Commercial agriculture is the type of agriculture which is concerned with the production of good, animals and cash crops in large quantities for sale. The main purpose of commercial agriculture is to gain profit from the sale of agricultural commodities.
Characteristics of commercial agriculture
•Yield is usually high.
•Commercial agriculture involves huge investment of capital.
•It employs the use of skilled labour.
•Records are kept in commercial agriculture.
•It involves the cultivation of large hectares of land.
•Irrigation system may be practised in commercial agriculture.
•It uses agro-chemicals (chemical compounds used to improve the quality and quantity of agricultural outputs) such as fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides, pesticides, etcetera.
•Only rich farmers are engaged in commercial agriculture.
•Improved varieties of crops and breeds of animals are used.
•Sole cropping system of farming (also known as mono cropping, whereby one type of crop is grown on a farm) is usually practised in commercial agriculture.
•Most of the farm operations of commercial agriculture are mechanized (they are carried out by the help of machines).
Advantages of commercial agriculture
•It provides quality products : Most products generated from commercial agriculture are generally of high quality.
•It brings about an increase in yield : Owing to the fact that a large area of land is cultivated, combined with the use of agro-chemicals, commercial agriculture results in increase in the yield of crops and livestock.
•It provides cheap products : As a result of mass production of livestock or crops, the sale prices of these agricultural products gotten from commercial agriculture are usually very low and affordable.
•Commercial agriculture encourages research works.
•Commercial agriculture leads to the specialization of labour because most of the farm operations are mechanized.
Disadvantages of commercial agriculture
•It is very expensive because nearly all the farm operations are mechanized and the overhead costs are large.
•It can lead to soil erosion and pollution, as a result of the use of machines.
•Harvesting and marketing operations are usually tedious and time-consuming, owing to high yields.
•It displaces workers or lead to unemployment because almost all the farm operations are mechanized.
•A problem of storage may occur when there is over production.
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