Commercial Farming in India
Hello friends, today we are here with a topic called “commercial farming in India.” Commercial farming is also called commercial agriculture, and it is a cropping method in which crops are raised, and livestock are raised to sell the products on the market to make money. Commercial farming in India involves farming for a profit. Increasingly, farms are becoming more mixed due to the impact of farming regulations and subsidies. Some examples of commercial farming crops are Wheat, Maize, Coffee, Sugarcane, Tea, Cashew, Rubber, Banana, and Cotton are harvested and sold in the world markets. It is about the growing of crops and the rearing of animals for raw materials, food, or export, mainly for profitable reasons. Commercial farming in India includes livestock production and livestock grazing.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Commercial Farming in India
The Importance of Commercial Farming in India
Why is commercial agriculture important?
Commercial farming makes the vast basket of goods that we all use in our everyday lives, including almost anything that provides protein (crops, pork, beef, milk, lamb, chicken, some fish, eggs, etc.)
Commercial agriculture is just the opposite of subsistence agriculture. In commercial agriculture, most of the produce is sold in the market for earning money. In a commercial system, farmers use inputs such as irrigation, chemical fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides, high-yielding varieties of seeds, etc. Some major commercial crops grown in different parts of India are Cotton, Jute, Sugarcane, Groundnut, etc. Rice farming in Haryana is generally for commercial purposes as people of this area are predominantly wheat eaters. However, in the East and North-Eastern states of India, rice cultivation would be a large subsistence type. It is suited to industrial or postindustrial economic models, in which most population members do not work in agriculture, are fed by others, and purchase their food as consumers.
The main problem that commercial farmers face in commercial farming is water conservation. Usually, crops have been watered using agriculture sprinklers that distribute water across a wide land area. A significant portion of the water is unused by the crops due to evaporation. Water problems also arise for livestock producers, mainly those who experience drought and live in consistently warm environments.
Commercial Crops Cultivated Areas in India
In Commercial farming, the Indian farmer uses a high amount of fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides to enhance and maintain the growth of the crop. Commercial farming in India changes across different regions depending on the crop. For instance, Haryana, Punjab, and West Bengal grow rice crops commercially, while in Orissa, rice is a subsistence crop.
In commercial farming in India, crops are raised in large-scale plantations or estates and shipped off to other countries for money. Commercial farming systems are common in sparsely populated areas like Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana, and Maharashtra. Examples of crops grown commercially in India, such as Wheat, Maize, Tea, Coffee, Sugarcane, Cashew, Rubber, Corn, Banana, and Cotton, are harvested and sold worldwide.
Characteristics of Commercial Farming in India
The characteristics of Commercial farming are the use of higher doses of modern inputs to obtain higher crop productivity. However, the degree of commercialization of agriculture changes from one region to another. The plantation is also an important type of commercial farming where a single crop is grown in a large area. Plantations cover large areas using capital-intensive inputs.
The important plantation crops in India are Tea, Coffee, Rubber, Sugarcane, and Banana. In this type of commercial agriculture, a lot of capital is invested, and large-scale crops are grown on huge farms using modern technologies, machinery, irrigation methods, and chemical fertilizers. In commercial agriculture, crops that are in high demand, which means crops that need to be exported to other countries or are used as raw materials in industries, are produced mainly. Also, the extent of agricultural marketing differs from region to region.
In commercial farming, the crops and livestock are produced in large-scale industry, irrigation methods, chemical fertilizers, and other technologies. The basic point of producing such large-scale products is to have them exported to other countries where their demand is high.
1. Large-scale Production – In this system, livestock and crops are produced in large numbers. Commercial farming needs much land, advanced equipment, and expertise to meet production goals.
2. Commercial farming is capital-intensive – It requires a lot of investment before it is started. The capital purchases farm materials like seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides.
3. Use High Yielding Varieties (HYV) of seeds – This farming uses high doses of modern inputs and high-yielding seed varieties. Then, this is done to obtain higher crop production, but has detrimental effects on environmental sustainability.
4. It is produced for Sale – Commercial farming is done for sale only, and the thousands of acres of products in commercial farming, like Millet, Cocoa, Bananas, Rice, Sugarcane, and Tea, are harvested and sold, mainly as exports to other countries.
5. Heavy Machinery and Human Labor – It needs ample supplies of skilled and unskilled labor. Though skilled labor in commercial labor comes from professionals, unskilled labor tends to exploit immigrants and persons who live in absolute poverty. It requires heavy machinery like diggers, trailed sprayers, harvesters, and planters and also meets the skills of the system of production.
