Difference Between Intensive Farming and Extensive Farming


Main Difference

The main difference between Intensive Farming and Extensive Farming is that Intensive Farming refers to an agricultural system, wherein there is high-level use of labor and capital, in comparison to the land area and Extensive Farming is an agrarian technique, in which large farms are being cultivated, with relatively lower inputs.

Intensive Farming vs. Extensive Farming

Intensive Farming is a farming practice which emphasizes increasing yield from the given piece of land using various means like heavy use of pesticides, capital, labor, high-yielding varieties of crops, etc. Extensive farming is a farming technique or agricultural production structure in which low inputs of labor, capital, fertilizers, etc., are used related to the area of the cropland. Intensive farming is commonly practiced in densely populated areas to fulfill the food-related demands of a large population from a relatively small piece of land. On the other hand, extensive farming adept by the farmers of an area where the population density is low, and the land is plenteous and inexpensive, so farmers make use of comparatively low inputs of capital, labor, and fertilizers and depend on the natural productiveness of soil and availability of water.


Comparison Chart

Intensive FarmingExtensive Farming
In this sort of farming, the maximum yield obtained from the given agricultural land through high inputs of capital, labor, fertilizers, machinery, etc.It uses small inputs of labor, capital, and fertilizers relative to the area of the cropland.
Near to the marketRemotely located
It practiced in a densely populated region.It practiced in a moderately populated region.
Land Output
Small and expensiveLarge and inexpensive

What is Intensive Farming?

Intensive farming is a system of farming using large amounts of labor and capital relative to land area. Large amounts of working and capital are necessary to the application of fertilizer, insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides to increase crops, and capital is particularly important to the purchase and maintenance of high-yield machinery for planting, cultivating, and harvesting, along with irrigation rigging where that is required. As a result, a farm using intensive farming will require less land than extensive farming cultivates to produce a similar profit. In practice, however, the expended economies and efficiencies of intensive farming often encourage farm operators to work very large tracts to keep their capital investments in machinery productively engaged. The increased productivity of intensive farming enables the farmer to use a relatively smaller land area that located close to the market, where land values are high relative to labor and capital, and this is true in many parts of around the world. If costs of labor and capital outlay for machinery and chemicals, and expense of storage and carriage to market are too high.



  • High crop yield
  • It means more range of food can be produced
  • It is more efficient
  • Affordable food prices
  • Helps in ensuring regulated farming
  • A sustainable supply of food

What is Extensive Farming?

Extensive Farming is a system of crop cultivation using small amounts of labor and capital about the area of land farmed. The crop yield in extensive agriculture relies primarily on the natural affluence of the soil, the environment, the climate, and the availability of water. It is the employing large amounts of labor and capital, enables one to use fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides and to planting, cultivate, and often harvest mechanically. Because extensive farming produces a lower yield per unit of land, its use commercially requires large quantities of land to be profitable. This demand for land means that extensive farming carried on where land values are low about labor and capital, consecutively means that extensive farming practiced where population intensity is low and thus commonly at some distance from primary markets.


  • Less labor per unit areas is needed to farm large areas, especially since expensive alteration to land are completely away.
  • Mechanization can be utilized more effectively over large, flat areas.
  • Greater efficiency of labor means generally lower product prices.
  • Lower requirements of inputs such as fertilizers.

Key Differences

  1. Intensive farming is an agricultural procedure of increasing the crop yield by heavy use of chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides, etc. and machines. On the other extreme, extensive farming is a farming method, wherein acres of land are being farmed, with lower inputs, i.e., labor and investment, in comparison to the land.
  2. In densely populated areas, intensive farming readily practiced because it requires a small area for cultivation. Despite that, the land in such fields is expensive. On the contrary, extensive farming initiated in the areas where there are huge farms for cultivation. Nevertheless, the farms are rather less expensive.
  3. Intensive farming results in high production per unit of land, but the person is less. Dissimilar, in extensive farming large farms, is cultivated, and that is why the total production is high, but per unit production is low.
  4. While intensive farming performed in the areas, which are densely populated, extensive farming takes place in the region of a moderate population.
  5. The farms under intensive farming placed near the market area, which minimizes the cost of carriage and distribution. Conversely, in intensive farming, agricultural land, is located in distant areas, which increases its cost of carriage and selling it to the market.


In short, the main direction of intensive farming is on the volume of the crop produced, whereas extensive farming emphasizes on quality. Intensive farming induces damage to the environment, as there is a high usage of chemicals which not only reduces the fertility of the soil but also contaminates the food, which is not in the case of extensive farming.