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What is Commercial Farming? Features, Types and Advantages | Tractorgyan

What is Commercial Farming? Features, Types and Advantages | Tractorgyan

    What is Commercial Farming?  Features, Types and Advantages | Tractorgyan

10 Feb, 2024

Commercial farming, a key pillar of modern agriculture, plays a pivotal role in meeting the global demand for food, raw materials, and exports. By focusing on cultivating a single crop over extensive areas, commercial farmers optimize production and contribute to the economy of scale. 

This agricultural practice thrives in several Indian states, with Gujarat, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra leading the charge. Leveraging modern technology, such as heavy equipment, advanced irrigation techniques, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides, commercial agriculture enables the cultivation of high-demand commercial crops like wheat, maize, tea, coffee, sugarcane, cashew, rubber, corn, bananas, and cotton, solidifying India's presence in the international market.

In today’s post, we’re going to discuss commercial farming in india in detail so that if you’re a farmer planning to make a move in this direction, you can easily embark on your journey. 

What is Commercial Farming?

commercial farming

Let’s begin the guide by knowing the basics of commercial farming. By definition, commercial farming is a type of farming wherein farmers are involved in the large-scale cultivation of commercial crops and the rearing of animals for the primary purpose of generating profit and economic gain. 

Unlike subsistence farming, where the main goal is to meet the basic needs of a family or community, commercial farming focuses on producing surplus agricultural products that can be sold in the market or used for exports. The primary objective of commercial agriculture is to maximize productivity and revenue through efficient agricultural practices and economies of scale.


Features of Commercial Farming

features of commercial farming

Commercial farming has many features or says some distinct character that makes it different from other types of farming which is practised across the nation.

1. Use of high-yielding varieties of seeds: One of the specific features or characteristics of commercial farming is that it uses high-yielding varieties of seeds, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides, and many other things to gain high results or cultivate a crop with great productivity.

2. Generates revenue: Commercial farming differs from other types of agriculture in that its products are produced for sale rather than only for personal consumption. This is one of its key distinguishing features. Thousands of acres are used in commercial agriculture to produce goods like cocoa, bananas, rice, sugarcane, tea, and a variety of other things. These goods are produced and primarily exported to other nations.

3. Heavy use of farming machinery and human labor force: It should be noted that considerable amounts of both skilled and unskilled labour are necessary for commercial farming. Professionals provide skilled labor for the commercial sector, whereas those providing unskilled labor are living in abject poverty. Heavy equipment such as diggers, trailed sprayers, ploughs, planters, and harvesters is also necessary for commercial agriculture. These tools are utilized to meet the deadlines and objectives as well as the production system's talents.

4. Practiced throughout the 12 months: Commercial farmers have year-round irrigation systems. Like other farmers, they don't rely on rain or other natural resources to keep their crops or animals alive throughout the year. Instead, they use contemporary tools, technology, and artificial growth promoters.

5. Creation of capital: Commercial farming is a type of farming that is not only beneficial for the agricultural sector but also for industries or investors as it leads to the creation of capital. Some agricultural supplies, like seeds, fertilizer, and insecticides, are purchased with the funds. It necessitates a large cash outlay. The farmer must harrow and plough the land, buy seedlings or seeds, use pesticides, and fertilize the crops. This would require a huge financial commitment because it would be carried out on such a large piece of land.

6. Encourages employment at large scale:  People who live in the area can find work through commercial farming. The workers will be paid a wage that would allow them to feed their families. Commercial farming thus encourages the expansion of the regional economy.

7. Decrease the cost of products: Due to the sufficient supply of crops on the market, commercial agriculture helps to lower the price of agricultural products. Therefore, the forces of supply and demand work to drive down the cost of such commodities.


Different Types of Commercial Farming

types of commercial farming

Commercial farming is practiced mainly for monetary purposes, and it also boosts the economy because of the large-scale production it carries out. All commercial farming examples are listed below.

There are different types of commercial farming namely:

1. Dairy farming 

dairy farming

Dairy Farming is a type of commercial agriculture and as the name suggests it is mainly involved in the production of mild and milk products altogether. In Dairy farming, the primary purpose is to rear the cattle which gives out milk and other dairy products in return.


2. Grain Farming

grain farming

Commercial Grain farming is a sort of industrial farming where grains are cultivated for human consumption and export, including corn, barley, and wheat. It is crucial to note that commercial grain farming is highly mechanized and necessitates enough land, equipment, farmers, and equipment kinds. The planting and harvesting seasons are the busiest for farmers engaged in this form of seasonal, outdoor commercial agriculture.


3. Livestock Farming 

livestock farming

Livestock farming is a type of farming wherein meat-giving or producing animals are reared to obtain meat. Cattle and sheep are the most frequent species raised in livestock farming, although on some farms you may also find pigs and poultry raised in huge numbers.


4. Plantation Farming

Plantation Farming

This type of commercial agriculture is very similar to commercial farming under plantation farming. A large piece of land is used for the process of cultivation of cash crops like sugar, tea, coffee, bananas, coconut, etc., and sell them out in the global market for receiving excessive revenues.

different types of commercial farming


5. Monoculture Farming

monoculture farming

This type of commercial farming involves the cultivation of a single crop over large expanses of land. It’s one of the most common commercial farming examples seen in India and it focuses on maximizing the yield and efficiency of a particular crop and creating its surplus. In this type of commercial crops like wheat, corn, soybeans, or rice are mostly cultivated as these are the staple grains in India and are important to feed the huge population of this nation. 


