Agriculture is the highly practised occupation all around the world, i.e. there are a lot of people in this world, who earn their livelihood by growing crops, vegetables, fruits, flowers and rearing of cattle. Based on the geographical conditions, level of technology, the demand for produce, and workers required, there is two major classification of farming, i.e. subsistence farming and commercial farming. In subsistence farming, the farmer is involved in the production of crops for local consumption.
Commercial farming, as it is evident from the name, it is a farming practice in which the farmer and other labours are involved in the production of crops, for commercial purposes. This article excerpt attempts to shed light on the difference between subsistence and commercial farming.
Content: Subsistence Farming Vs Commercial Farming
|Basis for Comparison||Subsistence Farming||Commercial Farming|
|Meaning||The farming practice in which crops are raised for personal consumption, it is known as subsistence farming.||The farming practice, in which the farmer grows crops for the purpose of trade, it is called commercial farming.|
|Nature||Labor intensive||Capital intensive|
|Area||It is practiced in small area.||It is practiced in large area.|
|Productivity||It is enhanced through the use of manures.||It is enhanced through higher doses of modern inputs.|
|Crops grown||Food grains, fruits and vegetables||Cash crops and cereals|
|Method of irrigation||It depends on monsoon.||It uses modern irrigation methods.|
|Cultivation||Traditional methods are used.||Machines are used.|
Definition of Subsistence Farming
The type of agriculture, wherein crop growing and livestock rearing is performed, to fulfil the needs of the farmer and his family, it is called subsistence farming. Before industrialization, there are many people who depend on the subsistence farming to fulfil their needs.
In this farming, there is less use of modern agricultural techniques and methods, the holding size is small and manual labours, which can be the family members of the farmers, help in the process of crop production. The output produced is primarily used for local consumption, with little to no surplus trade. The surplus produced (if any) is sold to nearby markets. The decision of cropping is based on the needs of the family in the coming time and its market price.
Definition of Commercial Farming
Commercial Farming, or otherwise called as agribusiness is a farming method in which the crops are raised, and cattle are reared with the aim of selling the produce in the market, so as to earn money.
In this type of agriculture, a huge amount of capital is invested, and crops are grown on a large scale in huge farms, with the use of modern technology, machines, irrigation methods, and chemical fertilizers. The basic feature of commercial farming is that high doses of modern inputs are used for higher productivity, such as high yielding variety seeds, fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides, weedicides, etc.
In commercial farming, primarily those crops which are in great demand are produced, i.e. the crops which are to be exported to other countries or which are used as raw material in industries. Further, the extent of commercialisation of farming differs from region to region.
Key Differences Between Subsistence and Commercial Farming
The difference between subsistence and commercial farming can be elaborated on the basis of following premises:
- Subsistence farming is a system of farming that aims at growing that much amount of crops that fulfils all or almost all the needs of the farmer and his family, with little to no excess produce for marketing. Commercial Farming is the farming method in which crop production and cattle rearing are performed with an intention to sell the produce in the market.
- Due to high labour inputs are required in subsistence farming, it is a labour-intensive technique. On the contrary, in commercial farming, huge capital investment is required, and that is why it is a capital-intensive technique.
- Subsistence farming is performed in a small area only. As against, a large area is required to perform commercial farming.
- To increase productivity, manure is added to the soil, in subsistence farming. In contrast, in commercial farming, the yield of crops can be increased by high doses of modern inputs, i.e. high yielding variety seeds, fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides, and so forth.
- In subsistence farming, mainly food grains like wheat and rice, fruits and vegetables are grown. Conversely, in commercial farming mainly cash crops and cereals are grown.
- While subsistence farming highly depends on the monsoon and simple methods of irrigation, commercial farming relies on modern irrigation methods such as surface irrigation, drip system, sprinkler, etc.
- In subsistence farming, traditional methods of cultivation are used, whereas machines are used for the purpose of cultivating the land, in commercial farming.
By and large, the socio-economic development of all the countries of the world, mainly depends on its agriculture, as it is the source of livelihood to many, as well as it adds to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Indeed, the higher the growth of agriculture in a country, the more its trade and industry will flourish.
Subsistence and Commercial farming are the two types of farming practices. Subsistence agriculture is performed by the farmer for the survival of his own and the person’s dependent on him. On the contrary, commercial agriculture is nothing but an agricultural business, wherein crops are grown for trading purpose.