What is Plantation Agriculture: Characteristic, Types, Advantages, and Disadvantages

10 May 2023
What is Plantation Agriculture: Characteristic, Types, Advantages, and Disadvantages
Plantation farming is a type of agricultural business in which profit is generated by growing different types of crops. It is a type of farming in which a single or specific plant or crop is harvested, such as cotton, banana, coffee, tea, etc. Plantation cropping is mainly done for commercial purposes to grow and sell crops in the market.

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The agriculture sector in India is one of the most important and major sectors of the Indian economy. It develops employment and business opportunities for the rural part of the country and creates a good sum of revenue for the Indian economy. In Indian agriculture, different types of farming practices are adopted to grow crops such as organic farming, mixed farming, and plantation agriculture. The objective of any agriculture type is to earn a livelihood. In this blog, we are going to discuss what is plantation agriculture, its characteristics, types, and advantages.

What is Plantation Agriculture?

Plantation agriculture is an extensive type of agriculture practice where a wide area of land is used for the plantation of a single crop. It is also known as monoculture.

The agriculture practice, commonly known as “plantation farming”, is the practice of planting crops on a large scale to earn profit. Plantation farming is practiced all over the world, but it is mainly practiced in tropical and subtropical regions.

The crops planted in this type of agriculture practice are mainly cash crops, which generate huge profits when sold in the international market. Some frequently grown crops in plantation agriculture in India are pineapple, bananas, cocoa, coffee, sugarcane, and more.

Characteristics of Plantation Agriculture

Some primary features of plantation agriculture in India are listed below:

  • Plantation farming needs good capital and a huge workforce of labour.
  • The cash crops are grown in a wide range of agricultural land to generate more profit.
  • Some major crops grown in plantation agriculture are cotton, sugarcane, coffee, tea, and banana. These are grown in a wide land area. These crops are further transported to the industries and then exported to the international market.
  • A single crop is generally grown in plantation farming in a large area of agricultural land.
  • A wide range of crops is cultivated in plantation agriculture, including bananas, rubber, cashew, sugarcane, cotton, coffee, and tea.
  • This type of farming practice requires a well-developed communication and transportation network, which acts as a link between the plantation processing business and marketplaces.
  • This farming practice is done using modern plantation methods.
  • This farming method requires a lot of money. A huge labour workforce is also required, and crops are grown using advanced methods.

Types of Plantation Agriculture in India

Plantation agriculture is the practice of planting cash crops on a large scale for commercial use. It features the formation of big plantations where crops such as tea, coffee, sugarcane, rubber, and palm oil are cultivated. Different types of plantation agriculture are there considering the crop grown and the location. Some common types of plantation agriculture are listed below:

Coffee Plantations

These are large farms where coffee is cultivated for commercial purposes. Coffee is mainly grown in warm climates and high altitudes. Coffee plantations need a significant investment in equipment, labour, and land. It is grown mainly in the states of Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. In fact, Karnataka accounts for 70 per cent of the total coffee production in India.

Tea Plantations

Tea plantations are huge farmlands where tea is cultivated for commercial use. Like other crops, tea plantations also need a good investment in labour, land, and equipment. Some popular Tea growing countries in the world are India, China, Sri Lanka, and Kenya. In India, it is mainly grown in the state of Assam and other states like West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Himachal Pradesh. 

Rubber Plantations

Rubber plantation is a type of plantation farming in which rubber trees are grown in a large area of land for commercial purposes. Rubber plantation is a plantation agriculture practice that also needs a good amount of land, labour, and equipment.

India is the fourth largest producer and consumer of rubber in the world.  The state of Kerala contributes 90 per cent of the total rubber production of the country. The other states where rubber plantation is done includes, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Tripura, Assam, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, and Goa.

Sugarcane Plantations

Sugarcane plantation is also practised on large farmlands in which sugarcane crops are grown for commercial usage. The major exporters of sugarcane crops are India, Brazil, and Thailand. And among Indian states, Uttar Pradesh is the largest producer of sugarcane. The sugarcane plantation also requires a major investment in land, labour, and equipment.

Palm Oil Plantations

Palm oil plantation is a type of plantation agriculture where oil palm trees are cultivated to be sold in the international market. The primary exporters of Palm oil crops are Indonesia and Malaysia. In India, the top 5 palm oil producer in 2022 are Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. A substantial amount of labour, equipment, land, and capital is required for Palm oil plantations.

Cocoa Plantations

In Cocoa plantation farming, a large agricultural land is required to grow cocoa trees for commercial purposes. Countries which are primary exporters of Cocoa crops are Indonesia, Ghana, and Ivory Coast. This type of plantation farming also needs a major investment in capital, labour, land, and equipment.

Fruit Plantations

Fruit plantations are large farms where different types of fruits, such as oranges, pineapples, and bananas, are grown for selling purposes. Farmers need to make a lot of investment in fruit plantations.

Advantages of Plantation Agriculture

Some advantages of plantation agriculture practice in India are:

  • It is a source of employment. Due to the huge size of land, plantation agriculture requires a lot of workforces to operate different equipment on both farms and processing facilities. In this way, it generates many employment opportunities.
  • It is a source of tax generation and revenue for the government. The crops grown under plantation agriculture are sold in the domestic and international markets. In this process, a small amount of profit is given to the government in the form of tax. In this way, it is a source of revenue generation for the government.
  • It offers foreign trade in the economy. It offers a positive surge of huge foreign exchange reserves.
  • It promotes development in agriculture and research. It supports research development that results in the growing of high-quality crops. Many research facilities focus on developing disease-free and high-yielding seeds for better production.
  • It also supports the development of the infrastructure. Plantation farming requires many people, and to keep them, they offer a range of social services to them, like markets, schools, hospitals, and more.

Disadvantages of Plantation Agriculture

Some disadvantages of plantation agriculture in India are listed below:

  • The displacement of people for plantation agriculture makes them landless. People living around plantation agriculture are transferred to other areas as plantation farming needs vast expenses.
  • Plantation farming is one of the reasons for deforestation. It requires a large area of land, so natural habitation on a wide land area is removed, which leads to ecological disruption, biodiversity loss and soil erosion.
  • This agricultural practice leads to an increase in diseases and pets. Monoculture use may boost the spread of illness and pests. The crops produced depend on the global market for sales. So, any changes in the price or demand of a particular crop may have a drastic effect on agriculture.


Plantation farming is an important economic activity in various countries worldwide. This farming activity varies concerning the location and the type of crops. Each type of plantation agriculture has its own unique challenges and opportunities. So, if you want to learn more about this farming activity, you may contact Tractorkarvan anytime.

We hope that you get all the information regarding Plantation agriculture in India. If you want to learn more, stay tuned with Tractorkarvan or get in touch with us now!

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