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 comparison||Cash crops||Food crops|
|Market type||Sold out in local and international market||Sold out in the local market only|
|Capital requirement||A huge amount of capital required for startup||Not much capital is required for startup|
|Farming technique||Complex faming is practiced to get high yields||Simple farming techniques are enough|
|Risks||Risk of soil degradation, crop quality and price fluctuations are there||Do not have many risks|
|Crop productivity||High productivity is required so strict measures are introduced||Productivity requirement is low as compared to the cash crops|
|Policies||Specific policies are set for pricing and crop management||There are usually no such policies|
|Purpose of farming||Earning money is the ultimate purpose||Survival is the ultimate purpose|