AGRIC6: Types and Systems of Farming

This unit covers the different types and systems of farming and the advantages of each

The ‘types of farming’ and the ‘systems of farming’ are two different terms. Some western farm economists have used the terms, type and system interchangeably. Though the distinction between the two is not very clear, yet some experts have tried to differentiate these. The ‘system of farming’ is generally used to denote the ownership of land, farm resource management and other managerial decisions.

It may be cooperative farming, or tenant farming or the state  farming, etc. The ‘types of farming’ refers to the methods of farming and to different practices that are used in carrying out farming operations. Johnson defined it as ‘when farms in a group are quite similar in the kinds and proportions of the crops and the livestock that are produced and in the methods and practices followed in production, the group is described as a ‘type of farming’’.

  1. Types of farming

Natural, economic and to some extent social factors determine the type of farming in an area. Within the restraining influence of natural factors, economic factors- relative prices of farm products, resources of the farmer, transport facility, farm size, land value and technological developments influence the type of farming practiced in a region and set the proportion of area under each enterprises. Religious beliefs and social background also play some part in following the type of farming on the farm.

(1)   Diversified or General farm 

A farm on which no single product or source of income equals as much as 50% of the total receipt is called a diversified or general farm. On such a farm, the farmer  depends on several sources of income

Advantages of Diversified farming

  1. Better use of resources. Better use of land through adoption of crop rotations, steady employment of farm and family labour and more profitable use of equipment are obtained in diversified
  2. Business risk is reduced due to crop failure or unfavorable market
  3. Regular and quicker returns are obtained from various

Disadvantages of Diversified Farming 

  1. Marketable produce is insufficient unless the producers arrange for the sale of their produce on co-operative
  1. Because of varied jobs in diversified farming, a farmer can effectively supervise only limited number of
  2. Better equipping of the farm is not possible because it is not economical to have expensive implements and machinery for each
  3. There are chances when some of the leaks in farm business may remain undetected due to diversity of

Under Indian conditions, the advantages of diversified farming far outweigh any consideration for specialized farming. As a rule, crop-dairy type of diversified farming is followed, because it offers more economical use of land, labour and capital and permits safest possible way to withstand adverse weather conditions or violent price fluctuations. Very often complementary relationships are observed among enterprises, which contribute to increased farm production and profitability.

(2)   Specialised farming

A specialized farm is one on which 50% or more receipts are derived from one enterprise. Income is sale plus produce used at home.

Conditions for Specialization

  • Where there are special market outlets,
  • Where economic conditions are fairly uniform for a long period,
  • Where an enterprise is not much affected by abnormal weather conditions, e.g., poultry

Advantages of Specialised Farming

  1. Better use of land – It is more profitable to grow a crop on a land best suited to it. For example, jute cultivation on a swampy
  2. Better Marketing – Specialization allows better assembling grading, processing, storing, transporting and financing of the
  3. Better management – The fewer enterprises on the farm are liable to be less neglected and sources of wastage can easily be
  4. Less equipment and labour are needed – A fruit farmer needs only special machinery and comparatively less labour for raising
  5. Costly and efficient machinery can be kept – A wheat harvester and combine can be maintained in a highly specialized wheat
  6. Efficiency and skill are increased – Specialization allows a man to be more efficient and expert at doing a few

Disadvantages of Specialized Farming

  1. There is greater risk – Failure of crop and market together may ruin the
  2. Productive resources-Land, labour and capital are not fully
  3. Fertility of soil cannot properly be maintained for lack of suitable
  4. By-products may not be fully utilized for lack of sufficient livestock on the
  5. Farm returns in each are not generally received more than once a
  6. General knowledge of farm enterprises becomes

(3)   Mixed Farming

Mixed farming is a type of farming under which crop production is combined with livestock raising. The livestock enterprise is complementary to crop production so as to provide a balanced productive system of farming. When the livestock begin to complete with crops for the same resources, the relationship between the two enterprises changes from complementary phase to competitive nature.

