It relies on the use of chemical fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, plant growth regulators, pesticides...
It is associated with the increasing use of modern practices and agricultural mechanization.
Intensive agriculture made it possible to very strongly increase productivity during the twentieth century, and helped assure proper food supply for the growing population. Agricultural productivity gains authorized the reduction in the farming population, mostly in developed countries.
Intensification of agriculture from the sixties to the eighties is also known as the green revolution. Developing nations often could not profit from the advantages of modern agriculture in particular due to a poor climate and lack of funds.
Intensive farming is often at the expense of environmental considerations, which explains its rejection from some producers and consumers.