Types of Agriculture: A Comprehensive Overview of Cultivation Methods

What types of agriculture exist?

If we analyze the types of agriculture that are put into practice in different areas of the world, we can find diverse types of agriculture. Carrying out one method or another generally depends on the economic and technological resources of the farmer.

Next, I will explain the different types of agriculture that exist:

・Intensive agriculture

Intensive agriculture is a farming method in which technology is used to get the most out of what is grown.

In this type of agriculture, fertilizers and insecticides, abundant irrigation or the planting of species that offer a high yield are introduced.

In addition, less labor is needed to cultivate these crops than in other methods since pests and weeds are usually more controlled by applying chemical products.

Normally, agricultural businesses use this type of agriculture making the most of each unit of fertile soil.

・Extensive agriculture

Unlike intensive agriculture, extensive agriculture aims to minimize the use of chemical products and technology in order to preserve the ecosystem and the environment.

It is usually carried out on large plots of land in order to plant a large amount of crops.

Compared to intensive agriculture, the implementation of extensive agriculture presents a lower energy consumption, thus depending on resources from nature and weather conditions.

・Irrigated agriculture

Irrigated agriculture uses artificial water with irrigation systems in order to supply any need that the crop may experience and that has not been covered by rainfall.

The technique contrary to irrigated agriculture is that of dry land. And to carry it out efficiently, a large investment is needed in infrastructure, in water and in the maintenance of the planting.

・Rainfed agriculture

Rainfed agriculture is a cultivation technique in which planting, and its results, depend on the natural resources of the environment.

This method is increasingly in disuse since it is risky and limiting because if the crop does not receive a sufficient amount of water, or the soil conditions are not ideal, the results may be null.

In general, it is not very common in developed areas, which is why it is usually used in places where people try to survive on what is planted, relying on the available climatic conditions.

・Ecological agriculture

Ecological, organic or biological agriculture is another method of agricultural production that is carried out using natural techniques and substances.

In this way, chemical products are rejected, even products intended to combat pests are not used. Similarly, if livestock is part of the cultivation method, the well-being and respect of the animals involved is required.

The crops resulting from this cultivation method are organic foods that, if they are marketed, must be marked with a special label for this range of products.

・Natural farming

Natural agriculture has similarities with ecological agriculture since both want the respect and biological conservation of the land.

This type of agriculture was created by Mokichi Okada and Masanobu Fukuoka in Japan and, to carry it out, these authors established certain guidelines.

In this type of agricultural production, the aim is to imitate the processes of nature in order to reproduce natural conditions that enrich the soil and progressively increase the quality of the results.

Likewise, fertilizers and pesticides are rejected, it is not allowed to eliminate weeds or prune plants or trees. Pests that may attack the crop should not be destroyed either, because if this happens, it has been due to a choice of nature.

This type of cultivation is carried out through clay bags of organic material whose size has to be enough to wrap the seeds with 2 centimeters of protective cover.

These balls must be scattered on the ground and you must wait for the clay to melt with the rain.

・Industrial agriculture

Industrial agriculture is a model of agriculture that seeks to commercialize what is grown or products from animals such as eggs, meat or milk.

This production method is one of the most used in the world since it is efficient enough to achieve profitable economic returns for the companies that choose to implement it.

・Traditional agriculture

Traditional agriculture has laid the foundations of what is today modern agriculture.

It is true that it continues to be used, although in the territories in which it is implemented, it is carried out without using advanced techniques or using technology.

In addition, normally the farmers in charge of this type of agriculture use it for their own consumption on small properties and cultivate the land using traditional techniques such as manual tillage or slash and burn.

Likewise, utensils such as sickles, picks, shovels, machetes or brushes, among others, are used.

This type of cultivation depends a lot on the weather conditions, so if high rainfall is experienced, it can spoil everything grown. For this reason, it is a rudimentary and backward technique.

・Subsistence farming

Linked with the traditional modality, subsistence agriculture stands out. This type of cultivation does not seek sale but is more intended for own consumption.

It is usually carried out on a small scale and limited farming areas are used to put it into practice.