6. One Type of Agricultural Practice is done in a Large Area – It mainly involves several agricultural practices within the same parcel of land. Also, it involves large-scale farming of one type of agricultural practice, like aquaponics, beef farming, dairy farming, chicken farming, coffee farming, sugarcane farming, fruit plantation, flower farming, and tea farming, among many others in one region. Some noteworthy examples include the vast farms of Tea in India and Kenya, Coffee plantations in Brazil and India, Banana production in Uganda, beef farming in the United States, and Sugarcane farms in Indonesia and Mexico. The degree of area coverage may change from one region to the other.
Examples of Commercial Farming in India
- Tobacco Farming
- Cotton Farming
- Wheat Farming
- Rice Farming
- Sugarcane Farming
- Maize Farming
- Tea Farming
- Coffee Farming
- Dairy Farming
Other major crops grown commercially in India are Pulses, Millets, Jute, Oilseeds, Sugarcane, Maize and Other Grains, Vegetables, and Fruits.
The farmer cultivates crops and rears animals for commercial purposes in commercial farming, i.e., for selling them in markets. In this system, most of the work is done by machines, and the area cultivated and the amount of capital used are large.
Key Differences between Subsistence and Commercial Agriculture
The difference between commercial farming and subsistence farming is commercial agriculture differs significantly from subsistence agriculture, as the main objective of commercial agriculture is achieving higher profits through economies of scale, specialization, the introduction of capital-intensive farming methods, labor-saving technologies, and maximization of crop yields per hectare through synthetic and natural resources. Whereas the objective of subsistence agriculture is an economic model in which most members of the population work in agriculture to feed themselves, with limited need for trade.
The main difference between subsistence and commercial farming can be developed based on the below principles;
- Subsistence farming is an agricultural system that aims to grow several crops that meet all or almost all the needs of the farmer and his family, with little or no surplus products to market. In this plant, livestock production is practiced to sell the products on the market.
- Subsistence agriculture is a labor-intensive technique because of the high labor required. On the other hand, in commercial agriculture, huge capital investments are needed, which is why it is a capitalistic technique.
- Subsistence farming is practiced in a small area only. On the other hand, commercial farming is practiced in a large area.
- To increase productivity in subsistence farming, manure is added to the soil. On the other hand, crop yields can be increased by high doses of modern inputs, i.e., seeds of high-yielding varieties, fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides, etc, in commercial agriculture.
- Mainly, food grains such as wheat and rice, fruits, and vegetables are grown in subsistence agriculture. Conversely, cash crops and cereals are mainly grown in commercial agriculture.
- Subsistence agriculture is highly dependent on monsoon and simple irrigation methods; commercial agriculture relies on modern irrigation methods such as surface irrigation, drip irrigation, watering, etc.
- Traditional cultivation methods are used in subsistence agriculture, while machines cultivate the land in commercial agriculture.
Main Categories of Commercial Farming
Commercial grain farming
- In commercial grain farming, farmers grow grains and trade them in the market.
- Wheat and Maize are the most common crops cultivated in commercial grain farming. Generally, commercial grain farming is practiced by farmers of Asia, Europe, and temperate grasslands of North America.
- This farming is done for grains and in the winter season.
- In commercial grain farming, only one crop can be grown at once.
- This commercial grain farming spread in North America, Europe, and Asia.
- These areas are populated with large farmers.
- Another system of commercial farming is ‘plantation.’ Plantation agriculture is a blend of agriculture and industry practiced across a vast land area. It is labor-intensive farming that also uses the latest technological support for sustaining, cultivating, and yielding. Then, the produce from plantations is treated as raw materials for their respective industries.
- A plantation is a large farm in tropical or sub-tropical areas where crops are grown for sale in distant markets rather than for local consumption. It is a mix of agriculture and industry and is practiced across a vast land area.
- Plantation owners grow a single crop, like Banana, Coffee, Tea, etc, in plantation farming. The end product works as a raw material for industries. For example, the rubber industry uses the rubber formed from its plantation as raw material.
- In this Plantation farming, a single crop is grown in a large area.
- Tea, Coffee, Rubber, Sugarcane, Banana, etc. are important plantation crops in India.
- This farming required much labor, large transportation, and large areas.
Areas of plantation agriculture in tropical regions of the world;
- Like rubber in Malaysia.
- Tea in India.
- Coffee in Brazil.
This farming is done in hilly areas like sub-Himalayan, Nilgiri, and West Bengal. Plantation farming takes a long period to mature the products, but these are produced for long periods.