Mixed farming offers the following advantages:

  1. Milch cattle provide draught animals for crop production and rural
  2. Mixed farming helps in the maintenance of soil fertility. Crops cannot be grown successfully without the use of manure. The most readily available supply of plant food is farmyard manure. But unfortunately, a large part of this used as a fuel resulting from pressure of population on the
  3. It tends to give a balanced labour load throughout the year for the farmer and his family.
  4. It permits proper use of the farm by-products.
  5. It offers higher returns on farm

(4)   Ranching

A ranch differs from other type of crop and livestock farming in that the livestock grazes the natural vegetation. Ranches are not utilized for tilling or raising crops. The ranchers have no land of their own and make use of the public grazing land. A ranch occupies most of the time of one or more operator.

(5)   Dry Farming

Farmers in dry and precarious tracts, which receive 50 cm or less of annual rainfall, struggle for livelihood. The major farm management problem in these tracts, where  crops entirely depends upon rainfall, is the conservation of soil moisture.

  1. Systems of Farming

Conditions determining the system of farming: Farm tenancy, farm ownership, group farming, economic use of land, and incentives to co-operate are some of the conditions conducive to the adoption of system of farming. An analysis of the system of farming shows that it is closely associated with the type of farming in so far as the type of crops and livestock raising are concerned.

  1. Co-operative farming: Co-operative farming is divided into two classes: i) Co-operative joint farming & ii) Co-operative collective

Meaning of Co-operative Farming: Co-operative farming means a system under which all agricultural operations or part of them are carried on jointly by the farmers on a voluntary basis, each farmer retaining right in his own land. The farmer would pool their land, labour and capital. The land would be treated as one unit and cultivated jointly under the direction of an elected management. A part of a profit would be distributed in proportion to the land contributed by each farmer and the rest of the profit would be contributed in proportion to the wages earned by each farmer. If the farmers are not willing to have a full scale co-operative farming, they can secure some of the economics by joining a particular form of co-operative organization namely, co- operative purchasing, co-operative better farming, co-operative selling, etc.

  • Co-operative joint farming Society: The ownership is retained by the individuals, but the land is cultivated
  • Co-operative Collective farming: In collective farming, the members of collectives surrender their land, livestock and head stock to the society. The collectives cannot refuse to admit other members of required qualification. The members work together under a management committee elected by themselves. The committee directs farm management in matter of allocation of work, distribution of income and marketing surpluses and put all members into labour to see that the work is done efficiently. The payment to the workers is in terms of “work day units”. A standard quota for each kind of farm operation is fixed in relation to one working day and the amount of work done by each farmer in a day is calculated accordingly, both in respect of quality and quantity. An unskilled worker has to put in more hours than the skilled one to fill his quota of work day. In India, the co-operative collective farming societies are ordinary societies of landless labourers to whom government land is given for cultivation. In this type, the labourers have no land of their own which they can pool, they primarily pool their labour.

(2)   Peasant Farming:

Peasant farming is concerned with peasant relation to land. The Zamindari Abolition Act of government has given the right of ownership to practically all the peasant-operators in the country. Peasant farming has given them opportunities to organize and operate their farms in their own way and get due reward for their labour and capital. Besides, peasant farming encourages them to maintain and develop the fertility in the occupation of land with social prestige attached to the ownership.

(3)   State farming:

Under this system of farming, the farms are managed by government. The agricultural labourers are paid wages on weekly or monthly basis in accordance with the wages fixed under Minimum Wages Act.

(4)   Capitalistic farming:

The capitalistic farming is based on the capital provided by the owner of the farm in carrying out of farm operations. Such type of farming is practiced where landlordism exists as in England or the U.S.A. In India, this type of farming is seen in sugarcane area where factory owners have their own farms. On these farms, five factors of productions namely, land, labour, capital, management and entrepreneurship are in evidence. The manager is a salaried person and the entrepreneur takes risk and gets profit or may sustain loss.

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