Distinguish between large-scale and small scale farming

Large-scale farming and small-scale farming are two distinct approaches to agricultural production that differ in various aspects.

Here are the key differences between large-scale and small-scale farming:

Land Size

Large-scale farming typically involves extensive land holdings, often spanning hundreds or thousands of hectares. In contrast, small-scale farming operates on smaller land areas, typically ranging from a few hectares to a few acres.

Distinguish between large-scale and small scale farming
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Production Output

Large-scale farming focuses on high-volume production for commercial purposes. It employs mechanization, advanced technologies, and economies of scale to maximize yields and meet market demands. Small-scale farming, on the other hand, emphasizes subsistence or local market-oriented production. The output is typically lower in volume but may involve a diverse range of crops or livestock for self-consumption or local trade.

Capital Investment

Large-scale farming requires substantial capital investment for machinery, equipment, infrastructure, and inputs like fertilizers and pesticides. It often relies on significant financial resources and access to credit. Small-scale farming generally has lower capital requirements, with farmers relying on traditional tools, manual labor, and simpler technologies. Capital investment is typically limited to basic tools and inputs.

Labor Force

Large-scale farming relies heavily on hired labor or machinery, with fewer family members directly involved in day-to-day operations. It often employs specialized workers for specific tasks. In contrast, small-scale farming is predominantly family-based, with family members participating in various agricultural activities. Labor is often multifunctional, with family members engaged in multiple farm tasks.

Market Orientation

Large-scale farming is primarily oriented towards national or international markets. It aims to achieve economies of scale and compete on a broader scale. Small-scale farming is more localized, focusing on meeting local or regional food demands. It may involve direct selling to consumers, local markets, or nearby communities.

Technology and Input Use

Large-scale farming frequently utilizes advanced agricultural technologies, such as precision farming, mechanization, and genetically modified crops. It relies on intensive use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and irrigation systems. Small-scale farming generally relies on traditional or low-input agricultural practices. Farmers often use organic or natural fertilizers, traditional crop varieties, and simple irrigation methods.

Environmental Impact

Large-scale farming, due to its intensive nature and scale, can have significant environmental impacts. It may lead to deforestation, soil erosion, water pollution, and loss of biodiversity. Small-scale farming, with its reliance on traditional methods and lower input use, generally has a lesser environmental footprint.

It is important to note that the distinction between large-scale and small-scale farming is not always clear-cut, and there are various intermediate or mixed farming systems that combine elements of both approaches. Additionally, the specific characteristics and practices of large-scale and small-scale farming can vary depending on the region, context, and agricultural sector in question.



Here are ten potential ways to improve small scale agriculture:

  • Diversify crops: Planting a variety of crops can help protect against pests and diseases and can also provide a steadier income throughout the year.
  • Use sustainable farming practices: This can include using organic fertilizers, implementing crop rotation, and conserving water.

  • Invest in new technology: There are many new technologies, such as precision irrigation systems and weather monitoring systems, that can help small farmers improve efficiency and productivity.
  • Improve storage and transportation infrastructure: Poor storage and transportation can lead to significant losses for small farmers. Improving infrastructure in these areas can help farmers get a better price for their crops.
  • Join a cooperative: Cooperatives can help small farmers negotiate better prices and access credit and other resources.
  • Invest in education and training: Small farmers can benefit from learning new techniques and best practices to improve their operations.
  • Improve access to credit: Small farmers often struggle to access credit, which can limit their ability to invest in their operations. Programs and policies that increase access to credit can be helpful.
  • Provide extension services: Extension services, which provide farmers with information and support, can be especially helpful for small farmers who may not have access to the latest research and techniques.

  • Develop value-added products: Small farmers can increase their income by processing raw products into value-added goods, such as jams and pickles.
  • Promote fair trade: Fair trade certification can help small farmers get a fair price for their crops and can also increase consumer demand for their products.



Limited access to resources

Small-scale farmers may have limited access to resources such as land, water, and financial capital, which can limit their ability to produce crops and raise animals.

Vulnerability to pests and diseases

Small-scale farmers may be more vulnerable to pests and diseases because they often cannot afford the pesticides and other treatments that larger farms use.


Poor infrastructure

Small-scale farms may lack access to roads, electricity, and other basic infrastructure, which can make it difficult to transport and sell their products.

