tree crops such as the Pará rubber tree are grown using this system.