An agricultural system comprises of the inputs entering the system and the outputs produced by it. The farmers carefully plan the nature and types of the inputs in order to get the outputs of their choice. They prefer those crops which give them more income. Thus, every agricultural system is planned according to the climatic conditions, availability of water and other inputs needed for its smooth running. This is why the nature of the agricultural systems differs in the equatorial, monsoon, Mediterranean, dry and arctic regions. Major agricultural systems of the world include the following:
(1). Tropical Agricultural System:
These systems comprise (a) Migratory Agriculture (b) Peasant Farming (c) Plantation Agriculture and (d) Monsoon Agriculture
(a). Migratory Agriculture:
This is a primitive type of agriculture which is practised by subsistence farmers in the equatorial region. In this system, a land is cultivated till its fertility is fully exhausted. Then the farmers shift to another tract of land. They produce limited quantities of crops which are just sufficient for their families.
(b). Peasant Farming:
The peasant farming involves land measuring up to a dozen hectare where crops such as rice, ground-nuts, millet and cassava are produced. The farmers hold permanent lands in well-established settlements.
(c). Plantation Agriculture:
The plantation agriculture was introduced by the colonialists in their colonies which were located in Asia and Africa. In this type of agricultural system, one selected commodity such as coffee, tea, rubber, cocoa, banana is produced on large scale. Normally, cheap local labour reduced the cost of production and thus more profit is obtained. A plantation can be owned by a single person or by a joint organization. Presently, in the liberated countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Zambia and India, plantations are controlled and managed by local owners.
(d). Monsoon Agriculture:
This category of agricultural system is located in the monsoon region which witnesses heavy rainfall, extreme weather and humid conditions. Mostly wheat, rice, sugarcane, cotton and maize are produced in this region. This type of agriculture has the capability to support dense population such as India, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Malaysia etc.
(2). Mid-Latitude Agricultural System:
These systems are found in North-west Europe, North-east United States and the Mediterranean region. Main types of the mid-latitude systems are the following:
- European Peasant Farming.
- Mediterranean Agriculture.
- Mixed farming in USA & North-west Europe.
(a). European Peasant Farming:
In this type of farming, the peasant holdings are small which produce limited quantity of commodities just for the use of families of the cultivators. There is no surplus for trading or marketing purposes. Presently, peasant farming is found in countries of Central Europe such as Poland, Serbia, Kosovo and Albania etc.
(b). Mediterranean Agriculture:
This region is located mainly along the northern coast of the Mediterranean Sea and includes many countries viz. Italy, Greece and France etc. In the Mediterranean region, the summer is very dry but majority of the rain comes in winter. The corn crops are sown in winter but ripen during the dry summer season. Major crops of this region include grapes, live, cotton and maize. The grapes are utilized for the preparation of all types of wines.
(c). Mixed Farming: Mixed farming is practised in north eastern United States and countries of North-west Europe. In this type of farming, majority of the farm produce is sold in the markets. Normally the yields are very high which include vegetables, fruits and dairy products. In north-western and western Europe, the agriculture ranges between dairy farming in humid areas and arable farming.
(3). Dry Land Agricultural System:
This category of farming is found mostly in the interior parts of the continents in the world. There are two types of the dry land agricultural system: viz. Commercial grain farming and ranching.
(a). Commercial Grain Farming:
In this type of farming, large areas are used for the cultivation of a single selected crop such as wheat. Commercial grain farming is in practice in Australia, Russian Federation, USA, South America and South Asia. Abundant rainfall is needed for this type of farming.
This type of farming is mostly found in Canada, Australia and USA. it is very successful in arid margins of the temperate grasslands.
(4). Arctic Regions Farming:
The Arctic and sub-Arctic regions are without agricultural systems due to extreme cold environment. However, some areas have limited mixed farming during limited duration of times.