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What is Cash Crop Farming?: Agriculture : Nigerialog.com - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum
Nigerialog.com - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum
What is Cash Crop Farming?
What is Cash Crop Farming?
August 16, 2016, 04:14:52 PM
Cash crop farming is for profit. Also called commercial farming and cash cropping, it is a farming venture in which cash crops are grown. Cash crops are those which are produced for the purpose of generating cash or money. The products are therefore intended to be marketed for profit.
Individual farmers just naturally grow cash crops as a livelihood and to generate cash for the family's needs. An extra profit is needed to fund the next cropping activities.
Dessert banana is one of the major choices for cash crop farming in tropial countries.
The farming methods employed differ from farmer to farmer and from country to country. In developing countries, many traditional farmers continue to adopt their customary practices. But in highly industrialized countries, intensive cultivation and mechanized farming are common. This is so with large plantations operated by multinational companies and by individuals having sufficient capital.
Monocropping or sole cropping, which is the growing of a single crop on a piece of land, is common with cash crop farming while subsistence farming usually practices multiple cropping or mixed cropping. In contrast to the aim of cash cropping, subsistence farming is practiced for sustenance, that is, for the food of the farmer and his family. Subsistence crops are also grown for feed of the farmer’s livetock including working animals.
While there are many advantages to cash crop farming such as source of living for the farmer, salaries and wages for the employees and farm workers, and government revenue through taxes, it may also have adverse effects.
As a result of monocropping, which is commonly practiced in growing cash crops in plantation scale, the production of certain food crops may become limited. Continuous monocropping is likewise associated with soil degradation and proliferation of insect pests and disease pathogens.
Cash crop farming includes mango production in the Philippines.
An example is that of potato. Following its introduction, it became the staple crop of Ireland. In 1845-1846, the crop was devastated by a serious disease which resulted to mass starvation.
Exportation, if not regulated, may likewise result to short supply but high prices of locally available food. It is known, however, that exportation is always regulated.
How Cash Crop Farming Evolved
When cash cropping started cannot be established with certainty. It’s historical evolution can only be deducted using logic as related to the history of agriculture and civilization.
Before the advent of agriculture, the primitive man obtained food by hunting wild animals and gathering fruits and nuts from natural stands. Even in the most recent time this practice has survived.
But the discovery that certain plants can be grown from seeds caused a gradual transformation from hunting-gathering to farming. The primitive man began to domesticate plants and so there was no longer any reason for him to maintain his nomadic way of life in search of food.
Groups of men lived in villages, and soon the populace was divided into two groups: urban and rural. The urban people engaged in the processing and trading of the raw materials which the rural people supply. This gave rise to the modern civilization which is characterized by an advanced agricultural technology, long-distance marketing, and occupational specialization among the populace.
This must be how cash crop farming evolved.
Based on archaelogical records, farming or agriculture started at least 10,000 years ago. The when and where are continuously debated. However, the credit for the first civilization to be established goes to the Sumerians.
By 5000 BC the Sumerians had developed special agricultural techniques including intensive crop farming in large-scale, monocropping, organized irrigation, and the use of labor with specialized skills. They invented the plow.
They grew barley, chickpeas, lentils, wheat, dates, onions, garlic, lettuce, leeks and mustard. They also raised cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs. They used oxen as their primary draft animal and donkeys or equids for transport.
Archaeological artifacts indicate that they were engaged in trading with neighboring regions centered around the Persian Gulf.
The land of the Sumer is located in what is now called Fertile Crescent. It lies between two great rivers, the Euphrates and Tigris. Modern-day countries within the Fertile Crescent are Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Israel and parts of the Palestinian Territories, besides Turkey and Iran.
Chapman, S.R. and L.P. Carter. 1976. Crop Production: Principles and Practices. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Co. p. 431-441.
Plantagenet Somerset Fry. 1972. Answer Book of History. Hamlyn House, Feltham, Middlesex, England: The Hamlyn Publishing Group Ltd. pp. 8-10.