6. Poultry Farming

poultry farming

Next type of commercial farming which is very common in India is poultry farming that involves raising chickens, ducks, turkeys, and other birds for meat and egg production. Poultry farming has become highly mechanized and intensive to meet the growing demand for poultry products.


7. Aquaculture


Also known as fish farming, aquaculture involves the breeding and rearing of fish, crustaceans, and aquatic plants in controlled environments such as ponds, tanks, and ocean enclosures. This type of farming caters to the demand for seafood and helps conserve wild fish populations.


8. Commercial Floriculture

commercial floriculture

Commercial floriculture in India involves the large-scale cultivation of flowers and ornamental plants for the floral industry. Flowers are grown for various purposes, including floral arrangements, bouquets, and decorations.


Advantages of Commercial Farming

Commercial farming or commercial plantation is more than just a farming practice that farmers in India are adopting from ages.  It’s there to take care of daily eating needs of people and allow a nation to become economically strong with the help of export.  Here is a list of few advantages that this age-old practice brings to the table. 

1. Commercial farming boosts the power supply to areas in the suburbs of farmed land since it uses machinery and electricity. It contributes to the improvement of local infrastructure. Roads are paved to facilitate the transit of goods and equipment quickly and comfortably.

2. One of the benefits of commercial farming is that it helps in the establishment and/or improvement of the area's infrastructure. Electricity is provided to the community by commercial farms that rely on it. Farmers build roadways to facilitate the transportation of commodities and equipment. Governments in developing countries construct roads and trains, as well as extend water to areas where it is not yet available.

3. Commercial farming is an easy way to boost-up the employment ratio of a nation as it creates multiple work opportunities for people in the surrounding region. The money obtained from working on the farm is used to provide food for the inhabitants. To put it another way, commercial farming can help to boost the local economy.

4. As commercial farming is mainly practiced for profit earning, it helps in foreign exchange policies. Cocoa, coffee, and other non-traditional agricultural export commodities in West Africa generate foreign exchange for their countries.

Difference Between Commercial Farming and Subsistence Farming 

Subsistence farming and commercial farming are two distinct agricultural practices with different objectives and characteristics. Here are the main differences between the two:


- Subsistence Farming: The primary objective of subsistence farming is to produce enough food and other agricultural products to meet the basic needs of the farmer's family or household. The surplus, if any, is minimal and not intended for sale in the market.

- Commercial Farming: The main goal of commercial farming is to produce agricultural goods for sale in the market to generate profit. It involves large-scale production and is driven by market demand and profitability.


- Subsistence Farming: Typically, subsistence farming is practiced on small plots of land. The focus is on producing enough for self-sufficiency rather than producing surplus for trade.

- Commercial Farming: Commercial farming is conducted on a large scale, often covering extensive areas of land. It involves mechanization and advanced agricultural techniques to maximize productivity.

Production Intensity:

- Subsistence Farming: Farmers in subsistence agriculture often rely on traditional and labor-intensive methods. The use of modern technology is limited.

- Commercial Farming: Commercial farming employs modern machinery, irrigation systems, and advanced technologies to increase yields and efficiency.

Crop Selection:

- Subsistence Farming: Subsistence farmers usually grow a variety of crops, often including staple foods like rice, wheat, or maize, as well as other vegetables and fruits that suit their dietary requirements.

- Commercial Farming: Commercial farmers typically focus on high-value cash crops or livestock that have a strong market demand. The selection of crops is influenced by market trends and profitability.

Income Source:

- Subsistence Farming: The main source of income for subsistence farmers is not derived from agricultural sales but from other sources like off-farm work or small-scale local trade.

- Commercial Farming: Commercial farmers derive their primary income from selling agricultural products in the market.

Risk Management:

- Subsistence Farming: Subsistence farmers often face higher risks associated with environmental factors, market fluctuations, and inadequate access to resources.

- Commercial Farming: Commercial farmers may implement risk management strategies, such as crop insurance or hedging, to mitigate financial risks.

Dependency on Markets:

- Subsistence Farming: Subsistence farmers are less reliant on external markets as they produce mainly for their own consumption.

- Commercial Farming: Commercial farmers are highly dependent on market conditions and need to be responsive to market demands and fluctuations.


Aspect Subsistence Farming Commercial Farming
Objective Produce enough for family consumption Produce for sale in the market for profit
Scale Small-scale Large-scale
Production Intensity Relies on traditional methods Utilizes modern machinery and technology
Crop Selection Diverse, including staple foods and vegetables/fruits Focuses on high-value cash crops or livestock
Income Source Mainly from off-farm work or small-scale local trade Primarily from selling agricultural products in the market
Risk Management Higher risk due to environmental factors and market flux May implement risk management strategies
Dependency on Markets Less reliant on external markets Highly dependent on market conditions

Both subsistence farming and commercial farming play vital roles in global food production, and each has its unique advantages and challenges. Some regions practice a mix of both types of farming, depending on factors such as local traditions, land availability, and economic conditions.


Final Say

Farming of all sorts is important for a nation’s growth and its people. Commercial farming is one type of farming that serves both purposes. Cultivation of a crop at a large scale creates export opportunities while having sufficient crops to feed the nation.

As multiple types of commercial farming exist, farmers have no dearth of options. They can pick suitable forms of commercial farming and can build a nation and substantial wealth for themselves.

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