HKDSE Geography/M5/Types of Agriculture

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There are several ways to classify agriculture:

Output type Arable farming Crop cultivation only
Pastoral farming Livestock rearing only
Mixed farming Both crop cultivation and livestock rearing
Output use Subsistence farming Farm outputs are for own consumption
Commercial farming Farm outputs are for sale in the market
Input-land ratio Intensive farming High input-land ratio
Extensive farming Low input-land ratio
Input proportion Labour-intensive farming Labour is the most important input
Capital-intensive farming Capital and technology are the most important inputs
Permanance of site Sedentary farming The farmland or pastureland is permanent
Non-sedentary farming The farmland or pastureland is temporary and constantly moves
Technology level High-technology farming High technology and a lot of energy is used
Low-technology farming Low technology and little energy is used
Output variety Monoculture Only one type of crop is grown on the land
Polyculture Multiple crop types are grown on the land
Specialised farming A farm specialises in certain types of crops
Water use Irrigation farming Farming that requires irrigation of crops
Rain-fed farming Farming that relies mainly on rainfall as a water source

Important Examples[edit]

  • Wheat-sheep farming in Australia is an example of extensive mixed farming.
  • Greenhouse cultivation is an example of intensive commercial farming.
  • Nomadic herding and shifting cultivation (more about that in M7) are examples of non-sedentary farming.

Important Relationships[edit]

Also note these relationships:

  • Arable farming is preferred in areas with favourable physical inputs like high rainfall and temperature. Irrigation farming and pastoral farming are practiced in areas with more severe conditions.
  • Areas with large and low-cost labour supply generally practice intensive farming.
  • Areas with favourable cultural factors are more likely to practice commercial farming. Areas far away from markets with limited technology and capital tend to practice subsistence farming.