Wikipedia. 2010. Cash crop. Retrieved August 30, 2010 from
Wikipedia. 2010. Civilization. Retrieved August 30, 2010 from
Wikipedia. 2010. Fertile crescent. Retrieved August 30, 2010 from
Wikipedia. 2010. Sumer. Retrieved August 30, 2010 from
(Ben G. Bareja. 2010)
Re: What is Cash Crop Farming?
August 16, 2016, 04:20:32 PM
Starting a farm that is plant-based sounds easy, but it is not and should not be so presumed. Whether there is already an existing farmland or one still needs to be found, farming should be well planned. A general plan, ideally including a feasibility study, has to be prepared first taking into consideration all factors that may affect the profitability or sustainability of the undertaking.
Otherwise, huge losses may be incurred. Unfortunately, a farm cannot just be replaced or otherwise modified because a mistake was committed in its selection. The same is true to crops, especially perennial crops when already established.
With high density planting of fruit trees, the farmer must condition his ailing heart for that eventuality when plant population has to be reduced. This operation, called thinning, involves the cutting of excess trees in order to widen the distances between the remaining trees.
The cutting of trees may also become a reasonable resort when it is finally realized that the market for the product has become lame. Likewise, the same may become necessary when it is decided that the landscape design has to be changed.
There are three important premises that will affect planning preparatory to actually starting a farm:
First, there is no preexisting or preselected farm and no crop has been selected for growing but you want to buy a farm and to engage in farming. Second, the farm is already available. Third, the crop to be grown has been decided but a suitable farm has yet to be found. All these will have to consider either crop selection or site selection or both.
I would consider various factors before actually starting a farm.
First, know what you want. Whether or not there is a preexisting farm land, the purpose of going into farming must be identified. What exactly are your ultimate aims in developing a farm? For little cash and subsistence, as a showcase of your farming skills and ingenuity, as a form of self-employment with a meagre profit, or as a business venture? As a place to spend vacation ? As a permanent residence or refuge from the polluted and chaotic city life? Or as a component of a grander plan such as engaging in fruit processing or in agri-tourism inspired hotel and restaurant business?
Whatsoever, it will affect the choice of location and the site and size of the farm as well as the choice of crops and the planting layout. For example, an agri-tourism business establishment should be relatively large and located preferably where it is visible and easily accessible to the public. A natural attraction and a pond for fish culture and aquatic plants will be a huge bonus. Here the likely crop candidates are the shade trees, fruit trees, and ornamental plants. A unique landscape architecture also needs to be designed.
Knowing what you want before actually starting a farm will save the trouble of feeling frustrated because of error in either crop or site selection. Next in line should be a thorough evaluation of the various factors necessary in order to come up with an informed decision as to the choice of crop or crops and the farm location and specific site.
Re: What is Cash Crop Farming?
August 16, 2016, 04:23:02 PM
Site selection is the first step in starting a farm when the crop to be grown has already been decided. It also includes the selection of the right geographial location. This is so with corporate investors and enterprising individuals with sufficient capital. They would have realized that engaging in the commercial production of certain crops is a sound business venture. The farm may be located within the country or region of their residence or elsewhere.
Examples of commonly pre-decided crops prior to site selection are sugarcane, banana, pineapple, rubber and oil palm. These are mostly high-value crops and are widely preferred for commercial planting in plantation scale.
The selection of a suitable farm also follows when an individual decides to go into farming, the purchase of a farm lot being considered as a better alternative of investing hard-earned money rather than depositing it in a bank. Here one of the most important considerations is the value of the property, that is, the selling price is as low as can be reasonably possible. Other factors being considered are water supply and those which make the farm suitable to a wide choice of crops and investment opportunities.
Where the crop to be grown has already been decided, some factors to consider in both location and site selection are the following:
1. Soil, topographic, and climatic requirements of the crop. Consistent with the rule know your crop first then select the farm, the first part in the planning stage before site selection is to learn everything about the crop to be grown. This involves a thorough identification of the environmental adaptation of the crop, particularly its soil, topographic, and climatic requirements.
