Human Geography: Places andRegions in Global Context, 5eChapter 8: Agriculture and Food Production Paul L. Knox & Sallie A. Marston PowerPoint Author: Keith M. Bell
OverviewToday agriculture is a highly complex, globally integrated system. It was notalways that way. Agriculture has gone through three revolutions, eachtransforming the practice in major ways. Agriculture of the present is highlyindustrialized through the use of mechanization, chemical fertilizers, and throughlinks to other sectors of the economy such as food processing andtransportation. This chapter explores different kinds of agriculture and theregions in which each is practiced. Students should be aware of how agriculturalpractices in, for example, the tropics and in temperate regions differ from eachother.Modern agriculture is the major focus of this chapter, especially the process ofindustrialization. Students should be aware of these changes. Agriculture is nowpart of the world economic system, and hence its economic, social, andenvironmental impacts are also global in nature. This process is easy to illustrateby examining the sources of foods commonly consumed in the United Statesand the process by which they reach their final market.
Chapter Objectives• The objectives of this chapter are to: – Understand traditional agricultural geography – Examine the agricultural revolution and its industrialization – Investigate the forces of agricultural globalization – Explore the social and technological change in global agricultural restructuring – Examine the relationship between the environment and agricultural industrialization
Chapter Outline• Chapter Outline • The Environment and Agricultural• Traditional Agricultural Geography Industrialization (p. 327) (p. 298) – Impact of the environment on – Types of agriculture agriculture – Shifting cultivation – Impact of agriculture on the environment – Intensive subsistence agriculture – • Problems and Prospects in the Pastoralism Global Food System (p. 330)• Agricultural Revolution and – Famine and undernutrition Industrialization (p. 305) – Genetically modified organisms – First agricultural revolution – Urban agriculture – Second agricultural revolution – • Conclusion (p. 335) Third agricultural revolution – Industrialization of agriculture• Global Change in Food Production and Consumption (p. 315) – Forces of globalization – Agricultural change and development policies in Latin America – Agribusiness – Food regimes and fast food
Geography Matters• 8.1 Geography Matters—The Blue Revolution and Global Shrimp (p. 310) – The growth of the global shrimp trade and its impacts• 8.2 Geography Matters—A Look at the Green Revolution (p. 318) – Feeding the world’s growing population• 8.3 Window on the World—The New Geography of Food and Agriculture in New Zealand (p. 328) – Changes in New Zealand’s agriculture
Agriculture and Food Production Agriculture has been transformed into a globally integrated system.Agriculture has progressed through three revolutionary phases, domestication through biotechnology. The introduction of new technologies has dramaticallychanged the process of agriculture. Shifting cultivation, subsistence agriculture and pastoralism has been largely replaced by industrial agriculture.The contemporary agro-commoditysystem is organized around a chain of agribusiness components.Transformations in agriculture have had dramatic impacts on the environment.
Traditional Agricultural Geography• Agriculture is a science, an art, and a business directed at the cultivation of crops and the raising of livestock for sustenance and profit. – Agrarian – Hunting and gathering – Subsistence agriculture – Commercial agriculture
Pesticide Spraying: NicaraguaThe use of chemical, mechanical, and biotechnological innovations andapplications has significantly intensified farming practices. The declinein the number of people employed in farming in both the core andperiphery is perhaps the biggest change in agriculture.
Global Distribution of AgricultureDramatic differences between core and periphery exists in regards tocommercial versus subsistence crops. The core is dominated bycommercial endeavors, a definite economic advantage.
Areas of Plant and Animal DomesticationSubsistence agriculture replaced hunting and gathering activities in manyparts of the globe when people understood the advantages of a secure foodsource. Human civilization, writing, economics, and government developed.
Shifting Cultivation South America: processedChina: slash-and-burn field A form of agriculture usually found in tropical forests where farmers aim to maintain soil fertility by rotating fields. Shifting cultivation is different from crop rotation, whereby fields are continually used but with complimentary crops that balance nutrient usage of the soil.
Farming TechniquesIntertillage Intensive subsistence In the tropics, tubers predominate, while grains like rice are planted in flooded fields of subtropical climes. Carbohydrate crops form the backbone of modern cultivation.
