AGRARIAN SPACE: It is the land where agrarian activities are undertaken.

RURAL SPACE: It refers to the non-urban areas that are used for agrarian activities, amongst many other activities.

AGRICULTURE: It is concerned with cultivating the soil and growing crops in order to obtain food and raw materials. It includes the preparation of plant products for people to use and their distribution to markets.

LIVESTOCK FARMING: It is concerned with domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce commodities such as food, raw materials and labour force. It implies a commercial purpose, since animals are reared for a financial gain.

SILVICULTURE: It is concerned with the economic use of woodland. It provides food and raw materials for various industries.

FISHING: It is the activity that provides products from the sea. It provides food for people and raw materials for industry, such as tinned and frozen products, oils, flours and fertilizers.

PHYSICAL FACTORS OF AGRARIAN ACTIVITY: They condition the agrarian activities and are climate, relief and soil amongst others.

SOIL CHARACTERISTICS: They are the soil’s depth (deeper soils are more fertile), porosity (so that air reaches plants’ roots), texture (capacity to retain water), acidity and alkalinity (depending on this soils may be toxic for plants).

SOIL STRUCTURE: It is divided in bedrock (the lowest part, it constitutes the foundation of the soil), broken rock (it is the bedrock broken down into smaller pieces), surface soil (it provides plants with nutrients and minerals), humus (the top layer, it is formed by decomposed organic matter and it is essential for soil fertility, as it provides nitrogen and phosphorus).

HUMAN FACTORS OF AGRARIAN ACTIVITY:They condition the agrarian activities and are: population, technological development, economic and social organization and agrarian policies.

TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT IN TRADITIONAL SOCIETIES: They use basic tools such as spades, hoes, sickles and ploughs. Regarding farming techniques, sometimes the soil is farmed until it is exhausted, or a section of land is left fallow. Usually natural fertilisers are used so the soil recovers its nutrients.

TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT IN ADVANCED SOCIETIES: They use modern tools such as tractors, combine harvesters and milking machines. Regarding farming techniques, chemical fertilisers are used, crops are irrigated with advanced systems and pesticides are used.

TYPES OF AGRARIAN ECONOMIES: There are two types: subsistence economies which are the ones that produce what they need; and market economies that sell what they produce.


It refers to property and exploitation. In terms of property, land can be private or collective. In terms of exploitation, it can be direct if landowners or their employees work the land themselves, or indirect if the owner allows a tenant or partner to work the land.

AGRARIAN SETTLEMENTS:It is how the agrarian population is distributed. They can be dispersed (farmers’ dwellings are separated from one another and surrounded by the land they farm), concentrated (farmers’ dwellings are grouped in a village) and interspersed (some farmers’ dwellings are grouped and others are isolated).

TYPES OF SPANISH AGRARIAN DWELLINGS: There are four main types: barraca (it is a dwelling found in Valencia, we can distinguish it by its pointed roof), caserío (a dwelling typical of Basque Country, we can distinguish it because one side of the roof is longer than the other one), cortijo (a dwelling found in the Andalusia, we can distinguish it because it has white walls and usually it’s surrounded by olives trees) and masía (typically found in Catalonia).

TYPES OF FARMLAND: Farm fields are distinguished from one another on the basis of size (they can be small, medium and large), shape (they can be regular as the townships in the US or irregular as in mountainous terrains), location (they can be open or closed) and use (they can be used for agriculture, livestock farming or silviculture)

TYPES OF CROPS: From the smallest to the tallest, they are herbaceous crops (cereals or leafy greens), shrubs (grapevine) and trees (olive and fruit trees).

MONOCULTURE:It is used when fields are used to grow just one crop.

POLYCULTURE:It is used when fields are used to grow more than one type of crops.

DRYLAND AGRICULTURE: Here, crops are irrigated only with rainwater.

IRRIGATED AGRICULTURE: Here, irrigation applied to the land, soil or crops is artificial.

INTENSIVE AGRICULTURE: Here the land is used to its full potential, in order to have the highest output and profit as possible.

EXTENSIVE AGRICULTURE: Here the land is not used to its full potential, and the output will depend on the capital and technology invested.

CHARACTERISTICS OF TRADITIONAL AGRICULTURE: It is typical of regions with low level of development (Africa, South East Asia, Latin America). It has a low level of technology and requires a high level of labour workers. The output produced is for self-consumption.

SLASH-AND-BURN AGRICULTURE: It’s a traditional type of agriculture characteristic of migratory populations in areas with equatorial and tropical climate. The soil is cultivated continuously in irregular plots and it’s exhausted in 2 or 3 years. Different crops, such as cereals and tubers, are cultivated (polyculture).

SEDENTARY DRYLAND AGRICULTURE: It’s a traditional type of agriculture found in tropical areas. Plots are located close to villages and they use crop rotation, mixing cereals, tubers and fallow land. Using this technique soil is not exhausted.

IRRIGATED MONSOON AGRICULTURE: This type of agriculture can be found in South and South East Asia. Paddy fields are located in alluvial plains and river deltas. This system produces two or three harvests annually.

CHARACTERISTICS OF ADVANCED AGRICULTURE: It is typical in “new countries” (US, Australia, Europe and along some tropical coasts). This industrial agriculture uses technological, mechanisation and scientific advancements to achieve high yields with the minimum labour force. It is a market agriculture because it situates the crops in the best place in order to attain profitable production.

AGRICULTURE IN “NEW COUNTRIES”: It refers to the agriculture in countries in the Americas and Oceania that were colonised by Europeans. The agrarian landscape is organised into large, regular-sized fields that belong to a highly skilled farmer or large multinational companies. Advanced farming methods are used to facilitate mass production to supply an international market. The crops grown are suited to the local climate.

PLANTATION AGRICULTURE: This type of agriculture is located in coastal areas of countries with a humid tropical climate in Central and South America and the Gulf of Guinea in Africa. The agrarian landscape is characterised by enormous fields in which one single crop is grown. This fields generally belong to multinational companies from developed countries. It provides cheap mass production intended for the international market.

ORGANIC AGRICULTURE: This type of agriculture is environmentally friendly. The output is low, while the quality is high, that’s why these products are more expensive. It isn’t widespread yet (it occupies 0.9% of the world total). People that buy these products are called “green consumers”, and they mainly come from Europe and the US.