With such information, the selection of a suitable location and farm can proceed. Assuming, by way of example, that the crop to be grown is lowland rice, an upland farm will not be suitable. However, it is difficult to find a specific farm that possesses all the requisites of the crop in which case it is necessary to make modifications such as correcting soil pH by liming, applying soil amendments, and providing irrigation water.
The soil requirement of a particular crop includes such specific characteristics as soil type, depth, drainage, texture, organic matter content, pH, and fertility with respect to the macronutrient and micronutrient content of the soil. The topographic requirement of a crop refers to its natural adaptation or tolerance to land features such as elevation, slope, and terrain.
The climatic factors that can influence the growth and yield of crops include temperature, water or rainfall, light (including photoperiod or light duration), relative humidity, and wind. These factors may vary with geographical location and, as to microclimate, from farm to farm. Plants are also distinguished into various classification according to climate adaptation such as temperate, sub-tropical and tropical crops.
2. Biotic factors and the prevalence of pests and diseases. Site selection may consider the natural population of certain organisms like bees and other pollinators. Where the agriculture venture involves the production of civet coffee or kape alamid, farmlands adjacent to forested areas may be preferred. But places with a long history of the presence of serious pests and diseases may be avoided. Likewise, caution should be exercised in choosing farm sites dominated by weeds which are difficult to eradicate.
3. Cost of acquisition or lease and in preparing the land. Where financial feasibility or affordability is a consideration, the cost of procuring or leasing the farmland is a limiting factor. This may take into consideration also the cost of modifying the physical features of the land such as in flattenning or modifying the landscape if so desired, the removal of barriers like unwanted trees, clumps, stumps and boulders, diversion of floodways, construction of drainage, roads and fire lanes; and in preparing the land for crop growing including the eradication of major weeds and disease-causing organisms, soil amendment, and provision of irrigation water.
4. Frequency of typhoon and other calamities. The frequency of typhoon and the possible occurence of other calamities like flood, drought and volcanic eruption are always considered in both location and site selection because they can cause severe loss in investment or total crop failure. In particular, some crops like banana are prone to injury due to strong winds.
5. Accessibility. A farm that is managed as a business must have access to supplies, equipment, and the market. It must be provided with infrastructures (e.g. roads) and, if the product is intended to be marketed elsewhere, shipping facilities or airports. Moreover, there is a general preference for farms in familiar locations and which are easily accessible to owner-managers.
6. Labor supply and cost. Skilled labor must be available at reasonable cost. Otherwise, laborers from other parts of the country may have to be imported.
7. Security and political stability. The farm should be secure from thieves and astray animals. Otherwise, additional investment may be provided for fencing or security personnel. In addition, farms are preferred in locations where the local and regional populace is compliant to the rule of law and where there is stable existence of peace and order.
8. Bureaucracy and investment benefits. Site selection favors those locations where bureaucratic red tape is minimal so that business permits and other papers if so required can be processed with haste. Likewise, countries and localities which offer incentives, like tax exemption, are preferred.
Re: What is Cash Crop Farming?
August 16, 2016, 04:25:22 PM
Intercropping and crop rotation are alternative strategies applied in multiple cropping, the growing of two or more crops in the same piece of land. Both cropping systems have resulted to increased farm production and profitability per unit land area in selected crops.
Intercropping is the growing of two or more crops together in proximity on the same land. As a result, two or more crops are managed at the same time. It differs from crop rotation in which two or more crops are grown one after the other. There are at least four types of intercropping according to spatial arrangement (Sullivan, 2003).
Row intercropping is the growing of two or more crops at the same time with at least one crop planted in rows. In farms grown to perennial crops, annual crops like corn, rice and pineapple are commonly grown as intercrop between the rows of the main crop. This strategy is an efficient way of maximizing the use of farm land by utilizing vacant spaces while at the same time suppressing the growth of weeds during the juvenile stage of the main crop.
In many coconut farms, durian and mangosteen are grown at the center of four coconut hills, becoming a filler crop in a quincunx planting arrangement. Banana, papaya, coffee and cacao are commonly grown also in multiple rows. These plants are grown as sole intercrop or mixed with others, either perennial or annual crops. Soursop or guyabano, because of its tolerance to partial shade, is likewise a promising intercrop.
