Types of Farming

Traditional Classification

Given below are the characteristics of different types of farming, namely, Subsistence farming, Intensive farming and Shifting agriculture.

Subsistence Farming

  • Small land holdings
  • Use of primitive tools and methods
  • Lack of fertilisers and high yielding varieties of seeds
  • Most of the yield is consumed by the family

Intensive Farming

  • Mechanised agriculture
  • Use of advanced fertilisers
  • Use of high yielding variety of seeds
  • Profit oriented agriculture

Shifting Agriculture

  • Practised mostly by tribals
  • Forest land is cleared by felling of trees and burning
  • Crops are then grown till the fertility of soil decreases
  • The land is then abandoned and a new piece of land is selected.
  • Known as jhum in Assam and Podu in Odisha.

Diverse Crop Classification

Crop rotation

A farming technique where different types of crops are grown sequentially in the same area over a series of growing seasons is known as crop rotation. The advantage of this method is that it helps to improve soil fertility, control pests and diseases, and manage weeds effectively by disrupting their life cycles.

Mixed Cropping

In mixed cropping two or more different crops are grown simultaneously in the same field. This practice can maximize land use efficiency, reduce risk from crop failure, and enhance biodiversity. Farmers often choose crops that complement each other in terms of nutrient needs, growth habits, and pest resistance.


Intercropping is similar to mixed cropping, but it involves growing two or more crops together in a systematic arrangement, alternating rows or planting patterns. Unlike mixed cropping, intercropping typically involves specific spatial arrangements and interactions between the crops to optimize resource use and yields.

Mixed Farming

Mixed farming refers to a system where a farmer cultivates crops as well as raises livestock on the same piece of land. This approach allows for greater diversity in agricultural production, providing multiple sources of income and utilizing resources more efficiently. Mixed farming can enhance sustainability by integrating crop residues into livestock feed and utilizing animal manure as fertilizer for crops.

Agriculture and related fields

TypeRelated to
AgricultureCultivation of the soil and rearing of animals
HorticultureCultivation of fruits, vegetables, flowers, nuts, ornamental plants
FloricultureCultivation of flowers
ArboricultureCultivation of trees and shrubs
ApicultureBee keeping
AquacultureCultivation or rearing of aquatic plants and animals
AvicultureRearing of birds
PiscicultureRearing of fish
PomicultureGrowing of fruits
SericultureBreeding of silkworms
Viniculture/ViticultureCultivation of grapevines