Pastoralism: MongoliaPastorialism involves the breeding and herding of animals to satisfy thehuman needs for food, shelter, and clothing. Most pastoralists practicetranshumance, the movement of herds according to seasonal rhythms:warmer, lowland areas in the winter, and cooler, highland areas insummer.
Agricultural Revolution and Industrialization• The First Agricultural Revolution – Founded on the development of seed agriculture and the use of the plow and draft animals – Domestication of plants and animals allowed for the rise of settled ways of life• The Second Agricultural Revolution – Important elements include: • Dramatic improvements in outputs, such as crop and livestock yields • Such innovations as the improved yoke for oxen and the replacement of the ox with the horse • New inputs to agricultural production, such as the application of fertilizers and field drainage systems
The First Agricultural Revolution: Punjab, IndiaIn many parts of the world, agriculturalists rely on draft animals toprepare land for cultivation. By expanding the amount of energy appliedto production, draft animals enabled humans to increase food supplies.
Agricultural Revolutions and Industrialization• The Third Agricultural Revolution – Three important phases originated in North America: • Mechanization: replaced human farm labor with machines • Chemical farming with synthetic fertilizers: application of herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides to crops to enhance yields • Globally widespread food manufacturing: adding economic value to agricultural products (i.e., processing food between farms and markets) – The first two phases involve inputs, while the third involves a complication of farms to firms in the manufacturing sector.
Old and New Farm Machines Modern harvestingVasser student-farmer: 1917 equipment Contract farming: contemporary agro-food systems, whereby farmers and processing/marketing firms have a binding agreement on production, supply and purchase of agricultural products
Worldwide Growth in Fertilizer Use One of the biggest ongoing problems with increased fertilizer usage is the increased runoff and resultant dead zones along ocean shores.
The Industrialization of Agriculture• Advances in science and technology—including mechanical as well as chemical and biological innovations— have determined the industrialization of agriculture over time.• Three important developments: – Changes in rural labor activities as machines replace and/or enhance human labor – The introduction of innovative inputs to supplement, alter, or replace biological outputs – The development of industrial substitutes for agricultural products (like Nutrasweet)
The Blue Revolution and Global ShrimpLouisiana shrimpers Thai shrimp farm Aquaculture claimed to be an answer to feeding the periphery a cheap form of protein. The growth of the shrimp trade and aquaculture were rapid, but the so-called “Pink Gold Rush” of shrimp exports has come with a high social and ecological cost.
Effects of the Green RevolutionThis map illustrates the increased yields of protein crops, root crops, other cereals,maize, rice, and wheat brought about by the Green Revolution in selected countriesin Latin America, Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East and North Africa.
Biorevolution and Ethics • The Biorevolution is the genetic engineering of plants and animals with the potential to greatly exceed the productivity improvements of the Green Revolution. – Biotechnology – Biopharming – (Norman) Borlaug hypothesis
Ostrich-rearing Project: KenyaMasai men are involved in an international development project focusedon ostrich-rearing and ecosystem management.
Food and Health: Salinas, CaliforniaWhile consumers worried about salmonella-tainted spinach, farmers werelaying off workers and plowing under their crops as governmentinspectors examined their fields. The economic loss was estimated to benearly $100 million.
GMOs and the Global Food SystemA genetically modified organism, or GMO, is any organism that has hadits DNA modified in a laboratory rather than through cross-pollination orother forms of evolution. Food activist and leader of the FrenchConfederation Paysanne, Jose Bove, leads a protest march in Paris.
Discussion Topics and Lecture Themes• What are the differences between subsistence and commercial agriculture? What regions of the world tend to practice these two basic agricultural modes, and why? – Subsistence agriculture is farming for direct consumption by the producers, whereas commercial agriculture is farming primarily for sale. Though subsistence agriculture is declining, it is still widespread in the periphery. Commercial agriculture is dominant in core areas. Subsistence agriculture is declining because many farmers will modify their practices as they convert to a cash economy.
Discussion Topics and Lecture Themes• What is pastoralism? Where is this practice predominant today? Why in these areas? – Pastoralism is a subsistence activity that involves the breeding and herding of animals. It is most commonly practiced in the cold and dry climates of deserts, savannas (grasslands), and steppes (lightly wooded, grassy plains). These drier regions are usually unsuitable for other forms of agriculture.
