Plantation

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Tea plantation in Malaysia
Red Pine plantation in Canada

A plantation is a large farm which is specialized on farming one type of crop. The crops grown on plantations are usually for export, and not for local use. Crops grown on plantations include banana, sugarcane, coffee, tea, cotton and tobacco.

Some of the problems with plantations come from the fact that they are monocultures, that is there is only one kind of crop that is grown there. This makes them vulnerable to pests, for example. Among the earliest examples of plantations were the latifundia of the Roman Empire. They produced large quantities of wine and olive oil for export. Plantation agriculture grew rapidly with the increase in international trade. Like every economic activity, it has changed over time. Earlier forms of plantation agriculture were associated with large disparities of wealth and income, foreign ownership and political influence, and exploitative social systems such as indentured labor and slavery.