Introduction to Farming
Farming or agriculture, I am pretty sure that you have heard these words number of times. What you think and how you feel about these word? It is unquestionable that you know what farming is. You may feel very pleased if you see a stand of nicely grown vegetables, flowers or fruits. You will be wondering and see through it. You may sometimes understand this growing plants is simply the agriculture. But the broad concept of farming includes not only growing crops, it includes rearing animals too.
So if I am to define the word agriculture or farming I can define it as the “art and science of cultivating the soil for growing crops and rearing animals”. This will produce mainly food and many more things needed by the people including wool, ornaments etc.
In my view agriculture is a miracle. Especially the component of plant growing. Because when we provide necessary conditions including planting materials, soil, water, nutrients, air, labour it gives different products including fruits, leaves, seeds, flowers and many more things needed by the human for their everyday life
You may wonder thinking that why we need to learn about farming like topic which has a long history, in this modern world. If you think so, you are an idiot. I would like to say that, though farming is the first occupation of the people along their journey to today’s world still it is very precious and keeps up-to-date with evolving new technologies and techniques. It is no doubt that farming is the first most thing that is needed by the world because, food the basic need of the people are produced through this marvellous process. Agriculture was started as subsistence farming but now has transformed in to a business earning money.
If you are to think about the importance of farming, there is no suspicion on the importance of agriculture. As I mentioned earlier also farming is the practice of producing food which is the key requirement of each and every person. And now agriculture has become a widely spreading subject all over the globe.
So it is very significant practice that we all need to learn. If you can grow your own food in your home garden you can have fresh, nutritious and quality food having a profit also. So I would like you to invite to grow your own vegetables in your gardens. Are you worried that you don’t have enough land to grow your own food you don’t want to worry. Because agriculture is modernizing amazingly providing many opportunities for you to practice agriculture. And I will be with you to teach on those techniques too in the near future.
If your aim is to maximize the productivity of your land (yield per unit area) then you are engaging in intensive farming practice. In here use all the inputs in huge amounts as your intention is to have a higher profit. But please do not misunderstand that this type of farming is very cost effective or inexpensive. Definitely it is not. Because in here have to spend more money on labour and most of the time these farms are mechanized and a considerable amount of money have to be spend on the machines too. In addition this type of farming use genetically modified high yielding varieties and pesticides, fertilizer and chemicals are also used heavily in order to have a high yield from a small piece of land. In here as the land is a limited factor, this is practiced mostly in densely populated areas.
Then we reach to the other type of farming depending on the level of input. I am sure that you have a clear idea on that as it is reverse of the intensive farming. In here the land is not a limited factor as this is practiced mostly on the rural areas where land is inexpensive and abundant. So in here the input use is very limited. We do not have to use much effort on labour, capital, planting materials or other inputs including pesticides, chemicals, etc. extensive farming mostly uses the natural fertility of the soil and family labour is used. Human capital is used than the machines.
If you are an eco-friendly fellow you would like to know that intensive farming is not environmentally friendly practice as it uses pesticides and other chemicals in large amounts.
3. Depending on purpose of farming
Here I am going to discuss the types of farming depending on the purpose of farming. These types are the subsistence agriculture and the industrialized agriculture. In here I am only going to touch the surface of these types.
When we come to subsistence agriculture we can identify it as the oldest practice of agriculture where farming had been practiced only for the own consumption. In there mostly farmers grow many varieties of crops including cereals, vegetables, fruits, condiments, and leafy vegetables etc. that are needed by them. These crops are grown in very small scale. Only the family requirement can be met by this type of farming. If there is excess product it will sell nearby to neighbours or relatives.
The industrialized agriculture is the opposite of subsistence agriculture. In here the crops and livestock are farmed with the intention of selling them. If you are engaging in agriculture for earning profit it is the industrialized agriculture. It is no doubt that this type focuses mainly on the.
productivity of the crop. If I say it simply, the yield per unit of land (acre, hectare) and of course this type of agriculture is highly mechanized where in subsistence agriculture labour is the most intensive factor as family labour is highly used.
If I am to compare between these two types subsistence agriculture can be identified as the traditional method of growing plants and rearing livestock as it is not profit oriented. In addition subsistence agriculture is environmentally friendly than industrialized agriculture as it uses organic methods of farming while industrialized farming uses many chemicals including pesticides, weedicides, herbicides etc.
4. Depending on the composition of farms
When considering farming its composition also important. It is a more crucial factor if I focus on today’s agriculture. But I think that it was more crucial during the past also. Try to categorize the farms depending on the composition. See whether your categories coincide with me.
As the first category I would like to introduce arable farming method. This is the type that the plants solely grown in a plot of land. The other counter part of agriculture, livestock component does not contain in this type.
The next type can be guessed by you also. Yes of course that is the pasture farming method. In here only the livestock component and their feeding fodder and pastures are grown.
you integrate these two components, crop and livestock then comes mixed farming. In here the crops and livestock are integrated together in various frequencies and it will help to enhance the performance of both the components increasing the profit of the owner. If you try this you will wondering about the benefits.
5. Depending on the crop type
Here we can classify farms in to subsectors depending on the crop type that you are growing in the farms. This can be also introduced as the subsectors of farming.
|Gardening( growing crops including vegetables, fruits, flowers for the food and as ornaments in the home gardens)
|Subset of ornamental horticulture
Simply the flower production or cultivation
|Branch of agriculture involving in cultivating fruit crops
|Cultivating of cash crops like tea, rubber, coconut, tea, coffee etc.
|In here forests are planted, managed and cared for various purposes