Discussion Topics and Lecture Themes• What were the three agricultural revolutions, and what was the impact of each? – The First Agricultural Revolution: beginning before 10,000 bc in Europe and Southeast Asia and characterized by the development of seed agriculture and the use of plow and draft animals, it allowed for the development of settlements. Farming replaced hunting and gathering, and population increased as the land can support more people. – The Second Agricultural Revolution: beginning around 1650 ad in Western Europe and North America, this revolution is characterized by the production of an agricultural surplus and the development of commercial agriculture, in which the surplus is sold for profit. The second agricultural revolution was closely linked to the Industrial Revolution taking place at the same time and in the same places. – The Third Agricultural Revolution: beginning in 1928 and characterized by the development of agriculture as an industry with industrial methods and policies of production. The emphasis on profit replaces the emphasis on the agrarian way of life, and farms become large commercial enterprises or agribusinesses. This revolution is further characterized by mechanization, in which machines replace human labor, by chemical farming, in which inorganic fertilizers are applied to the soil to increase yields, and by food manufacturing, in which agriculture is linked to the processing and refining of foods.
Discussion Topics and Lecture Themes• What is meant by the industrialization of agriculture? Why has agriculture become increasingly industrialized? What impacts has this had on the world as a whole? – Agricultural industrialization is a process in which the role of the farm is moved from being the centerpiece of agricultural production into being only one part of a system of production, storage, processing, distribution, marketing, and retailing of foods. With agricultural industrialization, the farm becomes only one link in a large chain of food production. The process of agricultural industrialization involves three elements: – Changes in rural labor activities as machines replace and/or improve human labor. – The introduction of innovative inputs—fertilizers, hybrid seeds, agrochemicals, and biotechnologies—to supplement, alter, or replace biological outputs. – The development of industrial substitutes for agricultural products (Nutrasweet instead of sugar, and thickeners instead of cornstarch or flour, for example). – Agricultural industrialization has not occurred everywhere in the world simultaneously. This process occurred much earlier in the core countries, and was later diffused to the periphery in a process known as the green revolution, in which technological innovations were exported to the periphery to increase crop yields. – The Geography Matters 8.1 boxed text also provides information on the global shrimp industry.
Discussion Topics and Lecture Themes• What is the Green Revolution? What positive and negative impacts did this process have? What regions benefited most from the Green Revolution? – The Green Revolution refers to the invention and diffusion of new machines and institutions, from the core to the periphery, to increase global agricultural productivity. See the Geography Matters 8.2 boxed text for a discussion of the implications of the Green Revolution.
Discussion Topics and Lecture Themes• What is biotechnology? What effects has biotechnology had on agriculture? What are the costs and benefits of the application of modern biotechnological processes such as food irradiation and cloning? – Biotechnology is a technique that uses living organisms (or parts of organisms) to make or modify products, to improve plants and animals, or to develop microorganisms for specific uses. Recombinant DNA, tissue culture, cell fusion, enzyme and fermentation technology, embryo transfer, and cloning are some examples of the application of biotechnology. While biotechnology may lead to many improvements in agricultural efficiency, it can also have negative effects such as the reduced resistance of cloned plants to diseases. Biotechnological developments can also exacerbate core-periphery differences, for example, when plants are developed that can be grown outside their native areas. Private companies normally patent biotechnological innovations, which means that the new technologies are not always widely available.
Discussion Topics and Lecture Themes• How does the local area fit into the food supply system or food chain? Is it a producer, distributor, or consumer of agricultural products, or perhaps a combination of these factors? How does this affect the local economy? – All places are consumers of agricultural products, and many are distributors of them as well. Even places that are generally urbanized may have some agricultural production. Data on these activities can often be obtained from local and state government agencies.
Discussion Topics and Lecture Themes• Think of five sample food items commonly consumed in the local area. Where are these items produced? How are they transported to the local area? Could they be grown locally? Why or why not? – Local retailers and wholesalers may be able to provide information on the local food economy. Also try the Internet for information on particular food items and where they are produced.