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Input Work and Output of Farming System

Agriculture or farming can be called a system. Now let us look at the input, work and output of this system.

Inputs:- Seeds





Seeds Fertilizers Machinery Labour


Work:- Ploughing






Ploughing Sowing Irrigation Harvesting

Output:- Crops

Wool (Rearing livestock)

Dairy Products (Dairy farm)

Poultry products (Poultry farm)

Crops Wool Dairy Product Poultry Product


Types of Farming

Farming is practised in various ways across the world depending upon:

  • The geographical conditions of the area,
  • Demand for the product,
  • Labour available &
  • Level of technology


Classification of Farming


Based on these factors farming can be broadly classified into 2 categories, namely Subsistence Farming and Commercial Farming which can be further classified as shown below.




Subsistence farming is practiced to meet the needs of the farmer’s family. Low levels of technology and household labour are used to produce a small output.


Subsistence farming can be further classified as:

  • Intensive subsistence
  • Primitive subsistence farming

Intensive subsistence:

  • The farmer cultivates a small plot of land using simple tools and more labour.
  • More than one crop is grown annually, on the same plot, as the climate is favourable and the soil is fertile.
  • Rice is the main crop; other crops include wheat, maize, pulses and oilseeds.

Intensive subsistence agriculture is prevalent in the thickly populated areas of the monsoon regions of south, southeast and east Asia.



Primitive subsistence farming:

Primitive subsistence farming includes:

  • Shifting cultivation
  • Nomadic herding

Shifting cultivation:

Shifting cultivation is practised in the thickly forested areas of Amazon basin, tropical Africa, parts of Southeast Asia and Northeast India. These areas receive heavy rainfall and this helps in the quick regeneration of vegetation.


Let us see how shifting cultivation is done.

  • A plot of land is cleared by felling the trees and burning them.
  • The ashes are then mixed with the soil and crops like maize, yam, potatoes and cassava are grown.
  • After the soil loses its fertility, the land is abandoned and the cultivator moves to a new plot.

Shifting cultivation is also known as ‘slash and burn’ agriculture.


Shifting cultivation


Shifting cultivation usually starts with cutting trees and a fire which clears a spot for crop production. In the ideal case, shifting cultivation is a cycle where farmers come back to the original place after a couple of years.


Nomadic herding:

Nomadic herding is practised in the semi-arid and arid (dry) regions of Sahara, Central Asia and some parts of India, like Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir.

In nomadic farming, herdsmen move from place to place with their animals for fodder and water, along a definite route. The nomads move from place to place due to the restraints of the climate and land.


Sheep, camel, yak and goats are most commonly reared by the nomads. These animals provide milk, meat, wool, hides and other products to the herders and their families.


Nomadic Herder with His Goats

In the drier parts of Asia, especially Southwest Asia, most rural people make a living by raising livestock. Many are nomads who move with their herds of animals over large territories, constantly seeking good supplies of grass and water. The people live simply and carry their tents and belongings with them. They rear animals such as goats, sheep, camels, and yaks.


Herding of Sheep


Herding of Camels


Herding of Yaks

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