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Sedentary Farming Meaning, Characteristics, Advantages, Disadvantages

Sedentary Farming

Sedentary agriculture refers to farming that takes place in a single location by a settled farmer without rotating the fields. In contrast to shifting cultivation, the word was used to describe early agriculturalists in tropical Africa who cultivated the same plot of land indefinitely.

Sedentary farming is a more advanced form of subsistence agriculture practised in the tropical lowlands. Here the people settle on the land and earn their livelihood from agriculture. Hence, it is sometimes called Sedentary subsistence agriculture. Cultivators stay permanently on the land in this type of farming, and the farmlands are reused continuously.

Read More: Intensive Farming

Sedentary Farming Nature & Method of Cultivation

Many aboriginal people of the tropical region are engaged in this type of farming. The method of agriculture is better than the shifting farming and has been becoming modern in recent times. Farm machinery, fertilisers, and high-yielding seeds are now used to grow more crops.

Read More: Subsistence Farming

Sedentary Farming Areas of Practice

Sedentary farming is largely limited to tropical regions, where fallow areas are routinely used again and the cultivator is continually stationed in one place. Sedentary primitive agriculture is practised in small patches in the hot and humid lowlands, in the hot-dry lowlands, and in the subtropical plateaus and highlands of the tropics. It is practised in the equatorial and subtropical parts, of tropical Africa, Central America, and tropical South America. When opposed to shifting cultivation, crop rotation gives more consideration to the soil and the crop that is sown.

This type of farming is found in many regions of  Africa, such as in the Savanna region (Masai and Huasa people have been now settling and practising this type of farming), in the Amazon basin of South America and in some parts of South East Asia.

Read More: Extensive Farming

Sedentary Farming Examples of Crops Grown

A wide variety of crops are grown. The land is engaged in producing a variety of staple foods, such as maize, sorghums, manioc, yams, peanut, sugarcane, cotton, millets, and other crops; rice and wheat are also grown in some places. The main food crops of Latin America and Africa are maize, cassava, millet, and rice. Wheat is also grown in some regions; barley, potatoes, and root crops are grown in cooler highland areas in tropical regions.

Read More: Coastal Landforms

Sedentary Farming Characteristics

Sedentary cultivation is characterized by the following features:

  • Crops grown in this farming vary from place to place.
  • Sedentary farming employs a large population of the world.
  • It is a type of subsistence agriculture;
  • Crop production differs from place to place due to the density of the population.

Read More: Types of Soil in India

Sedentary Farming Advantages

  • Sedentary farming offers permanent interest in land. Hence, the land is conserved.
  • Farmers get permanent benefits from land.
  • Soil is preserved. Hence, it restricts soil erosion.
  • Sedentary agriculture facilitates agricultural research. Thus, it presents scope for agricultural development.

Read More: Monsoon in India

Sedentary Farming Disadvantages

  • The demerits of sedentary agriculture are small and they differ from place to place.
  • In sedentary farming, sometimes, soil exhaustion poses problems. It can be overcome by introducing crop rotation and using fertilizers.

Read More: Natural Vegetation of India

Sedentary Farming UPSC

An agricultural method known as sedentary agriculture involves working the same piece of ground every year. Agriculture is practised in a single location. It is the most basic kind of agriculture. The soil loses nutrients as a result of inactive farming. More cattle, including cows and buffalo, are kept by the farmer. Domesticated animals are utilised for milk production, meat production, and draught. Crops are typically planted during the cool season, grow during the wet season, and are harvested during the dry season.

In this sort of agricultural system, crops like maize, millets, paddy, vegetables, sweet potatoes, root crops, bananas, tapioca, squash, tobacco, small millets, and pulses are grown. In the off-season, many sedentary farmers in South America and Southeast Asia find work in plantations and make frequent trips back to their houses with their earnings. Subsistence sedentary farming is frequently linked with the growth of commercial crops or the gathering and selling of forest products in Southeast Asia and West Africa.

Other Indian Geography Topics

Seasons of India Mountains of India
Mangrove Forests in India Important Mountain Passes in India
Monsoon in India
Indus River System
Climate of India
Rivers of India
Tributaries of Ganga
National Parks in India
Important Dams in India
Wildlife Sanctuaries of India
Tiger Reserves in India
Northern Plains of India
Physiography of India
Important Lakes of India
Wetlands in India
Biodiversity in India
Natural Vegetation in India Earthquakes in India
Types of Soil in India
Ramsar Sites in India
Brahmaputra River System
Hydropower Plants in India
Nuclear Power Plants in India
Major Ports in India
Biosphere Reserves in India
Waterfalls in India

Other Fundamental Geography Topics

Solar System Types of Clouds
Structure of the Atmosphere Himalayan Ranges
Component of Environment
El Nino and La Nina
Coral Reef
Continental Drift Theory
Endogenic and Exogenic Forces
Indian Ocean Region
Pacific Ocean
Indian Ocean Dipole
Air Pollution
Environmental Impact Assessment
Tropical Cyclone
Western Disturbances
Types of Rocks

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What are the main features of sedentary farming?

In contrast to nomadic or shifting farming, only one farmland is used. The farmers do not roam as they would in a nomadic farming system. The soil's nutrient content must be supplied because it is inferior to that of nomadic or shifting farming.

Where is sedentary farming practiced?

Most of the world's sedentary agriculture is found in tropical areas. Even if the area is the same, a good amount of crops is farmed thanks to irrigation and rotation of the crops.

What are examples of sedentary agriculture?

Typically, crops are planted in the chilly season, grow during the wet season, and are harvested in the dry season. In this kind of agricultural system, crops including maize, millets, paddy, vegetables, sweet potatoes, root crops, bananas, tapioca, squash, tobacco, small millets, and pulses are grown.

What is sedentary cultivation also called?

Intensive subsistence farming is an example of sedentary agriculture when farmers live permanently on the same piece of land and cultivate it year after year.

When did sedentary agriculture start?

Around 12000 BC, the Natufian culture in the Levant became the first to become sedentary. Before beginning to grow plants at some sites around 10000 BC, the Natufians had a sedentary lifestyle for more than 2000 years.


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