Archive "Agriculture"

The Advance of Agriculture and the Retreat of Wilderness

People began to cultivate crop plants about 11,500 years ago in Southwest Asia and more recently in every other part of the populated world. At first, the early crops faced severe competition from wild plants, but in time the farmers overcame them, at least partially. It was not only their chosen plant species that the […]

Origin of farming

The Origins of Agriculture

Life in a modern city or even a large town would be impossible were it not for the farmers who grow crops and the distribution and retailing systems that bring the food to the stores. It is agriculture that makes urban life possible, but it makes no sense to suggest that farming began in order […]

Agriculture and climate change

Global Change and Agriculture

For the remainder of the twenty-first century, and probably well beyond, our global climate will change. The Earth will become warmer, especially in mid- and high latitudes. Most areas will have more precipitation, although higher temperatures will often bring more summer drought stress. Extreme events—heavy rainfalls and high winds—will be more frequent. How will global climate change impact agriculture? (Figure 10.1) In […]



Agriculture plays a central role in the economies of nations throughout Africa, accounting for between 30 and 60 percent of all economic production. In many African nations, a majority of the people is engaged in farming, producing goods for domestic use and sometimes for export as well. Peasant and subsistence farming is the basic form of agriculture in most parts […]

Animal Welfare, Agricultural

Though arguably not a traditional area of geographical concern, agricultural animal welfare is currently attracting the interest of a growing number of human geographers. The (humanist) social sciences in general have long ignored farm animals, and, one might even claim, all animals, rendering them largely invisible and their agency unaccounted for in the analysis of human society. Yet, geography's relatively recent […]

Developing an Environmentalist Critique of Modern Agriculture

Environmentalist critiques of modern farming first emerged in places like Western Europe, the United States, and Canada during the late 1970s. Mounting evidence of the biodiversity, soil erosion, and off farm pollution impacts of agricultural intensification and specialization was brought to public attention by campaigning scientists and journalists and by conservation groups in both the EU and North America. In the […]

Conclusions: Prospects and Challenges for Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development

This article started by outlining some of the basic and time honored principles of sustainable agriculture. The proceeding synthesis, concerning the variant ways and vectors in which these principles have been (contestedly) grounded and conceptually developed by scholars, has demonstrated their continual and growing relevance. For much of the latter half of the twentieth century agricultural sustainability debates concentrated on both […]

Agriculture, Sustainable

Agriculture, Sustainable

High-Level Conceptualizations: Some Foundation Principles Since the 1960s the concept of sustainable agriculture has been increasingly used to denote a variable but significant rupture with what has been termed the more dominant agri industrial model of agriculture and rural development. In general terms it can be defined as referring to the environmental or ecological soundness of the agricultural production processes or […]

The Future of Agricultural Land Preservation

Government responses to the urbanization of agricultural land have recognized the need to develop programs to support agricultural viability in conjunction with agricultural land preservation policies. However, policies to protect agricultural land must account for the uncertainty of the agricultural economy. If farming becomes too unprofitable an occupation, it will not be economically viable for governments or private landowners to […]

Approaches for Preserving Agricultural Land

Since the realization was made that the conversion of agricultural lands to urban uses in the post World War II era was having an impact on the ability of farmers to operate, and threatening future food security in the Western world, a range of approaches have been implemented. Some were designed specifically for, or dominated by, agricultural interests. Others […]

Agricultural Land Preservation

Why Protect Agricultural Land The success of today's agricultural sector is vital to the economy of most nations. In Canada, for example, agriculture is the third largest contributor to the gross domestic product and employs over 762 000 people, but its supply of agricultural land is limited and unevenly distributed, with only 11% of the land base […]

commercial agriculture

PRIOR TO THE FIRST AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION, people relied on hunting and gathering to obtain food supplies. The agricultural revolution began as the individuals in the society began to cultivate soil, plant seeds, and use plows and animals to assist with the cultivation of the soil. This change from a hunting and gathering society did not […]

Agricultural Revolution

AROUND 11,000 B.C.E., human beings began to domesticate and cultivate plants. This new activity, which eventually changed populations, lifestyles, and the environment in profound ways, proceeded in sporadic bouts. Although the development of agriculture took place over millennia on different continents, its initial beginning is sometimes referred to as the Agricultural Revolution. Archaeological evidence shows […]