Difference Between Intensive and Extensive Farming (With Table)

Farming is an intense method that involves loads of things, people, purchases and use of the cultivation methodology.

Intensive vs Extensive Farming

The difference between intensive farming and extensive farming is that intensive farming is where the inputs are high in terms of capital, labor, insecticides, etc. Extensive farming is where the inputs are comparatively less. In intensive farming, the land is limited and expensive, whereas extensive farming is quite large and not that expensive.

The output in intensive farming in per hectare is quite large in comparison with extensive farming.

Intensive farming is an agricultural system while extensive farming is an agrarian technique. Though the land used in intensive farming is small, the use of manpower and machinery is high. The cost of labor also gets reduced due to the involvement of machinery.

The intensive farming is more at the industrial level while extensive farming addresses the production of survival i.e. crops.

Comparison Table Between Intensive and Extensive Farming

Parameters of ComparisonIntensive FarmingExtensive Farming
MeaningMore use of Labor and capitalLess Input of labor and Capital
LocationClose to marketsRemote location. Far from market
Farming landSmall and extensive agriculture system within a densely populated areaLarge and inexpensive farming technique practiced in a moderately populated area
OutputLarge scaleSmall Scale

What is Intensive Farming?

Intensive farming looks at increased productivity in a smaller space of land. Intensive farming needs more manpower, use of chemicals and livestock to take out maximum yield.

The land of intensive farming is used to the last drop and rests on the usage of HYV (high yielding varieties). Hence the nearby lands get prone to deforestation.

We all are aware of the consequences of deforestations. The understanding of the ecosystem is crucial. Also, the current understanding of how Millennium ecosystem assessment can benefit the understanding of intensive farming too is worth it.

MAE talks on the sustainability of how intensive farming can be nurtured protected, used without hampering the ecosystem.

What is Extensive Farming?

Extensive farming though has a larger land at their dispose of is usually found in the remote. The transportation, manpower, income are limited hence the overall cost of production is more and the produce is less.

Crops like grains are produced and the remains of husk feed the cattle. Hence cattle livestock is also a part of extensive farming’s sustainability.

Use of traditional cultivation methods that are base do on seasonal productions, The limited preference of cultivation is friendly to our mother nature but gets difficult for the farmers to support their families financially.

The gross domestic product in extensive farming is low, expensive, and seasonal which safeguards the organic farming. This is the reason why organic produces are expensive to the local bazaar of our market.

Main Differences Between Intensive and Extensive Farming


The intensive farming believes in large scale production to yield as much as produce it can. It is through the man-power that uses the machinery at stake to the optimal level.

They need a limited habitat that can give maximum results. In economic terminology, we can say that intensive farming uses a higher level of inputs in the given per cubic land space.

The extensive farming is an agricultural production system that rests heavily on using manpower labor, natural fertilizers in the capital available.

The capital invested or needed in extensive farming is at a higher-end as it involves the rearing of cattle and livestock.

Farming Land and Location

As the farmland of intensive farming is located in the residing premises, the small land used stands on the application of high yielding planting machinery.

Intensive farming also uses herbicides and insecticide through the usage of rigged irrigation provisions. On the other hand, extensive farming land can be as far as you can see lands. The far stretched lands shine out due to its natural green lushes and beauty.

Extensive farming is usually in the exteriors of the city with a cleaner atmosphere, far stretched and cheaper land at the sale.

The location of extensive farming works on the mechanism of the seasonal cycle of soils, natural affluence & properties, available labor & cattle to rear.

Intensive farming usually locates itself closer to the market for easy reach out and cheaper transportation. Whereas the extensive farming cost of transportable is high as the potential markets are far from the location.


The intensive farming looks at increasing the yield in the given limited land space with a high dependency on fertilizers, labor, and machinery. Intensive farming is most ideal for small scale industrial productions. On the other hand, the extensive farming has a relatively larger land space.

But as extensive farming is remotely located, the labor cost, the production cost is higher. Also, the output calls for much more care and takes a while to yield the crops. Hence extensive farming works out to be on a higher-end as far as expenses are concerned.

The intensive market, as said is more on the industrial level can achieve their targets through machinery handled by cheaper manpower.

In short, Intensive farming needs less space and yet gives a higher production output. Whereas, extensive farming needs larger landholding and produces are expensive as a natural way of farming is the belief system.


Intensive farming causes a negative impact on our ecosystem as they rest heavily on productions. Increased productions only can happen when we depend on pushing in chemicals and fertilizers. This substance causes soil erosion and degradation of soil fertility.

The mechanization of agriculture is what intensive farming is all about. On the other hand of the spectrum, Extensive farming is located in regions that are not in the city.

They are green, cleaner, vibrant and the atmosphere breaths in freshness to their industrial productions. But Extensive farming survives on cattle rearing, livestock and gazing.

The natural and seasonal based limited cultivations also make extensive farming special and friendly. Fruits, root vegetables, rice and all kind of grain are produced in extensive farming.

The cattle are very important to provide humankind with fertilizer, dairy products, meat, and other edibles. Also, the soil forever remains fertile. Hence extensive farming is environmentally friendly.


To bring it all here, intensive farming is volume based on the usage of chemicals that add-on to the ever-growing problem of global warming. Intensive farming must be tried to be reduced and the government should support industries that rely upon and sustain through extensive farming.

The extensive farming works towards enhancing and maintaining soil fertility and product us from the hazards of natural calamities like floods and landslides.

The additional reading will give a better picture of both types of farming – Intensive and Extensive.


  1. https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/178216/files/12.1.7.pdf
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0308521X10001393

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