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Throwback to 10,000 to 12,000 years ago when the first phase of the agricultural revolution. It made an overture to the process of hunting and gathering for food supplies. The revolution provided new horizons to the society, where they started to cultivate the soil, plant seeds, and utilized plows and animals to assist the phenomena of agriculture. From here, it takes two different roads to agriculture, i.e., subsistence agriculture and commercial agriculture. It was the second agricultural revolution that highlighted the importance of commercial agriculture.
Commercial agriculture turned the hand labor to machine farming. This fact hides the various advantages and disadvantages of commercial agriculture. On the one hand, it increased the yield of crops; on the other hand, it imposed threats to the environment.
As mentioned earlier, all credit goes to the second agricultural revolution that shifted the mode of work from hands to machines. It favored people and resulted in increased production and distribution of crops. It was the time when the concept of commercial agriculture revolved around the globe. With the evolution of fertilizers, chemical farming, and the technique of refining of food, this mode of agriculture flourished to its maximum.
At present, commercial agriculture has taken up to 45% of the population worldwide, working in the regime. It is 2% of the people in the United States and 80% in Asia and Africa. It is acting as one of the leading professions among people in areas with fertile lands.
What is commercial agriculture?
By definition, it is the phenomena in which the crops are yielded and aimed for sale on a large scale. These crops are then supplied to markets and also kept for trading (export). This mode of agriculture increases the yield to a level where it meets the requirement and buildout the production level even for the non-food crops, i.e., tobacco or cotton. When used for sale, products of commercial agriculture put up to economic grounds and play a vital role in GDP.
Be it a developed, developing, or third world country, commercial farming is practiced everywhere. The phenomenon is successfully carried out in Southeast Asia and around the world. The Midwestern United States and Central America are also playing an essential role in fruit plantation and wheat. Both of the farming products flourish the agribusiness in the region. On a large scale, commercial farming is carried out with rain-fed and traditional modes of irrigation.
Advantages of commercial agriculture
The ever flourishing mode of agriculture carries several advantages over subsistence farming. Some of them are as follows:
- A renowned advantage is the increased production or yield rate of the crops. By using machines to carry out various farming techniques, it reduces the time to cultivate the land and add extra acreage to production. With agricultural equipment, it is relatively easy to carry out processes like mechanizes operations, controls pests, and diseases. With increased production, it adds value to the national food stock.
- As commercial farming utilizes machinery and electricity, it increases the power supply to areas in the suburb of farming land. It helps to improvise the local infrastructure. Roads are paved for quick and comfortable transportation of products and equipment.
- With increased production, the prices of agricultural goods are lowered to make them accessible to everyone. It helps to meet the demand and supply; instead, goods are stocked for an emergency.
- By utilizing high-end machinery for cultivating the lands, now it takes less time to perform the agricultural operations. Farmers employ the best equipment to plow, harrow, and plant and harvest the crops. Moreover, the mode of irrigation is also improvised to lower down the cost of production.
- It helps to create various vacancies where experts are hired to improve the production and economy.
- Commercial farming acts as a source of raw material on a large scale. Fruit farming, in this regard, serves other food industries. For example, fruits are supplied to enterprises for the production of juice, whereas cocoa and coffee are yielded to keep up with the demand and supply of the confectionery industry.
- The food goods produced from farming are then subjected to trade. They are exported to other countries, and this earns business. Non-agricultural countries are the target markets for agribusiness.
Disadvantages of commercial agriculture
Another side of the picture has something else to reveal about commercial agriculture. As it carries an array of advantages, it also ends up with certain disadvantages. Here is the list of them:
- To increase the acreage of production land, commercial farming is destroying the natural rainforests. As the area under the coverage of rainforest is best to carry out cultivation. When the forest is removed to cultivate crops, there appears a negative impact of deforestation on the environment.
- With commercial farming becoming bigger and bigger, farmers are pursuing the profession, and every available land is turning to farmland. With an immense increase in farmlands, now there are no more lands available for cultivation. Farmers are restricted from using worn-out lands that, in turn, can impose a threat to production rate.
- Lands for commercial farming are sold at higher rates, which makes it impossible for the new farmers to purchase the land and to enter the business.
- When crops like fruits and vegetables are cultivated on the farmlands, they are easily perishable. If not sold at the right times, these crops can turn into dung within days. Moreover, a large amount is required to carry out preservation techniques.
- Commercial agriculture is the real culprit to promote fertilizers, herbicides, and other chemicals to protect the crops against insect attacks. But these chemicals, in turn, are a vivid threat to humankind.
What is an example of commercial agriculture?
One of the best examples of a non-food product of commercial agriculture is cotton farming. Cotton is a plantation crop that is famous for its potential in agribusiness. It serves as a raw material for the textile industry.
The crop earns a high-end business for countries like the US, Pakistan, Egypt, China, and India. A cotton crop gives the best yield in black and alluvial soil with low rainfall and bright sunshine.