What is agriculture?

Agriculture means farming. It involves artificial cultivation of plants (crops) and rearing of animals for food and other products.

Arable farming- Crop farming
Pastoral farming- Rearing of animals
Mixed farming- involves both
Yield: the amount of output
Sedentary farming: farming that takes place in a permanent location.
Subsistence farming: involves growing crops and rearing of animals for self-consumption. Little surplus is produced which can then be sold.
Commercial agriculture: is done to make profit from the output. The crops produced are called cash crops

Characteristics of Intensive farming:
High inputs of capital, fertilizers, labour and pesticides (the amount of money spent as input in high such as in Denmark)
Farm size is smaller comparison to the number of workers (Ganges delta)
Produced high yields

Characteristics of Extensive farming:
Involves low input of materials and labour (Amazon basin)
Large farm size (American Prairies)
Low yield in comparison to farm the size

Famine: When the demand for food exceeds the supply of food leading to undernourishment.
Drought: When the demand for water exceeds the supply of water causing water stress (water shortages).
Soil Degradation: A reduction in the quality of soil, making it harder to grow plants.
Soil exhaustion: leads to low crop yields. It is a result of over cropping (growing too much over a plot of land), monoculture (growing of only one type of crop), insufficient addition of manure and use of heavy chemical fertilizers. Soil exhaustion leads to soil degradation.
Desertification: The process of soil becoming degraded and turning to desert.
Soil erosion: The removal of topsoil (topsoil is normally the most fertile layer) usually by wind and water.
Subsidies: Subsidies are financial help given to industries to make their production cheaper. The EU gives many of its farmers subsidies in order to protect tradition, to be self sufficient and to protect from foreign competition.
NIMBY: NIMBY stands for not in my back yard and it is the phenomenon of people approving of certain developments, but not wanting them to happen near where they live e.g. a wind turbine.
CAP: The Common Agricultural Policy is the EU's farming policy aimed at creating a single European market for farm products, become self sufficient, increase farm income and provide financial support.

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Slash and burn farming: The process of cutting down areas of forest and then burning the stubble/roots in order to farm. Land becomes infertile very quickly, slash and burn farmers will move land every few years.

Ranching: is the practice of raising herds of animals on large tracts of land. Ranchers commonly raise grazing animals such as cattle and sheep.
Ranching is common in temperate, dry areas, such as the Pampas region of South America, the western United States, the Prairie Provinces of Canada, and the Australian Outback. In these regions, grazing animals are able to roam over large areas. Cowboy culture is an important part of the identity of ranching regions. Cowboys are responsible for herding and maintaining the health of animals across these vast ranches. Cowboys often work with horses to herd cattle and sheep.
Problems:
Overgrazing- as more and more ranchers grazed their animals on the open range, the quality of the land became degraded. Cattle that are not native to the land, had to compete with native grazing animals.

Ranching
Shifting Cultivation
Subsistence Rice Faming
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Commercial Farming: Case of Palm-oil plantation in Malaysia

Commercial agriculture is done to make profit from the output. The crops produced are called cash crops.

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Malaysian oil-palm plantation: Finding a sustainable way
Rubber plantation in Africa (Liberia)






Industrial Systems


Sectors of Economy
Primary Sector
Extraction of raw materials from the nature e.g. agriculture, fishing, farming, forestry and mining etc.
Secondary Sector
Transforming raw materials into semi-finished goods or finished goods. This sector includes metal working and smelting, automobile production, textile production, chemical and engineering industries, aerospace manufacturing, energy utilities, engineering, breweries and bottlers, construction, and shipbuilding.
Tertiary Sector
Provision of services to businesses and consumers. Activities associated with this sector include retail and wholesale sales, transportation and distribution, entertainment (movies, television, radio, music, theatre, etc.), restaurants, clerical services, media, tourism, insurance, banking, healthcare, and law. In most developed and developing countries, a growing proportion of workers are devoted to the tertiary sector. In the U.S., more than 80% of the labor force is tertiary worker.
Quaternary Sector
Research and development,
This sector is said to be that of intellectual organization in a society such as government, research, cultural programs, information technology (IT), higher education, and libraries.
Quinary Sector
Highest levels of decision making in a society
or economy. Top executives or officials in
senior management in government, Research,
Universities, healthcare and in media.