A farm is an area of land that is devoted primarily to agricultural processes with the primary objective of producing food and other crops; it is the basic facility in food production. The name is used for specialized units such as arable farms, vegetable farms, fruit farms, dairy, pig and poultry farms, and land used for the production of natural fibers, and other commodities. It includes ranches, feedlots, orchards, plantations and estates, smallholdings and hobby farms, and includes the farmhouse and agricultural buildings as well as the land. In modern times the term has been extended so as to include such industrial operations as wind farms and fish farms, both of which can operate on land or sea.
Farming originated independently in different parts of the world, as hunter-gatherer societies transitioned to food production rather than, food capture. It may have started about 12,000 years ago with the domestication of livestock in the Fertile Crescent in western Asia, soon to be followed by the cultivation of crops. Modern units tend to specialize in the crops or livestock best suited to the region, with their finished products being sold for the retail market or for further processing, with farm products being traded around the world.
Modern farms in developed countries are highly mechanized. In the United States, livestock may be raised on rangeland and finished in feedlots and the mechanization of crop production has brought about a great decrease in the number of agricultural workers needed. In Europe, traditional family farms are giving way to larger production units. In Australia, some farms are very large because the land is unable to support a high stocking density of livestock because of climatic conditions. In less developed countries, small farms are the norm, and the majority of rural residents are subsistence farmers, feeding their families and selling any surplus products in the local market.
Farming has been innovated at multiple different points and places in human history. The transition from hunter-gatherer to settled, agricultural societies is called the Neolithic Revolution and first began around 12,000 years ago, near the beginning of the geological epoch of the Holocene around 12,000 years ago. It was the world’s first historically verifiable revolution in agriculture. Subsequent step-changes in human farming practices were provoked by the British Agricultural Revolution in the 18th century and the Green Revolution of the second half of the 20th century. Farming spread from the Middle East to Europe and by 4,000 BC people that lived in the central part of Europe were using oxen to pull plows and wagons.
Corporate farming is the business based on agriculture, specifically, what is seen by some as the practices of would-be mega-corporations involved in it. It is a modern food industry that encompasses the use of products for the company itself and the entire chain of agriculture-related business. The term also includes the influence of these companies on education, research and public policy, through their educational funding and government lobbying efforts. “Corporate farming” is often used synonymously with “agribusiness”, and it is seen as the destroyer of the family farm. “Corporate farming” is a fairly broad term that deals with the general practices and effects of a small number of large, global corporations that dominate the food industry. It does not refer simply to any incorporated agribusiness enterprise, although most agricultural businesses today are in some way economically connected to the dominant food industry players. As such, it may be thought of as a movement, which is at times also referred to as “anti-corporate farming”.
Corporate farming is a term used to describe companies that own or influence farms and agricultural practices on a large scale. This includes not only corporate ownership of farms and selling of agricultural products, but also the roles of these companies in influencing agricultural education, research, and public policy through funding initiatives and lobbying efforts. The definition and effects of corporate farming on agriculture are widely debated, though most sources that describe large businesses in agriculture as “corporate farms” portray their role in a negative light. Corporate farming is a term that is used to describe an agricultural operation that involves the production of food and food-related products on an exceptionally large scale. This approach is different from the operation of family farm as a business, in that the corporate approach calls for not only the growing of food products but also the wide range of additional services that are important to the marketing of the foods produced.
What are large farms called?
Some farms may be denoted by their topographical location, such as a hill farm, while large estates growing cash crops such as cotton or coffee may be called plantations. Many other terms are used to describe farms to denote their methods of production, as in collective, corporate, intensive, organic or vertical.
Types of Farming
- Arable: Crops.
- Pastoral: Animals.
- Mixed: Crops and animals.
- Subsistence: Grown just for the farmer and his family.
- Commercial: Grown to sell.
- Intensive: High inputs of labour or capital ususally small.
- Extensive: Low inputs of labour or capital.
- Sedentary: Permanently in one place.
- Economies of scale that provide production (cost) and distribution (revenue) advantages.
- Established processes and work practices leading to good/consistent quality and safety standards.
- Provides opportunities to build a good brand.
- In pursuit of economies of scale business might resort to monoculture production (lack of product variety).
- Could let to optimizing productivity rather than maximizing value.
For contract farming, where the farmers own the land and the business is contracting their land resource and farmers ability to produce. This in my view is a better approach/model for scalability. The biggest challenge here will be that of coordination and aligning different contract partners. So the critical element is to get the contract in such a way that risks-rewards are aligned. The contracting and engagement structure should be designed for everyone to deliver the best efforts and results.
What is the importance of farming?
Connection to the Land. In many parts of the world, people depended on rain, rich soil, and the environment around them; farmers have a deep understanding and connection to nature. While agriculture is important for a number of reasons, it is equally important for farmers and agriculture organizations to collect data.
Community Farming Benefits
Community farming offers many benefits to farmers who want to practice sustainable agriculture and to communities who want fresh, healthy, locally-produced food.
- Healthy Local Economies.
- Environmental Solutions.
- Local Food Security.
- Market Stability.
- Social Capital and Community Amenities.
Conclusively, the primary goal of corporate farming laws is to protect the economic viability of family farms in light of the threats from competition with corporate-owned or corporate managed farms.