What is Cash Crop Farming?

Cash crop farming is for profit. Also called commercial farming and cash cropping, it is a farming venture in which cash crops are grown. Cash crops are those which are produced for the purpose of generating cash or money. The products are therefore intended to be marketed for profit.

Individual farmers just naturally grow cash crops as a livelihood and to generate cash for the family's needs. An extra profit is needed to fund the next cropping activities.

The farming methods employed differ from farmer to farmer and from country to country. In developing countries, many traditional farmers continue to adopt their customary practices. But in highly industrialized countries, intensive cultivation and mechanized farming are common. This is so with large plantations operated by multinational companies and by individuals having sufficient capital.

Monocropping or sole cropping, which is the growing of a single crop on a piece of land, is common with cash crop farming while subsistence farming usually practices multiple cropping or mixed cropping. In contrast to the aim of cash cropping, subsistence farming is practiced for sustenance, that is, for the food of the farmer and his family. Subsistence crops are also grown for feed of the farmer’s livetock including working animals.

Dessert banana is one of the major choices for cash crop farming in tropical countries.Portion of a large plantation of banana, a major cash crop in tropical countries

How Cash Crop Farming Evolved

When cash cropping started cannot be established with certainty. It’s historical evolution can only be deducted using logic as related to the history of agriculture and civilization.

Before the advent of agriculture, the primitive man obtained food by hunting wild animals and gathering fruits and nuts from natural stands. Even in the most recent time this practice has survived.

But the discovery that certain plants can be grown from seeds caused a gradual transformation from hunting-gathering to farming. The primitive man began to domesticate plants and so there was no longer any reason for him to maintain his nomadic way of life in search of food.

Groups of men lived in villages, and soon the populace was divided into two groups: urban and rural. The urban people engaged in the processing and trading of the raw materials which the rural people supply. This gave rise to the modern civilization which is characterized by an advanced agricultural technology, long-distance marketing, and occupational specialization among the populace.

This must be how cash crop farming evolved.

Based on archaelogical records, farming or agriculture started at least 10,000 years ago. The when and where are continuously debated. However, the credit for the first civilization to be established goes to the Sumerians.

By 5000 BC the Sumerians had developed special agricultural techniques including intensive crop farming in large-scale, monocropping, organized irrigation, and the use of labor with specialized skills. They invented the plow.

They grew barley, chickpeas, lentils, wheat, dates, onions, garlic, lettuce, leeks and mustard. They also raised cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs. They used oxen as their primary draft animal and donkeys or equids for transport.

Archaeological artifacts indicate that they were engaged in trading with neighboring regions centered around the Persian Gulf.

The land of the Sumer is located in what is now called Fertile Crescent. It lies between two great rivers, the Euphrates and Tigris. Modern-day countries within the Fertile Crescent are Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Israel and parts of the Palestinian Territories, besides Turkey and Iran.

REFERENCES

  1. Chapman, S.R. and L.P. Carter. 1976. Crop Production: Principles and Practices. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Co. p. 431-441.
  2. Plantagenet Somerset Fry. 1972. Answer Book of History. Hamlyn House, Feltham, Middlesex, England: The Hamlyn Publishing Group Ltd. pp. 8-10.
  3. Wikipedia. 2010. Cash crop. Retrieved August 30, 2010 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cash_crop.<br><br>
  4. Wikipedia. 2010. Civilization. Retrieved August 30, 2010 from  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilization.<br><br>
  5. Wikipedia. 2010. Fertile crescent. Retrieved August 30, 2010 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fertile_Crescent.
  6. Wikipedia. 2010. Sumer. Retrieved August 30, 2010 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumer.

(Ben G. Bareja. 2010)

Back to Home Page

Recent Articles

  1. Tips on Bonsai Care With Emphasis On Small Hardwood Trees

    Jan 18, 20 08:21 AM

    Bonsai collector shares how-to techniques on bonsai care he practices on hardwood trees adapted to dryland conditions.

    Read More

  2. Nitrogen-fixing genes could help grow more food using fewer resources

    Jan 16, 20 09:30 PM

    Scientists have transferred a collection of genes into plant-colonizing bacteria that let them draw nitrogen from the air and turn it into ammonia, a natural fertilizer. The work could help farmers ar…

    Read More

  3. Drones effective tools for fruit farmers

    Jan 09, 20 08:54 AM

    Unmanned aerial vehicles provide reliable, accurate data to growers (American Society of Agronomy/ScienceDaily January 8, 2020).

    Read More

  4. Research team traces evolution of the domesticated tomato: Biologists led evolutionary detective work on fruit's origins

    Jan 08, 20 02:18 PM

    Evolutionary biologists and geneticists report that they have identified missing links in the tomato's evolution from a wild blueberry-sized fruit in South America to the larger modern tomato of today…

    Read More