Table of Contents
What is Intensive Farming?
Intensive farming, also known as industrial agriculture, is a type of agriculture where large amounts of land are cultivated using heavy machinery and large-scale methods of production.
This type of farming is used to produce large quantities of crops or livestock in a short period of time. Intensive farming is characterized by high inputs of labour, capital, and technology, and high outputs of crops or livestock.
It involves a high degree of intervention in the growing process and a high level of input in terms of labour, fertilizer, and capital. The aim of intensive farming is to maximize production while minimizing costs.
With a focus on production, intensive farmers generate higher yields from a given piece of land through higher inputs of labour or capital. This term is often used interchangeably with industrial agriculture, which is characterized by its large-scale, capital-intensive techniques.
What is Extensive Farming?
Extensive farming is an agricultural production system that refers to the application of an intensive management system to the production of crops and livestock.
It is a type of agriculture where farmers manage a large piece of land with relatively low levels of inputs and labour, where farmers rely heavily on natural resources and traditional methods.
Extensive farming is often subsistence farming, meaning that the farmers are only able to produce enough food to feed their families and they do not have any surplus to sell.
This kind of agriculture is found in areas with large amounts of land, limited rainfall, and harsh conditions. Farmers in these areas grow crops that are tolerant to drought and pests, and they often graze livestock on large tracts of land.
Difference Between Intensive Farming and Extensive Farming
- Intensive farming uses smaller tracts of land and more labour hours to produce a larger amount of product while, extensive farming uses large tracts of land and relatively few labour hours to produce a small amount of product.
- Intensive farming is characterized by high crop yields per unit area and large fields of monoculture crops, on the other hand, extensive farming is characterized by low crop yields per unit area and large fields of mixed crops.
- Intensive farming is a type of agriculture where a large amount of investment and labour is used to produce high yields from a small area of land. Extensive farming is a type of agriculture where a small amount of investment and labour is used to produce low yields from a large area of land.
- Intensive farming is often associated with high-input, high-output systems, while extensive farming is often associated with low-input, low-output systems.
- Intensive farming includes using large amounts of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, as well as irrigation. In Extensive farming, farmers rely more on natural processes, such as rainfall, and less on artificial inputs.
Comparison Table between Intensive Farming and Extensive Farming
|Parameters of Comparison||Intensive Farming||Extensive Farming|
|Land Usage||It uses less land for farming||Land is used for raising crops and livestock|
|Soil fertility||Leads to fertility problems due to high levels of fertilizers||Has fewer fertility problems|
|Crop Yields||produces higher crop yields||crop yields are lower because the land is not as productive|
|Carbon usage||Often has a high carbon footprint due to the large amount of fossil fuels used||The carbon footprint is very low as practices used are very efficient and do not require a lot of energy or resources|
|Fertilizer and feed usage||use large amounts of technology and pesticides in order to maximize crop production||Usage of fertilizers and feed is minimal as it depends on natural resources|