By Albert Makendenge

Cash crops are crops grown with the intention of generating money. For instance coffee, tea, cocoa, wheat and cotton are common cash crops. Most cash crops, which have been an integral part of strategies set to improve food security levels in most developing countries, can either be consumed directly or processed into other final products.

Food crops, on the other hand, are plants that are mainly cultivated for human domestic consumption, whereby farmers grow just what is enough for their own personal needs. They mainly consist of tubers, legumes, fruits, vegetables and cereals and in this kind of farming, planning decisions are mainly based on the family’s food needs.

Below is a comparison table between cash crops and food crops to further highlight the differences between the two

Parameter of comparisonCash cropsFood crops
Market typeSold out in local and international marketSold out in the local market only
Capital requirementA huge amount of capital required for startupNot much capital is required for startup
Farming techniqueComplex faming is practiced to get high yieldsSimple farming techniques are enough
RisksRisk of soil degradation, crop quality and price fluctuations are thereDo not have many risks
Crop productivityHigh productivity is required so strict measures are introducedProductivity requirement is low as compared to the cash crops
PoliciesSpecific policies are set for pricing and crop managementThere are usually no such policies
Purpose of farmingEarning money is the ultimate purposeSurvival is the ultimate purpose

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