Subsistence and Commercial Agriculture
There are two main systems of agricultural production practised in Nigeria, namely subsistence and commercial agriculture.

Subsistence Agriculture
This agricultural type is practised mainly to meet the basic needs of the farmer and his dependants. The land cultivated is usually small and labour is provided by the farmer’s family also the yield realised is very small, with hardly any extra for sale.

Commercial Agriculture
Commercial agriculture is capital intensive and involves the cultivation of large expanse of land. Farm operations are highly mechanised and total yield is very high. Marketing outlets are carefully planned, for easy transportation to markets where the items are sold.

Differences between subsistence and commercial agriculture

Subsistence Agriculture Commercial Agriculture
Traditional tools are used and area of land cultivated is small. Highly mechanised and large expense of land is cultivated.
Farm operation is manually done and labour is provided by the farmer’s family. Farm operation is mechanised and done, by skilled labour. Managers are employed.
Income from surpluses is used to provide for farmers family’ needs. Production is mainly for commercial purposes.
Total output is low. Total output is high.
Traditional tools are used for farm operations. Modern tools and equipment are used for most operations.
Less capital intensive. Production is capital intensive.
Practised by small scale or peasant farmers. Practised by very wealthy farmers.

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