- It is the cultivation of crops, rearing livestock, and growing their fodder.
- It is a common practice in parts of the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, eastern USA, Argentina, and South Africa to do mixed farming for a living.
- This type of farming is done for growing foods and fodders crops.
- It has good rainfall and irrigation.
- The crops are cared for carefully.
- The crops are done almost at the same duration in mixed farming.
Other Types of Commercial Agriculture are;
Intensive commercial farming – This is an agriculture system in which relatively large amounts of capital or labor are applied to relatively smaller land areas. It is practiced where the population pressure is reducing the size of landholdings. West Bengal practices intensive commercial agriculture. Intensive commercial agriculture is the growing of crops and rearing of animals on a small piece of land using scientific and modern farming methods, leading to high production. Mostly, it is practiced in densely populated countries near urban centers. Horticulture farming and market gardening are an example of intensive commercial farming.
Characteristics of intensive commercial farming;
- They use labor-intensive technology because of small plots
- Fertilizers are used in this system
- They grow cereals and annual crops
- Crops and animals are for commercial purposes
- In intensive commercial farming, farms are small, 3 to 6 hectares, because of increased population density.
- Production per unit area is high because of using the modern method of farming
Extensive commercial farming – This is a system in which relatively small amounts of capital or labor investment are applied to large areas of land. Crops grown in extensive commercial farming are Sugarcane, Rice, and Wheat. Extensive commercial agriculture tries to maximize per capita production.
In case you miss this: Vegetable Farming Tips In India.
Commercial Agricultural Products of India
Commercial farming has been developed during the last century. In the first phase, tropical crops have been developed which were not grown in temperate regions in India. Then, this trend has been changed with the decolonization and independence of countries.
Many developed and developing countries have realized that agriculture can boost the economy by exporting agricultural products. So, commercial agriculture has been started with the prime objective of export and production of cash crops. Plantation farming was the first to develop. It is export-oriented specialized farming, where the emphasis is given to raising a single crop, specially meant for export to overseas countries. Afterward, other crops have been produced for commercial purposes.
Commercial agricultural products include tea, coffee, cocoa, and tobacco. Other commercial agricultural products are fiber crops like cotton, jute, hemp, etc. Other industrial crops like rubber, sugarcane, sugar beet, fruits, etc. Cereal crops like Wheat, Maize, Barley, and Oilseeds are also grown commercially.
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The main advantages of Commercial farming are given below;
One of the main advantages of commercial farming in India is that it significantly increases food production. However, intensive commercial farming uses various kinds of fertilizers and pesticides, threatening ecosystems.
Commercial farming in developing countries benefits communities. It aids in improving the infrastructure and increases the standard of living by providing jobs to local workers. Commercial farming also interferes with the ecosystem, as natural rainforests are destroyed and cleared to serve as farmlands for cash crops. Commercial farming improves the local infrastructure.
1. Encouraging Improvement in Local Infrastructure – Commercial farming helps an area establish or improve the infrastructure of the area, such as roads and electricity. Also, when the roads are improved, they help the farms and the people who live nearby.
2. Job Creation – Commercial agriculture is a source of jobs for persons living within the area. Then, the workers will earn some money, enabling them to provide food for their families. As such, it stimulates the growth of the local economy.
3. Lowering the Price of Products – It helps decrease the cost of agricultural products since the crops are available in the market in enough numbers. The forces of demand and supply operate to lower the prices of such commodities.
4. Increased Production – It mechanizes operations and controls diseases and pests, enabling the farms to produce more.
5. Provision of Raw Materials – It benefits more raw materials to feed the local and international industries that engage in the production of agricultural by-products. The manufacture of juices is enabled by fruit farming in commercial quantities. Also, coffee and cocoa farming serve the confectionery industries.
6. Foreign Exchange earner – It helps countries earn a high foreign exchange. In West Africa, cocoa and coffee exports have earned the respective countries lucrative foreign exchange.
Disadvantages of Commercial Farming in India
Here is the list of disadvantages of Commercial Agriculture;
- High capital investment in commercial farming – The high cost of agricultural machinery makes commercial farming difficult.
- Inadequate marketing channels – Marketing channels for agricultural products are inadequate in developing countries
- Increasing the acreage of production land is destroying the natural rainforests. When the forest is removed to cultivate plants, there appears to be a negative impact of deforestation on the environment.
- It is the real culprit in promoting fertilizers, herbicides, and chemicals to protect crops against insect attacks. But these chemicals are a vivid threat to humankind.
If you live in India and plan to start Commercial farming, this article might be useful to set up your Commercial farm from scratch.