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Differences Between Subsistence and Commercial Agriculture

Explained in this article are the differences between subsistence and commercial agriculture. Just like every other businesses, agriculture can be practiced on both small scale and large scale investments. The small scale investments require less labor and less management while the large scale framers do a lot to manage the farm. This is just one of the basic differences between subsistence and commercial agriculture.

The small scale agricultural investment that is mostly practised at home is subsistence farming.

Subsistence agriculture is the system of agriculture where the farmer cultivates crops and rears animals on a small piece of land such that he can do the management within himself and his family.

On the other hand, we have certain large investments in agriculture known as commercial farming.

Commercial farming is the large scale system of agriculture where there Is a final yield of bulk quantities of Agric produce, food crops and cash crops. Once you have a large hectare of land for agricultural purposes, then you have a leg in commercial agriculture.

There are various differences between subsistence and commercial agriculture and for many reasons, they can not be mixed. With those features, you can understand who is practicing subsistence or commercial agriculture.

The Differences Between Subsistence and Commercial Agriculture Explained.

Features of Subsistence Farming / Agriculture.

Subsistence farming is the agriculture process where a minute yield that will supplement the farmer and his family is the main deal. Here are the features of subsistence farming.

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1. Small Capital: Farmers who take part in subsistence farming are called peasant farmers. They utilise only the small available capital that they have with them. With a very small capital, a peasant farmer will provide food for his family.

2. Small Piece of land: While some farmers are starting on big hectares of land, the peasant farmers can just cultivate a very small piece of land. For instance, planting in the limited space of one backyard is subsistence farming as well.

3.  Family Production: Subsistence farming doesn’t have a massive yield that can be up for sale. It’s just for the family’s basic needs. So, the highest output from peasant farming is for the family. Once there is a chance to sell out, it is no more subsistence farming.

4. Crude tools: Traditional tools such as hoes and cutlass are the basic farming tools used by subsistence farmers. These tools require a lot of effort. despite this, a machine can’t be used because of the small plot of land.

5. Family Labor: If the output of the farm is for the family alone, then the family can help with the farm work. Instead of paying laborers, the farmer’s family can easily help him on the farm since it is some small land.

Features of Commercial Agriculture.

1. Large Hectares of Land: Commercial farming involves the cultivation of large hectares of land. This helps to increase the amount of yield compared to subsistence farming. 

2. Rich Farmers: Some of these commercial farmers started as peasants farmers and they were very fortunate to get rich. The wealth is being invested back into agriculture. Commercial forming is very costly. You will have to manage the farm during planting operations. Chemicals, planting and so on are very costly and only a rich farmer can take that.

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3.  Improved Varieties of Crops: Lots of money might be wasted without the improved varieties of crops been grown. This means that the seed, leaf or any method of propagation of a plant has been treated. These improved varieties grow rapidly, have better yield and make more profit for the farmer during harvest. 

4. Research Works: Commercial farming takes so much research. The farmer knows that only research can help him boost his yield later on. The kind of fertilizers, marketing and so on are researched. 

5. Cheap Products: The supply of this yield is massive. This massive supply is the reason many of those Agric products are very cheap. Moreover, to sell those products, they need to bring down their price a bit. This doesn’t mean they are not going to optimize the profit from this yield.

6. Use of Machines: In subsistence agriculture, machines are used to improve farm work. These machines will either serve as an alternative to human labor or even supplement human labor in the firm. The machines will help with difficult work like thrilling, ploughing and so many things.

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I am Israel Otoijamun, the Founder of Ofarms.ng. I am a blogger, web and graphics designer, brand manager, product manager and farmer. I have interests in crypto currency, technology, business and agriculture.

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Israel Otoijamun

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