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Intensive and Extensive Farming

Farming is not a simple task that can be accomplished in few days, rather it requires a proper agricultural procedure and techniques and several days of hard work to get the desired output. There are various farming techniques that emerged in the past few years to increase the productivity of an agricultural land. Intensive farming and extensive farming are two such farming techniques that are practiced by farmers to increase the yield. Let us see how intensive farming differs from extensive farming!

Intensive Farming:

It is a farming practice which gives emphasis on maximizing yield from the given piece of land through various means like heavy use of pesticides, capital, labor, high-yielding varieties (HYVs) of crops etc. Its main objective is to increase the productivity of the given land as much as possible. In this type of farming, the input is comparatively higher relative to the area of the cropland.

It is commonly practiced in densely populated areas in order to fulfill the food-related needs of a large population from a comparatively small piece of land. In intensive farming, the farmers have to spend a lot of money in labor, machinery and high-yielding seeds in order to produce more crops, vegetables etc., per hectare of the cropland.

Extensive Farming:

It is a farming technique or agricultural production system in which low inputs of labor, capital, fertilizers etc., are used relative to the area of the cropland. The crop yield in extensive agriculture mainly depends on the natural fertility of soil, climate and availability of water; farmers don't put in extra efforts to produce more from the given cropland. It is practiced by the farmers of an area where the population density is low and land is plentiful and inexpensive so farmers make use of relatively low inputs of capital, labor, and fertilizers and depend on the natural fertility of soil and availability of water.

Based on the above information, some of the key differences between intensive and extensive farming are as follows:

Intensive Farming Extensive Farming
In this type of farming, the maximum yield is obtained from the given agricultural land through high inputs of capital, labor, fertilizers, machinery etc. It uses small inputs of labor, capital, and fertilizers relative to the area of the cropland.
It is practiced in the densely populated areas where the population is high but the agricultural land is limited and expensive. It is practiced in areas where population density is low, but the agricultural land is plentiful and inexpensive.
The yield per person may be less but it is always more per hectare, e.g. India, Japan and the United Kingdom. The yield per person is more but it is less per hectare, e.g. USA, Australia, Canada.
Croplands are small. Croplands are large.
It has a negative impact on the environment due to the heavy use of fertilizers and pesticides. It does not pollute the environment as it does not involve heavy use of fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals.
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B.Tech / MCA