What are the Characteristics of Plantation Agriculture?

i. Plantation crops are generally raised on large estates of more than 40 hectares.

ii. It refers to the large scale, capitalised and often highly centralised cultivation in the plantations of cash crops for export.

It is, therefore, one of the best examples of an export-oriented system. Among the most important crops found on plantations are cotton, sugarcane, coffee, rubber and tobacco.

iii. Estate farming is an outstanding feature of plantation agriculture. Most estates have foreign ownership but the labour employed is local. The largest estates are owned by the Europeans.

iv. The Malaysian rubber plantations are owned by Europeans while the tapping and processing of the rubber is done entirely by local people or by immigrant labourers from southern India.

v. The British established large tea gardens in India and Sri Lanka and banana and sugarcane plantations in West Indies.

vi. The French have established cocoa and coffee plantations in West Africa, e.g., in Cameroon and Ivory Coast.

vii. The Dutch once monopolised the sugarcane plantations in Indonesia, especially in Java; Spanish and American capitalists invested in coconut, abaca and sugar plantations in the Philippines; the Portuguese still own fazendas in Brazil, although most of them now belong to the wealthy Brazilians.

viii. Farming in estates is scientifically managed. Work in estates is executed with specialised skills. Farming is mechanised wherever possible. Emphasis is on raising the productivity and quality of the produce.

ix. Plantation farming is capital intensive. To initiate and maintain tropical plantation, a large sum of capital is required.

Distribution

• Plantation is a form of commercial agriculture found in the tropics and the subtropics of America, Africa and Asia.

• Latin American plantations are most likely to grow coffee, sugarcane and bananas white ki plantations may provide rubber and palm oil.