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Food Production Systems. Darlene Oehlke. Types of Food Production Systems. Extensive Commercial Farming Intensive Commercial Farming Subsistence farming Shifting Cultivation (Tavy) (Slash and burn in the tropics) Fisheries. Extensive Commercial Farming.

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types of food production systems
Types of Food Production Systems
  • Extensive Commercial Farming
  • Intensive Commercial Farming
  • Subsistence farming
  • Shifting Cultivation (Tavy) (Slash and burn in the tropics)
  • Fisheries
extensive commercial farming
Extensive Commercial Farming
  • Large areas of land produce a lot of food per farmer, but the output per acre is lower than with intensive methods.
extensive commercial farming1
Extensive Commercial Farming
  • Crop Yields are maximized for profit
extensive commercial farming2
Extensive Commercial Farming
  • High fossil fuel input
  • High Mechanization
  • Modern Technology
  • Water from irrigation
  • Commercial fertilizers
  • Chemical pesticides to kill insects
  • Chemical herbicides to kill weeds
  • Low human labor input
  • High capital input
  • GM crops or selectively breed seeds
outputs from extensive commercial farming
Outputs from Extensive Commercial farming
  • Large amounts of food per farm
  • Grassland diversity lost
  • Habitat for animals lost
  • Soil degradation in many cases
  • Pollution from fertilizer runoff
  • Pollution from pesticides and herbicides
  • Water waste from irrigation
  • Pollution from fossil fuels
  • Soil Compaction from heavy machinery use
intensive commercial farming
Intensive Commercial Farming
  • High labor input
  • High technology
  • High capital input
  • High energy input
  • High fertilizer input
  • Chemical pesticides and fertilizer
  • Mechanization
intensive commercial farming1
Intensive Commercial Farming


High crop yields

from intense land use

High Energy Efficiency


Western Netherlands

greenhouses and dairy

subsistence farming
Subsistence Farming
  • Subsistence farming - only feeds one family in LEDC’s
  • Small plots of land
  • Wide range of animals and plants
  • Polycultures – a mix of crops
  • High human labor input
  • Low capital input
  • Vulnerable to food shortages
subsistence farming1
Subsistence Farming

High human labor input

subsistence farming crops are grown to feed a family
Subsistence Farming: Crops are grown to feed a family
  • Intense labor input: The whole family helps
  • Sometimes marginally productive land is used
  • Polycultures are common: many different plants and a variety of animals
  • If the crop fails, food shortages result.
extensive subsistence farming
Extensive Subsistence Farming
  • Slash and burn
  • High Land input
  • Soil degradation
  • Low capital input (axes)
  • Low labor input
  • Fragile soil degrades if it cannot rest
slash and burn in brazil
Slash and burn in Brazil
  • Low output - feeds the family


slash and burn
Slash and burn
  • If done on a small scale, the forest grows back in 20 years. Increasing human population causes more pressure on the land.
intensive subsistence farming
Intensive Subsistence Farming
  • High yield per acre
  • High efficiency
  • Low environmental impact
  • Intensive human labor
  • High quality seeds and fertilizers
nomadic herding in lecd s
Nomadic Herding in LECD’s
  • High land input
  • Animals graze a large area
  • Low labor input - herding
  • Low capital input
  • This is an example of Extensive Subsistence Food Production
more about the masai kenyan drought adds to woes shrinking land growing population bbc news
More about the Masai:Kenyan drought adds to woes… Shrinking land, growing population -BBC news
  • Subsistence farming is subject to food shortages
  • Inputs: Fish, food, antibiotics, chemicals to treat fish disease
  • Output: Fish!
  • Concerns: High populations of fish in a small area
  • Pollution from fish waste, antibiotics fed to fish
  • Escaping fish
rice fish farming1
Rice fish farming
  • China has been doing this for 1700 years
  • Deep water rice and Oujiang red carp are raised together
  • Low input (less fertilizer and pesticide use)
  • Low cost technology
  • Fish fertilize the rice
  • The fish also offer biological control of pests, including an invasive snail
          • FAO

Rice Fish farming in Vietnam

  • The fish eat small snail pests


towards sustainable agriculture
Towards sustainable agriculture
  • Human labor and simple tools do not use fossil fuels
  • Crop yields are higher when the farming is intensive
soil conservation measures
Soil Conservation Measures
  • Add lime to increase pH
  • Add organic materials like compost
  • Reduce the wind: wind breaks, strip cultivation and shelter belts
  • Terrace to avoid erosion
  • Contour plowing
  • Avoidance of plowing marginal lands
alternatives to chemical fertilizers
Alternatives to chemical fertilizers
  • Growing of highly productive, nitrogen and biomass crop
  • aerobic compost piles
  • re-introducing micro-nutrients by importing locally generated food waste
alternatives to chemical herbicide and pesticides
Alternatives to chemical herbicide and pesticides
  • Biological control - Using natural predators
  • Crop rotation
  • Polyculture