Deutsch: Intensive Landwirtschaft / Español: Agricultura Intensiva / Português: Agricultura Intensiva / Français: Agriculture Intensive / Italiano: Agricoltura Intensiva

Intensive farming in the industrial context refers to agricultural practices designed to maximize productivity and output from a given area of land through the concentrated use of resources such as labor, capital, and technology. This approach typically involves high levels of input, such as synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, irrigation systems, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs), to achieve higher yields than would be possible through traditional farming methods.


Intensive farming practices are characterized by a focus on a single crop (monoculture), the extensive use of chemical inputs for pest and disease control, and often, the use of sophisticated machinery and technology to plant, cultivate, and harvest crops. This method is prevalent in both crop production and animal husbandry, where it can involve keeping large numbers of livestock in confined spaces to increase meat, dairy, or egg production.

Application Areas

  • Crop Production: Utilizing high-yield crop varieties and employing aggressive management of water, fertilizers, and pesticides to maximize output.
  • Animal Husbandry: Raising large numbers of animals in confined spaces (factory farming) to increase efficiency and meet the growing demand for animal products.
  • Aquaculture: Intensive farming of fish and shellfish under controlled conditions to maximize production.

Well-Known Examples

  • Greenhouses where temperature, humidity, and light are controlled to optimize plant growth.
  • Poultry farms that house thousands of chickens to produce eggs and meat efficiently.

Treatment and Risks

While intensive farming can significantly increase food production and contribute to food security, it also raises environmental and ethical concerns. These include the degradation of soil quality, water scarcity and pollution from fertilizer and pesticide runoff, loss of biodiversity, and concerns over animal welfare. There is also the risk of creating resistance to pesticides and antibiotics, leading to more robust pests and diseases.

Similar Terms or Synonyms

  • Industrial agriculture
  • High-input farming
  • Factory farming (in the context of animal husbandry)


Intensive farming represents a highly productive agricultural model that emphasizes maximizing output through the concentrated use of resources. While it plays a crucial role in feeding the global population, its sustainability and long-term impacts on the environment, public health, and social equity continue to be subjects of significant debate and concern.


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