Limited access to markets

Small-scale farmers may have limited access to markets, which can make it difficult for them to sell their products at a fair price.

Limited access to credit

Small-scale farmers may have difficulty obtaining loans or other forms of credit, which can limit their ability to invest in their operations.

Limited access to training and education

Small-scale farmers may have limited access to training and education, which can limit their ability to learn about new technologies and practices that could improve their operations.

Limited bargaining power

Small-scale farmers may have limited bargaining power when negotiating with buyers or suppliers, which can result in low prices for their products.

Poor quality of life

Small-scale farmers may have poor quality of life due to the hard physical labor and low incomes associated with farming.

Lack of diversification

Small-scale farmers may be less able to diversify their crops or animals, which can make them more vulnerable to market fluctuations or natural disasters.

Lack of security: Small-scale farmers may lack security of tenure and be at risk of losing their land due to various factors such as development or changing land laws.


Factors that have favoured horticulture and Market gardening in Belgium

This refers to the growing of fruits, vegetables and flowers for commercial purposes. Crops grown include tomatoes, lettuce, grapes, strawberries and orchards.

Factors that have favoured horticulture and Market gardening in Belgium.

  • Presence of deep, loamy soils of great fertility.
  • Presence of large market for the products from large market for the products from large towns such as Brussels.
  • High levels of technology as some crops are grown in glasshouses.
  • The relief is generally undulating easy for cultivation land mechanisation.
  • Presence of rivers such as Dandre, Senne, Dyle and Dener which act as a source of water as
    well as transport routes.
  • Well developed transport routes such that produce can reach the market easily.



They aid in cultural ways like paying bride wealth.

The pastoral community rely on the skins and hides for clothing and beddings.

It acts as stores of wealth since pastoral communities prefer storing their wealth in terms of animals.

The cattle kept act as symbol for social status and esteem most especially where one owns large herds of animals.

The animals provide food to the local community inform of blood, milk and occasional meat.

The animals are sometimes used as a medium of exchange since, to acquire any other thing they use
animals in exchange. For example to get other food stuff like millet, sorghum and many others.

The nomads at the sedentary level rely on animals for their energy to plough their farms for cropping.

Besides, bulls are used to pull cants loaded with assorted property during shifting periods and harvesting time for collecting produce.

During cold night, the cow dung and sometimes the bones are burnt to provide warmth to the people.

The cow dung can be further used for decorating walls and smearing the floors by the nomads.



The Green Revolution was a period of technological advancement and increased agricultural production that took place from the 1940s to the 1960s, primarily in developing countries. It involved the development and distribution of high-yield crop varieties, the use of pesticides and fertilizers, and the introduction of modern agricultural techniques.


The following are disadvantages of green revolution

The farm machineries are very expensive to purchase for local farmers and must buy in foreign cash which foreign exchange is scarce in dumping countries like India.

Farm machineries need carful maintenance and skilled technicians to repair them yet such skilled labour is lacking in the low developing countries.

The cost of importing spare parts and machineries is high since they are not produced locally in low developing countries and they keep on breaking frequently.

Many small farmers find it difficult to switch to using new fast yielding variety and fertilizers because of limited capital and security for loans.

Most countries where the revolution has picked up, the majority of the farm are very small and still scattered. This makes their irrigation hard and very expensive.

Overproduction has resulted into falling prices in the near market. This has affected USA so much which had engaged in cultivation.

With green revolution poor farmers are unable to use new technology, new variety and fertilizers application. This means only the rich farmers can afford. Thereby widening social status in te society.

Wide application of machines eventually leads to rampant unemployment for example in India.



High yielding varieties have been introduced trough research.

There has been increase in food production especially in India.

Use of new farm technology and machineries have been introduced in the idle east and most especially in India where the system was first developed.


The wider use of fertilizers created a new market for the new fertilizer factories to be developed all over India and have provided new job opportunities.

The local farmers have been educated in India demonstrations and extension work for example the application of fertilizer techniques and many others.

Many storage facilities have been created to aid store the increased products.

The scheme provides farmers with credit facilities and loans on manageable terms.

The extension of irrigation has increased the demand for electricity in the country areas. Rural electricity has therefore been promoted and improved standard of living of te people is being realized.