What is Agriculture?


Agriculture is the backbone of the global economy, providing food, fiber, and other essential resources to sustain human life. Agriculture has been practiced for thousands of years, and it remains a vital sector today, supporting the livelihoods of millions of people around the world.

Agriculture is the backbone of the global economy, providing food, fiber, and other essential resources to sustain human life. Agriculture has been practiced for thousands of years, and it remains a vital sector today, supporting the livelihoods of millions of people around the world.

Types of Agriculture

Understanding the different types of agriculture is essential for developing strategies to address the challenges that the industry is facing and promote sustainable farming practices.

By utilizing the appropriate farming techniques and technologies, farmers can improve the yield, reduce environmental impacts, and support the global food supply. The different types of agriculture are given below −

Subsistence Agriculture

This type of agriculture is practiced in areas where people grow crops for their own consumption. It is characterized by small land holdings and the use of traditional farming methods.

Commercial Agriculture

This type of agriculture involves the production of crops or livestock for sale in the market. It is often characterized by large-scale farming operations, advanced technologies, and the use of mechanization.

Intensive Agriculture

Intensive agriculture involves the use of high inputs of labor, capital, and resources to maximize crop yields. It is often associated with the use of advanced technologies such as irrigation, fertilizers, and pesticides.

Extensive Agriculture

This type of agriculture involves the use of large tracts of land with low inputs of labor, capital, and resources per unit of land. It is often associated with traditional pastoralism, shifting cultivation, and nomadic farming.

Organic Agriculture

This type of agriculture involves the use of natural methods of farming that do not rely on synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or genetically modified organisms. It is often associated with sustainable farming practices and environmental conservation.

Mixed Agriculture

This type of agriculture involves the combination of different farming practices, such as the cultivation of crops and the rearing of livestock on the same farm. It is often practiced in small-scale farming systems and in areas where land is limited.

Comprehending the various forms of agriculture is important in formulating tactics to tackle the obstacles encountered by the sector and advocate for sustainable farming methodologies.

Factors Affecting Agriculture


Climate is one of the most significant factors affecting agriculture. Temperature, precipitation, and sunlight all play a critical role in crop growth and development. Extreme weather events such as droughts, floods, and storms can have a devastating impact on agriculture like damaging crops and reducing the yield.

Soil Composition

Soil is the foundation for agriculture, providing the essential nutrients and water that crops need for their growth. The composition of soil determines its fertility, structure, and ability to retain water. Soil can be classified into three main types: sand, silt, and clay. Each type has unique properties that affect the suitability for agriculture.

Pests and Diseases

Pests and diseases are a significant challenge for farmers, affecting crop yield and quality. Insect pests, fungi, and viruses can all cause significant damage to crops if left unchecked. Integrated pest management (IPM) strategies, including the use of biological control agents and pesticides, are essential for controlling pests and diseases.

Land Use

Land use is a crucial factor affecting agriculture. The expansion of urban areas, deforestation, and the conversion of agricultural land for other uses can all reduce the availability of land for farming. This can lead to a reduction in crop yield and food production.


Advances in agricultural technology have revolutionized the industry by increasing the yield and improving the productivity. New technologies, including precision agriculture, genetic engineering, and automation, have the potential to transform the way we farm and address some of the challenges in agriculture.



It is the soil that supplies crops with the necessary nutrients and water required for their growth. Soil composition pertains to the physical and chemical characteristics of the soil that determine its viability for agricultural purposes. Soil composition can be affected by factors such as climate, topography, vegetation, and the parent material from which it is formed.


Soil texture refers to the relative proportions of sand, silt, and clay in soil. Each type of soil particle has unique properties that affect its water-holding capacity, nutrient content, and ability to support plant growth. Soil texture can be determined by a simple test known as the "soil ribbon test,".

The soil ribbon test involves taking a small amount of soil and adding water until it becomes malleable. Then, the soil is rolled between the thumb and forefinger to form a ribbon. The length and thickness of the ribbon indicate the soil texture, with longer and thinner ribbons indicating a higher proportion of clay in the soil, while shorter and thicker ribbons indicating a higher proportion of sand.

The soil ribbon test is a quick and easy way for farmers and gardeners to evaluate their soil texture and make informed decisions about crop selection and management practices.


Soil structure refers to the arrangement of soil particles into aggregates or clumps. Soil structure affects soil fertility, water infiltration, and aeration, and can be improved through the addition of organic matter such as compost or manure.


Soil pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of soil, and it affects the availability of nutrients to plants. Most crops grow best in slightly acidic soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5. Soil pH can be adjusted through the application of lime or sulfur.

Organic Matter

Organic matter refers to the remains of dead plants and animals that decompose in the soil. Organic matter is a critical component of soil composition, improving soil structure, water retention, and nutrient availability. Organic matter can be added to soil through the application of compost or manure.


In conclusion, agriculture is a vital industry that plays a critical role in sustaining human life. However, the industry faces a range of challenges that affect its productivity and sustainability. Factors such as climate, soil composition, pests and diseases, land use, and technology all have significant impacts on agriculture.

Soil composition is one of the most crucial factors affecting agriculture, as soil is the foundation of crop growth and development. Improving soil fertility, structure, and nutrient content through practices such as adding organic matter can enhance crop yields and promote sustainable agriculture.

By working together to address these challenges and promote sustainable farming practices, we can ensure that agriculture continues to provide food, fiber, and other essential resources we need to thrive.


Q1. What are different types of agriculture?

Ans. Different types of Agriculture are given below −

  • Subsistence Agriculture.

  • Commercial Agriculture.

  • Intensive Agriculture.

  • Extensive Agriculture.

  • Organic Agriculture.

  • Mixed Agriculture.

Q2. How can sustainable agriculture be practiced?

Ans. Sustainable agriculture can be practiced by implementing practices such as crop rotation, conservation tillage, integrated pest management, and using organic fertilizers. These practices help reduce environmental impacts while maintaining or even increasing crop yields.

Q3. What are the benefits of precision agriculture?

Ans. Precision agriculture involves using technology like GPS, drones, and sensors to optimize farming practices. It can result in benefits such as reduced input costs, increased efficiency, better crop yields, and improved environmental sustainability.

Updated on: 23-Mar-2023


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