10 characteristics of small scale agriculture

Ten (10) characteristics of small scale agriculture

Small-scale agriculture is the type of agriculture that is practiced on relatively small plots of land. In small-scale agriculture, the land does not exceed four hectares. Small-scale agriculture is practiced for both subsistence and commercial purposes.

Characteristics of small-scale agriculture at subsistence level

  • Most of the labour is provided by family members and is manual in nature.
  • Farmers use very simple tools such as hoes and machette to cultivate, in some cases ploughs are used.
  • Farmers use organic manure to improve fertility.
  • The farmer often plants different types of crops on the farm, crops include grains like maize and vegetables for family food support.

  • Varied methods of cultivation are used. Shift cultivation, replaced by sedentary and intensive subsistence farming.
  • The harvest from the farm is mainly consumed by the farmer and his or her family
  • The main crops grown in the given area are similar.
  • The land available for cultivation is very small.
  • The yields per unit area are also low in many cases.
  • Most farmers also keep animals such as goats, cows, and poultry (chicken and ducks). These animals and poultry provide the manure used on the farm.
  • Food crops such as maize, beans, millet, fruits and vegetable are main types of crops grown.


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