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👨‍🌾 Unit 5

  •  ⏱️2 min read

5.10 Consequences of Agricultural Practices

pooja kalyan

⏱️ May 19, 2020

📅

As you probably know, agricultural practices can have a wide range of consequences, whether it's environmental or societal, but in this section, we’ll get into the specifics. 

Environmental Effects of Agriculture 

  • Overgrazing 

    • Grassland is grazed so much that the vegetation and topography are permanently damaged

  • Desertification 

    • The fertile land becomes desert-like, oftentimes a consequence of over-cultivation of deforestation 

    • Existing vegetation becomes stripped away and soil loses vital nutrients 

  • Overfishing 

    • Over-exploitation where fish are reduced to below acceptable levels 

  • Pesticides 

    • DDT is a major example 

    • Have harmed wildlife and polluted our waters 

  • Soil Salinization 

  • Pollution 

  • Conservation efforts (to preserve the environment) 

Changing the Physical Landscape

  • Slash and burn/Shifting Cultivation

    • Large scale slash-and-burn is detrimental to the environment

    • Cutting down trees (reducing biodiversity)

    • Burning their stumps (damages the soil) 

  • Terrace Farming 

    •  Rainwater saturation (too much water absorbed into the ground) could lead to mudslides 

    • Can lead to greater soil erosion if not managed properly 

  • Irrigation 

    • Can result in salinization, increasing the salt content of the soil

      • Leads to a decrease in crop yield and soil fertility 

    • Land submergence - the collapse of land because of too much ground water be pumped to the surface 

  • Draining wetlands 

    • Done to increase farmland but...

    • Decreases biodiversity in plants and animals 

  • Pastoral Nomadism 

    • Overgrazing of fields leads to vegetation depletion 

Societal Effects of Agriculture 

  • Changing diets 

  • Role of women in agriculture production and consumption

    • Food gathering -> farming -> managing agribusiness 

    • Different types of food are being consumed (would you like pomegranate, some coffee, or perhaps some edamame?) 

    • Food is being prepared in new ways (mmm stir fried veggies!) 

  • The purpose of agriculture (geared towards the economy) 

    • Although agriculture was once geared toward individual consumption, it has since shifted to global consumption. Agriculture has become a necessary component of our economy and the purpose of agriculture has become increasingly focused on profits.

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