With annuals, the component crops are planted at the same time or the other crop(s) are planted during the juvenile stage of growth (before flowering) of the first crop. In India, pigeon pea is traditionally planted with sorghum. The pigeon pea starts flowering after the sorghum plants are harvested. In the United States, velvet bean or cowpea is planted in standing corn at the last corn cultivation. When the corn plants mature, the corn stalks become natural trellis for the beans or peas. Both the corn and the intercrop are harvested together.
Strip intercropping is the growing of two or more crops together in strips wide enough to allow separate production of crops using mechanical implements, but close enough for the crops to interact. Examples of successful strip intercropping practices in the United States are: alternating strips of wheat, corn and soybean 6 rows wide each; oat, corn and soybean; and 6 rows of corn with 12 rows of soybean.
Mixed intercropping or mixed cropping is the growing of two or more crops at the same time with no distinct row arrangement.
Examples of mixed intercropping of annual crops are the practice of growing corn, bean and squash in Central America and forage sorghum with silage corn in Oregon. In Canada, research showed increased production per land area by growing together soybean and corn for silage in the same rows. The result showed that corn grown at 16,000 seeding rate per acre (equivalent to 67% of the sole corn rate) together with soybean at seeding rate of 135,000 per acre (equivalent to 67% of the sole bean rate) within the same rows gave the highest profit. Fertilizer was applied at the rate of 53 lbs of N per acre.
Relay intercropping or relay cropping is a system in which a second crop is planted into an existing crop when it has flowered (reproductive stage) but before harvesting. There is thus a minimum temporal overlap of two or more crops. The relay crop should be fairly tolerant to shade and trampling. Examples of relay crops are cassava, cotton, sweet potato and sesban with corn; chickpea, lentil and wheat with upland rice.
In crop rotation or sequential cropping, two or more crops are grown one after the other in the same piece of land. It is advantageous that the succeeding crop belongs to a family different from that of the previous crop. The period of crop rotation may be for two to three years or longer. Farm income significantly increased by alternating lowland rice with high-value crops like garlic, onion, melons, bell pepper and other vegetables.
An example of cropping pattern applying crop rotation with multiple number of crops is corn- soybean- corn- alfalfa and sweet corn- tubers- squash- rootcrops- tomato- peas- Brassicas (
Advantages of Crop Rotation Compared to Monoculture
In addition to increased crop yields and profit, the following are the advantages of crop rotation over monoculture, the continuous growing of a single crop (click to read the possible adverse effect of Cash Crop Farming due to monocropping) :
1. Better control of weeds. Crop rotation is intended to break the life cycle and suppress the growth of weeds. The sequential planting of different crops may check the development of any weed species and reduce weed growth especially if cover crops or green manures (click to read Cover Crops in Tropical Crop Farming) and tall-growing row crops are used as component rotation crops.
2. Better control of pests and diseases. Some pests and causal organisms of plant diseases are host specific. They attack certain crop species or those belonging to the same family but not others. For example, the problem with rice stem borer will continue if rice is not rotated with other crops of a different family. This is because food will be always available to the pest. However, if legume is planted as the next crop, then corn, beans and bulbs, the build up of the pest will be disrupted because they will be deprived of food.
3. Improved soil structure and organic matter content. The alternate planting of deep and shallow rooted plants will break up the soil and reduce the effects of plow pan. The planting of soybean, other grain legumes, sweet potato and vegetables will return sufficient quantities of plant residues to the soil as their leaves drop on the ground or body parts are left on the field after harvest, instead of being burned as is commonly practiced with sugarcane. Green manures will add significant amounts of organic matter.
4. Improved soil fertility. The continuous growing of a single crop will result to the depletion of certain soil nutrients. With crop rotation, soil fertility will be promoted through alternate planting of crops having different nutrient needs. This will prevent the depletion of any one essential element present in the soil. Leguminous plants, because of their ability to accumulate nitrogen by fixing it from the air in association with Rhizobium bacteria, will improve soil fertility.
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