Difference Between Farm and Plantation

Agriculture, which means the growing of crops, was something to be sighted thousands of years ago. It was the reason why people gave up nomadic hunting and settled in cities.

Essentially, both ‘Farm’ and ‘Plantation’ have a lot in common. They use the same method which includes sowing, growing, and harvesting crops. However, both have major differences between them as well.

Farm vs Plantation

The main difference between Farm and Plantation is that a farm is a relatively smaller piece of land that is used to grow either commercial crops or food for the farmer’s family. On the other hand, a plantation is a large farm used only for the production of commercial crops.

Farm vs Plantation

A farm refers to a piece of land on which crops are grown and livestock is kept. These agricultural activities may either be performed for the personal benefit of the farmer, or commercial benefit. Many crops can be grown at once on a farm.

A plantation is a very large piece of land on which agricultural activities are pursued commercial benefits. Unlike farms, on which a variety of crops can be grown, a plantation generally grows only one crop. This crop is then sold in the market for monetary gains. A plantation may also include housing for the owner and labour working there.

Comparison Table Between Farm and Plantation

Parameters of Comparison Farm Plantation
MeaningA farm is a small piece of land  used for growing crops and  keeping livestock.A plantation is a large farm on  which a crop is grown for  commercial benefits.
Crops A farm can grow more than one  crop at a time and even rear  domesticated animals. A plantation generally grows  only one type of crop. 
Scale of production The scale of production is  smaller as compared to a  plantation.Crops are produced on a large  scale on a plantation.
Harvesting A farm usually grows annual or  bi-annual crops that can be  harvested every year.A plantation can grow  perennials, spices and tree  crops like coffee, rubber and  tea.
Labor and Capital The labor and Capital on a farm  is relatively smaller than a  plantation.The labor and Capital on a  plantation is large.

What is Farm?

A farm is a piece of land on which crops are grown and livestock is reared. This may be done either for feeding the family of the farmer or for commercial benefit. On this land, more than one crop can be grown at a time. However, all of them are grown on a small scale.

The crops grow on a farm are either annual or bi-annual crops. This means that they need to be harvested either one or two times a year. This ensures that the farmer gets a timely profit from the crops in a consistent manner. Usually, crops grown on farms are harvested every monsoon.

The owner of a farm may be a single person, family, group of persons, or even a company. The owner decides what type of farming needs to be done. The farm could be made into a poultry farm, aqua farm, dairy farm, or even a wind farm. It depends on what is being produced there.

A variety of equipment needs to be used on a farm. If the farm grows crops, some of the tools used for doing so include tractors, hoes, ploughs, harrows, balers, and even combine harvesters. Using these, the process of production happens in a much faster and easier way.

What is Plantation?

A plantation is a very large farm that is used to grow just one type of crop. The crop may be a perennial, spice, or some sort of tree crop. They are grown purely with a commercial motive. On harvesting, they are sold off of to market or directly to people.

Examples of crops that can be grown on plantations include rubber, tea, coffee, cotton, jute, opium, sugarcane, oilseeds, cocoa, fruits, and much more. These crops are produced on a very large scale. Usually, they are altered genetically to give them desirable traits. Alterations also help them resist pests and diseases.

An interesting fact is that plantations enable wood production more than natural forests do. Since the trees are altered, they yield a better and bulkier harvest than forests do. A good example of this is genetic alterations performed on timber trees in plantations. This helps the trees a larger volume of Wood with better stem straightness.

Some plantations may also be farm or home plantations. These are those plantations on which crops are grown for the personal use of farmers, and sometimes for sale. Some examples of such crops are timber and firewood.

Main Differences Between Farm and Plantation

  1. A farm uses a smaller piece of land than a plantation.
  2. A farm can grow more than one crop at a time while a plantation generally grows only a single crop.
  3. A farm has a smaller scale of production than a plantation.
  4. A farm uses lesser labour and Capital than a plantation.
  5. A farm can grow cash crops or crops for home use of the farmers, while a plantation only grows crops for commercial benefits.


The most evident difference between Farm and Plantation is that a farm is much smaller. Moreover, the crops grown on a farm can be used by the farmer for home use or sold off. On the other hand, plants that are grown on a plantation are purely for commercial benefit.

Even though both the terms have many similarities as well, they cannot be used interchangeably. The methods used and results gained by both of them are of the same nature. However, their scale of production creates a major difference between them. Farms produce on a much smaller scale than plantations.


  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/40908737
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/213678
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