SYSTEMS OF AGRICULTURE. The systems of agricultural production system of farming whereby a farmer cultivates crops and rears animals in order to produce food include the following:

here are 10 different systems of agriculture:

  • Subsistence Agriculture: This is a traditional form of agriculture where farmers grow crops and raise livestock primarily to feed themselves and their families. It is typically practiced in developing countries.
  • Intensive Agriculture: This involves the use of high inputs such as labor, capital, fertilizers, and pesticides to maximize yields per unit of land. It is common in areas with high population densities and limited arable land.
  • Extensive Agriculture: In contrast to intensive agriculture, extensive agriculture involves large-scale farming with minimal inputs per unit of land. It is often practiced in areas with abundant land but limited labor and capital.

  • Organic Agriculture: This system emphasizes sustainable practices such as crop rotation, composting, and biological pest control instead of synthetic inputs like chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
  • Permaculture: Permaculture is a holistic approach to agriculture that aims to mimic natural ecosystems. It focuses on designing sustainable and self-sufficient systems that integrate plants, animals, and landscapes.
  • Agroforestry: Agroforestry combines agriculture and forestry practices by incorporating trees and shrubs into farming systems. It can improve soil fertility, conserve water, and provide additional income sources for farmers.
  • Hydroponics: Hydroponic agriculture involves growing plants without soil, using nutrient-rich water solutions instead. It is often practiced in controlled environments such as greenhouses and vertical farms.

systems of agriculture. view of vegetables

  • Aquaponics: Aquaponics is a symbiotic system that combines aquaculture (fish farming) with hydroponics. Fish waste provides nutrients for plants, while the plants filter the water, creating a sustainable and integrated ecosystem.
  • Precision Agriculture: Precision agriculture utilizes technology such as GPS, drones, and sensors to optimize crop management practices. It allows farmers to monitor and manage fields with greater precision, leading to increased efficiency and reduced environmental impact.

  • Sustainable Agriculture: Sustainable agriculture aims to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It involves practices that are environmentally friendly, socially responsible, and economically viable in the long term.

Mechanized farming as a system of agriculture

:Mechanized farming also referred to as commercial agriculture, is the type of agriculture which is concerned with the production of food, animals and cash crops in large quantities mainly for sale.

                        A version of mechanized farming is the state farming. The state farming is a system of agriculture in which the state, through is agencies, engages in large scale farming for both local and foreign markets.

Characteristics of mechanized farming include the following:

  •             It requires a large area of land
  •             Complex and modern equipment like tractor, sprayers and ploughs are used.
  •             It requires huge capital investment.
  •             It requires special marketing strategies
  •             Pest and diseases are usually controlled
  •             It requires special skills and technical education or labour
  •             Production is mainly for sale
  •             Storage and processing facilities are required
  •             It is mostly practiced by very rich farmers, companies and governments.

Peasant farming: Peasant farming also referred to as subsistence farming is defined as the type of agriculture which is concerned with the production of food for the farmer and his family. In other words,

it is a system of farming whereby a farmer cultivates crops and rears animals in order to produce food for use by himself and his family only.

  • Identify the main components of agriculture
  • Explain the main features of various systems of agriculture.
  • Explain the importance of agriculture to economic development by using Nigeria as an example.
  • Explain the processes and challenges of marketing both food and cash crops in Nigeria.

Some of the features or characteristics of peasant farming include the following:

  •             It requires a small area of land
  •             Family labour is usually employed
  •             The yield obtained from such small farm is usually low.
  •             Crude implements like cutlass, hoe etc are usually employed.
  •             There is usually little or none left for sale.
  •             It requires small capital to operate.
  •             Food crops like rice, yam and maize are manly grown.

Plantation farming: Plantation farming involves the cultivation of some economic crops in large areas of land. In this type of farming only one crop (mono-culture) is grown in a large area of land.

Some of the characteristics of plantation agriculture are:

            It requires a large area of land

            It requires huge capital investment

            Only one crop is cultivated

            It requires the use of machine like tractors, plough etc.

            Harvest or yield is usually great

            It may be owned by government, private individuals or corporate bodies.

            Output or yield is mainly for sale.

Co-operative Systems of farming

This is the type of farming in which farmers come together to form a union for the purpose of farming together to enable them enjoy some incentive from government. Such incentive may include loans, input supply like fertilizers, subsidies and easy disposal of their products through organized marketing.

Some characteristics of co-operative farming include:

  • It is a union of farmers
  • They may produce one type of crop or livestock
  • They enjoy certain incentive from government e.g. land, reduced cast of inputs.
  • It has organized markets for their products.
  • Output is high because of resources put together by the farmers.


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